In response to today's decision by the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia to uphold the US Environmental Protection Agency's Mercury and Air Toxics Standards, Conservation Law Foundation issued the following statement.
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In an effort to bring transparency to the process through which the Governors of the six New England states are proposing billions of dollars in new publicly funded energy infrastructure, Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) today filed public records requests in each of the states under their respective freedom of information laws, seeking records from state agencies as well as the New England States Committee on Electricity (NESCOE)—a regional entity through which the states are advancing their plan.
Leaks from aging natural gas infrastructure throughout Massachusetts pose a triple threat to public safety, the environment, and consumers’ wallets, as underscored by a new interactive website launched today by Conservation Law Foundation (CLF). The site, which allows the public to visualize the thousands of natural gas leaks in the Commonwealth, also contains a wealth of information on citizens’ and legislative actions currently underway to address the issue.
Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) today announced that the organization has reached a groundbreaking settlement ensuring that for the first time, a proposed natural gas-fired power plant must comply with conditions aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions and overreliance on fossil fuels, including enforceable annually declining emissions limits and a date certain for future plant retirement. The agreement between CLF and the developers of the natural gas-fired Footprint Power Plant proposed at the site of a retiring coal-fired plant in Salem, Mass., has been filed for final review and approval with Massachusetts state authorities.
Late yesterday, the Massachusetts Energy Facilities Siting Board (EFSB) announced a Tentative Decision that proposes to grant seven out of the eight state and local approvals that the proposed natural gas-fired Footprint Power Plant project still needs in order to go forward. The power plant project is proposed for the site of the Salem Harbor Station plant, which will close this summer. On January 30, the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) issued decisions that unlawfully attempt to grant both state and federal air permits for the proposed Footprint Power Plant.
In response to a plan announced by the governors of the six New England states and the New England States Committee on Electricity to seek electric tariff changes to build transmission to facilitate new wind and hydropower, and increase natural gas pipeline capacity by nearly 20 percent in three years, CLF issued the following statement.
Massachusetts motorists will soon be filling their tanks with gas increasingly derived from dirty Canadian tar sands oil, says a new report from the Natural Resources Defense Council. A flood of dirty fuel into Massachusetts would also undercut its efforts to reduce carbon pollution. The NRDC report found that under current plans, tar sands-derived gasoline supplies in 11 Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states (including Massachusetts) would soar from less than one percent in 2012 to 11.5 percent of the total by 2020, due to increased imports from Canadian refineries, fresh supplies of refined tar sands fuels from Gulf Coast refineries, and quantities from East Coast refineries that would obtain tar sands crude via rail and barge.
Representatives from New England states, federal government, tribal nations, the fishing industry, recreational boaters, offshore renewable energy developers, conservationists and others will convene for a two-day meeting to continue development of the Northeast Regional Ocean Plan. Among the important topics that will help to decide the future management of New England’s ocean and coasts are the Plan Framework and Workplan goals, objectives, and actions. Topics will include measures needed to ensure healthy coastal and ocean ecosystems, improved decision making about ocean uses, stakeholder engagement around ocean planning and an in-depth discussion of elements of the two year Draft Workplan designed to produce an ocean plan for New England’s ocean waters. Each day, members of the public will have the opportunity to offer formal public comment and provide input on specific aspects of the Draft Workplan.
The Conservation Law Foundation announced the organization’s strong support for bill LD 1602 / HP 1174, being heard today by the Maine Legislature’s Marine Resources Committee, which would further efforts to protect Maine’s shellfish and the commercial fishing industry from the potentially devastating effects of ocean acidification.
The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) issued the final regulation regarding commercial fishing access to the longstanding protected habitat areas in the Gulf of Maine, southern New England, and Georges Bank. CLF’s Peter Shelley called NMFS’ decision to continue protecting most habitat areas from damaging bottom-trawling and gillnetting, “a victory for sound management and careful stewardship.” However, he noted that the decision is only temporary and urged continued vigilance to keep protections strong if badly depleted fish stocks are to rebound.
In response to the agreement issued today by the governors of the six New England states to work together to prioritize a cleaner, more efficient and climate-conscious energy system in the region, Jonathan Peress, Conservation Law Foundation Vice President and Director, Clean Energy and Climate Change, said: “Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) welcomes the governors’ efforts and plan to bring new cleaner energy resources and advance technology turnover in New England. The initiative announced by the governors today, if done properly, can provide New England with the more modern, lower-emitting and more flexible resources needed to address climate change."
Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) today issued the following statement regarding the New England Clean Power Link, a proposal to develop a new, completely buried transmission project. The proposed project, to be developed by TDI New England, would run from the Canadian border to Ludlow, Vermont and could deliver 1,000 MW of clean hydropower to the New England marketplace, using state-of-the-art High Voltage direct current (HVdc) technology.
Conservation Law Foundation (CLF), Clean Water Action and Toxics Action Center announced today that they have settled their Clean Air Act citizens’ suit with the owners of the Brayton Point power plant in Somerset, Massachusetts. The groups brought the suit in February of 2013, alleging that the coal-fired power plant was emitting illegal levels of harmful pollutants including particulate matter, or soot, into the air and failing to monitor those emissions, in violation of the Clean Air Act.
The Rhode Island Bays, Rivers, and Watersheds Coordination Team (BRWCT), in partnership with the Conservation Law Foundation (CLF), today released a report, entitled Stormwater Management Districts in Rhode Island: Questions and Answers, prepared by CLF with funding from the BRWCT and other supporters. The report analyzes the Rhode Island Stormwater Management District law authorizing municipalities to establish storm water management districts (SMD) as a means of funding improvements to stormwater infrastructure.
