Arkansas Environment

Mayflower Oil Spill
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Federal regulators are assessing a $2.6 million civil penalty against ExxonMobil Pipeline Co. for a 2013 oil spill in Arkansas.

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Arkansas Business

A federal judge is being asked to issue a summary judgment in a lawsuit by an environmental group wanting Arkansas and federal officials to finalize plans for implementation of the so-called regional haze rule. It would limit pollution in national parks and wildlife areas largely created by coal-fired power plants.

Glen Hooks, executive director of the Arkansas chapter of the Sierra Club says officials have so far failed to adequately respond.

New Hog Farms Near Buffalo River Banned For Five Years

Aug 30, 2015

The Arkansas Pollution Control and Ecology Commission in Little Rock  on Friday barred any new permits for big swine factory farms on the Buffalo National River Watershed over the next five years.

The new rule prohibits Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality from issuing new permits to operations confining more than 750 swine weighing over 55 pounds, or 3,000 swine weighing less than 55 pounds.

For now the only permitted operation is C&H Hog Farms near Mt. Judy in Newton County situated on Big Creek, a tributary to the Buffalo River—which counts 6500 swine.

ADEQ Clean Power Plan ADEQ Director Becky Keogh and APSC Chairman Ted Thomas
Chris Hickey / KUAR News

The Arkansas Public Service Commission and Department of Environmental Quality say they’re working on a plan to abide by a final federal rule on reducing carbon emissions at the state’s power plants. They say its “less stringent” than a previously proposed rule.

A company is considering alternate routes for a proposed $2 billion transmission line that would carry wind-generated electricity from Oklahoma to Tennessee following concerns by property owners and state officials.

The Muskogee Phoenix reports that several landowners had objected to the use of eminent domain to secure access and easements for the project.

Attorneys argued over state and federal powers for more than four hours Friday on an effort by 13 states to block a new rule that gives federal authorities jurisdiction over some state waters.

The states, led by North Dakota, argue that the rules from the EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers illegally expand those agencies' powers under the federal Clean Water Act.

The law goes into effect next week. The states want the judge to order an injunction to suspend the new rules, which they say are causing confusion and anxiety.

Mayflower Oil Spill
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A settlement between the federal government, the state of Arkansas and ExxonMobil is now final over a lawsuit the governments had filed against the pipeline company over environmental violations arising from the 2013 Mayflower oil spill. U.S. District Judge Kristine Baker approved the agreement Wednesday.

13 states led by North Dakota are asking a federal judge in Bismarck to block a new rule that gives federal authorities jurisdiction over some state waters.

North Dakota Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem says he will request a preliminary injunction Monday.

The states filed a lawsuit in June challenging the rule by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Army Corps of Engineers. The states say the new rule illegally expands the jurisdiction of those agencies under the federal Clean Water Act.

The law goes into effect Aug. 28.

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Arkansas Business

Entergy Arkansas Inc. on Friday proposed what it called “a more reasonable, long-term, multi-unit approach to address Arkansas’ regional haze” in response to the federal Environment Protection Agency’s rejection of the state’s earlier plan to improve visibility in wilderness areas.

The proposal comes only days after the EPA on Monday released its final rules on President Obama’s far-reaching and controversial “Clean Power Plan,” putting the nation on track to cut carbon pollution from the power sector 32% below 2005 levels by 2030.

Power Lines
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A day after President Obama unveiled the centerpiece of his climate change proposal, representatives from Entergy Arkansas Inc. and Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corp. (AECC) are taking a wait-and-see approach before responding publicly to how they will deal with the historic environmental mandate.

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