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Today’s focus is on the Biden administrations recent actions on clean energy. We also look at an EPA assessment of where the most airborne lead comes from and the Department of Homeland Security seeking climate expertise.
Rachel Frazin was the editor of The Hill. ZackBudryk was the reporter. Send us tips:firstname.lastname@example.orgAndzbudryk@thehill.com. Follow us on twitter:@RachelFrazinAnd@BudrykZack.
Lets jump in.
Officials make plans to increase clean energy
On Wednesday, the Biden administration will announce steps to boost clean energy, particularly offshore wind, renewable energy from public lands, and upgrades to electricity grids.
Its latest moves come as the Biden administrationseeksto advance clean energy deploymenttoachieve its climate goals and as legislation that would help deliver climate action faces uncertainty in Congress.
The administration announced Wednesday, regarding offshore wind, that it will sell leases in the New York Bight off New York’s coasts.
How much could they produce?According to a White House factsheet this lease sale could result with the generation up to 7 gigawatts clean energy, enough for 2 million homes.
Six commercial areas will be available for lease. This sale is said to be the largest ever, covering 488,201 acres.
Reporters were informed by a senior administration official, that the department will place limitations on one company’s ability to bid on multiple leases to ensure “broad” participation.
Whatsnext?Interior SecretaryDeb HaalandDeb HaalandOvernight Energy & Environment Lummis holds up Biden EPA picks Overnight Energy & Environment Biden officialsannounceclean energy plans Biden administration announces actions bolstering clean energy MOREOn Wednesday’s press conference, the department stated to reporters that it expected to hold six more offshore wind leasing sales by 2025.
TheAn announcement of a saleOn Wednesday, February 23rd, it will be held.
The administration also announced that they have formed a partnership with New York State and New Jersey to improve regional supply chains and help disadvantaged communities.
You can read more about the announcement here.
EPA assesses health effects of leaded gasoline
Wednesday’s announcement by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), indicated that the agency will investigate the possible negative effects on human health resulting from the emissions of aircrafts using leaded fuel.
A 2016 EPA reportindicatedpiston-engine planes are the single largest airborne source of lead exposure. Although leaded fuel from other sources was eliminated in 1996 under the Clean Air Act it remains the only fuel that piston-engine planes can use. There are approximately 170,000 of these aircraft currently airborne.According to the National Academies of Sciences. The U.S.’s overall airborne lead exposures have decreased by 99 percent since 1980.
So what happens next?According to the EPA, in 2022, the agency will publish a formal proposal for public comments before determining a final action nextyear.
EPA has been studying the impact of lead emissions from piston engine aircraft near airports for many years. Now, they will apply that information to determine if this pollution is a threat to human health and welfare.Michael ReganMichael ReganOvernight Energy & Environment Biden officialsannounceclean energy plans EPA to assess health impacts of leaded aircraft fuel Biden administration calls on agencies to better guard against political influence on science MOREStatement.
Particular concern for communities in close proximity to airports that serve piston-engine aircraft is lead exposure A2020 EPA reportThese airport runways are within 500 meters of more than 5 million people, and more than 160,000 children live within that range.
In recent years, lead poisoning and exposure has been highlighted as an environmental justice problem, especially after Flint’s water supply was contaminated with lead by officials who switched its source from Lake Michigan to Flint River.
You can read more about the EPA here.
DHS to hire climate change professionals
The Department of Homeland Security announced Wednesday that it will create a new program to hire experts in climate change.
The Climate Change Professionals Program is designed to attract recent graduates as well as current federal employees to work for DHS in climate-related projects.According to a press releaseFrom the department.
Secretary of Homeland SecurityAlejandro MayorkasAlejandro MayorkasSpace race needs better cybersecurity Overnight Energy & Environment Biden officialsannounceclean energy plans DHS unveils effort to recruit climate change professionals MOREThe program would help the Department adapt to climate change by providing practical experience and guidance for young professionals interested in climate resilience and adaptation.
He said that the program will help develop the next generation climate experts, increase climate literacy within the Department, as well as help us execute our Climate Action Plan in order to remain mission-resilient and reduce our own environmental impacts.
The program is expected to last two years. It will provide opportunities for participants to contribute to programs with the “potential of substantially helping DHS adapt to Climate Change and improve resilience.”
As DHS deals with security issues, environmental concerns will play an important role in the future, especially when it comes to climate-related migration.
Learn more about the program.
CAPITOL HILL HAPPENINGS
- The Environment and Public Works Committees recommended Martha Williams to lead Fish and Wildlife Service and Henry Christopher Frey as EPA’s Office ofResearchand Development. They received 16-4 and 11-9 votes, respectively.
- Michael Connor, Assistant Secretary of Army for Civil Works, stated that he would like to see a permanent rule as the administration tries to improve water protections that were weakened by the Trump administration. Connor indicated that some water permits may need to be reexamined by the administration when he spoke in front of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. He said that he believes there may be legal risk. This is not because the Corps of Engineers will assess legal risk. But I think permittees are considering that.court decisionThe Trump rule was tossed. He said that permits issued under Trump rules were valid, but that the agency may reconsider prior decisions with permittees who wish to limit legal risk.
- Chair Western Caucus Dan NewhouseDaniel (Dan) Milton NewhouseThe fates of the 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach Trump Overnight Energy & Environment Biden officialsannounceclean energy plans Washington redistricting panel reaches late agreement on new lines MORE(Republican of Washington) invoked clean-energy as he called for more domestic mining. Newhouse stated during a telephone call with reporters that if we are serious about a clean energy future (and I think we can all agree that it is), we must have domestic resources for these crucial minerals. Republicans specifically raised objections to Biden’s October administrations during the call.MoveThe proposed Twin Metals copper and nickel mine in Minnesota is being stalled
WHAT WE ARE READING
- Biden weighs cuts to 2022 Ethanol Blending (Reuters)
- Navy AgreesToComplyWithHawaiis OrderToDrain Red Hill Fuel Facility (Honolulu Civil Beat)
- Records show that Pipeline spilled 300,000.00 gallons of fuel in New Orleans last month.The Guardian)
- EPA intensifies pressure on state pollution loopholes (E&E News)
Finally, something a little offbeat and unorthodox:Tip off
This is it for today. Thanks for reading. Check out The Hills Energy & Environment PageFor the most recent news and coverage. We hope to see you Thursday.