Tom Ewing’s Environmental Update

*  I’m heading to Charleston, WV, later today to attend US EPA’s public hearing on repealing the Clean Power Plan. This set of hearings starts tomorrow, Tuesday, and continues on Wednesday.  EPA’s initial plans were to add a third day if needed, but that won’t be necessary according to an EPA spokesperson.  The Agency has booked three hearing rooms at the Capitol Complex.  Busloads, literally, are expected to attend.  EPA has (as of last week) 275 people scheduled to speak.  If you would like a report from this event just let me know.  If you are also attending and want to get together later at Pies and Pints, send a text or give me a call.
*  The Fish and Wildlife Service (FSW) will review and possibly revise regulations concerning enhancement-of-survival permits issued under the Endangered Species Act of 1973 associated with “Candidate Conservation Agreements with Assurances” (CCAA).  These agreements enlist non-federal property owners to undertake certain conservation practices to reduce or eliminate threats to endangered species.  In return, the property owners get certain assurances regarding incidental “take” and limits on additional prevention measures should a species’ endangered status change.  Last updates were in 2004 and 2016; now FWS proposes clarifications regarding various efforts and alignment with other federal policies.

*  I thought I knew everything – no, really.  But then, last week, I see the word “bight,” and not, you know, as in what a vampire does.  No, a bight is “a long, gradual bend or recess in the shoreline that forms a large, open bay. Bights are shallow and may pose hazards to navigation, so their depths, in addition to any submerged features like sandbars and rock formations, are clearly marked on nautical charts.”  This is important because New York State wants the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management to identify and lease “at least four new renewable energy lease areas, each capable of supporting at least 800 megawatts.”  In response, BOEM is developing a “Call for Information and Nominations.”  In December, it will host an Intergovernmental Renewable Energy Task Force Webinar on the New York Bight.

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