January 2011 Public Policy Committee,

nebraskaboomOil and Offshore

Nov 8, 2013 (3 years and 8 months ago)

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January 2011



Public Policy Committee,
Mary Picardi



We attended the Va. Conservation Network’s Legislative workshop in Richmond on Dec. 4 to learn
about the 2011 conservation priorities. We received their excellent Briefing Book with twenty
-
five
white
papers on issues of clean energy, green communities, and healthy rivers. These books are
distributed to state legislators. We also requested books which we are providing to our city council
and mayor.



Committee members are meeting with our state legislat
ors and city council members to discuss issues
of importance to the watershed. On the state level, we are emphasizing promotion of energy
efficient measures as well as the promotion of sustainable green energy sources like wind, solar and
biofuels as oppo
sed to offshore drilling & subsidization of coal mining.



The committee is asking for implementation of the Watershed Implementation Plan with adequate
funding for agricultural best management practices along with funding of new stormwater
management regu
lations.



We are asking the city to take a strong stand against the Cypress Creek coal plant; re
-
affirm its stand
against uranium mining; re
-
evaluate its stand on offshore drilling; and set up an implementation task
force to address Alternative Energy Task
Force’s recommendations.



Update on the Chesapeake Clean Water Bill: We were hopeful that this might pass during the “lame
duck” session as part of an omnibus land, water and wildlife legislative package however it did not
receive enough votes to end a sen
ate filibuster.


March 2011



Public Policy Committee,
Mary Picardi



Several of us attended Conservation Lobby Day in Richmond on Jan. 17. We met with both our
Senators and seven Delegates, either in person or with legislative assistants. We left informatio
n on
some of the most important bills for conservation and the environment. During the session there
were many successes including a ban on phosphorous in lawn fertilizer.



Update on Bay cleanup/TMDL: The state has formulated a good Watershed Implementati
on Plan
however there may be roadblocks. Currently, Rep. Goodlatte has passed a bill, back by Scott Rigell,
to block any federal funding for Bay cleanup. We hope the Senate will not incorporate this into any
Senate funding bill. Also, on March 17, the H
RPDC may consider filing a suit against the EPA to
block implementation of Bay cleanup.



Our next major project will be a candidate forum in the fall for our state delegates and senators. We
are hoping to involve members of our local garden clubs in our ef
forts. Karen has spoken with them
and we have a liaison on our committee. We may ask them to co
-
sponsor the fall forum.


May 2011



Public Policy
Committee


Mary Picardi



Update on TMDLs:

o

On March 31
st

the HRPDC decided not to file a lawsuit against the
EPA over the TMDLs
but instead settled on asking for more specifics.

o

Rosemary Wilson, VB City Council, has been appointed by the Governor to the Local
Government Advisory Commission, a multistate body that will be informing the Governors
on matters relat
ing to the Bay.

o

Rep. Scott Rigell supported the Goodlatte amendment, which effectively prohibits federal
funding for TMDLs or WIPs for the Chesapeake Bay.



On April 9
th
, several of us attended a Leadership Convening in Richmond sponsored by the Va.
Civic En
gagement Table. The goal was to share ideas on how to promote our various issues and
possibly work together. Attendees included environmental groups as well as Va. Poverty Law
Center, Va. New Majority, Project Vote and Va. Education Association.



CBF will

be holding a day
-
long training workshop in June on navigating the political waters of the
TMDL’s. Several committee members will be attending this in hopes of learning how to be most
effective in bringing the objectives of the TMDLs to fruition.



THE CAND
IDATE FORUM! The tentative date is October 5
th

at Cape Henry Collegiate. The
election is November 8
th
. The filing deadline for primaries is June 15
th

and our general election is
August 26
th
. We have asked the garden clubs about their interest in co
-
spo
nsoring this event. The
Princess Anne Garden Club is excited to be included, and will help with the planning and advertising.

