Alabama Legislature 2018: Monday Morning Digest

Alabama Legislature 2018: Monday Morning Digest

A few bills moved out of the House and into the Senate and vice versa this past week (see the table below for updates). The major bill to watch that was introduced and gained momentum last week is HB362 (the state government also offered an amendment). This bill proposes a constitutional amendment that would require the Forever Wild Land Trust to pay counties for any lost property taxes on lands purchased through the program. HB362 starts the clock on the end of future Forever Wild purchases. With each additional acquisition, more taxes are owed, and less funding is available to purchase additional lands for public hunting, fishing and recreation. Our friends at Conservation Alabama wrote a great summary of how HB362 could hurt the Forever Wild Land Trust.

Here are the new bills affecting the environment, energy and public transportation (also in the table below):

  • SB289 was introduced by Cam Ward (R- Bibb County, Chilton County, Hale County, Jefferson County, Shelby County) and increases the distance one may operate machinery within proximity to utility lines.

Hearings this week are as follows:

  • SB122: February 14th at 1:30 PM
Bill No.SponsorSummaryCommitteeStatus
HB5Hanes (R)

Whorton

Amending Ala. Code 40-8-140: provide income tax refund check off to state parks, Dep’t of Mental Health and MedicaidWays & Means General Fund 
HB40South (R)Amend Ala. Code 32-9-20: extends length restrictions and allows greater weight restrictions for trucks using natural gasTransportation, Utilities and Infrastructure·        2/8/2018: moves to the Senate referred to committee (Transportation and Energy)

·        /8/2018: passes in House

HB53Johnson ®Repeal Ala. Code  22-30B-19: Abolish the Alabama Legacy for Environmental Research Trust Fund

COMPANION BILL SB 122

Ways & Means General Fund·        2/8/18: moves to Senate and referred to committee (Finance and Taxation General Fund)

·        2/6/18: passes in House

HB58Drake (R)Amend Ala. Code § 9-14-8: Create Park for Patriots Act of 2018. Adds in active, Alabama residentMilitary & Veterans Affairs·        1/25: read for the second time and placed on the calendar

·        1/16: moves to the Senate, referred to committee (Veterans and Military Affairs)

·        1/16: passes in House

HB78Johnson ®Propose local amendment for Coosa County to additional payments from the Alabama

Trust Fund to the Forever Wild Land Trust to reimburse Coosa County for lost ad valorem tax

payments as a result of the acquisition of property

by the Forever Wild Land Trust.

Local Legislation·        1/25: third reading, carried over to Call of the Chair (voice vote adopted)
HB113Johnson (R)Amend Ala. Code 22-25C-1 and 22-25C-2: requires bond paid to be used for clean up of facility and repeals provisions for fees

COMPANION BILL SB48

Transportation, Utilities and Infrastructure 
HB217Morrow (D)Amend Ala. Code 22-22A-6, to change the qualifications of that the Environmental Management Commission of the Alabama Department of Environmental Management so that a geologist may serve as a member of the commission.Boards, Agencies and Commissions 
HB224South (R)Notification to State Health Officer required when changes made to fluoride levels

COMPANTION BILL SB180

Health·        2/8: moves to Senate and referred to committee (Health & Human Services)

·        2/8: passes House

HB362Tuggle ®This bill proposes a constitutional amendment that would require the Forever Wild Land Trust to annually reimburse the amount of ad valorem tax revenue lost as a result of property previously subject to ad valorem tax being acquired by the Forever Wild Land Trust, which monies shall be paid to the county tax official in each county where the property has been acquired and distributed as other ad valorem tax proceeds unless the county opts out. The amount of reimbursement would be the amount as if the property was taxed at current use value of the property as forest property with good productivity. The bill would also provide that if funding for the Forever Wild Land Trust is not continued after September 30, 2032, the Forever Wild Land Stewardship Account would receive up to $1,000,000 from the Alabama Trust Fund annually.State Government·        2/8: pending 3rd reading, state government introduced amendment
HB370Davis(R)®s bill would further provide for permits for shoreline restoration, including the use of living shoreline techniques, by riparian property owners in coastal areas. The bill would authorize riparian property owners to sever and use materials in their riparian rights use area and for the purposes of shoreline restoration without fee or charge by the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources or the Department of Environmental Management when the source sediment is used for the construction of living shorelines in front of a property owner’s r’parian property.Agriculture and Forestry 
SB33Ward (R)®nd Ala. Code 29-2-270 to 29-2-275: Permanent Joint Legislative Committee on Energy Policy: this bill would revise the membership of the committee, delete the requirement that the committee complete the Alabama Energy Plan, limit the reporting of the committee, delete authorization for the committee to create and staff a Legislative Energy Policy Office, would authorize the committee to form advisory committees as needed.Transportation & Energy·        2/1: read for the second time and placed on the calendar

·        1/25: Moves to the House, read for the first time and referred to the House of Representatives committee on Transportation, Utilities and Infrastructure

·        1/23: Passes Senate

SB48Pittman (R)®nd Ala. Code 22-25C-1 and 22-25C-2: requires bond paid to be used for clean up of facility and repeals provisions for fees.

