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Overnight Energy & Environment EPA announces new South Pollution Monitoring

Overnight Energy & Environment EPA announces new South Pollution Monitoring

Biden raises vehicle mileage standards, reversing Trump rollback

Welcome to Wednesdays Night Energy & Environment,Your source for the most recent news on energy, the environment, and beyond. Subscribe here thehill.com/newsletter-signup.

Today’s topic was the Environmental Protection Agency program. It aims to increase monitoring of environmental hazards within the South. Also, it examines the state-level obstructions to “forever chemicals” lawsuits.

Rachel Frazin was the editor of The Hill. Zack Budryk was the vice-president. Send us your tips: [email protected]And [email protected]. Follow us on twitter: @RachelFrazinAnd @BudrykZack.

Lets jump in.

Southern communities are at risk of being polluted

Tuesday evening saw the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), announce a large-scale monitoring program that will monitor compliance in a number vulnerable communities in South.

According to the agency, the Pollution Accountability Team will monitor and track progress in cleaning up air pollution from the ground and air.

Regular follow-ups will be conducted by regional inspectors to monitor site-specific emissions. According to the announcement, the program will focus on newer and more dangerous contaminants such as ethylene oxide and chloroprene.

The details: EPAAdministrator Michael ReganMichael ReganThe Hill’s Morning Report – US warns Kremlin, weighs more troops to Europe Overnight Energy & Environment Biden officialsannounceclean energy plans EPA to assess health impacts of leaded aircraft fuel MOREOn a call with reporters, he also announced that he has directed his enforcement arm to increase the unannounced inspections in suspected non-compliant facilities.

Regan announced further a number of local and municipal efforts in communities included in the new program. These include Jackson, Miss.’s water contamination. On Tuesday, the EPA issued a notice to the city of noncompliance regarding allegations that the city had not maintained adequate water potability infrastructure.

The team will also install air monitoring in Mossville (La.) and Louisiana’s St. James or St. John the Baptist churches. The agency will invest $600,000. in mobile air pollution monitoring equipment for the three communities.

Regan visited many vulnerable communities in Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas during a November 2021 visit.

Today, the EPA’s actions are in direct response to my observations and what I heard on ground, Regan stated during the call. The underserved communities have waited too long and they trust us to make it right. These communities will be able to see that the administration listens and responds.

Learn more about the announcement.

PFAS lawsuit state bills face hurdles

This is Part 2 of a series of four on “forever chemicals”. More information is available at TheHill.com

State-level efforts by governments to compensate victims of chemical exposure for their lifetime have met resistance from industry as well as governments. This resistance has been particularly strong in Republican-led countries.

A Vermont official worked with a lobbyist to help water down a bill aiming to make polluters cover for health screenings. Emails obtained from The Hill show this.

And in Michigan, a bill aiming to add more time to the clock to allow people to sue over contamination has languished in the Republican-controlled legislature.

These pieces of legislation could have applied to many types of contamination. However they are often referred to as per- or polyfluoroalkyl chemicals (PFAS), a group of thousands of compounds known to be toxic forever chemicals. PFAS has been linked to thyroid disease and kidney cancer.

In Vermont:The 2019 Vermont billS.37 was created to allow communities affected by pollution to sue companies to pay for medical monitoring costs. Plaintiffs who have been exposed but are not yet sick by toxic substances can receive medical monitoring to help prevent future illness. In late 2019, A Vermont court ruledMedical monitoring can be used to solve industrial pollution. However, the legislation that was vetoed prior to the ruling would have sought to enshrine this right in state law.

The legislation was however criticized by the business community.

The Hill obtained an email from Ethan Latour, a Vermont Gov’s staffer at the time. Phil Scott (R), sent an email to Warren Coleman, a lobbyist, reminiscing on a conversation they had. It was a draft of a governor’s update, according to the email.

What did it mean? Latour stated that Coleman and others had been working to amend the legislation. This included exempting activities performed in compliance with federal and state permits from being used as a basis for medical monitoring claims.

These changes would make medical monitoring more consistent in law with other state judicial decisions, but they would be perceived as watering the bill, he wrote April 2019.

Latour stated in the same email that Coleman had been working with state legislators and was trying to persuade them to accept “his/our” proposal. This pointing towards a joint venture by the governor’s offices and the lobbyist.

Warren has been diligently working with the House Judiciary Committee in an effort to help them see the advantages of his/our proposal regarding strict liability and medical surveillance, he wrote.

“Strict Liability” means thatA defendant would be held liable for an action, regardless of intent. If S.37 was adopted as originally proposed, Vermont could have been the first state that explicitly placed polluters on the hook to contamination and its consequences via a strict responsibility standard. But, the provision was dropped from the final bill.

What do they have to say? Coleman emailed The Hill to say that he disagreed with the bills potential effects on industry.

