Ocean Leadership: Ocean Policy & Legislation - July 10, 2015

The House of Representatives pulled the Interior-EPA FY16 funding bill over a  controversial amendment that would have stripped a provision barring the Confederate flag from being displayed in cemeteries and sold in stores operated by the National Park Service. The bill, H.R. 2822, provides approximately $30.17 billion in discretionary budget authority for FY 2016, which is $246 million (0.8%) below FY 2015 levels and $2.038 billion below the President’s request. The bill provides $7.4 billion in funding for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), a cut of $750 million below the FY 2015 enacted level and $1.2 billion below the President’s request. For full story, click here.

By Timothy Cama – The Hill – July 14, 2015

House Republicans moved Tuesday to force the Obama administration to disclose certain documents related to the development of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) major water jurisdiction rule. The House Oversight Committee sent a subpoena on the rule to the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA), which is responsible for reviewing all major federal regulations before they are issued. Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) alleged in his subpoena that OIRA and its chief, Howard Shelanski, are illegally withholding from Congress documents that lawmakers have requested since a March hearing. For full story, click here.

By Devin Henry – The Hill – July 13, 2015

The Obama administration continues to be flooded with lawsuits over its new water regulations.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB) and other groups announced a lawsuit Monday against the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) "Waters of the United States" rule. They are the latest industry groups challenging the rule, which looks to define which water bodies the government has the ability to regulate. In a statement announcing their lawsuit, NFIB contended that the rule covers water bodies that go beyond what the EPA is legally allowed to regulate under the Clean Water Act. For full story, click here.

By Joe Palca – npr – June 30, 2015

A small company in California is hoping to make a big splash by providing detailed flood maps to homeowners and insurance companies. And to do that, the company is using one of the fastest supercomputers in the world. The company is called Katrisk, based in Berkeley, Calif. Hydrologist and computer modeler Dag Lohmann is one of the company's founders. He says the flood maps the Federal Emergency Management Agency already produces will tell you how prone a particular area is to flooding. But FEMA's maps don't tell you everything you might want to know about what might happen in a flood, Lohmann says. For full story, click here.

Contact: Soledad Calvino – U.S. Environmental Protection Agency – July 7, 2015

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Navajo Nation EPA announced a pair of settlements with the Navajo Tribal Utility Authority to bring its wastewater treatment facility in Window Rock into compliance both with the federal Clean Water Act and the Navajo Nation Clean Water Act. For full story, click here.