The new owners of the Brayton Point power plant, New England's largest coal-fired power plant, today notified ISO-New England, the operator of the New England electricity grid, that they are closing down in 2017. Brayton Point Energy, LLC filed a “Non-Price Retirement Request” indicating that the plant will be retired by no later than June 2017. The plant was sold to Energy Capital Partners, a New Jersey-based energy investment company, barely one month ago, and only a year after completing a $1 billion upgrade of the plant to install pollution controls.
Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) applauded today’s release by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) of proposed new limits on greenhouse gas emissions for new power plants as critical to reducing climate pollution. CLF noted that, although the new rules will have less of an impact in New England than in other parts of the country, New England’s example shows that adhering to the Clean Air Act and enacting controls on greenhouse gas emissions is both good for business and smart planning for climate change.
The Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) announced today that its market innovation affiliate, CLF Ventures, will conduct a three-year pilot study to measure how motorists’ driving habits are affected by financial incentives to drive less. The pilot study will test the effectiveness of financial incentive programs to reduce miles driven as a viable market-based solution to the environmental impacts of driving and the problems associated with traffic congestion. CLF Ventures will conduct the study in part through a $2.1 million grant from the Federal Highway Administration’s (FHWA) Value Pricing Pilot Program, supplemented by a $450,000 in-kind contribution from Plymouth Rock Assurance Corporation, a leading Boston-based auto insurance provider, and a $40,000 in-kind contribution from CLF Ventures.
Conservation Law Foundation announced today that Jeff Barnum, a longtime advocate for clean water in New England, has been named the new Great Bay-Piscataqua WATERKEEPER, a vital position charged with building a strong local voice for Great Bay and advancing innovative solutions to protect the estuary.
In written and oral rulings today issued from the United States District Court of Massachusetts, Senior Judge Mark L. Wolf denied the Environmental Protection Agency’s motion to dismiss a vital piece of a 2011 lawsuit brought jointly by Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) and the Buzzards Bay Coalition to hold EPA accountable for addressing an ongoing water pollution crisis on Cape Cod. Honing in on a linchpin to remedying the problem in CLF’s “Section 208” suit, Judge Wolf preserved the claim that EPA must deliver on its legal duty to oversee how millions of dollars in federal funding is directed to clean up water pollution on Cape Cod.
The U.S. District Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit today rejected the Vermont legislature’s effort to exercise its authority to regulate Vermont Yankee, but gave Vermont an important victory in its decision regarding power supply contracts, which precludes Entergy from collecting attorneys’ fees for suing the state. In response to the Court’s ruling today, Conservation Law Foundation issued the following statement from Sandra Levine, senior attorney in CLF’s Vermont office.
Capping a year-long effort to secure major funding for Massachusetts’ ailing transportation systems, Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) applauded Wednesday’s passage of a $600 million per year finance package over the next five years, but warned that the legislature will need to revisit the topic again within a couple of years to begin to solve the systems’ longstanding problems.
The Clean Air Task Force and Conservation Law Foundation applauded a DC Circuit Court ruling today which again strongly affirmed that the Clean Air Act authorizes the government to act to control climate pollution. Today’s ruling came in response to industry and two states’ (Texas and Wyoming) challenges to EPA’s federal permitting decisions for large industrial facilities emitting that pollution.
Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) today notified the owners and operators of the Central Landfill in Johnston, Rhode Island – Broadrock Gas Services, LLC, Rhode Island LFG Genco, LLC, and Rhode Island Resource Recovery Corp. – that it intends to file a citizens suit for violations of the Clean Air Act at the facility. The notice of intent to sue letter states that the facility owners and operators have violated emission standards under federal law by failing to collect landfill gas adequately and by venting raw, untreated landfill gas directly to the atmosphere.
Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) has objected to yesterday’s proposed action by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to allow bottom-trawl fishing in nearly 3000 square miles of New England’s ocean that have that have offered protection to fish and fish habitat for nearly two decades. CLF says that NOAA acted without undertaking analyses required under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and without regard for the comments from more than 100 scientists, dozens of coastal community leaders and business owners, and some 70,000 citizens who urged the federal agency to keep these protections in place.
Conservation groups filed petitions today urging the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to exercise its authority to safeguard rivers, lakes, and streams from polluted runoff from existing commercial, industrial, and institutional sites that are currently failing to adequately control their pollution. Polluted runoff – rainwater that picks up oil, dirt and toxins while flowing over streets and parking lots – is a leading cause of water pollution in the United States.
Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) strongly denounced Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley’s announcement today that the State intends to sue the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), arguing that catch limits the federal government has set for commercial fishing on cod and flounder will hurt the fishing industry. CLF issued the following statement from Peter Shelley, senior counsel:
A broad-based coalition of environmental and consumer organizations, business and trade groups, and power providers today launched a public information campaign called EmpowerNH. The coalition aims to educate New Hampshire consumers about the power they have to save money and protect the environment through their choice of electricity supplier, and to make it easy to access information and compare offers from competitive suppliers.
Today, the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) issued a press release summarizing its newly issued limits on the amount of Atlantic cod, haddock, and other groundfish that commercial fishing boats around New England are allowed to catch in the new fishing season which begins tomorrow, May 1. The anticipated catch limits on the most endangered stocks, while expected to be greatly reduced from last year’s quotas, will still allow excessive mortality levels, putting the future of the fishery at risk. Even more troubling, the agency appears be leaving the door open for fishermen to access some areas that have been closed to commercial fishing for years, further increasing the risks of a full collapse of cod populations in the region. With fisheries scientists in agreement that cod are at historically low levels and that the species shows no sign of recovery, CLF issued the following response to NOAA’s release:
Five years after Massachusetts adopted a nation-leading law addressing the central causes and impacts of climate change, the Commonwealth has made progress in key areas but needs to significantly step up the pace of implementation in order to meet its goals. At a hearing to be held this afternoon before the Massachusetts Legislature’s Senate Committee on Global Warming and Climate Change, representatives from the environmental, business and science communities are expected to urge the Commonwealth to redouble efforts to promote clean energy, reduce energy waste, support lower-carbon transportation options, and curb dependence on outdated carbon-intensive facilities in order to meet the Global Warming Solutions Act’s (GWSA) target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 25% below 1990 levels by 2020.
