Arkansas Environment

Little Rock-based Southwest Power Pool is one of the regional transmission organizations participating in the U.S. Department of Energy’s ongoing Grid Modernization Initiative that’s central to the Obama Administration’s initiative to improve the resiliency, reliability and security of the nation’s electricity delivery system.

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

State regulators on Tuesday hosted the fifth and final “stakeholder” meeting in Little Rock before a draft plan and comments are submitted to federal environmental officials on Jan. 21 to move Arkansas closer to complying with President Obama’s sweeping Clean Power Plan.

Arkansas is asking the federal government to designate Crittenden County as meeting federal ozone standards, a move officials say will help boost economic development in the region.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson on Tuesday asked the EPA to redesignate the county as in attainment of federal ozone standards. In the letter, Hutchinson said that the county has met federal ozone standards according to monitoring data between 2012 and 2014.

A stakeholder conference call held by the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality Wednesday indicates that consensus is building around a mass-based compliance with the federal Clean Power Plan. The Environmental Protection Agency rule calls for Arkansas to reduce power plant carbon emissions 36 percent by the year 2030. The nationwide target is a 32 percent reduction.

 

Pipe manufactured in advance of a Keystone XL decision sits idle outside of an east Little Rock plant.
Jacob Kauffman / KUAR

President Barack Obama on Friday (Nov. 6) rejected the Keystone XL pipeline proposal after a lengthy State Department review of the controversial project. The move ignited a barrage of criticism from Arkansas’ Congressional delegation and the oil and gas industry.

“Shipping dirtier crude oil into our country would not increase America’s energy security,” Obama said in a press conference with Vice President Joe Biden and Secretary of State John Kerry at this side.

Power Lines
commons.wikimedia.org

The U.S. Department of Energy released its final environmental impact statement for the proposed Plains and Eastern Clean Line transmission project, a controversial $2 billion electric transmission line that proposes to deliver up to 3,500 megawatts of wind power from the Oklahoma Panhandle region to communities in Arkansas, Tennessee and other states.

http://www.arkfireinfo.org/

 After several days of rain in Arkansas, all county-wide burn bans have been lifted. Little River County, in the southwest corner of the state, and Crittenden County in the northeast were the last of Arkansas's counties to lift their burn bans, according to the Arkansas Forestry Commission's social media posts.

 

white bluff entergy power plant coal energy
Arkansas Business

Less than a full business day after the final rules for President Obama’s Clean Power Plan were published on Friday in the Federal Register, legal challenges from industry groups to halt the new greenhouse gas rules are already piling up at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia.

The National Weather Service says the danger of wildfire is high across Arkansas and a fire weather watch is in effect.

The Arkansas Forestry Commission has also declared a high to extreme fire danger in all of Arkansas.

A burn ban is in effect for all but far northern Arkansas and the weather service says outdoor burning is not recommended

The weather service says warm temperatures, southerly winds and low humidity mean fires can start easily and spread quickly.

Arkansas Drought Map for October 15th, 2015
droughtmonitor.unl.edu

Nearly half of Arkansas is in severe drought, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor. The drought is most concentrated in the southern part of the state. Consequently, 51 of the 75 counties in Arkansas have instituted burn bans. Chris Buonanno, a science and operations officer with the National Weather Service in North Little Rock said the worst conditions are concentrated near the state's border with Louisiana.

 

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