Tom Ewing’s Environmental Update

*  An exciting conference is planned in Detroit in two weeks: The first ever Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Green Infrastructure Conference focusing on green infrastructure to protect surface waters in the entire Great Lakes region. Much of Detroit is being recreated from the ground up and this conference seeks ways to reduce the burden on combined sewers for less than the cost of storing and treating combined effluent. Over 130 speakers will address green infrastructure technology, economics, local government/public works, and multi-jurisdictional/regional scale issues.  It’s expected to draw engineers, landscape architects, water quality professionals, and government officials from around the Great Lakes basin.  Contact DEQ at 517-284-6855.
*  US Fish & Wildlife is reviewing a plan addressing the potential “take” of the Mount Harmon June beetle because of school construction in Santa Cruz County, CA – the only place, apparently, where this beetle lives – the County, not the school.  The beetle was listed as endangered in January, 1997.  ‘‘Take’’ includes the following activities: ‘‘to harass, harm, pursue, hunt, shoot, wound, kill, trap, capture, or collect, or to attempt to engage in any such conduct.’’ However, a permit can authorize “incidental take,” i.e., “take that is not the purpose of carrying out an otherwise lawful activity.”  F&W is seeking comments on the plan.  The school will fund up to $1,012,085 to ensure beetle protection.
*  Remember Red Rock Biofuels?  You know, they are going to convert agricultural waste and forest bi-products into jet fuel.  They are one of the companies integral to US DOE’s efforts to jump-start, by any means necessary it oftentimes seemed, a liquid biofuel industry in the US, fuel that would decrease airlines’ CO2 emissions.  I’d kinda forgotten about them until I got a Google news headline from an alert that I must have set 35 or 40 years ago: still no ground-breaking for Red Rock’s plant in eastern Oregon.
Tom Ewing