Posts Tagged ‘epa’

In Colorado, fracking near schools

Posted on: June 4th, 2012 by The American Independent 2 Comments

ERIE, COLO. — Flaggers in bright yellow vests stopped traffic on the parkway in Erie, Colo., Wednesday as a convoy of semi-trailer trucks rumbled toward Red Hawk Elementary hauling sound barriers to muffle a gas extraction project that is vexing many residents in this once peaceful family neighborhood. (more…)

Clean air ads highlight energy debate in Va.

Posted on: April 9th, 2012 by Reilly Moore 2 Comments

A new television ad hit Virginia media markets Wednesday, encouraging Virginians to support the EPA’s newly proposed clean air standards.

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Study: EPA underestimated cost of Florida water standards

Posted on: March 7th, 2012 by The American Independent 3 Comments

The Wacissa River (Pic by anoldent, via Wikimedia Commons)

The costs for Florida to switch to a more stringent set of water pollution standards are expected to exceed U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates, according to a National Research Council report released yesterday.

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Colorado Southern Utes take over oil and gas oversight on reservation

Posted on: March 7th, 2012 by The American Independent 1 Comment

A tribe in southwestern Colorado this week became the nation’s first Native American operator of a Clean Air Act program.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency approved the Southern Ute Indian Tribe’s program Monday after nearly a decade of attempts to create an in-house permitting program to cover the reservation’s 1,058 square miles that span La Plata, Archuleta and Montezuma counties.

Oil and gas rigs dot the Ignacio-based tribe’s land in natural gas-rich San Juan Basin. The tribe even operates its own gas production company, Red Willow Production Co., which operates more than 400 wells on the reservation, primarily concentrating on coal bed methane. The company partners with major operators, such as BP, Elm Ridge, ConocoPhillips and Energen.

Colorado Southern Utes take over oil and gas oversight on reservation

Operating a Clean Air Act program grants the tribe authority to issue permits and perform inspections of oil and gas production. EPA officials had been responsible for permitting projects within the reservation’s borders and they said they will continue to work with the tribe in an oversight capacity, as they do for state-permitting programs.

Jim Martin, the regional administrator for the EPA in Denver, called the OK “a significant step forward” for the tribe and for the environment.

“EPA’s approval reflects the tribe’s exceptional effort to build the expertise and capacity to manage air quality on the reservation,” Martin said in a prepared statement.

Home of Colorado’s deepest-rooted inhabitants, the reservation includes a population of roughly 1,200 residents, a casino and resort, community center, and a cultural center and museum.

“EPA approval of this program is an achievement that was envisioned by many past tribal leaders and is the culmination of extensive cooperation among the tribe, EPA, State of Colorado, La Plata County, and oil and gas industry operators,” Tribal Chairman Jimmy R. Newton Jr. said in a news release. “The tribe looks forward to administering the program in a manner that ensures protection of the Reservation air shed and contributes positively to regional air quality.”

Environmental Protection Agency unveils budget

Posted on: February 13th, 2012 by The American Independent No Comments

The federal government on Monday released a proposed $8.344 billion budget for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for fiscal year 2013. Florida environmental groups applauded the announcement, arguing the money would help ensure that job-creating restoration projects (like some under way in the Everglades) will not come to a halt.

The budget proposes $1.2 billion in categorical grants for states that are “on the front lines” in implementing environmental statutes like the Clean Air Act and the Clean Water Act. That includes nearly $66 million for State and Tribal Air Quality Management grants, nearly $27 million for Pollution Control grants, and about $29 million for the Tribal General Assistance Program. The proposal also provides $2 billion for Clean Water and Drinking Water State Revolving funds, which will finance over $6 billion in wastewater and drinking water infrastructure projects annually.

The proposal also includes $755 million in funding for the Superfund Cleanup program (which supports cleanup at hazardous waste sites), $576 million to support research and innovation and a $10 million increase to the EPA’s National Vehicle and Fuel Emissions Laboratory for certification and compliance testing programs and to evaluate new biofuel technology.

The EPA has proposed $68 million, an increase of $11 million from fiscal year 2012, for “[reducing] chemical risks, [increasing] the pace of chemical hazard assessments, and [providing] the public with greater access to toxic chemical information.”

According to a press release sent out today, the budget includes $50 million in savings “by eliminating several EPA programs that have either completed their goals or can be implemented through other federal or state efforts.”

Overall, the Obama administration’s proposals would trim the EPA’s budget by about 1.2 percent, likely reducing aid to many states.

But the budget received high praise from Florida environmentalists for its inclusion of $231.75 million in funding for Everglades restoration. The proposed funding builds upon recent federal commitments to protect and restore the Everglades, such as the recent establishment of the Everglades Headwaters National Wildlife Refuge and Conservation Area North of Lake Okeechobee.

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar announced last month that the government would list four species of invasive exotic snakes currently plaguing the Everglades as “injurious” species that cannot be imported or sold across state lines — another (partial) victory for environmentalists.

“We have progressed farther than any ecosystem restoration program in the nation. Our top priority is to make sure that the investment in the largest ongoing construction project in South Florida reaps benefits for wildlife and people,” said Julie Hill-Gabriel, Audubon of Florida’s director of Everglades policy, in a press release sent out shortly after the budget proposal was unveiled.  “The funding proposed today would make sure that job-creating projects under construction do not come to a halt.”

EPA says water rules will save Florida money ‘in the long run’

Posted on: February 13th, 2012 by The American Independent No Comments
In a new statement to The Florida Independent, the Environmental Protection Agency defends its Florida-specific water pollution rules against charges in a new ad by the group Free Market Florida that the standards will cost the state “billions” and “eliminate 14,000 farming jobs.” Instead, according to the EPA, the regulations will ”save Florida money in the long run.”

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Local Sierra Club opposes South Florida immigration detention center

Posted on: February 13th, 2012 by The American Independent 1 Comment

Protesters demonstrate against the Corrections Corporation of America/Southwest Ranches proposal (FLORIDA INDEPENDENT/Marcos Restrepo).

The Broward Group of the Sierra Club last week announced its opposition to the federal immigration detention center set to be built in the South Florida town of Southwest Ranches.

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Colorado residents ask Feds to withdraw lease parcels to go up for oil, gas auction

Posted on: February 13th, 2012 by The American Independent 1 Comment

Scores of residents in Colorado’s North Fork Valley aren’t nearly as keen about oil and gas drilling as the wide-eyed Democrats and Republicans who talk about tapping America’s energy reserves. (more…)