Monday, June 8, 2009

Alliance For The Great Lakes Head Will Be Obama's Great Lakes Chief

Jun 3: Cameron Davis, president and CEO of the Alliance for the Great Lakes (Alliance), has been tapped by the Obama administration to serve as special advisor to the U.S. EPA overseeing its Great Lakes restoration plan. Jack Bails, Alliance board chairman said, “Cameron Davis’s work at the Alliance for the Great Lakes during the last 23 years has helped put the Great Lakes on the national radar -- not only with the new administration and Congress, but with states, cities and countless citizens." The Alliance notes that during Davis's 11 years as chief executive, Davis led the organization to receive the American Bar Association’s Distinguished Achievement Award for Environmental Law & Policy, the first time a not-for-profit citizens organization has won the honor.

Joel Brammeier, the Alliance’s vice president for policy and a staff member at the organization for eight years, will be appointed interim Alliance president and CEO upon Davis’s scheduled June 30 departure. An executive transition team has been appointed to assist Brammeier and help lead the organization through a search for Davis’s successor.

Davis was also the former co-chair of the Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition (HOW). HOW campaign manager Jeff Skelding said, “We congratulate Davis in his new post, and applaud the Obama Administration for filling this important position. Davis understands the serious threats facing the Great Lakes and has worked tirelessly during his career to advance solutions that protect the Lakes, safeguard public health and create jobs." HOW indicated that Davis will be responsible for advising the EPA and ensuring and overseeing Great Lakes restoration. During the campaign for President, Obama pledged to provide $5 billion for Great Lakes restoration and a Czar to oversee and coordinate the program. Since becoming President, Obama has set aside $475 million for a Great Lakes Restoration Initiative in his FY 2010 budget and made restoration a priority.

Access a release with further details from the Alliance (
click here). Access a release from the HOW coalition (click here).

BP Products Cited For CAA Violations

Jun 2: U.S. EPA Region 5 cited BP Products North America Inc. for alleged Clean Air Act (CAA) violations at the company's petroleum refinery at 2815 Indianapolis Blvd., Whiting, IN. According to a release, EPA alleges that for calendar years 2003 through 2008 BP failed to manage and treat benzene waste from the facility as required by the national emission standards for hazardous air pollutants. The facility's 2008 report showed that benzene waste was almost 16 times the amount allowed.

EPA said these are preliminary findings of violations. To resolve them, EPA may issue a compliance order, assess an administrative penalty or bring suit against the company in Federal court. BP has 30 days from receipt of the notice to meet with EPA to discuss resolving the allegations. EPA indicated that benzene is known to cause cancer in humans. Acute health effects from benzene exposure can include dizziness and lightheadedness; eye, nose and throat irritation; upset stomach and vomiting; irregular heartbeat; convulsions and death. Ecological effects include death in exposed animal, bird and fish populations and death or reduced growth rate in plant life.

Access a release from EPA and link to additional information as it becomes available (
click here).