Capital Thinking: Environment and Natural Resources

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Regulatory Activity

Future Climate Scenarios

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has released phase-two of its National Stormwater Calculator. EPA highlights that “the updated calculator includes future climate vulnerability scenarios.”  Primarily used to estimate the annual amount of stormwater runoff from a specific location, EPA notes that the tool also includes “changes in seasonal precipitation levels, the effects of more frequent high-intensity storms, and changes in evaporation rates based on validated climate change scenarios by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.”

Wind Funding

The Department of Energy has announced the opening of its funding opportunity for research and design of concepts for building and installing taller wind turbine and tower systems with hub heights of 120 meters or more. The agency is hosting an informational webinar on February 11 for interested applicants.

Legislative Activity

This Week’s Hearings:

Nominations for U.S. Department of Interior

Tuesday, February 4: The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee will hold a full committee hearing to consider the nominations of Rhea Suh to be Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks, and Janice Schneider to be Assistant Secretary for Land and Minerals Management.

Forests

Thursday, February 6: The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee will hold a full committee hearing to review S. 1966, the National Forest Jobs and Management Act of 2014.

Fisheries

Tuesday, February 4: The House Natural Resources Committee will hold a full committee hearing to consider a bill that would change the current Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, titled “Strengthening Fishing Communities and Increasing Flexibility in Fisheries Management Act.”

Public Lands Permitting Efficiency

Wednesday, February 5: The House Natural Resources Committee, Subcommittee on Water and Power, will hold a hearing on the “Water Supply Permitting Coordination Act” to address the coordination of state and federal permitting processes for new surface water storage projects on public lands.