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Reopening of comment period, availability of economic and environmental documents, proposed listing of 2 mussel species with critical habitat
On October 16, 2012, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) published a Federal Register notice proposing listing of the Neosho mucket (Lampsilis rafinesqueana) as an endangered species and the rabbitsfoot mussel (Quadrula cylindrica cylindrica) as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended. That notice also proposed designation of critical habitat for both species, including areas in Oklahoma, and invited public comments.
On May 9, 2013, the Service published another Federal Register notice announcing the availability of a draft economic analysis and draft environmental assessment of the proposed critical habitat designations, along with an amendment to the previous proposal. The second notice opened an additional period for public comment, which expires June 10, 2013. During this additional period, the Service will accept comments on the new documents as well as comments on the original proposal. The notices provide additional descriptions of the types of information sought by the Service and methods for submitting comments.
On behalf of Dr. Dixie Porter, Field Supervisor of the Oklahoma Ecological Services Field Office, I am distributing the May 9, 2013, notice to you, which you will find attached to this message. I also am attaching an associated news release and maps that may help explain the Service's proposed actions on these subjects.
Should you have questions about these matters, please get in touch with the principal contacts listed on the news release, or feel free to contact me using the information below. The Service appreciates your interest in efforts to conserve imperiled species.
Fish and Wildlife Biologist
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Oklahoma Ecological Services Field Office
9014 East 21st Street
Tulsa, OK 74129
‘Listening Session Webinar’
Thursday, May 30, 2013
1:00 to 4:00 PM EST
On Thursday, May 30, 2013 the EPA will hold a listening session webinar on potential issues with managing and recycling CRTs. This webinar is an opportunity for stakeholders to identify concerns about CRT management, including whether stockpiling is occurring, and to identify potential solutions to any problems identified.
I. EPA will provide an overview of the CRT Rule and responses to some of the frequently asked questions on the rule.
II. Attendees will have an opportunity to share information with EPA, including whether attendees:
· Are experiencing issues with CRT recycling?
· Have thoughts on addressing CRT stockpiling?
· Can share information on new options, uses, technologies, or markets for recycling CRT glass?
· Can identify potential barriers to addressing CRT recycling or stockpiling?
(For additional information or questions concerning this invitation, please contact Shayla Powell at 703-308-0319 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org).
Background: With new technologies, such as Liquid Crystal Display (LCD), Light Emitting Diode (LED) and plasma screens, the demand for new CRTs has dropped dramatically. EPA has heard that this has resulted in a glut of used CRTs and CRT glass accumulation. For example, a report by TransparentPlanet estimates that about 660 million pounds are being stockpiled nationally. CRT stockpiles are not an immediate environmental concern as long as they are being managed according to the RCRA regulations. However, there is a risk that a collapse of viable CRT recycling options may lead to mismanagement of CRTs and CRT glass. CRT glass contains lead and, if mismanaged through inappropriate storage, recycling or disposal, can cause significant environmental harm.
(For more information on how EPA currently regulates recycling of used CRTs and CRT glass under the RCRA regulations, including EPA’s response to Frequently Asked Questions, go to http://www.epa.gov/osw/hazard/recycling/electron/).
Amanda Kohler: has been a rule writer in EPA’s Office of Resource Conservation and Recovery for over six years. She has worked on several rulemakings with a focus on hazardous waste recycling and is currently leading development of the Revision to the Export Provisions of the Cathode Ray Tube (CRT) Rule. Additionally, she has led efforts to assist states and EPA regions with implementation of RCRA rules and is also involved in efforts to use hazardous waste data to find opportunities to increase hazardous waste recycling. She holds an M.S. in Environmental Science and Policy from Johns Hopkins University and a B.S. in Environmental Science from the State University of New York at Albany.
