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[1THING] Blog: Archive for July, 2017

[ Let the sage grouse conservation plans work ]

It took nearly a decade of conservation efforts to protect the iconic sage grouse, its fragile ecosystem of over 350 species, and a billion dollar plus regional recreational economy.


[ Every Kid in A Park program extended; 4th graders get free park admission ]

“Every Kid in a Park,” which provides fourth grade students and their families free admission to all national parks and other federal lands, has been extended through the 2017-2018 school year.


[ DEP Urged to Revise Brunner Island Water Permit ]

The Brunner Island power plant must stop contaminating the Susquehanna River, according to a message delivered by local residents to the Department of Environmental Protection.

A hearing Monday evening marked the close of the public comment period on a draft water permit that would let the coal-fired power plant continue discharging water with pollutants from coal ash until 2023.

According to Patrick Grenter, senior campaign representative for the Sierra Club, the plant’s last water permit expired more than five years ago and the current draft would allow the plant to keep discharging waste containing arsenic, mercury and selenium into the river.

“The technologies needed to control these toxics are widely available; it’s easily installed,”he said. “Coal plants around the country have done so, years ago.”

The owners of Brunner Island have been retrofitting the plant to burn natural gas, which could eliminate the toxic discharges. However, Grenter said, the plant could make that switch now.

“The fact that this plant has the ability right now to stop this toxic pollution further underlines why it’s just completely inappropriate for the DEP to give this company an additional six years to pollute,” he said.

The Susquehanna River provides drinking water for about 6 million people.

Water pollution isn’t the only problem. Connecticut and Delaware have filed complaints with the Environmental Protection Agency over Brunner Island’s emissions of smog-forming nitrogen oxides. By allowing the pollution to continue, Grenter said, the DEP would be subsidizing the plant.

“If they’re forced to internalize the cost of their pollution,” he said, “it’s become more and more clear that they can’t compete with clean, renewable sources like wind and solar.”

The DEP has said it will evaluate all the written and oral comments on the draft water permit before issuing its decision.

The draft permit is online at dep.pa.gov.

-Andrea Sears, Keystone State News Connection


[ Rep. Emmer’s mining bill would endanger the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness ]

Michael Reinemer

A hearing on this unnumbered bill is scheduled for Thursday, July 27 in the Energy and Minerals Subcommittee of the House Natural Resources Committee.


[ Time running out to keep Minnesota’s Boundary Waters clean—speak up today ]

Aug. 11 is the deadline for the public to weigh in on whether future mining should be allowed in the famed Boundary Waters’ watershed.


[ Musicians Who Care About the Environment ]

Many musical artists practice an eco-friendly lifestyle.  Eluxe Magazine has a great list of Eco Friendly musicians and what they are doing to help our planet.  Some of the artists on the list include Pink, Bruno Mars, Maroon 5, and more:

  • In the spring of 2010, Drake embarked on his first-ever tour as a headliner in association with Reverb’s Campus Consciousness Tour, which began with Guster in 2006. The CCT works to link artists with environmental student groups at schools across the country to raise awareness through literature and activities in tents on the concert grounds, like eco-friendly screen printing from Studio 3, an organic textile company.
  • Pharrell became Creative Director of Bionic Yarn in 2009. The ‘yarn’  is based on plastic pollution salvaged from the oceans and recycled into textiles, and the concept is part of the Vortex Project, an initiative by Parley for the Oceans in collaboration with the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society to help rid the oceans of plastic and put it to good use.
  • Paul McCartney helped launch Meatless Mondays, along with his daughter Stella, which encourages even non-vegetarians to shun meat for one day a week–animal farming has a huge impact on the environment, and going meatless even one day a week can make a huge difference.

See the full list from Eluxe Magazine here.



[ Anti-public lands push takes aim at our wildest state ]

In the past, Alaska has been recognized as a font of natural resources and sheer beauty. Attempts to drill in the Arctic Refuge and build a road through Izembek National Wildlife Refuge show our wildest state is under attack like never before.


[ Trump’s budget could kill an urgent coastal recovery project – and slam our economy ]

If economic growth and jobs are on the agenda, saving Louisiana’s coast should be a priority.


[ House to begin markup of renewable energy bill today ]

Alex Thompson

Today, the House Natural Resources Committee will begin marking up the Public Land Renewable Energy Development Act of 2017 (H.R. 825).


[ Groups Seek Permanent Delaware Watershed Drilling Ban ]

Environmental groups are visiting Harrisburg and three other state capitals this week to deliver a petition calling for a ban on fracking in the Delaware River Basin.

The governors of New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Delaware plus the Army Corps of Engineers make up the Delaware River Basin Commission.

Currently, there is a moratorium in effect that blocks any fracking in the Delaware watershed.

According to Maya van Rossum, the Delaware Riverkeeper, the groups have gathered more than 50,000 signatures asking that the moratorium be made into a permanent ban.

“It’s a moratorium that could be lifted at any time if the Commission were to put forth and pass regulations guiding how drilling would happen in the watershed,” she says.

The oil and gas industry says hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, for natural gas promotes energy independence and economic development.

But van Rossum points out that fracking itself has had serious environmental consequences where it has taken place.

“Fracking has devastated drinking-water supplies, it’s contaminating the air, it’s harming people’s health, it’s diminishing their property values,” she explains. “It’s harming every aspect of people’s lives.”

The environmental groups are visiting one of the four state capitals and the Army Corps of Engineers each day this week to deliver their petitions calling for a ban.

The petition will be delivered to Harrisburg on Thursday. Van Rossum notes that Gov. Tom Wolf has said he supports continuing protections in the Delaware watershed.

“But of course, Gov. Wolf is allowing drilling and fracking to devastate communities across the Commonwealth in central and western Pennsylvania, so that is a concern,” she adds.

The environmental groups are most concerned that, as President Trump’s representative on the commission, the Army Corps of Engineers holds one of the five votes that will decide the Delaware River’s future.

-Andrea Sears, Keystone State News Connection