He stated that while the state wanted to give medical monitoring the legal right to sue, business groups were pushing to change the law to conform to existing court precedents and not create a new legal test.

Scott spokesperson Jason Maulucci directed The Hill A message from GovernorHis veto was explained by him as a statement that the bill lacks clarity and should be rewritten to reflect the state’s dependence on Vermont employers for good jobs.

Scott also stated that there was a way forward for the bill. touting a bipartisan amendmentAlthough it was not included in final version, it would have raised the threshold for medical monitoring compared to the thresholds suggested in the legislation.

An update! Last year, a different version of the bill was introduced. Now known as S.113The, was added. This version does NOT include strict liability provisions. Additional language changes have been made, including the clarification that it applies only to exposure at a rate significantly higher than the general population, rather than to more general exposure.

The Vermont Senates Judiciary Committee took up the new legislation During a hearing last Thursday.

Here’s a look at how other states are attempting to allow PFAS lawsuits..

Interior cancels 2 Minnesota mining leases

The Interior Department announced Wednesday that it had cancelled two Minnesota mine leases granted under Trump’s Trump administration.

In 2019, the department renewed Twin Metals Minnesotas leases to hardrock mineral mining near northeastern Minnesota’s Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. Wednesday’s legal opinion by the Department of Solicitor found that the department had improperly renewed the leases for Twin Metals Minnesotas hardrock mineral mining near northeastern Minnesotas Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness.

The company had been denied renewal by the Obama Interior Department in December 2016. However, the Trump administration reversed that decision in 2018 and allowed an environmental review to be conducted.

Although the company was granted leases in the area for the first time in 1966, no mineral production has taken place at either location. Environmentalists have expressed concern that mining activity could lead to toxic chemical leaching on the area, which covers nearly 1.1 million acres.

Ann Marie Bledsoe Downes, principal deputy solicitor, stated in the Wednesday opinion that the department issued Twin Metals 2019 lease renews in violation multiple legal authorities. She claimed that Trump-era officials issued 2019 renewals using customized legal forms that changed the standard leasing terms. Interior also failed to properly recognize the U.S. Forest Services consent author during the process. Downes also found that they did not fully analyze all possible scenarios in the environmental analysis required.

Find out more about this decision here.

TASK AT HAND

The House Democrats are trying to get more attention to three climate-related issues by announcing Wednesday that they will be forming new task forces to tackle the issue.

The House Sustainable Energy and Environment Coalition is a group of 71 legislators that promote clean energy and climate policy. They announced that the task force would focus on agriculture and national security.

Reps. Chellie PingreeRochelle (Chellie), PingreeMaine companies clamor for foreign employees to meet demand. Labor shortages in Maine push for rebounding tourism. MORE(D-Maine). Kim SchrierKimberly Merle Schrier Nearly 1,000,000 child COVID-19 infected children reported in past week. Physician-lawmakers join forces to urge boosters Washington state Supreme Court approves New Congress Maps MORE(D. Wash.) will be the Climate and Agriculture Task Force leader. This group will engage with farmers about climate issues leading up the Farm Bill legislation, which Congress takes up every five year that deals with agricultural policy.It will also consider other areas of food policy as well climate change threats to agriculture, forests, and the environment.

Reps. Katie Porter (D-Calif.) and Jim LangevinJames (Jim), R. LangevinThe Hill’s Morning Report, Presented By Facebook – Schumer gives up on his doomed vote for reform. Two House Democrats announce that they won’t seek reelection Hillicon Valley Cybersecurity’s breakout Year MORE(D-R.I.), will co-chair Climate and National Security Task Force. This task force will focus on making the military climate-resilient and reducing military emissions, as well as foreign policy issues that are affected by climate change.

Reps. Sean CastenSean CastenWatchdog finds substantial’ evidence Illinois Democrat promised a job to a potential challenger Missouri House Democrat becomes the latest to test positive for COVID-19 Louisiana Rep. Troy Carter announces positive COVID-19 test MORE(D-Ill. Raja KrishnamoorthiSubramanian (Raja) Raja KrishnamoorthiOversight Dem presses meat processors on rising prices Equilibrium/Sustainability Fire calls infrastructural integrity into question FDA must address endocrine-disrupting phthalates: House Oversight MOREThe Power Sector Task Force will be headed by Senator (D-Ill.). It will focus on reducing carbon emissions from the electric industry and reforming the transmissions system.

WHAT WE’RE READING

  • After the 2005 wildfire, Boulder officials were notified that underground mine fires were a ‘imminent danger’ and a ‘long-term threat’.9News)
  • For eight years, toxic PCBs grew at a Monroe school as students and teachers got sicker.Seattle Times / ProPublica)
  • Los Angeles moves to stop oil drilling in the cityThe Los Angeles Times)

ICYMI

That’s all for today. Thank you for reading. Check out The HillsEnergy & Environment PageFor the most recent news and coverage. Check out the video below.YouThursday.

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