Karen Pollard: is EPA's Electronics Recycling Expert in the Office of Resource Conservation and Recovery. She was a key participant in the Presidential Interagency Task Force to develop the National Strategy for Electronics Stewardship. Prior to the National Strategy, she led a multi-stakeholder process to develop a voluntary consensus standard that includes sound environmental and human health best practices for electronics recyclers. She also helped to implement a third-party certification program for the standard. Prior to coming to electronics, Karen led the national site-specific risk assessment program for hazardous waste combustors and prior to that she regulated new chemicals before they came on the market. Before she came to EPA she was a horticulturist and the United States Botanic Gardens in Washington DC. Karen holds a B.S. from Virginia Tech.
Public Meeting: Draft CWSRF Intended Use Plan and Project Priority List Available for Review
The Oklahoma Water Resources Board (OWRB) will hold a public meeting to receive comments on the Draft FY 2014 Intended Use Plan and FY 2014-18 CWSRF Project Priority List on Tuesday, June 4, 2013, at 10:30 a.m. at 3800 North Classen Blvd. Oklahoma City.
The CWSRF was initiated by the 1987 Federal Clean Water Act amendments to provide a renewable funding source to assist states in meeting infrastructure and pollution runoff control needs to protect human health and water resources. Eligible entities may receive below market interest rate financing for planning, engineering, construction and improvement activities associated with wastewater collection and treatment works, stormwater, abandoned site remediation, water/energy efficiency, green infrastructure, innovative green projects and nonpoint source pollution control activities which maintain and/or improve Oklahoma’s surface and groundwater resources.
To date, 16 proposed projects have been placed on the FY 2014 Fundable portion of the Project Priority List for an anticipated funding amount of nearly $148.8 million. Additional projects may be added and/or modified throughout the year, as funds are available.
A copy of the draft plan is available at the OWRB’s Oklahoma City office and online at www.owrb.ok.gov/cwsrf. To submit a proposed project for funding or for further information: Jennifer Wasinger, Assistant Chief, Financial Assistance Division, Oklahoma Water Resources Board at (405)530-8800.
2013 Oklahoma Environmental Education Resource Guide now available
The Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality is pleased to announce that the 2013 Oklahoma Environmental Education Resource Guide is now available!
Here is the direct link to the document. http://www.deq.state.ok.us/pubs/lpd/EnvResourceGuide_Web.pdf
Or you can find it on the DEQ Education Page at http://www.deq.state.ok.us/mainlinks/eepage.htm and click on Environmental Education Resource Guide
Earlier this week, the Department of Transportation (DOT) announced the availability of $474 million in Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grants for 2013.
As a head’s up, the Appropriations Act that funds TIGER requires that funds be obligated by October 1, 2014, meaning that this round of TIGER will begin to make a tangible difference very soon. That being said, the limited amount of time means the Department will give priority to projects that are ready to proceed quickly. The deadline for project applications is June 3.
Asides from looking for projects that are ready to go, DOT is looking for surface transportation projects that have a significant impact on the nation, a region or metropolitan area. Essentially, projects that will:
The Oklahoma Recycling Association (OKRA) is a nonprofit organization that works to support communities, governments, and individuals in recycling. OKRA provides a forum for networking, encouraging local end-markets, and working to create a unified voice for Oklahoma Recyclers.
More and more communities are finding ways to divert recoverable materials from their waste streams through recycling. To learn more about OKRA and membership benefits visit this website www.recycleok.org/join-us.php and download a membership brochure.
Should you have questions please email email@example.com or call the membership chair at 405/744-4728. In the meantime, please mark October 17, 2013 on your calendar for the next annual Oklahoma Recycling Conference.
As a follow up to the OML/OMUP Water Summit held last Friday and discussion with attendees and EPA representatives in attendance, OML wishes to reaffirm our position on this issue. The Oklahoma Municipal League supports ODEQ obtaining primacy on these 3 rules. At the same time, the OML Board of Directors’ policy is that any proposed fee increases to municipal and other public water supply systems must be justified. In regards to the $1.5 Million increase in state appropriations ODEQ is seeking from the state legislature, OML does not have a position on this request. Click here to access a comprehensive copy of OML’s final proposal. It is important municipal officials communicate with their legislators on this issue throughout the session.
Rural Water Districts: The Nightmare is Real - Rebecca Barnes
Info on Sooner Warn, Oklahoma's Water-Wastewater Agency Response Network