At a hearing in the U.S. District Court in Massachusetts today on the fate of the controversial BU Biolab, Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) argued that the most recent analysis conducted by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) is inadequate and does not fulfill NIH’s obligations under the law. An adequate and fair evaluation of the risks is legally required in connection with BU’s plans to operate high-level biocontainment laboratories in Boston’s South End and Roxbury neighborhoods for the study of deadly pathogens, and the risky work planned to be undertaken at the Biolab cannot be allowed to proceed in light of the incomplete evaluation to date.
Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) applauded today’s vote by the Maine state legislature to pass L.D. 72, which will open the fish ladder at the Grand Falls Dam an allow alewives, a key forage fish, to reach 98% of their natural habitat in the St. Croix River. The vote caps a two year effort by CLF advocates to restore a fishery that numbered close to 3 million until a state law closed the fish ladder and the number of alewives dwindled to less than 10,000. Last year CLF successfully filed suit against the EPA to enforce the Clean Water Act’s provision related to the state law and then filed suit against the State to invalidate that law.
From California to Craigsville Beach on Cape Cod, nearly twelve hundred people joined together over the past week to voice their support for Cape Wind’s clean, renewable energy and to oppose the ongoing delays depriving our country of its first offshore wind project. Their comments were directed at the Department of Energy (DOE), which was seeking the public’s input as the agency considers a federal loan guarantee for Cape Wind. The immediate issue before DOE is whether to accept the project’s Final Environmental Impact Statement in its consideration of the loan. The rigorous environmental review has been deemed more than adequate by the country’s leading national, regional and local environmental organizations, including Greenpeace, the National Wildlife Federation, the Natural Resources Defense Council, Sierra Club, Mass Audubon, Conservation Law Foundation and more.
Yesterday afternoon the Maine Public Utilities Commission (PUC) issued its final order unanimously approving Efficiency Maine’s Triennial Plan (Plan), the comprehensive document that outlines the strategies, programs, budgets and estimated savings for three years starting July 1, 2013. The PUC recommended that the legislature approve significant increases in efficiency investment in order to maximize savings for ratepayers.
An independent analysis of the financial performance of Dominion Resources’ Brayton Point power plant in Somerset, Massachusetts, released today by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis, projected a bleak future for the 50-year-old coal-fired facility, the largest remaining coal plant in New England. The report, Dark Days Ahead: Financial Factors Cloud Future Profitability at Dominion’s Brayton Point, found that the once profitable power plant’s earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) are plummeting due to a perfect storm of market conditions that are projected to continue at least through the end of the decade.
Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) applauded an agreement announced today by Massachusetts, Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Connecticut and other members of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) to strengthen the cap on carbon emissions from power plants in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states – from 165 million tons down to 91 million tons (2012 levels). CLF called the refinements to the RGGI program an important step toward meeting the climate imperative of an 80% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, but cautioned that more sweeping action will be needed to get there.
In response to yesterday’s vote at the New England Fisheries Management Council meeting to approve a 77 percent cut in the amount of cod New England fisherman can catch in the fishing year beginning May 1, 2013, Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) said the cuts don’t go far enough and called for the closure of the cod fishery to avoid a commercial collapse that could take decades to reverse. CLF issued the following statement from Peter Shelley, Senior Counsel:
Six Northeast Kingdom residents and landowners joined conservation groups in filing a request with the Act 250 District Coordinator in St. Johnsbury seeking affirmation that Exxon cannot use an existing 63 year-old pipeline to ship corrosive tar sands oil through Vermont without Act 250 state land use approval. The filing seeks a jurisdiction opinion that reversing the flow of the Portland-Montreal Pipe Line and using it to transport tar sands – a tarry, viscous, substance mined in Alberta – would be a “substantial change in use” requiring a state land use (Act 250) permit. Unrefined tar sands is different than conventional crude oil and poses major environmental and economic risks: it is extremely carbon intensive, must be transported at high pressures and temperatures which threaten pipeline integrity, and is more difficult and expensive to clean up when it does spill.
Conservation Law Foundation (CLF), Clean Water Action and Toxics Action Center today notified Dominion Energy New England that they intend to file a federal Clean Air Act citizen suit against the company for significant and ongoing violations of the Clean Air Act at Brayton Point Station (CLF) in Somerset, Massachusetts. The 50 year old coal and oil-burning power plant, which recently spent $1.2 billion to upgrade its facility, is exceeding legal limits on polluting soot coming from its smoke stacks and is failing to adequately monitor those emissions, as well as emissions of other harmful pollutants, including nitrogen oxides, carbon dioxide and sulfur dioxide. The plant is also in violation of the plant’s Acid Rain Permit monitoring requirements.
In a first of its kind collaboration, a coalition of leading environmental organizations and offshore wind developers has agreed to a series of voluntary measures that will protect critically endangered North Atlantic right whales, while helping to expedite responsible offshore wind development, in the Mid-Atlantic.
On Wednesday, November 28, the U.S. First Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the U.S. District Court decision affirming the legality of Amendment 16 to the Northeast Groundfish Management Plan. In response, Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) issued the following statement from Peter Shelley, senior counsel:
Today the Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) released a white paper that, for the first time, documents the enormous environmental and economic consequences of aging, leaky natural gas pipes around Massachusetts. These leaking gases, known as “fugitive emissions,” amount to a significant source of greenhouse gases, pollution that hinders the state’s efforts to achieve the mandates of the Global Warming Solutions Act. Meanwhile, gas customers are saddled with paying for all of the gas that is lost into thin air, to the tune of tens of millions of dollars each year.
