Conservation Action Alert 12/11/07

Headlines

— Take action on solar energy at Public Service Commission

— Cancer Risk back on the agenda for EMC

— Other EMC agenda items

— Snyder elected president of national organization

— ELP applications due December 21

Take action on solar energy at Public Service Commission

Our friends at Energize Alabama (www.energizealabama.org) – a network of people from solar professions and industries, architectural firms, utility companies, government agencies, educational institutions, environmental organizations, and interested citizens – sent out this action alert to ask the Public Service Commission to approve net metering and interconnect standards and remove insurance requirements that can inhibit solar as an option for consumers. We have until this Friday, December 14th, to make a positive change for solar here in Alabama.


From Energize Alabama’s Daryl Bergquist:

Please mail your comments to the Alabama Public Service Commission requesting that they approve net metering and interconnect standards, and remove insurance requirements, so that grid tie solar pv and other environmentally friendly distributed energy production is made accessible in Alabama.


Mail your signed comments, to be received no later than December 14, 2007, to:
    Secretary of the Commission  
    Alabama Public Service Commission
    P.O. Box 304260
    Montgomery, Alabama, 36130-4260
Request that your comments be filed under Docket 30066. (this part is essential)

Cancer Risk back on the agenda for EMC

Despite more than 100 of you sending letters to the Environmental Management Commission (EMC) in June, the Commission voted unanimously NOT to adopt a petition that would have reduced the risk of cancer-causing chemicals in Alabama’s waters. Yet, the issue is back on the EMC agenda set for Friday, December 14.

Mobile Baykeeper executive director Casi Callaway and Conservation Alabama director Adam Snyder worked with David Ludder to develop extensive comments for the Cancer Risk Advisory Panel that the Commission established after failing to adopt the more protective cancer-risk standard. The committee met once (you can see the video at http://adem.alabama.gov/CancerMetting%205.wmv).The full set of Panel comments can be viewed at http://adem.alabama.gov/Cancer/cancerriskadvisoryresponses.htm.

As Snyder stated in his cover letter to the Commission at the conclusion of the Advisory Panel review process:

“Additionally, despite all the data and information the Commission has received from the petitioners, the public, and now the advisory panel, the fact remains that should the Commission decide to adopt the 10-6 cancer risk standard, then citizens of Alabama will have a reduced exposure to cancer-causing pollutants emitted to Alabama’s waters. The choice before the Commission remains one of preference between the current policy that is less protective, or a new standard that is more protective for Alabamians’ health.”

None of the facts have changed since the June vote. Our hope is the political will of the Commissioners will change Friday and they will finally move forward with rulemaking to adopt a cancer-risk level that is more protective of human health in Alabama.

Other EMC agenda items

The Environmental Commission meeting is full of issues conservation groups in Alabama have been working on for years. Some of the highlights include:

–     A performance evaluation “form” for the director of the department. During the last director’s (Jim Warr) tenure, he was evaluated only one time in his eight year administration. As a result of that evaluation, the director was fired, leading to the hiring of Trey Glenn. On February 1, 2008, Glenn will mark his three-year anniversary as director of ADEM, and it appears that his first evaluation is moving forward.


–     Acrolein and phenol reference dose values for water quality criteria. This will mark the third time this item has been on the agenda for the EMC. The Commission voted 5-1 in June to deny a petition to update the values for these chemicals to a more protective level. The lone dissenting vote was Laurel Gardner, now Vice Chair of the Commission.


–     TMDL implementation petition. David Ludder filed this petition on behalf of Conservation Alabama and several other groups. The goal of the petition is to align ADEM’s rules with EPA’s to ensure that pollution permits issued by ADEM are consistent with the clean up plans developed in the total maximum daily loads (TMDLs) for Alabama’s rivers and streams.


–     Open meetings law. The Commission will hear from the Alabama Press Association’s attorney Dennis Bailey on what is allowed and what isn’t under the open meetings law.

Snyder elected president of national organization

Conservation Alabama Executive Director Adam Snyder has been elected board president of the State Environmental Leadership Program (SELP).


SELP is an alliance of more than 50 independent, nonprofit, public interest, multi-issue environmental advocacy organizations that focus on state-level policy.  Originated as a conference for executive directors of statewide organizations, over the past 20 years the group has grown to a national organization that supports the state-level environmental policy organizations through organizational development and programmatic work.


“SELP is an outstanding organization, with excellent people, and an important mission,” Snyder said. “It is an honor for me to serve as president of the board and to support the efforts of SELP and statewide environmental organizations across the country.”

ELP applications due December 21


The Environmental Leadership Program (a separate, distinct organization from SELP) inspires visionary, action-oriented and diverse leadership to work for a just and sustainable future. ELP’s primary goal is to train and support the next generation of environmental and social change leaders through our regional networks and national fellowship program. At three distinct retreats over the course of a year, the regional network fellows have new opportunities to develop their skills, build alliances among organizations in the region, and spur diverse, more comprehensive, approaches to environmental work across the region. In addition, ELP hopes to support regionalism, increase the retention of talented up-and-coming environmental leaders from all communities, and create new forums to bring together the Southeast environmental community.


“This has been a great opportunity for me thus far, as I have had the chance to meet fascinating and energizing friends who are doing amazing work for the environment across the Southeast,” Snyder said, a member of the inaugural class of the Southeast Regional Network (SERN).


We want several good leaders from Alabama involved in 2008. ELP is now accepting applications for the 2008 class, but the deadline to apply (December 21) is fast approaching. If you are interested in learning more about ELP and applying to the Southeast Regional Network, please visit www.elpnet.org/southeastnetwork/process.php.

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