COMPANION BILL HB113

Finance and Taxation General Fund·        1/23: moves to House (referred to committee on Ways & Means General Fund)

·        1/23: passes Senate

SB75Bussman (R)®er the Sunset Law, provides for the continuance of the Surface Mining Commission until October 1, 2022

SB 134 RELATED

Fiscal Responsibility and Economic Development·        2/1: passes House, assigned Act No.. 2018-74

·        1/25: read for the second time and placed on the calendar

·        1/18: moves to House (referred to committee on Boards, Agencies and Commissions)

·        1/16: passes Senate

SB122Sanford (R)®eal Ala. Code  22-30B-19: Abolish the Alabama Legacy for Environmental Research Trust Fund

COMPANION BILL HB53

Finance and Taxation General Fund·        2/6: moves to the House and referred to committee (Ways & Means General Fund)

·        2/6: passes Senate

SB134Bussman ®Remove the Surface Mining Commission from the sunset review process

RELATED TO SB75

Fiscal Responsibility and Economic Development·        1/25: read for the second time and placed on the calendar

·        1/18: moves to House (referred to committee on Boards, Agencies and Commissions)

·        1/16: Passes Senate

SB180Bussman ®Notification to State Health Officer required when changes made to fluoride levels

COMPANION BILL TO HB224

Health and Human Services·        2/1: moves to House and referred to committee (Health)

·        2/1: passes Senate

SB268Allen (R)Amend Ala. Code 32-9-20: extends length restrictions and allows greater weight restrictions for trucks using natural gas

COMPANION BILL TO HB40

Transportation and Energy 
SB273Scofield (R)Amend Ala. Code 22-22A-6, to change the qualifications of that the Environmental Management Commission of the Alabama Department of Environmental Management so that a geologist may serve as a member of the commission.

COMPANION BILL TO HB217

Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry 
SB289Ward (R)Amend Ala. Code 37-8-52 and 37-8-5-3: increase distance to 10 feet in which one can operate tools, machinery, or equipment, or move a building within [six feet] of a high voltage overhead conductor of electricity unless certain safeguards are in place.Transportation and Energy 
Public Transportation
HB10Williams (Jack) (R)Alabama Public Transportation Act. Alabama Public Transportation Trust Fund, established, ADECA required to administer trust fund; Public Transportation Trust Fund Advisory Committee, created. ADECA must adopt rules, make annual reports, conduct a public transportation needs assessment, enter into contracts, conduct audits and award grants.Transportation, Utilities and Infrastructure 
HB25Pringle (R)Amend Ala. Code 23-1-21 and 23-1-21.2: establish a State Transportation Commission (and requirements and duties thereof)Transportation, Utilities and Infrastructure 
HB97Faulkner (R)Would require transportation network companies to obtain a permit from the PSC, maintain an agent for service of process, implement a nondiscrimination

policy, implement a zero tolerance intoxicating

substance policy, and maintain certain records, collect local assessment fee for each trip.

COMPANION BILL TO SB65

Commerce and Small Business 
HB190Faulkner (R)Transportation network companies, Public Service Commission permit required to operate, minimum requirements imposedCommerce and Small Business·        2/8: pending third reading in the Senate and amendment offered

·        1/30: moves to Senate

·        1/30: amendments made by Coleman & Givan and co-sponsors (Garrett, Williams (JD), Fridy, Shiver, Faust, Ainsworth, Pettus, Mooney & Drake) and passes house

SB65Singleton (D)Would require transportation network companies to obtain a permit from the PSC, maintain an agent for service of process, implement a nondiscrimination

policy, implement a zero tolerance intoxicating

substance policy, and maintain certain records, collect local assessment fee for each trip.