Sean Mahoney has been named executive vice president and director of programs for the Conservation Law Foundation (CLF), effective immediately. A resident of Falmouth, Maine, Mahoney joined CLF in 2007 as vice president and director of the Maine office of CLF. In the new position of executive vice president, Mahoney will assume management responsibilities for CLF’s advocacy throughout the New England region, with the goal of maximizing mission advancement while helping CLF achieve its membership and revenue goals.
The Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) today filed a lawsuit against the State of Maine challenging the law that continues to prevent alewives, a key forage and bait fish, from accessing their native habitat in the St. Croix River watershed. A prior suit by CLF against the Environmental Protection Agency resulted in EPA determining that the Maine law was not consistent with the Clean Water Act and that the state should restore alewives to the St. Croix River.
Conservation Law Foundation (CLF), Arise for Social Justice, Toxics Action Center (TAC) and over a dozen individual residents today filed a new lawsuit in Hampden County Superior Court seeking to overturn a state permit that would allow the Palmer Renewable Energy (PRE) biomass power plant to emit harmful air pollution. The lawsuit takes aim at the September 11, 2012 “Final Decision” from Massachusetts Department of Environmental (DEP) Protection Commissioner Ken Kimmell upholding a DEP air permit for PRE’s wood-burning power plant project in Springfield. The organizations, together with a group of local residents, long have opposed the plant because it will add air pollution to a community with childhood asthma rates already double the state average. Through today’s action, they are seeking to reverse PRE’s air permit and hold DEP accountable for protecting against harmful air pollution that disproportionately affects the Springfield area.
11 years after it was first proposed, Cape Wind is still not built and Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) wants the public to know why. In a new campaign called Cape Wind Now, launched today, CLF promises to shine a bright light on the connections between Bill Koch, his fossil fuel interests, and the Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound, the principal opponent to Cape Wind. The campaign website at www.capewindnow.org reveals the legacy of dirty energy leadership and dollars fueling the Alliance as it continues to pursue its obstructionist strategies with coal and oil baron Bill Koch at the helm.
Conservation Law Foundation (CLF), Arise for Social Justice and Toxics Action Center (TAC) today issued the following statements regarding the September 11, 2012 “Final Decision” from Massachusetts Department of Environmental (DEP) Protection Commissioner Ken Kimmell in the groups’ appeal of a DEP air permit for the Palmer Renewable Energy (PRE) biomass power plant project in Springfield. The organizations, who, together with a group of 16 local residents, have long opposed the plant for adding air pollution to a community with childhood asthma rates already double the state average, decried the decision and vowed to hold DEP accountable.
Over the past year, Vermonters have come together to cope and to rebuild after the devastation caused by the state’s worst natural disaster in more than 80 years. And although much of Vermont sustained damage from the storm, two organizations are now sharing the untold story of what went right: successful land use planning meant that some towns that could have experienced extreme flooding were largely spared.
Almost thirty years after it filed the first federal lawsuit leading to the cleanup of Boston Harbor, Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) announced today that it has reached an agreement with the Boston Water and Sewer Commission (BWSC) to significantly enhance control of polluted runoff from storm drains and elimination of illegal sewer connections that can cause raw sewage discharges into the city’s rivers, including the Charles, Mystic and Neponset, and the water at harbor beaches.
Boston, MA August 15, 2012 – In response to today’s Determination of No Hazard with respect to the Cape Wind Project issued by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the fourth such determination by the FAA after more than a decade of exhaustive review, Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) issued the following response by Sue Reid, Director of Conservation Law Foundation’s Massachusetts office:
In response to the First Circuit Court of Appeals’ ruling upholding the implementation of long-delayed limits on nitrogen and phosphorus pollution discharges from the Upper Blackstone Water Pollution Abatement District’s sewage treatment plant, the largest single discharge source of such pollutants to the Blackstone River and one of the largest sources of pollution to Narragannsett Bay, Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) issued the following statement:
The Green Communities Act Coalition (“GCA Coalition”) – a diverse group of business, labor, environmental, clean energy, low-income and other stakeholders who advocate for strong clean energy policies in Massachusetts – today praised the state’s legislative leaders and Governor Deval Patrick’s for passage and signing of important new energy legislation into law today.
In response to the announcement made today at the annual New England Governors’ Conference in which the New England States launched a first-in-the-nation program creating a regional market for clean renewable energy, Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) issued the following statement by John Kassel, CLF President:
Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) and consulting affiliate CLF Ventures have released a report that, for the first time, details the economic development potential for urban agriculture in Greater Boston, assesses its environmental and health co-benefits, and examines current market and policy barriers to expanded food production in Greater Boston. The report ‘s findings confirm that urban agriculture can play an important role in creating a more livable, carbon resilient, healthier, economically vibrant, and environmentally sustainable city—if we put smart policies in place and encourage the market for Boston grown produce.
In response to a letter issued today by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to Maine’s Attorney General that adopts the arguments made by Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) in a lawsuit aimed at restoring alewives, a key forage and bait fish, to the St. Croix River, CLF issued the following statement from Sean Mahoney, VP & Director, CLF ME.
