Arizona House Committee Passes Measure to Effectively Nullify EPA Rules

Today, an Arizona state House Committee approved a measure that would require the state to block unilateral EPA agency rules over “nonnavigable intrastate waters or waterways,” an action that would make them nearly impossible to enforce.

Introduced by Rep. Brenda Barton (R-Payson), House Concurrent Resolution 2037 (HCR2037) directly challenges and would effectively nullify in practice new rules over in-state waters issued unilaterally in 2014 by the EPA. Citing new authority in the state constitution passed by voters under Prop 122 last fall, the legislation would withdraw critical state enforcement and material support for enforcing such rules. It passed the House Rules committee today by a vote of 5-2.

If approved by the legislature, HCR2037 would bypass the Governor’s desk and go to a vote of the People. It reads, in part:

Section 1. A. To preserve the checks and balances of the constitution of the united states, this state hereby exercises its sovereign authority:

1. To prohibit any federal agency or official from enforcing any federal regulation that purports to regulate nonnavigable, intrastate waters or waterways within the boundaries of this state unless that regulation is clearly and manifestly authorized by an act of congress.

2. To prohibit this state, its agencies and all of its political subdivisions from using any personnel or resources to enforce, administer or cooperate with any federal action or program that purports to regulate nonnavigable, intrastate waters or waterways unless a showing is first made in the courts of this state without deference to any administrative determination and based on clear and convincing evidence that such regulation is absolutely necessary to the exercise of powers expressly delegated to the federal government by the constitution of the united states.

The issue at hand is that the EPA and the United States Army Corps of Engineers lack the authority to enforce proposed rules published in the Federal Register titled “Definition of ‘Waters of the United States’ under the Clean Water Act (CWA).

According to the Federal Register, the proposal would involve the following:

The agencies propose to define ‘‘waters of the United States’’ in section (a) of the proposed rule for all sections of the CWA to mean: Traditional navigable waters; interstate waters, including interstate wetlands; the territorial seas; impoundments of traditional navigable waters, interstate waters, including interstate wetlands, the territorial seas, and tributaries, as defined, of such waters; tributaries, as defined, of traditional navigable waters, interstate waters,1 or the territorial seas; and adjacent waters, including adjacent wetlands. Waters in these categories would be jurisdictional ‘‘waters of the United States’’ by rule—no additional analysis would be required.

While interstate waters appear to be a target of the proposed rule, another section was written so broadly that virtually all waters will be under its reach:

In addition, the agencies propose that “other waters” (those not fitting in any of the above categories) could be determined to be “waters of the United States” through a case-specific showing that, either alone or in combination with similarly situated “other waters” in the region, they have a “significant nexus” to a traditional navigable water, interstate water, or the territorial seas. The proposed rule also offers a definition of significant nexus and explains how similarly situated “other waters” in the region should be identified.

Should the legislature and People of Arizona pass HCR2037, any attempt by the EPA to establish authority over nonnavigable intrastate waters will be met with resistance and an effort to block such moves.

In addition, passage would ensure that the state doesn’t use any resources to assist the federal government in such activities. As approved by Arizona voters in Nov. 2014, Prop 122 is now part of the state constitution creating a mechanism to withdraw all state support for federal programs outside the scope of the constitution….

By Michael Boldin – Tenth Amendment Center –

Scientists’ Rebuttal to Polar Melting Hype, Global Warming

The Associated Press and Seth Borenstein are at it again. The article by Seth Borenstein and Luis Andres Henao titled ‘Glacial Melting In Antarctica Makes Continent The ‘Ground Zero Of Global Climate Change’ was published on February 27, 2014.

The AP left out contrary peer-reviewed studies, inconvenient data and trends that counter the articles ‘worse than we thought’ narrative. The AP paints an erroneous picture of potential sea level rise, volcanic causes of any melting and the current state of Antarctica and the geologic history of the continent.

Why did the AP not include any ice specialists with differing views? See: Prominent Scientist Dissents: Renowned glaciologist declares global warming is ‘going to be a big plus’Fears ‘Frightening’ Cooling – Warns scientists are ‘prostituting their science’ – Dr. Hughes is an internationally renowned glaciologist who pioneered many of the modern ideas currently under study in the field.’ Dr. Hughes has travelled to the Arctic ten times and the Antarctic thirteen times since 1968, mostly as the principal investigator of NSF-funded glaciological research….