COMPANION BILL TO HB97

IDENTICAL TO SB143

Transportation and EnergyNo movement on this bill since first read: but, SB143 is co-sponsored with Marsh and is identical
SB85Smitherman (D)Creates the Alabama Public Transportation Trust Fund

*isn’t noted but seems like companion bill to HB10

Transportation and Energy·        2/1: read for the second time and placed on the calendar

·        1/25: Moves to House, read for the first time and referred to the House of Representatives committee on Transportation, Utilities and Infrastructure

·        1/25: Motion to Read a Third Time and Pass adopted Roll Call 148

SB143Singleton (D)Would require transportation network companies to obtain a permit from the PSC, maintain an agent for service of process, implement a nondiscrimination

policy, implement a zero tolerance intoxicating

substance policy, and maintain certain records, collect local assessment fee for each trip.

COMPANION BILL TO HB97

IDENTICAL TO SB65

Tourism and Marketing·        1/25: Passes Senate with substitute by Singleton
Alabama Legislature 2018: Monday Morning Digest

Alabama Legislature 2018: Monday Morning Digest

Not a lot happened last week. You can see updates in the table below. Just to hit the high points, SB33 and SB85 are on the calendar and pending their third reading.

Here are the new bills affecting the environment, energy and public transportation (also in the table below):

  • HB370 was introduced by Randy Davis (R-Baldwin County, Mobile County) on February 2nd and is described in the table.
  • HB362 was introduced by Mark Tuggle (R-Chilton County, Coosa County, Tallapoosa County) on February 1st and is described in the table.
  • SB268 was introduced by Gerald Allen (R- Lamar County, Pickens County, Tuscaloosa County on February 1st and is described in the table.
  • SB273 was introduced by Clay Scofield (R-Blount County, DeKalb County, Madison County, Marshall County) on February 1st and is described in the table.

Hearings this week are as follows:

If anything moves quickly or a bill gets legs under it and should be either opposed or supported, I’ll also let you know. Be sure to check out Gasp’s new Advocacy Toolkit as you read through these bills and decide to take action yourself!

Bill No.SponsorSummaryCommitteeStatus
HB5Hanes (R)

Whorton

Amending Ala. Code 40-8-140: provide income tax refund check off to state parks, Dep’t of Mental Health and MedicaidWays & Means General Fund
HB40South (R)Amend Ala. Code 32-9-20: extends length restrictions and allows greater weight restrictions for trucks using natural gasTransportation, Utilities and Infrastructure
HB53Johnson (R)Repeal Ala. Code  22-30B-19: Abolish the Alabama Legacy for Environmental Research Trust Fund

COMPANION BILL SB 122

Ways & Means General Fund
HB58Drake (R)Amend Ala. Code § 9-14-8: Create Park for Patriots Act of 2018. Adds in active, Alabama residentMilitary & Veterans Affairs·        1/25: read for the second time and placed on the calendar

·        1/16: moves to the Senate, referred to committee (Veterans and Military Affairs)

·        1/16: passes in House

HB78Johnson ®Propose local amendment for Coosa County to additional payments from the Alabama

Trust Fund to the Forever Wild Land Trust to reimburse Coosa County for lost ad valorem tax

payments as a result of the acquisition of property

by the Forever Wild Land Trust.

Local Legislation·        1/25: third reading, carried over to Call of the Chair (voice vote adopted)
HB113Johnson (R)Amend Ala. Code 22-25C-1 and 22-25C-2: requires bond paid to be used for clean up of facility and repeals provisions for fees

COMPANION BILL SB48

Transportation, Utilities and Infrastructure
HB217Morrow (D)Amend Ala. Code 22-22A-6, to change the qualifications of that the Environmental Management Commission of the Alabama Department of Environmental Management so that a geologist may serve as a member of the commission.Boards, Agencies and Commissions
HB224South (R)Notification to State Health Officer required when changes made to fluoride levels

COMPANTION BILL SB180

Health
HB362Tuggle (R)This bill proposes a constitutional amendment that would require the Forever Wild Land Trust to annually reimburse the amount of ad valorem tax revenue lost as a result of property previously subject to ad valorem tax being acquired by the Forever Wild Land Trust, which monies shall be paid to the county tax official in each county where the property has been acquired and distributed as other ad valorem tax proceeds unless the county opts out. The amount of reimbursement would be the amount as if the property was taxed at current use value of the property as forest property with good productivity. The bill would also provide that if funding for the Forever Wild Land Trust is not continued after September 30, 2032, the Forever Wild Land Stewardship Account would receive up to $1,000,000 from the Alabama Trust Fund annually.State Government
HB370Davis(R)This bill would further provide for permits for shoreline restoration, including the use of living shoreline techniques, by riparian property owners in coastal areas. The bill would authorize riparian property owners to sever and use materials in their riparian rights use area and for the purposes of shoreline restoration without fee or charge by the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources or the Department of Environmental Management when the source sediment is used for the construction of living shorelines in front of a property owner’s riparian property.Agriculture and Forestry
SB33Ward (R)Amend Ala. Code 29-2-270 to 29-2-275: Permanent Joint Legislative Committee on Energy Policy: this bill would revise the membership of the committee, delete the requirement that the committee complete the Alabama Energy Plan, limit the reporting of the committee, delete authorization for the committee to create and staff a Legislative Energy Policy Office, would authorize the committee to form advisory committees as needed.Transportation & Energy·        2/1: read for the second time and placed on the calendar

