Tom Ewing’s Environmental Update

One important presentation at the conference next month is referenced as “getting the big picture right,” getting climate change indicators, rates and scope in focus to accurately assess climate and human conditions with the right global models.  Seafood demand from growing populations, changing consumption patterns and related costs determine the viability of fisheries and aquaculture.  Obviously, the research on these interactions is essential for understanding cause, effect, and consequences.  There’s not much wiggle room.  Researchers and policymakers have to get it right!  I’ll be attending the climate conference; advise if you need a correspondent or a temporary team member to complement your coverage of this critical, and fascinating, symposium.
*  EPA published notice of its proposed rule – “Strengthening Transparency in Regulatory Science” – in the Federal Register last week.  EPA writes that much of the science that informs regulatory actions is developed outside the Agency and, therefore, “it is the charge of regulators to ensure that key findings are valid and credible.”  Over 100 comments have been filed already, although just three are listed, one from the Natural Resources Defense Council which writes that “It is impossible to overstate the danger that this proposed rule poses to Americans.”  Whoa!  And undoubtedly true if NRDC says so!  If you’re in the news business you know it is often difficult to get “published” research reports cited by federal agencies.  Frequently, agencies reply that you have to contact the researcher directly, who, of course, may reply, or not.  Or you get diverted to a high-priced “journal,” available only to subscribers.  So taxpayers pay the researchers for the research, pay for the agency using the research, pay for the costs imposed by the research, but can’t get the research.  What’s right with that picture?
*  Sound like your city? “High volumes of visitors accessing popular visitor destinations during peak times is (sic) causing gridlock, visitor conflicts, crowding, emergency response delays, and resource trampling. Concentrated volumes and mixture of traffic create critical visitor safety issues, severe crowding and congestion, impacts on the road systems, and challenges to the park’s operational efficiency and sustainability.”  Outside Wrigley Field on free bat day?  Nope, that text describes transportation challenges within the 49,052 acres Acadia National Park in Maine.  The Department of Interior has a draft transportation plan and EIS for the park available for review.  Everybody’s gotta drive, of course, and the preferred fix is to establish a “reservation system for the Ocean Drive corridor, Cadillac Mountain Road, and the Jordan Pond North Lot during peak use season (approximately mid-May to mid-October).”  For a while, all other parking lots in the park would continue to be managed on a first-come, first-served basis.  Comments are due by June 30, 2018.
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