Borenstein has a long history of promoting global warming fears at the expense of journalistic ethics. See: ‘Long sad history of AP reporter Seth Borenstein’s woeful global warming reporting’.

Climate Depot Analysis:

First off, no mention of all=time record sea ice (not land based ice sheets) expansion in Antarctica. See: Feds: ‘January had largest Antarctic sea ice extent on record’ – NCDC: ‘Antarctic sea ice during January was 890,000 square miles (44.6 percent) above the 1981–2010 average. This was the largest January Antarctic sea ice extent on record, surpassing the previous record set in 2008 by 220,000 square miles.’ & National Snow & Ice Data Center (NSIDC): Past 3 years in a row set ice record! ‘Sea ice in Antarctica has remained at satellite-era record high daily levels for most of 2014′.

And yes, AP’s Seth Borenstein has previously tried to claim that more Antarctic sea ice is caused by global warming. See: AP’s Seth Borenstein at it again! Claims ‘global warming means more Antarctic ice’ — Meet the new consensus, the opposite of the old consensus….

AP claim: Rignot, of NASA: “We have to stop it; or we have to slow it down as best as we can.”

Climate Depot Response: ‘We have to stop’ ice from melting? How? Through EPA regulations? UN Treaties? What about multiple peer-reviewed research countering claims that the West Antarctic melt is due to human activity? See: New Study finds West Antarctic Ice Sheet outlet glacier being melted by magma – not co2 global warming after all – Published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

New paper finds West Antarctic glacier likely melting from geothermal heat below from volcanoes – Published in Earth and Planetary Science Letters

Study: ‘Earthquakes suggest magma still churns beneath a previously unknown subglacial volcano in West Antarctica’s Executive Committee Range’

West Antarctic Ice Sheet Melting From Geothermal Heat, Not Global Warming

Studies indicate collapse of West Antarctic ice sheet is typical of interglacials: ‘Thus, the complete collapse and disappearance of the entire West Antarctic ice sheet is typical of interglacials, there is no evidence that man has anything to do with the cause, nor that man can stop this phenomenon by forsaking use of fossil fuels.’

What about the rest of Antarctica? New Study Finds ‘Surprisingly Thick Antarctic Sea Ice’ was published in journal Nature Geoscience.

The AP left out contrary peer-reviewed studies, data and trends that counter the articles claims and serious doubts by even warmist researchers about attributing any potential melting in West Antarctica to human causes. See: AGW link ‘is pretty tenuous’: Researcher ‘has a problem’ with attributing West Antarctic Ice Sheet ‘collapse’ to human activity – “I have a problem with the widespread implication (in the popular press) that the West Antarctic collapse can be attributed to anthropogenic climate change,” said Mike Wolovik, a graduate researcher at Lamont-Doherty who studies ice sheet dynamics. “The marine ice sheet instability is an inherent part of ice sheet dynamics that doesn’t require any human forcing to operate. When the papers say that collapse is underway, and likely to last for several hundred years, that’s a reasonable and plausible conclusion.”

By Marc Morano – Climate Depot –

Fishermen ‘shocked’ at silence: wrecked Fukushima plant leak

Fishermen in Fukushima Prefecture slammed Tokyo Electric Power Co. on Wednesday after it emerged that water containing cesium and other radioactive isotopes has been draining into the Pacific near the Fukushima No. 1 plant and that Tepco did nothing to prevent it despite learning of the leak last May.

“I don’t understand why (Tepco) kept silent even though they knew about it. Fishery operators are absolutely shocked,” Masakazu Yabuki, chief of the Iwaki fisheries cooperative, said at a meeting with Tepco officials.

Local fishermen have already given Tepco approval to dump groundwater into the ocean before it becomes tainted, to reduce the volume of water stored in tanks at the site. The operator is now doing this, pumping water from wells, monitoring it and piping it into the ocean.

The latest incident threatens to delay a second round of approval that Tepco wants the fishermen to provide.

The utility admitted Tuesday it failed to disclose leaks….

By Jiji Kyodo – Japan Times –

Fresh nuclear leak detected at Fukushima plant

Sensors at the Fukushima nuclear plant have detected a fresh leak of highly radioactive water to the sea, the plant’s operator announced Sunday, highlighting difficulties in decommissioning the crippled plant.

Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO) said the sensors, which were rigged to a gutter that pours rain and ground water at the Fukushima Daiichi plant to a nearby bay, detected contamination levels up to 70 times greater than the already-high radioactive status seen at the plant campus.

TEPCO said its emergency inspections of tanks storing nuclear waste water did not find any additional abnormalities, but the firm said it shut the gutter to prevent radioactive water from going into the Pacific Ocean.

The higher-than-normal levels of contamination were detected at around 10 am (0100 GMT), with sensors showing radiation levels 50 to 70 times greater than usual, TEPCO said.

….Adding to TEPCO’s headaches has been the persistent flow of groundwater from nearby mountains travelling under the contaminated plant before washing to the Pacific Ocean.

The International Atomic Energy Agency recently said TEPCO has made “significant progress” in cleaning up the plant, but suggested that Japan should consider ways to discharge treated waste water into the sea as a relatively safer way to deal with the radioactive water crisis.

From Yahoo News –

Judge overturns Mora County’s anti-fracking ordinance

A federal judge has overturned a New Mexico county’s ban on oil and natural gas drilling that was the first of its kind when it was enacted nearly two years ago.

In a sprawling, nearly 200-page decision that touched on several constitutional elements, U.S. District Judge James O. Browning ruled that the ordinance clashes with federal law.

“Historically, a county cannot enact or supersede federal law,” Browning wrote. “The ordinance thus goes beyond Mora County’s historical lawmaking just to deprive a corporation of their rights.”

The ordinance, enacted in April 2013, cited environmental concerns and put the county’s decision-making rights ahead of business interests, and federal and state permits. It was believed at the time to have been the first time a county had banned hydraulic fracturing amid debates over the practice nationwide in communities that have experienced oil and gas booms.

….Mora County is far from the energy hotspots in southeastern and northwestern New Mexico, and there are no active oil or gas wells within the county. But county officials took the step out of fear that their scarce water supply could become further threatened by pollution from hydraulic fracturing, which extracts oil and gas from rock by injecting high-pressure mixtures of water, sand or gravel, and chemicals.

By Associated Press – Albuquerque Journal –

Does your right to biological privacy end when you flush? Police want to test your waste without warrant

In a naked attempt to shred the Constitution’s privacy and due process provisions, drug warriors are pursuing a new avenue of prosecution: Testing your sewage waste to see if you’ve been naughty or nice when it comes to using a drug Uncle Sam has deemed illegal.

What’s worse, there are actually some who are serving as cheerleaders for all of this.

According to a news release from the American Chemical Society:

“The war on drugs could get a boost with a new method that analyzes sewage to track levels of illicit drug use in local communities in real time. The new study, a first-of-its-kind in the U.S., was published in the ACS journal Environmental Science & Technology and could help law enforcement identify new drug hot spots and monitor whether anti-drug measures are working.” [emphasis added]

Study authors Kurunthachalam Kannan and Bikram Subedi said that, today, most techniques used to estimate drug use in the country are based on surveys, criminal statistics and drug seizures by law enforcement agencies. However, they say that a lot of illicit drug use is occurring that otherwise is not being measured.

So, to compensate for that dearth of statistical evidence, the study authors advocate testing wastewater — sewage — for evidence of drug use in certain population areas.

Can police simply test your waste without a warrant?

“Like a lot of other compounds from pharmaceuticals and personal care products to pesticides, illegal drugs and their metabolic byproducts also persist in sewage,” the ACS news release said. “In Europe, a number of studies have been done to see how well wastewater treatment plants are removing illicit drugs from sludge before treated water is released into the environment. But until now, no study in the U.S. had looked at this, likely leading to underestimates of abuse.”

To gather data for their study — which was funded in part by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention — Kannan and Subedi examined illegal drug levels at two wastewater treatment plants in Albany, New York. The scientists reported finding cocaine in 93 percent of all untreated samples.

….but there are larger issues here as well — constitutional issues. Will police or federal agencies be required to obtain a search warrant before testing sewage? Or will this monitoring be permitted in the name of public safety?

Does a person have a right to biological privacy, and if so, does that right to biological privacy exist only in the moments before you flush your toilet?

By J. D. Heyes – Natural News –