Friday, March 07, 2008

No Biggie...Only the water we drink

Madison Wisconsin has had over 100 inches of snow this winter...Why did I pick right now as my time to visit?

This is a different world. Bars are family places and the entire state is in mourning because Bret Favre has retired. People don't ask each other what religion they are...Everybody's a Green Bay Packer fan.

So while I'm trying to keep warm, you folks need to tend to some extremely important business back home in Tennessee. You have to keep the State Legislature from destroying a couple of things, like our drinking water sources and our mountains.

Here's the TCWN halftime report on a few bills that you might want to call somebody about:

Stop Work Orders Bill (HB3521⁄SB3651)
Actions this week:
Senate E, C & T Committee – Rolled to 3⁄12⁄08
House Environmental Subcommittee – Rolled to 3⁄19⁄08
Ensures the protection of Tennessee's streams from the state's #1 source of water pollution, mud, and destruction from water quality pollution. This grants the TDEC commissioner the authority to issue stop work orders for activities violating or with the potential to imminently harm waters of the state, and provides work can begin again once TDEC has deemed the activities in compliance with all state permits. Those failing to comply with the stop work order will be subject to daily fines, as well as the cost to remedy any negative impacts resulting from activities in violation of their permit. As required by current Tennessee law, all fines associated with this legislation will be placed in the Environmental Protection Fund for the administration of TDEC's regulatory programs.

Green Design Incentives Bill (HB3965⁄SB3956)
Actions this week:
Senate F, W & M Committee (Tax Sub) – Rolled to 3⁄11⁄08
House Environmental Subcommittee – Rolled to 3⁄19⁄08
Encourages and assists developers in the protection of Tennessee's streams and wetlands through efficient and environmentally protective building practices. This bill provides incentives such as expedited permit processing, fee waivers, and tax incentives for developers and builders to incorporate environmentally efficient water quality practices into their designs and structures.

Limited Resource Waters Bill (HB4185⁄SB4119)
Actions this week:
Senate E, C & T Committee – Ran out of time to discuss, Amended and placed on calendar for 3⁄12⁄08
House Environmental Subcommittee – Discussed briefly: Representatives stated they have received little to no information regarding this bill, and therefore requested more time to learn about it. Rolled to 3⁄12⁄08.
Removes protections from an estimated 30,000 miles of streams statewide resulting in the potential to pipe, cut-off, or pollute streams, and therefore destroy water quality with no repercussions or negative consequences. It reclassifies ephemeral bodies of water which flow due to rainfall, do not have a significant groundwater source, nor support significant native aquatic life as “limited resource waters.” This classification exempts such waters from any state or federal water quality protection laws because they would no longer be considered “waters of the state.” The definition of “limited resource waters” describes headwater streams, which provide stream flow and drinking water to residents throughout the state.

Anonymous Complaint Prohibition Bill (Anonymous Tip Denial Bill) (HB2511⁄SB3966)
Actions this week:
Senate E, C & T Committee – No Action
House Environmental Subcommittee – Rolled 3⁄12⁄08
Discourages citizens from notifying the state about environmental quality violations as well as reduce TDEC's ability to enforce environmental protection laws. It prohibits the investigation or enforcement action of violations of environmental laws based solely on information submitted by an anonymous source.

Scenic Vistas Bill (Mountaintop Removal Ban) (HB3348⁄SB3822)
Actions this week:
Senate E, C & T Committee – On calendar 3⁄12⁄08 – Awaiting presentation from the coal industry
House Environmental Subcommittee – Rolled to 4⁄2⁄08
Protects thousand of acres of land across the state, ensure the scenic mountain beauty will remain, and protects the environmental quality of our streams. This requires a new Environmental Impact Study to evaluate the effect of practices throughout the state. Makes the 100 foot stream buffer zone for mining a state law rather than just recommended practice. Denies a water permit for any mining activity disturbing land over 2000 feet or that may alter the ridgeline.

1 comment:

  1. bizgrrl7:30 AM

    Had to go to Prairie Du Sac WI in January several years back. They were predicting 10 inches of snow. Told them I couldn't come, I don't drive in the snow. They got mad, like I was a wimp. Said they would send someone to pick me up at the airport. I went.

    They drove me around Madison for a tour. The main thing they talked about was the beer drinking.

    I do like Wisconsin.