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Archive for July, 2010

EPA Releases Rulemaking Guidance on Environmental Justice

Tuesday, July 27th, 2010

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is releasing an interim guidance document to help agency staff incorporate environmental justice into the agency’s rulemaking process.  The rulemaking guidance is an important and positive step toward meeting EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson’s priority to work for environmental justice and protect the health and safety of communities who have been disproportionally impacted by pollution.

“Historically, the low-income and minority communities that carry the greatest environmental burdens haven’t had a voice in our policy development or rulemaking.  We want to expand the conversation to the places where EPA’s work can make a real difference for health and the economy,” said EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson.  “This plan is part of my ongoing commitment to give all communities a seat at the decision-making table.  Making environmental justice a consideration in our rulemaking changes both the perception and practice of how we work with overburdened communities, and opens this conversation up to new voices.”

The document, Interim Guidance on Considering Environmental Justice During the Development of an Action, seeks to advance environmental justice for low-income, minority and indigenous communities and tribal governments who have been historically underrepresented in the regulatory decision-making process. The guidance also outlines the multiple steps that every EPA program office can take to incorporate the needs of overburdened neighborhoods into the agency’s decision-making, scientific analysis, and rule development. EPA staff is encouraged to become familiar with environmental justice concepts and the many ways they should inform agency decision-making.

EPA is seeking public feedback on how to best implement and improve the guide for agency staff to further advance efforts toward environmental justice.

To view the interim guidance and submit feedback: http://www.epa.gov/environmentaljustice/resources/policy/ej-rulemaking.html

More information on environmental justice: http://www.epa.gov/environmentaljustice/

Wolf River Watershed to be severely impacted

Tuesday, July 27th, 2010

South Fayette County near Rossville is the proposed site for a major rail intermodal facility.  The state put on public notice a stream alteration proposal and a draft construction stormwater permit for Norfolk Southern.  The stream alterations include permanent impacts to approximately 4800 feet of unnamed tributaries to Wolf River as well as pond and wetland fills.  Due to the significance of these impacts, the state is hosting a public hearing in Collierville August 3.  Comments on these two permits are due no later than August 16.

Tennessee not chosen for coal fly ash rule hearings

Thursday, July 15th, 2010
But these other cities got hearings. If you can make it, let us know how it goes!
EPA Schedules Public Hearings on Proposed Coal Ash Regulations
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is hosting five public hearings
on the Agency’s June 21, 2010 proposal to regulate the disposal and
management of coal ash from coal-fired power plants. EPA’s proposal is
the first-ever national effort to ensure the safe disposal and
management of coal ash from coal-fired power plants.
 Each hearing will begin at 10 a.m. and continue until 9 p.m., local
time or later if necessary.  The public is encouraged to pre-register to
speak at the hearings, to help the Agency plan for attendance at the
hearings.  Walk-ins and written comments will be accepted at each
hearing as well.  The proceedings of each hearing will be transcribed by
a court reporter for the official record.  EPA invites the public to
provide written comments on the proposal until September 21, 2010. The
Agency will consider all significant comments in its final decision.
To pre-register to speak at the hearings, please visit:
 or call 703-308-8429.
August 30: Hyatt Regency, 2799 Jefferson Davis Highway, Arlington, VA
22202, Phone: (703) 418-1234, www.crystalcity.hyatt.com.
September 2: Grand Hyatt, 1750 Welton Street, Denver, CO 80202, Phone:
(303) 295-1234, www.granddenver.hyatt.com.
September 8: Hyatt Regency Dallas, 300 Reunion Boulevard, Dallas, TX
75207, Phone: (214) 651-1234, www.dallasregency.hyatt.com.
September 14: Holiday Inn Charlotte (Airport), 2707 Little Rock Road,
Charlotte, NC 28214, Phone: (704) 394-4301, www.hicharlotteairport.com.
September 16: Hilton Chicago, 720 South Michigan Avenue, Chicago, IL
60605, Phone: (312) 922-4400,
              More information on the proposed regulation:

Frickin’ frackin!

Tuesday, July 13th, 2010

This article just appeared in the Baltimore Chronicle.  http://baltimorechronicle.com/2010/071210Bolgiano.shtml

It’s about the deplorable practice of natural gas fracking that it highly polluting to ground and surface waters.  We’ve heard that oil and gas companies may want to start exploring on the Cumberland Plateau.  If you have concern, call over.

This is a little above our pay grade right now, but if there is a large community outcry and we can find some funding, we’ll work on it.


Major stream and wetland impacts proposed in Bradley County

Thursday, July 8th, 2010

3,377 feet of stream and 4.1 acres of wetland.  Those are the proposed impacts for the construction of a manufacturing facility northeast of Cleveland, TN.  Last week TDEC put on public notice an Aquatic Resource Alteration Permit for Wacker Polysilicon North America, LLC.  The impacts are in the South Mouse Creek Watershed - already significantly impaired by habitat alterations and sediment pollution.  Check out all the information on TDEC’s website and attend the pubilc hearing schedule for July 29 to learn more.