Washington D.C. passes historic bill mandating 100 percent renewable power by 2032

On Tuesday, city lawmakers in Washington D.C. voted unanimously to pass the Clean Energy D.C. Omnibus Act of 2018 requiring 100 percent renewable electricity in the city by 2032. The new legislation doubles Washington’s current mandate to get half of its energy from zero-emission sources like wind and solar by the same date and applies to federal government buildings including the White House. The legislation is expected to become law and will increase the fees on electricity from coal and gas as well as establish a task force to set aggressive energy-efficiency standards for existing buildings. The legislation also requires all public transportation and privately owned fleet vehicles with more than 50 passengers, including services like Uber and Lyft, to emit zero carbon dioxide by 2045, which aligns with California’s new auto emissions target.

 

Georgia Biologist Honored for longleaf pine preservation

Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ senior biologist Nathan Klaus has been named The Longleaf Alliance’s Bill Boyer Natural Resource Professional of the Year. The award honors efforts to conserve longleaf pine ecosystems. Klaus earned the award after helping to restore 12,000 acres of longleaf in and around Sprewell Bluff Wildlife Management Area in Upson County, promoting prescribed fire, and studying topics such as the mixes of site-prep herbicides that best preserve forest-floor vegetation vital to longleaf habitats. Klaus has spent most of his 19-year career working in the field for the Department of Natural Resources and says that his next goal is to see red-cockaded woodpeckers, endangered birds last documented in the Pine Mountain area over 30 years ago, return to fly among the longleaf. “It’s a tight window to achieve this in my time left,” Klaus said, but he’s hopeful.

 

The Virginia Air Pollution Control Board delays vote for Dominion Pipeline air permit

On Wednesday, the Virginia Air Pollution Control Board delayed their vote on the controversial Minor New Source Review Permit for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline Compressor Station in Virginia’s Buckingham County. If built, the 54,000 horsepower compressor station, which would be situated within a 120 yards of the homes of the rural, low-income, and historically African-American community of Union Hill, would run 24 hours a day while emitting sounds comparable to a jet engine. Similar facilities have also been found to pollute the air with nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide, volatile organic compounds and particulate matter linked to respiratory and cardiovascular ailments and cancer. The board has not yet set a new public comment period but a vote by the board will come after the comment period expires.