1) AEMC Rejects Cancer Risk Proposal ... Orders More Study
2) New Gulf of Mexico Red Snapper Plan Approved
3) TVA Approves Green Power Plan in Huntsville
4) "The Hooked on the Alabama River" Clean Water Partnership Project
5) BEN Notes: Southwings Position, Baldwin County Trailblazers Seeking Executive Director, NWF Seeking Regional Representative, EPA Power Profiler, EPA - Climate Change "What you can do", Photographer Beth Young & the SEC on WBHM's Tapestry, Alabama's Boll Organic Dress Shirts
Check out the latest interactive maps from the Wilderness Society
Housing Density from 1940 to 2030
1. AEMC Rejects Cancer Risk Proposal ... Orders More Study - On June 29th the Alabama Environmental Management Commission unanimously rejected a petition proposed by 18 organizations to decrease cancer causing chemicals discharged into the state's river, streams and lakes.
The Petitioners' petition asked the Commission to upgrade Alabama's environmental regulations to a more protective of health cancer risk standard (from 1 cancer to every 100,000 to 1 cancer for every million), joining 28 other states, including neighbors Mississippi, Florida and Georgia who have adopted and implemented the more health protective standard.
After the Commission's denial of the petition, the Commission asked ADEM's director Trey Glenn to appoint a committee to study and address the issue. Glenn identified five state agencies including Medicaid, Department of Conservation, Department of Agriculture, the Alabama Development Office and Department of Public Health to serve on the committee. The director also announced his intention to invite 12 industry groups or companies to report to the committee the financial impact of changing the rule. The Commission then decided that commissioners suggest members for the water quality committee and asked for the group's work to be completed by the end of the year.
In response to the use of economic factors to determine water quality standards, the attorney for the petitioners, David Ludder, stated that the commission under state and federal laws cannot consider the economics of changing the water quality standard. It may only report the economic impact to a state legislative committee, he said.
After the meeting, Commissioner Dr. Laurel Gardner, in the Birmingham News provided a glimmer of hope to advocates wanting to strengthen Alabama's water quality standard, stating, "The petition has been denied. It has not been killed. It still is very much alive."
Below are links to a video of the Commission meeting, the petition, comments and responses, and the reaction from the editorial pages of several state newspapers.
Video of the Commission Meeting
The petition,comments and articles/editorials
2. New Gulf of Mexico Red Snapper Plan Approved - According to the Mobile Register, last month the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council approved a plan to protect red snapper, one of the Gulf's most popular catches.
The plan includes reducing the recreational catch limit from four fish to two per person, and sets a limit for all commercial boats at 5 million pounds for the year instead of 9.1 million as in past years. The 2 fish recreational catch limit rule had been temporarily in place over the past year, while the commercial catch had been placed at 6.5 million pounds before the current season. Along with the new more restrictive rule on commercial fishing, shrimpers must cut the amount of red snapper that come up in their nets as part of the "bycatch" - by 74% from the average for the 2001-2003 seasons.
Red snapper was declared "overfished" in 1997.
3. TVA Approves Green Power Plan in Huntsville - Last month, according to the Huntsville Times, Huntsville Utilities (HU) was given the go ahead to develop a Green Power Program that would allow customers to sell solar generated electricity to the TVA power grid.
Participants must sign a 10 year agreement to supply the supplemental energy. Meanwhile, the utility company will pay 15 cents per kilowatt hour. Today, residential customers pay on average 7 cents per kilowatt hour for electricity coming into a home. Presently, only one HU customer has expressed interest in the program, but the utility expects more interest once the marketing of the program begins in August.
4. "The Hooked on the Alabama River" Clean Water Partnership Project - Remember several years ago, the fiberglass cow sculptures that were painted and placed in front of businesses around the city of Chicago? Well, the cities of Montgomery and Prattville have one upped Chicago.
They will be placing 6 foot long "fishing lures" throughout the region in celebration of the Alabama River.
Developed by the Alabama River Clean Water Partnership, the "The Hooked on the Alabama River " project works like this: First 30 fiberglass fishing lures will be decorated by local artists and sponsored by area organizations. Each lure will be unique and will attract people to the importance of the Alabama River for our region and to the business that sponsors it. Tackle boxes (or groupings) of 2-3 lures will be on display throughout Montgomery and Prattville after the initial unveiling, which is scheduled for September 15th in downtown Montgomery along the banks of the Alabama River.
Several businesses and organizations have joined forces to make this exciting project happen, including the Alabama Power Foundation, who funded the fiberglass bases and artists supplies and groups such as the World Wildlife Fund, the Mid-South Resource Conservation Development Council, Alabama Forestry Association, International Paper, CH2M Hill and LWT Marketing. To learn more about the "Giant Fishing Lures" contact Ashley Henderson, with Alabama River Clean Water Partnership at 334-300-3392 or ahendersonCWP@charter.net . You can also visit their website at http://www.hookedontheAlabamaRiver.com .
5. BEN Notes: Southwings Position, Baldwin County Trailblazers Seeking Executive Director, NWF Seeking Regional Representative, EPA Power Profiler, EPA - Climate Change "What you can do", Photographer Beth Young & the SEC on WBHM's Tapestry, Alabama's Boll Organic Dress Shirts
Southwings Position - Southwings, "The Environmental Air Force," is a nonprofit conservation organization based in Asheville, NC. Currently, they are seeking an Administrative and Fundraising Associate. If you are interested - email firstname.lastname@example.org to request a detailed job description.
Baldwin County Trailblazers Seeking Executive Director - The Baldwin County Trailblazers, a group whose mission it is to establish a network of county wide biking, jogging and hiking trails, is seeking an Executive Director. To apply, email resumes to email@example.com
NWF Seeking Regional Representative - The National Wildlife Federation is seeking a regional representative to be based in their Southeastern Natural Resource Center in Atlanta. To apply online, visit http://www.nwf.org/careergateway/
EPA Power Profiler - With a few clicks on your mouse, you can see how your energy use is affecting the Earth through the new "EPA Power Profiler" calculator. Some of the results may surprise you. Check it out at http://epa.gov/climatechange/wycd/calculator/ind_calculator.html
EPA - Climate Change "What you can do" - After you use your EPA Power Profiler Calculator, visit EPA's Climate Change - "What you can do" website. The site provides 25 easy action steps everyone can take. Go to - http://epa.gov/climatechange/wycd/index.html
Photographer Beth Young & the SEC on WBHM's Tapestry - Check out this week WBHM's "Tapestry" radio program featuring Nature photographer - Beth Young and the Southern Environmental Center at Birmingham Southern College. You can listen to the programs at: http://www.wbhm.org/Tapestry/index.html
Alabama's Boll Organic Dress Shirts - Check out an Alabama business that is pioneering the organic cotton dress shirt industry. Started two years ago by Kevin Russell "Boll Organic" remains the only company in the world making organic dress shirts. Visit their website at http://www.bollorganic.com