Providing a rare view into the lush kelp forests up to 60 feet deep in New England’s ocean, a series of new photographs from renowned photojournalist Brian Skerry reveals the brilliantly colored seascape of Cashes Ledge, a jewel of the Gulf of Maine and one of the most productive biodiversity hotspots in the world. The dive was Skerry’s first expedition to Cashes Ledge and his first deep water dive for the New England Ocean Odyssey, a new campaign to build awareness of and appreciation for New England’s ocean. The New England Ocean Odyssey is a partnership between Skerry, an award-winning National Geographic photographer, and Conservation Law Foundation (CLF), a regional leader in ocean conservation.
A coalition of non-profit organizations, local business and a Seacoast municipality seeking immediate action to control pollution threatening the Great Bay estuary has formed under the name Rescue Great Bay. The new coalition will work together to advance and foster public support for meaningful and immediate regulatory actions and sound management of the Great Bay estuary, according to its mission statement.
In response to today’s ruling by the DC Circuit of the U.S. Court of Appeals affirming EPA’s legal authority to regulate emissions of greenhouse gases (GHG) under the Clean Air Act, Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) issued the following statement from N. Jonathan Peress, VP and director of CLF’s Clean Energy and Climate Change program.
Congressman Darrell Issa of California, and Congressman Frank Guinta of New Hampshire, hosted a hearing entitled “EPA Overreach and the Impact on New Hampshire Communities.” The hearing included testimony from EPA Region I Administrator Curt Spalding, and four witnesses speaking on behalf of a coalition of five Seacoast municipalities with sewage treatment plants – the so-called Municipal Coalition.
The Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) today filed a law suit against the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to restore alewives, a key forage and bait fish, to the St. Croix River. The suit alleges that the EPA failed to review changes to a Maine law that blocks passage to 98% of alewives’ natural, available habitat on the St. Croix as they are required to do under the Clean Water Act (CWA). The suit further alleges that as a result of this unsubstantiated obstruction, the Maine legislature has intentionally and effectively changed the fundamental water quality standards of the St. Croix River, and that the EPA failed to fulfill its legal obligations to review and reject that change.
BOSTON May 29, 2012 — Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) and Buzzards Bay Coalition have filed a joint litigation schedule with the federal government in the U.S. District Court following the May 4 status report indicating that negotiations between the plaintiffs and EPA to address nitrogen pollution on the Cape were unlikely to produce a settlement. In conjunction with today’s filing, the groups issued the following statement: “Despite a substantial effort on the part of all involved, the parties have been unable to reach a mutually acceptable agreement to clean up the wastewater pollution that is fouling Cape Cod’s bays and estuaries. We look forward to having the Court apply the protections of the Clean Water Act to expedite the clean-up of Cape Cod’s waters.”
Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) has filed a motion to intervene in the lawsuit recently brought by five municipalities – Dover, Portsmouth, Exeter, Newmarket and Rochester – against the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services regarding the issue of nitrogen pollution in the Great Bay estuary. The municipalities’ lawsuit challenges – on procedural grounds – a comprehensive analysis conducted by the Department of Environmental Services nearly three years ago.
“The final decision announced today by the Massachusetts DPU in the NU/STAR merger proceeding is a key step in bringing Massachusetts and the nation closer to a clean energy future,” said Sue Reid, vice president and director of Conservation Law Foundation’s Massachusetts’ office.“By adopting settlement agreements negotiated by the Patrick Administration and the AG’s office, the final decision will unleash the tremendous clean energy potential of Cape Wind and promote other clean energy advancements while putting merger-related savings directly back into the pockets of ratepayers. The decision ensures that one of the largest utilities in the nation will be a true partner in unleashing the potential of offshore wind while reducing energy waste and advancing small, local wind and solar projects. We welcome the DPU’s decision, which will benefit ratepayers and the environment in both the short and long-term.”
Ocean enthusiasts are invited to join Rhode Island’s foremost ocean experts and leading stakeholders at the Rhode Island premiere of Ocean Frontiers: The Dawn of a New Era in Ocean Stewardship, a new documentary from Karen Meyer of Green Fire Productions. The event, which is free and open to the public, will take place on Wednesday, April 4 from 6:30-9:00 PM at the Corless Auditorium, University of Rhode Island Graduate School of Oceanography, at the Narragansett Bay Campus. The evening will begin with a reception at 6:30 PM. A discussion with the filmmaker and a panel of ocean experts will follow the screening.
In response to the passage today of the National Endowment for the Oceans (NEO) in the RESTORE Act amendment to the Surface Transportation funding bill -- an amendment proposed by Senators Sheldon Whitehouse (RI) and Olympia Snowe (ME) – Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) issued the following statement from Tricia Jedele, VP and Director, CLF Rhode Island:
New Hampshire’s leading environmental organizations will host a series of free screenings of the award-winning documentary film, Seeking the Current, at locations throughout the state, beginning in March. For a complete listing, visit this site. Each screening will be followed by a panel discussion featuring the director Nicolas Boisclair and experts on energy and environmental issues. The feature-length documentary provides a serious, unsparing look at Canadian power giant Hydro-Québec and its development of large-scale hydroelectric power facilities.
“The settlement announced today in the NU NStar merger proceeding ensures that this powerful new utility will be in lockstep with Massachusetts’ nation-leading clean energy policies and propel the state forward instead of backwards in implementing them,” said Sue Reid, vice president and director of Conservation Law Foundation’s Massachusetts’ office.
Bringing a clear end to the prolonged decline of Salem Harbor Station, Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) and HealthLink have secured an enforceable commitment from plant owner Dominion to shut down all four units at the 60-year-old coal-fired power plant by 2014. The settlement provides a template for the rest of the country for hastening plant shutdowns as changing market conditions, public health concerns and cleaner energy alternatives push the nation’s fleet of old, polluting dinosaurs to the brink.
