Weekly News Roundup – December 23, 2011

from Wildlife Promise

Want to know what National Wildlife Federation was up to this week? Here is a recap of the week’s NWF news:

Historic Limits on Toxic Mercury Become Final

December 21 – Today, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) finalized new air pollution standards that will result in the first-ever national limits on the amount of mercury spewing from the nation’s coal-fired power plants. Over 20 years in the making, the new pollution limits on power plants will cut mercury emissions by 91 percent, while also cutting acid gas, arsenic, lead and nickel emissions.

“Our children and grandchildren will inherit a safer world thanks to the leadership of President Obama and Administrator Jackson,” said  Larry Schweiger, National Wildlife Federation president and CEO. “At long last, these prudent and overdue limits on unchecked mercury and toxic air pollution will ensure our fish will be safe to eat, and our children can breathe easier.”

Groups Move to Protect People, Property and Wildlife in Flood-Prone Areas

December 21 – The National Wildlife Federation asked a judge to prevent the U.S. government from issuing federally-backed flood insurance policies for new development in risky flood-prone areas around Puget Sound.  The motion for a preliminary injunction, filed in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington, alleges the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) failed to ensure that new floodplain management standards protect endangered species like salmon and orcas.

“People, communities, and salmon are all put at risk by harmful development in floodplains,” said Dan Siemann, senior environmental policy specialist for the National Wildlife Federation in Seattle.

National Wildlife Federation’s Na’Taki Osborne Jelks Appointed to Conservation Committee

December 21 – Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar and Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack announced last week appointees for the 21st Century Conservation Service Corps (21CSC) in a press release. Na’Taki Osborne Jelks, Manager, Education & Advocacy Programs of the NWF’s Southeastern regional office was appointed to the Committee. The Committee is composed of twenty two representatives from conservation, work force development, service and federal groups nationwide.

The Committee will provide recommendations to the Secretary of the Interior on how to engage young Americans in public lands and water restoration and provide recommendations on how to build on the important ongoing work of local, state, federal and non-profit youth conservation corps that engage young Americans in hands-on service and job training experiences on public lands and open spaces.

New Yorkers Call For Action on Offshore Wind

December 21 – A broad coalition of New York’s environmental, business, and labor organizations today called on state and federal leaders to move forward with offshore wind development. New York has substantial offshore wind resources and there are currently several proposals to develop job-producing clean energy off the coast of Long Island.

The Wind Works 4 Long Island Coalition set a single, clear message: It is time to get moving and generate much-needed clean energy for New York from offshore wind.

“Governor Cuomo has a golden opportunity to lead the nation in the pursuit of local, job-producing clean energy from offshore wind,” said Catherine Bowes, Senior Policy Representative at National Wildlife Federation.

Coalition: 2012 Budget ‘Significant Victory for Millions Who Depend on Great Lakes’

December 20 – The Healing Our Waters – Great Lakes Coalition is praising the 2012 federal budget bill, which has passed both chambers of Congress and is waiting to be signed into law by President Obama. The budget provides $300 million for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative to clean up toxic pollution, restore wildlife habitat, stop invasive species and reduce polluted run-off from farms and cities.

And here are highlights from NWF in the News:

For more, visit www.nwf.org/News