·        1/25: Moves to the House, read for the first time and referred to the House of Representatives committee on Transportation, Utilities and Infrastructure

·        1/23: Passes Senate

SB48Pittman (R)Amend Ala. Code 22-25C-1 and 22-25C-2: requires bond paid to be used for clean up of facility and repeals provisions for fees.

COMPANION BILL HB113

Finance and Taxation General Fund·        1/23: moves to House (referred to committee on Ways & Means General Fund)

·        1/23: passes Senate

SB75Bussman (R)Under the Sunset Law, provides for the continuance of the Surface Mining Commission until October 1, 2022

SB 134 RELATED

Fiscal Responsibility and Economic Development·        1/25: read for the second time and placed on the calendar

·        1/18: moves to House (referred to committee on Boards, Agencies and Commissions)

·        1/16: passes Senate

SB122Sanford (R)Repeal Ala. Code  22-30B-19: Abolish the Alabama Legacy for Environmental Research Trust Fund

COMPANION BILL HB53

Finance and Taxation General Fund
SB134Bussman (R)Remove the Surface Mining Commission from the sunset review process

RELATED TO SB75

Fiscal Responsibility and Economic Development·        1/25: read for the second time and placed on the calendar

·        1/18: moves to House (referred to committee on Boards, Agencies and Commissions)

·        1/16: Passes Senate

SB180Bussman (R)Notification to State Health Officer required when changes made to fluoride levels

COMPANION BILL TO HB224

Health and Human Services
SB268Allen (R)Amend Ala. Code 32-9-20: extends length restrictions and allows greater weight restrictions for trucks using natural gas

COMPANION BILL TO HB40

Transportation and Energy
SB273Scofield (R)Amend Ala. Code 22-22A-6, to change the qualifications of that the Environmental Management Commission of the Alabama Department of Environmental Management so that a geologist may serve as a member of the commission.

COMPANION BILL TO HB217

Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry
Public Transportation
HB10Williams (Jack) (R)Alabama Public Transportation Act. Alabama Public Transportation Trust Fund, established, ADECA required to administer trust fund; Public Transportation Trust Fund Advisory Committee, created. ADECA must adopt rules, make annual reports, conduct a public transportation needs assessment, enter into contracts, conduct audits and award grants.Transportation, Utilities and Infrastructure
HB25Pringle (R)Amend Ala. Code 23-1-21 and 23-1-21.2: establish a State Transportation Commission (and requirements and duties thereof)Transportation, Utilities and Infrastructure
HB97Faulkner (R)Would require transportation network companies to obtain a permit from the PSC, maintain an agent for service of process, implement a nondiscrimination

policy, implement a zero tolerance intoxicating

substance policy, and maintain certain records, collect local assessment fee for each trip.

COMPANION BILL TO SB65

Commerce and Small Business
HB190Faulkner (R)Transportation network companies, Public Service Commission permit required to operate, minimum requirements imposedCommerce and Small Business1/30: moves to Senate

1/30: amendments made by Coleman & Givan and co-sponsors (Garrett, Williams (JD), Fridy, Shiver, Faust, Ainsworth, Pettus, Mooney & Drake) and passes house

SB65Singleton (D)Would require transportation network companies to obtain a permit from the PSC, maintain an agent for service of process, implement a nondiscrimination

policy, implement a zero tolerance intoxicating

substance policy, and maintain certain records, collect local assessment fee for each trip.

COMPANION BILL TO HB97

IDENTICAL TO SB143

Transportation and EnergyNo movement on this bill since first read: but, SB143 is co-sponsored with Marsh and is identical
SB85Smitherman (D)Creates the Alabama Public Transportation Trust Fund

*isn’t noted but seems like companion bill to HB10

Transportation and Energy·        2/1: read for the second time and placed on the calendar

·        1/25: Moves to House, read for the first time and referred to the House of Representatives committee on Transportation, Utilities and Infrastructure

·        1/25: Motion to Read a Third Time and Pass adopted Roll Call 148

SB143Singleton (D)Would require transportation network companies to obtain a permit from the PSC, maintain an agent for service of process, implement a nondiscrimination

policy, implement a zero tolerance intoxicating

substance policy, and maintain certain records, collect local assessment fee for each trip.