The Conservation Law Foundation (CLF), together with the WATERKEEPER Alliance, today launched the Great Bay-Piscataqua WATERKEEPER, a new program devoted to protecting the Great Bay estuary, one of New England’s most precious natural resources and a water resource facing mounting threats. The program, led by Peter Wellenberger, a 20 year veteran of the Great Bay Estuarine Research Reserve, is the state’s first WATERKEEPER.
Transportation for Massachusetts (T4MA) today issued the following statement in response to Massachusetts Transportation Secretary Davey’s recent remarks regarding the MBTA’s proposed service cuts and fare increases. Speaking on behalf of T4MA, Conservation Law Foundation staff attorney Rafael Mares said that Secretary Davey’s remarks were disappointing, if not surprising. “The MBTA has created a false choice between draconian service cuts and drastic fare increases. The reality is it’s a lose-lose situation for transit users and Massachusetts.”
In response to a report released today by an independent panel of experts who analyzed a slate of topics related to potential wind energy health impacts on behalf of the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH), Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) issued the following statement from Sue Reid, VP and director, CLF Massachusetts:
T4MA, a broad coalition of Massachusetts organizations working to promote a reliable, affordable, and environmentally sustainable transportation system for people across the Commonwealth, does not support the fare hike proposed today by the MBTA, saying that a stand-alone fare increase is the wrong solution to the T’s financial troubles.
In the wake of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court’s rulings today upholding the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities’ approval of a long-term power purchase agreement between the Cape Wind offshore wind project and electric utility National Grid, Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) issued the following statement from Sue Reid, VP and director, CLF Massachusetts.
Yesterday, advocates in the fight against Boston University’s proposed National Emerging Infectious Diseases Laboratories (NEIDL) in Roxbury/ South End filed joint comments with Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EOEEA) Secretary Richard Sullivan supporting his draft decision which, if adopted as final later this month, will deny BU’s request to begin high level research at the NEIDL before a full risk assessment is reviewed by EOEEA. These comments were filed jointly by local residents represented by the law firm Anderson & Kreiger, Conservation Law Foundation (CLF), and the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law of the Boston Bar Association (the Lawyers’ Committee).
BOSTON AND SPRINGFIELD, MA December 7, 2011 – Conservation Law Foundation (CLF), Arise for Social Justice (Arise), and Toxics Action Center (TAC) today issued the following joint statement in response to MA DEP Commissioner Kimmell’s decision to clear the path for petitioners to pursue the air permit appeal on the merits of the case regarding Palmer Renewable Energy’s proposed biomass-fueled Power Plant in Springfield, MA.
BOSTON, MA and FALMOUTH, MA December 6, 2011 – Conservation Law Foundation and Buzzards Bay Coalition (“the Plaintiffs”), with the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), jointly filed a status report today in U.S. District Court updating the Court on progress in the mediation discussions between the Plaintiffs and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) seeking to resolve two Cape Cod nitrogen pollution lawsuits. The status report proposes that another report be filed with the Court on January 20, 2012. If the parties’ request is approved by the Court, the parties will report on that date whether an agreement in principle has been reached, or whether the litigation will move forward.
PORTLAND, ME December 6, 2011—Conservation groups are charging that the deep cuts in, and ongoing reorganization of, personnel at the Maine Department of Environmental Protection have resulted in a clear case of bureaucratic malpractice. These groups and the State battled the owner of the Flagstaff Lake Hydropower Storage Project for 5 years to preserve Maine’s ability to have any say on the lake levels, water flows, recreational opportunities and other water quality issues, only to have the DEP recently and intentionally waive that right.
BOSTON, MA November 30, 2011 – Conservation Law Foundation, Arise for Social Justice, and Toxics Action Center today issued the following joint statement in response to the Massachusetts DEP’s recommended final decision on the air permit appeal for Palmer Renewable Energy’s proposed biomass-fueled Power Plant in Springfield, MA.
BOSTON, MA October 24, 2011—Deep in debt and facing mounting bills for overdue repairs and improvements to the state’s roads, bridges and transit systems, a report released today finds that the Massachusetts transportation system “is living largely on borrowed time and borrowed money” and squarely points the finger for the system’s financial woes at a longstanding reliance on borrowing that has left the state transportation system “maxed out.”
BOSTON, MA October 3, 2011 - Conservation Law Foundation issued the following statement and set of recommendations in connection with today’s U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation hearing on the first year of implementation of Amendment 16 to the Northeast Multispecies (Groundfish) Fishery Management Plan.
BOSTON, MA September 19, 2011 – Pressing forward with their effort to effect decisive action on the clean-up of Cape Cod’s severely polluted bays, Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) and Buzzards Bay Coalition (the Bay Coalition) today filed a federal Clean Water Act (CWA) lawsuit holding the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) accountable for failure to fulfill its obligation to oversee an Areawide Water Quality Management Plan (Areawide Plan) for Cape Cod that, if implemented, might have averted the Cape’s nitrogen pollution crisis, or addressed it earlier and at much lower cost. The lawsuit states that EPA’s failure to annually approve and require needed updates to the plan allowed nitrogen pollution to continue unabated, resulting in the serious degradation of water quality on Cape Cod. The lawsuit also states that EPA’s failure to abide by the planning process resulted in millions of taxpayer dollars being expended on projects in a manner that cannot be determined to be consistent with the Clean Water Act and that have failed to adequately address the nitrogen problem Cape-wide.
BOSTON, MA September 15, 2011 – On Wednesday, September 14, the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary proposed to establish an Ecological Research Area within the Sanctuary’s boundaries. Although the Sanctuary’s multi-stakeholder Advisory Council voted strongly in favor of the proposal, NOAA officials decided not to send the proposal on to the New England Fishery Management Council (NEFMC) for further review. Conservation Law Foundation today issued the following statement in response to the proposal and NOAA’s disappointing move.
