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Archive for the ‘Legislative Updates’ Category

Nuisance Bill to be discussed in congressional hearing

Thursday, September 10th, 2009

House Bill 2154 sponsored by Representative Joe McCord (R-Maryville) and its companion bill Senate Bill 2154 sponsored by Senator Lowe Finney (D-Jackson) are referred to as the Nuisance Bills.  This legislation was one of the most destructive bills to emerge during this year’s legislative session.  It makes it so those actions conducted under a state permit which impact your property, yourself, or your livelihood in a negative manner are no longer “nuisances” as defined by law.  It strips away anyone’s right to be compensated from the negative consequences of a nuisance if the activity causing the nuisance was conducted under a state permit.  This bill is an especially dangerous threat to our private property rights and protection from pollution. 

 Permit or no permit, no one has a right to create problems to other people’s properties and we have right to recover damages if someone else negatively impacts our property.

 The hearing is September 21.  If you are interested in attending and/or testifying feel free to contact Ms. Barnes, the administrative assistant to Judiciary Chairman Coleman, at [email protected].  You can also contact your congressional representatives and let them know you want your property and self to remain protected from nuisances.


Climate bill passes U.S. House of Representatives

Sunday, June 28th, 2009

A late Friday night vote ensured some kind of response to climate change. Some folks think it goes too far and some think it doesn’t go far enough. Time will tell. All Tennessee Dems voted for it.  All of Tennessee’s Reps voted against it. No surprise there.

Next stop U.S. Senate.

Man those phones:  we’ve got to get Corker and Alexander on this.  At least make them explain their votes.


Update on Climate Bill

Friday, June 26th, 2009

The climate bill just got a bunch of equity provisions. This is a good thing for poor minority communities that might have had to pay to offset pollution in their communities.  Some green jobs got thrown in too. Excellent!

The vote is still on in the House.  Be sure to call over and tell them to pass this bill!


Big vote today on Climate Change

Friday, June 26th, 2009

R 2454, the American Clean Energy and Security Act a bill to create clean energy jobs, achieve energy independence, reduce global warming pollution and transition to a clean energy economy will be voted on TODAY!  Sadly, the bill has only on co-sponsor, Rep. Ed Markey (MA).  Where are Reps. Gordon and Cooper?  They’re usually pretty good on this stuff.

Granted the bill isn’t perfect, but its a first step and we need to do something about carbon emissions.

So, call around folks!  Here’s a link to Tennessee’s congressional delegation.  Give the house members a call and tell them to do right by the planet and future generations!


The legislature is slowwwwly winding down

Wednesday, May 27th, 2009

Well, we had a rough start to the legislative session, but it is ending much better than anticipated.  A couple of months ago we were facing 14 bills with serious potential to negatively impact our waters. Now, there are three.  These three aren’t good bills, but did start off much worse:

SB0632/HB1615 redefines wet weather conveyances, codifies some current permit requirements, requires the development of a hydrologic determination guidances and allows outside consultants to make stream determinations.  The senate bill has passed and the house bill is scheduled in the Finance Committee this week.  This bill was initially much more destructive.  Some aspects are acceptable, but others are down right dangerous.

SB1331/HB1204 mandates the state adopt a DRAFT selenium standard developed by EPA in 2004.  This is a standard not adopted by EPA itself with serious need for further scientific inquiry.  It is not protective of our water quality and sets a precedence for the legislature to set water quality criteria.  The senate bill passed and the house bill will be on the floor soon.

SB0198 requires General Assembly approval of all department rules and eliminates public necessity and emergency rule making.  This bill really impedes on Executive Branch authority and separation of powers.  It is also dangerous to eliminate our state’s authority and necessity to make emergency rules when new situations arise.  This bill just started moving and is scheduled for committee next week.

The 2009 legislative session should be coming to a close soon.  Remember, though, this is year one of a 2 year session - these dangerous bills are not gone yet!