Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Week 6 Featured Journal Entries

This week's featured entries come from Kelsey Bevis, Sarah Martynowski, and Kacey Weaks.

Week 6 Journal Prompt

Administrative agencies such as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Forest Service, and the National Marine Fisheries Service ask for public comment before they finalize a policy action. Find a federally proposed rule, regulation, or notice on an environmental topic that interests you by searching the listings at http://www.regulations.gov/#!home;tab=search. Read about the proposed action and then offer your opinion by clicking on the “Comment now” button and following the instructions. Take a screen shot of your comment page and post it on your blog. If your comment is longer than the box visible on the screen, cute and paste the text of your comment below the screen shot. Below the screen shot, explain why you picked this issue.

Your comment should accurately reflect your opinions and should be intelligent, coherent, and thoughtful—not least because, as the website notes, “Any information (e.g., personal or contact) you provide on this comment form or in an attachment may be publicly disclosed and searchable on the Internet.” In other words, when your future employer searches the internet for information about you, s/he is unlikely to find a private blog but may find a public comment you offered on a federal action. Make sure that you can stand behind what you say. Cite class readings and other sources as necessary. Your comment should be 3–9 paragraphs.

Kelsey's Week 6 Journal Entry

According to the Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary website, “The goals and objectives set forth by the National Marine Sanctuaries Act (NMSA) direct Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary to take an ecosystem-based approach to management. The goal of the Ecosystem Protection program is to maintain and where necessary, restore, the natural biological and ecological processes in Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary by evaluating and addressing adverse impacts from human activities on sanctuary resources and qualities” (http://farallones.noaa.gov/eco/welcome.html). The proposed expansion of this preserved area is well within the stipulations of the description of the sanctuary’s purpose and therefore appears to have the potential to be quite beneficial.

The fact that Farrallones is on an important upwelling area is even more cause to preserve more of this marine area simply because the allowance of fishing in this area could lead to overfishing, which would in turn be detrimental to the natural upwelling events as well as the entire ecosystem. Additionally, as described in this document, this area shelters many endangered species, including whales, sharks, and salmon that could otherwise be put at even higher risk of extinction if they were to migrate outside of the confines of this sanctuary.
I strongly believe that the proposition of the expansion of the Cordell Bank and Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary is an excellent one because of the variety of positive environmental impacts it could bring to this area. Protecting more environment than is currently being done, giving endangered animals a place to be safe and replenish their diminished populations, and preserving a vital natural upwelling site that can continue to prove a benefit to this oceanic ecosystem are just a few of the reasons why this proposed expansion is just.

The reason I chose to comment on this was because marine ecosystems are very fascinating and important to me, and are even something that I would love to base my career on sometime in the future. I think that this action is very environmentally-minded and wanted to share my input on the proposition.

Sarah's Week 6 Journal Entry

(The first part of the comment is shown in the screenshot. The part cut off is pasted below.)

Unfortunately, the study does not talk much about the potential impacts that will result to the food supply, water supply, etc. in Canada and Panama. It would be interesting to learn more about what these impacts might be. For example, the article mentioned that that proposed regulations and facilities do not always translate into the final implementations. Thus, it raises questions of what would happen when there are problems at the facility. For example, what happens if there is a flood at one of the growth facilities and the containment vessels fail, what will be the impact? Another question that arises is whether there is any danger of environmental impacts occurring during the transfer between Canada and Panama? If they were being sent by semi-truck across the continental US and an accident happened, is there a potential for negative outcomes?

Although several of these potential scenarios are not very likely to happen, I feel that it is important to consider them. It is much harder to remove an invasive species from a water supply afterwards than it is to create stricter regulations beforehand. The ability to enhance the supply of seafood to the United States seems like a great opportunity, but it must be checked with a thorough and independent review of all factors associated with the situation. This posting is a very thorough beginning, but there are still a few questions that appear to be unanswered.

I chose to comment on the article pertaining to genetically engineered salmon because the piece caught my eye. I am a big seafood person, and salmon is my favorite.Therefore, naturally the article caught my eye.

Upon reading the original document, I found a lack of information on the environmental impact the salmon would have not only to an ecosystem, but also to human health and to the economy. In my comment I addressed these concerns.

Kacey's Week 6 Journal Entry

I agree with Oregon's proposal and the EPA's subsequent revisions that they propose to Oregon's State Implementation Plan. Air quality is a huge priority that not many people pay attention to and what the state is doing in regards to removing uncertified wood stoves and solid fuel heating devices (when homeowners sell) will only further and help air quality control.

Broadening the rule to be statewide will create a larger area that reduces smoke and potential hazards that can come from the burning in the wood stove. One of the revisions to be made by the state is to add limitations to what can be burnt. This can also bring more quality to the air.

The changes that they are proposing to be made are in line with the CAA, which is one of the best environmental laws that the country has had. The sweeping legislation has called for limitations on emissions and to achieve quality air and ozone protections. Approval of the Heat Smart program is essential and may encourage other states to act under the same intent.

I chose air pollution because it is what I am most familiar with, environmentally. After learning a little about the Clean Air Act (from one of the cases) and how it was actually productive legislation, it made me a little more interested, and also hopeful, of environmental policy changes that would follow through and not be flops.