Tom Ewing’s Environmental Update

*  The US Arctic Research Commission held its 107th meeting last week.  The Commission was established in 1985, part of the Arctic Research and Policy Act of 1984 and a 1985 Executive Order.  The Commission advises the President and Congress on domestic and international Arctic research.  The Commission is working on the Fourth National Climate Assessment.  Internal review is underway; in fact, the Commission is seeking expert reviewers.  A draft for public comment should be available this fall.  The National Academy of Sciences will also conduct a review.  This new work will provide important updates and insights on critical climate and sea ice developments.  Just as critically the report will very likely provide key insights on, shall we say, the political science that too often defines natural science these days. 
*   About two months ago I mentioned a project at Cornell University that would release genetically engineered female diamondback moths into a test agricultural field.  The Agriculture Department recently gave notice of a final environmental assessment (EA) which found “no significant impact” from the project and that the Department will permit the field release of the genetically engineered moths.  Based on the EA, Ag determined that the project did not need to prepare an environmental impact statement.  The Department received 670 written comments about the Cornell project.

*  EPA is looking to fill 10-15 vacancies on the Agency’s Local Government Advisory Committee, a federal advisory committee chartered in 1992.  The Committee includes 35 members who advise the EPA Administrator ‘‘from the field’’ on a broad range of environmental issues impacting local governments.  Membership includes elected and appointed officials with leadership experience in small community or township government (under 10,000 population); moderate size or large city government; or county, state or tribal governments.  Vacancies are anticipated to be filled by September, 2017.  Nominations due by August 10, 2017.

 
Tom Ewing
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