BOSTON, MA – August 17, 2011 – A forthcoming economic analysis leaked this week indicates a proposed Clean Fuels Standard could significantly strengthen the economy and boost energy self-sufficiency in the Northeast and mid-Atlantic by saving Americans billions in personal disposable income, bringing in billions more for participating states, and creating up to 50,000 jobs per year.
BOSTON, MA August 4, 2011— As budget woes continue to strain the Commonwealth’s ability to maintain its aging transportation system and constrain its vision for the system’s future, more than twenty Bay State organizations have formed Transportation for Massachusetts (T4MA) to advocate for alternative financing and improved accountability in pursuit of a modern transportation system that works for Massachusetts.
CONCORD, NH July 21, 2011 – The Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) today filed a federal Clean Air Act citizen suit in New Hampshire federal district court against Public Service Company of New Hampshire (PSNH), the owner of Merrimack Station, an aging coal-fired power plant in Bow, for the plant’s repeated failures to obtain required air permits.
BOSTON, MA June 30, 2011 – In response to today’s announcement by the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office and the state Department of Environmental Protection that they have settled claims over violations of air quality at the Mt. Tom Power Plant in Holyoke, MA, Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) issued the following statement.
PORTLAND, ME June 20, 2011—Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) and members of the Environmental Priorities Coalition (EPC) today jointly hailed the work by the 125th Legislature in exercising restraint in the wake of a record number of proposed bills that sought to weaken Maine’s environmental regulations.
MONTPELIER, VT May 13, 2011 – Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) and Vermont Public Interest Research Group (VPIRG) today jointly filed a motion in the U.S. District Court to intervene on the side of Vermont in the lawsuit brought last month against the state by Entergy, owner of the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant.
BOSTON, MA May 12, 2011 – Yesterday, the Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) and Charles River Watershed Association (CRWA) received an Environmental Merit Award from the New England office of the U.S. EPA in recognition of their exceptional work on reducing discharge of heated water from the GenOn Kendall Cogeneration Plant (formerly known as Mirant Kendall) in Cambridge, MA.
CONCORD, NH April 28, 2011 – Today, Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) and more than a dozen partners filed a formal motion urging the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to postpone its environmental review of the Northern Pass Project until it has completed a comprehensive, regional analysis of the nature and extent of the northeastern United States’ need for imports of Canadian power.
PROVIDENCE, RI April 22, 2011 – In response to today’s ruling by the Rhode Island Supreme Court denying Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) the right to appeal the decision of the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) approving the long-term contract for the Deepwater Wind project in Block Island Sound, CLF issued the following statement from Jerry Elmer, staff attorney, CLF Rhode Island.
BOSTON, MA April 6, 2011 – In conjunction with a Massachusetts legislative hearing held today on nuclear power in New England, and with the Fukushima debacle still unfolding in Japan, Conservation Law Foundation president, John Kassel, prevailed upon state and federal leaders to answer this wake-up call and take appropriate measures to avoid a similar crisis in New England or anywhere in the United States.
PORTLAND, ME MARCH 22, 2011 – At a press conference today in advance of the first public hearing on the ZOOM bus bill, supporters, including three of the 26 sponsors of the bill and steering committee members of the Maine Alliance for Sustainable Transportation (MAST), detailed the many benefits of the bill, which seeks to expand the popular ZOOM commuter bus service to meet rapid growth in demand.
BOSTON, MA MARCH 16, 2011 – In response to the EPA’s announcement today proposing the first national standard for emissions of mercury and other toxic pollutants from coal-fired power plants, Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) issued the following statement from Jonathan Peress, director of Clean Energy and Climate Change.
BOSTON, MA MARCH 15, 2011 - In arguments made today before Federal Judge Rya W. Zobel on the federal lawsuit regarding the New England fisheries management system known as Amendment 16, Conservation Law Foundation senior counsel Peter Shelley defended the process in which the new rules were developed and agreed upon at the New England Fishery Management Council and re-affirmed CLF’s support for the Amendment.
BOSTON, MA March 10, 2011 - An important development today in the Northeast Utilities/NStar merger proceeding: the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities (MA DPU) announced that it will modernize the standard of review for utility mergers, including requiring that climate change impacts be taken into account.
BOSTON, MA February 16, 2011 – Under pressure from public health groups, environmental organizations, political leaders and community members, Dominion Energy of Virginia has taken another important step toward closing Salem Harbor Station, its 60-year-old, coal-fired power plant in Salem, Massachusetts.
CONCORD, NH February 10, 2011 – Conservation Law Foundation, with the Appalachian Mountain Club and Coos Community Benefits Alliance, has filed an objection with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) challenging DOE’s selection of a contractor to prepare the Environmental Impact Statement for Northern Pass Transmission, LLC’s proposed electric transmission project.
PORTLAND, ME February 9, 2011 – In response to a request filed by the Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) for documents related to Maine Governor Paul LePage’s Regulatory “Reform” Proposals, the LePage Administration has stated that it would not provide any documents generated during the transition period for the new Administration, but only those documents generated after the January 5 inauguration.
BOSTON, MA February 8, 2011 – Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) today announced that it intends to file a federal Clean Air Act citizen suit against Mt. Tom Generating Company, FirstLight Power Resources and GDF Suez North America, the owners of Mt. Tom Station, a 50-year-old coal-fired power plant in Holyoke, Massachusetts, for ongoing exceedances of air pollution limits and monitoring violations at the plant.
BOSTON, MA February 2, 2011 – Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) applauded today’s announcement by EPA Region 1 of a revised water quality permit for the GenOn Kendall Cogeneration Plant in Cambridge, MA (formerly known as Mirant Kendall) that will vastly reduce the discharge of heated water into the lower Charles River from the plant, allowing the river ecosystem to return to health and providing hope that the Charles will once again be swimmable and fishable.
