Dramatic blooms of algae are choking the Chesapeake Bay and killing crabs and fish.
Mid-Atlantic (DC DE MD PA VA WV)
"Federal officials improperly granted forest-crossing permits to developers of the Atlantic Coast pipeline, a panel of appellate court judges found today.
The Forest Service violated the National Forest Management Act and the National Environmental Policy Act when it authorized construction of the 600-mile natural gas pipeline through two national forests and across parts of the Appalachian Trail, Judge Stephanie Thacker for the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals wrote in a 60-page opinion issued this morning.
"The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has hired a Pennsylvania environmental official to lead the program dedicated to cleaning up the Chesapeake Bay’s pollution."
Environmental justice-related stories are expected to get more attention in the news media in 2019. But that’s not because the challenge of protecting marginalized communities from lopsided environmental impacts is being met. This week’s TipSheet explains, in a look-ahead to environmental justice stories making the news, the many forms the problem takes, the many communities affected and the emerging notion of “climate justice.”
The vast and widely used PFAS family of chemicals is causing serious worries across the country, as it turns up in more and more drinking water systems. Pressure to regulate it is also growing, but with mixed results. This week’s TipSheet offers a detailed look-ahead on this big, developing story, with a walk-through of the context, what the EPA is (and isn’t) doing, and why states are stepping up.
"The Trump administration took an important step toward future oil and natural gas drilling off the Atlantic shore, approving five requests allowing companies to conduct deafening seismic surveys that could harm tens of thousands of dolphins, whales and other marine animals, according to studies."
"MEDIA, Pa. - Energy Transfer LP and its Sunoco pipeline subsidiary have racked up more than 800 state and federal permit violations while racing to build two of the nation’s largest natural gas pipelines, according to a Reuters analysis of government data and regulatory records."
With flooding from hurricanes and other climate disasters becoming the new normal, badly needed flood insurance reform continues to founder in the halls of Congress. The National Flood Insurance Program is billions of dollars in debt, and aid packages are doing little to get people out of flood-prone areas. Congress watchers will keep an eye on new House leadership for insurance solutions, although politically unpalatable rate hikes swamped the big reform. This week’s TipSheet has more on the story, with leads on what to watch in 2019.
"The Croda chemical plant at Atlas Point on the Delaware River, which was recently expanded by its British owners to produce two tons of hazardous ethylene oxide per hour so the material didn't have to be shipped from Texas by rail, was shut down due to a leak on Sunday afternoon, stopping holiday traffic on I-295 over the Delaware Memorial Bridge and jamming drivers on the direct routes between New York and Washington, D.C."