July 2011



Public Policy



Mary Picardi



Bay Cleanup Update (TMDL’s Phase II WIP)

o

Federal Action



CBF and other environmental groups go to court to oppose efforts of the American
Farm Bureau Federation, joined by the National Association of Homebuilders, to
challenge the Bay TMDL’s. A decision is likely by this time next year.
(Attachment Pg. 18
-
19)



House Interior Appropriations Bill guts clean water programs and a “Goodlatte
-
type” amendment is likely.
(Attachments Pgs. 20
-
21)



LRNow, as part of the Choose Clean Water Coalition, has signed on to several
letters to D.C. legislators concerning continued

federal funding for Bay restoration
as well as the FRAC Act.
(Attachments Pgs. 22
-
25)

o

Local TMDL/WIP Progress



Localities have received their pollution load allocations for Nitrogen, Phosphorous
and sediment. An EPA tool (CIST) will be available soon for

use in testing the
effects of different scenarios (BMP’s) in reducing pollution loads.



Timeline: Phase II draft due 12/11, Phase II WIP due 3/12, 1st milestone check in
late 2013



LRNow has signed on to a letter to the Governor outlining requirements for t
he
WIP II.
(Attachment Pgs. 26
-
27)



LRNow position papers to be included on website: Uranium Mining Update & Coal Plant.

(Attachment Pgs. 28
-
29)



Candidate Forum Update


October 5
th

from 7:00
-
9:00 pm at Cape Henry Collegiate. Garden Clubs
will co
-
spons
or. All incumbents are running. Filing date is 8/23. VCN will send a staffer and has
offered to hold an update on legislative issues prior to the forum and election.



VCN Conservation scorecard is attached on
Page 30.



Urban Water Quality Forum co
-
hosted
by VCN


7/21 in Fairfax



A webinar on 7/13 is being offered by Center for Watershed Protection which has a grant to teach
localities how to prepare a WIP. Karen has signed up and sent the information to city staff.

September 2011



Public Policy



Mary Pica
rdi



Bay cleanup update: HRPDC met with DCR’s James Davis
-
Martin on 9/1. He answered questions
and demonstrated a soon to be available tool (VAST) that will model the effect of various BMP
scenarios on pollution loads. EPA/Interior funding will likely be an omn
ibus bill and may contain
amendments impeding funding for the Bay cleanup. LRNow, as a member of the Choose Clean
Water Coalition, receives and acts on action alerts. This month we signed on to a letter to EPA
asking for strong stormwater regulations.



Cand
idate Forum update: The forum will be held on Oct. 5 at Cape Henry Collegiate from 7
-

9 P.M.
for candidates for our State legislature. The following state candidates will participate: Bennett,
McWaters, Purkey, Stolle, Villanueva, Wagner. Joel Rubin will
moderate and Karen Forget (LRNow),
Wendy Vaughn (Garden Clubs), Don Luzzatto (Va.
-

Pilot) will be our panelists.


November 2011



Public Policy



Mary Picardi



We now have a "LRNow Public Policy issues" section on the web site, including links to access
addi
tional information.


Current topics are: uranium mining; Cypress Creek coal plant; Bay TMDL
and Virginia's Watershed Implementation Plan; Efforts in our federal Congress to dismantle the
Clean Water Act, the Clean Air Act and the EPA's authority to enforce

environmental standards.



Bay update
-

The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission has voted to limit the commercial
menhaden catch in accordance with the "ask" in a coalition letter to which LRNow signed on.


The
Phase 2 Watershed Implementation Plans

are being worked out at the locality level.


LRNow is part
of the multistate Choose Clean Water Coalition.


CCW policy priorities nominated for 2012 include:


TMDL/WIP milestones; fracking; bag bill and trash; MS 4 permits.


The annual meeting is Dec. 1.



Fall Festival "coalition"
-

We presented information on uranium mining, the proposed coal plant,
offshore wind, and the Bay cleanup with help from members of Wise Energy for Va. and Keep the
Ban.


We collected about 50 petitions against the

uranium mine an
d the coal plant.


We also offered
voter registration, registering 3 and giving out 6 more forms.


Children's educational games included
a corn hole game and word search, as well as the opportunity to identify a local legislator.



Our next initiative involv
es partnering with our state legislators before the 2012 session in order to
promote legislation favorable to our environmental needs.


To this end, the Virginia Conservation
Network is having their Legislative Workshop on Dec. 3.