MONTPELIER, VT January 24, 2010 – The Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) has issued the following statement in response to today’s decision by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to withdraw its approval of Vermont’s 2002 water quality plan for Lake Champlain. The decision comes almost two years after CLF first challenged EPA’s approval of the Plan in federal court.
PORTLAND, ME JANUARY 11, 2011– A program proposed by the Maine Alliance for Sustainable Transportation (MAST) will increase commuter transit options, reduce household expenditures on gasoline and diesel, increase employment opportunities and productivity and reduce government expenditures by expanding the routes of the highly-successful ZOOM Turnpike Express bus services along the Maine Turnpike corridor. The program would also establish a fund for the improved maintenance of Maine’s roadways.
BOSTON, MA December 22, 2010 – The Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) has issued the following statement in response to the motion filed today by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) stating that it will join CLF’s lawsuit against the Boston Water and Sewer Commission (BWSC) for violations of the Clean Water Act.
BOSTON, MA December 17, 2010 – In response to a protest filed by the Conservation Law Foundation (CLF), the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has ordered ISO New England (ISO-NE) to identify alternatives that would replace Salem Harbor Station’s dirty coal and oil-fired power and to do so without delay. In the order, issued yesterday, FERC gave ISO-NE 60 days to submit a plan for reliability alternatives and a timeline for implementing those solutions.
CONCORD, NH December 16, 2010 – The Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) intervened today in the Presidential Permit proceeding recently initiated by the U.S. Department of Energy, for the proposed Northern Pass electricity supply and transmission project. The proposed project – involving 180 miles of new transmission lines in New Hampshire – is intended to import 1,200 MW of electricity generated by Hydro-Quebec, in Canada.
BOSTON, MA December 14, 2010 – Sue Reid has been named vice president and director of the Massachusetts office of the Conservation Law Foundation (CLF), effective January 1, 2011. Reid joined CLF as a staff attorney in 2005, and for the past several years has been serving as director of CLF’s Massachusetts Clean Energy and Climate Change Initiative and as a senior attorney. The announcement was made today by John Kassel, president of CLF. Kassel also announced that current CLF Massachusetts Director Peter Shelley will assume the role of senior counsel for CLF, re-focusing his attention on marine conservation advocacy issues.
In an ongoing effort to protect the environment and the public from the hazards of dirty coal-fired power plants, Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) today filed a federal suit against Dominion Energy of New England for repeatedly exceeding smokestack emissions limits at its Salem Harbor Station facility in Salem, Massachusetts.
Two years after a trial in which he had ordered the Massachusetts Highway Department to take corrective measures to clean up streams polluted by stormwater runoff in three Massachusetts towns, the work has yet to be done and U.S. District Court Judge William G. Young has issued a stern warning to DOT.
The Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) hailed the multi-party settlement agreement released today that informally approves a modified version of Central Maine Power’s (CMP) proposed Maine Power Reliability Program (MPRP) as a progressive, yet pragmatic, plan that, if approved by the PUC, will put Maine at the forefront of next generation electricity transmission.
CLF Ventures, Peregrine Energy, New Hampshire Regional Planning Commissions and Clean Air-Cool Planet to Collaborate on Federally Funded Project to Help New Hampshire Municipalities Boost Energy Efficiency
CLF Ventures, a non-profit affiliate of Conservation Law Foundation, and Peregrine Energy Group, a leader in energy efficiency and renewable energy development, announced today that they have been selected by the New Hampshire Office of Energy and Planning (OEP) to jointly develop and implement an outreach and technical assistance program to increase energy efficiency in municipalities throughout the state.
In a continuing effort to bring the Salem Harbor Station coal-fired power plant into compliance with the federal Clean Air Act, Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) today announced that it intends to file a federal suit against Dominion Energy of New England for ongoing violations of smokestack emissions limits.
Today eleven Northeast and mid-Atlantic states took another step toward reducing the region’s dangerous dependence on oil and fostering the growth of clean fuel alternatives when their governors signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to develop a mandatory, multi-state Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS)
The Conservation Law Foundation (CLF), ENE (Environment Northeast), Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), PennFuture and the Northeast members of the Environment America Federation joined together today in voicing support for the leadership of eleven northeastern and mid-Atlantic states that are working to adopt a regional Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS).
Coalition Praises General Assembly for Approving Legislation to Use More Renewable Energy in Ocean State: Groups Urge General Assembly to Make Commitment to Renewable Energy This Year and Override Gov. Carcieri Veto
Massachusetts Leads the Nation by Passing First Ever Comprehensive Ocean Planning Bill Massachusetts Ocean Act will Help Managers Balance Commercial and Recreational Activities with Conservation Needs – Preserving the Marine Economy and Environment
Experts Say U.S. Coasts and Estuaries Contribute Billions to Economy, but Much is at Risk: New report from Restore America’s Estuaries and The Ocean Foundation Shows High Economic Value of Coasts and Estuaries at Jeopardy Without Restoration and Protection
Conference Committee Advances First in the Nation Comprehensive Ocean Planning Bill for State Waters Massachusetts Ocean Coalition Applauds Legislature's Leadership on Bill to Balance Commercial and Recreational Activities with Conservation
In celebration of Earth Day, Brown, Rudnick, Berlack, Israels LLP and Greenberg Traurig LLP today joined the Massachusetts Bar Association Lawyers Eco-Challenge, an initiative offered in collaboration with the Conservation Law Foundation that boasts more than 50 participants in law firms and organizations from Boston to the Berkshires.
Federal Court Overturns EPA Power Plant Mercury Rules Court rebukes Bush Administration rule letting utilities to avoid deep cuts in mercury pollution – saying plan completely violates the Clean Air Act