The new year will likely mean subpoenas on EPA’s FOIA response policies, as a Democrat takes the chair in the House Oversight Committee amid charges the agency is choking off politically sensitive record requests. And are new laws in a dozen states making coverage of pipeline protests a felony? That, plus air emission exemptions for animal feedlot operators and data on illegal fishing. All in the latest issue of the WatchDog.
Fish & Fisheries
"Gulping down oysters has long been a favourite New Year's Eve ritual for the French, but as winters get warmer and summers get drier many growers worry there will soon be fewer of the prized mollusks to go around."
"As global warming changes the Texas coast and cheap food imports flood the country, the people who make their living off oysters and shrimp are disappearing."
"The White House’s nominee to head a top US conservation agency lacks her predecessors’ experience, while her political connections raise potential conflicts of interest, a Guardian analysis has found. Aurelia Skipwith, who started her career at the agrochemical giant Monsanto, has been nominated to lead the interior department’s Fish and Wildlife Service, which oversees endangered species and wildlife refuges."
"A Trump administration proposal to roll back protections for some marshes and streams could affect more than 30,000 acres of wetlands in the Chesapeake Bay watershed, according to a new report."
"Michigan legislators were poised Tuesday to remove legal protections from many of the state’s wetlands and other inland waterways, which provide wildlife habitat and perform vital tasks such as preventing floods."
"Congress has agreed to make it easier to kill sea lions threatening fragile runs of salmon in the Northwest."
"Off Cedar Key on Florida's west coast, the water is some of the most pristine in the Gulf. The estuary there has long supported a thriving seafood industry."
"The U.S. government is going ahead with sharply higher catch limits next year for West Coast groundfish, citing a rebound in bottom-dwelling stocks once so depleted by over-fishing that commercial harvests were virtually halted 20 years ago."
"Two of acting EPA chief Andrew Wheeler's appointees to a prominent advisory committee are pushing back against his recent decision to disband an auxiliary panel involved in a closely watched review of airborne particulate standards."