Updates for our membership community on latest public planning and policy items for the month of September 2019 including: Trump Administration’s Reversal of the Clean Water Rule, Point Reyes National Seashore’s Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the General Management Plan Amendment, and United Nations Special Report on Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate.
UNITED NATIONS REPORT ON CLIMATE AND OCEANS RELEASED
September 25, 2019 - “As the world's climate changes, ocean warming is accelerating and sea levels are rising more quickly, warns a new report by the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The report is a synthesis of the most up-to-date climate science on oceans and ice, and it lays out a stark reality: Ocean surface temperatures have been warming steadily since 1970, and for the past 25 years or so, they've been warming twice as fast.”
Clean Water Rule Repealed
September 12, 2019 - The Trump Administration finalized its rule to repeal the 2015 Clean Water Rule or "Waters of the US" Rule issued under the Obama Administration to define the waters that are protected by the Clean Water Act. This repeal is step one of the current administration's plan to repeal and replace the 2015 definition of "Waters of the US" with a much weaker, narrower definition that would leave an estimated fifth of the nation's streams and half of its wetlands unprotected from pollution and destruction under the Clean Water Act.
EPA's rule to repeal the 2015 "Waters of the US" Rule: Definition of “Waters of the United States”—Recodification of Pre-Existing Rules
New York Times: Trump Administration Rolls Back Clean Water Protections
2019 Gray Whale Unusual Mortality Event along the West Coast
Since January 1, 2019, elevated gray whale strandings have occurred along the west coast of North America from Mexico through Alaska. This event has been declared an Unusual Mortality Event (UME).
Point Reyes National Seashore
General Management Plan Amendment Draft EIS Public Comments
September 23, 2019 - This is the last stage for public involvement. The Draft EIS and public comment will be used to inform the Final EIS. Your voice is needed to provide comments on the Draft EIS that will not be ignored. In order to do this, you need to let the Seashore and NPS know that they have not analyzed all foreseeable impacts in their plan.
To comment effectively, focus your comments on the purpose and need of the proposed action, the proposed alternatives, the assessment of environmental impacts, and proposed mitigations. What did they overlook, what was not considered, etc. Comments are not a form of voting for an alternative and template form letters are not useful tools at this stage.