COMPANION BILL TO HB97

IDENTICAL TO SB65

Tourism and Marketing·        1/25: Passes Senate with substitute by Singleton

 

UAB School of Public Health Students Volunteer for Gasp

UAB School of Public Health Students Volunteer for Gasp


We are a group of students in UAB’s School of Public Health, and we had the opportunity to work with Gasp for a service learning project during the 2017 Fall semester. Gasp is implementing a citizen scientist program that will empower communities by allowing them to monitor the air that they breathe while at home, work, or play. We assisted Gasp by performing two mini air quality studies to demonstrate the practicality of such a program.

We were also tasked with determining which air monitor would work better for everyday air quality monitoring. Both monitors use lasers/LED lights to determine amount of particulate matter pollution in ambient air; imagine visible dust particles floating in a beam of light. Particulate matter is a mixture of fine particles in the air that can cause adverse health effects.

Pictured are maps and the particulate matter measurements for both Blount Hall (left) and the nursing construction site (right).

We began our data collection with the portable AirBeam monitor. The focus of this first study was to compare the particulate matter levels near the nursing construction site and Blount Hall Residence at UAB. As expected, we found that the air around the nursing construction site consistently had a higher level of particulate matter than Blount Hall, especially during active construction times.

After about a few weeks of data collection with AirBeam, we switched to the PurpleAir monitor. We quickly discovered a downside of this device; it can only monitor air quality from a fixed location because it must be plugged into an outlet. PurpleAir also requires an open wifi network to connect with the database. Because of these limitations, we placed the PurpleAir monitor at University House, one of the apartments close to Railroad Park in Birmingham.

Table 1 and Table 2 are the data which we collected during that time. We compared air quality at different time periods during the day. As the results showed, poor air quality occurred more frequently during evenings because of the abundance of traffic and trains.

Table 1.   Environmental Conditions and Short-term Air Quality Data per Day
DateOct 28thOct 30th Oct 31st Nov 5thNov 5thNov 6thNov 6th
Day of the WeekSatMonTueSunSunMonMon
LocationUniversity House(UH)UHUHUHUHUHUH
TimeCST

08:34pm

CST

06:59pm

CST

09:33pm

CST

04:59pm

CST

06:07pm

CST

00:34am

CST

05:26pm

Wind DirectionESWNWWNWSSENNW
Temp (F)45706375686872
Humidity (%)46427461505859
Short-term Air Quality2238158755289
WeatherCloudySunnyClearClearClearClearMostly Cloudy
Surrounding EnvironmentFew carsFew carsTrainsTrafficTrainsFew/No cars, no trainsTraffic

 

Table 2. Environmental Conditions and Short-term Air Quality Data per Day
DateNov 7thNov 7thNov 8thNov 8thNov 9th Nov 9th
Day of the WeekTueTueWedWedThursThurs
LocationUHUHUHUHUHUH
TimeCST

07:48am

CST

09:50pm

CST

01:55pm

CST

10:40pm

CST

02:45pm

CST

03:22pm

Wind DirectionNNEESESSESWSES
Temp (F)696555505758
Humidity (%)705754614634
Short-term Air Quality897126624540
WeatherCloudyCloudySunny with cloudsRainMostly CloudyMostly Cloudy
Surrounding EnvironmentCarsFew carsCarsCarsCarsCars
Note: This is a continuation of Table 1.

This is where the data is collected and analyzed from the PurpleAir. There is less particulate matter at 1 pm as opposed to 5 pm.

As we completed our air study, we determined that a citizen science program is completely feasible for a city like Birmingham. We also recommend that Gasp should invest in AirBeam over PurpleAir.

Our team’s study was the trial period for AirBeam, and it worked successfully for us. We think that citizen volunteers from the Birmingham area could easily participate in this project, provided they’re given minimal training on how to set up the air monitors beforehand. Collecting accurate data is easy once AirBeam is set up.

Through our time collecting data and working with the monitors, we have determined that the monitor best equipped to handle this level of citizen science program is the AirBeam. The AirBeam is user-friendly and does not require a direct power-source at all times, unlike its PurpleAir counterpart. It also can send data to its app via Bluetooth, which made the data more readily accessible to my group and Gasp.

While the AirBeam is the more expensive of the two, we have determined that it is cost-beneficial and can certainly be used by everyday citizens. This project has been fulfilling in the sense that we feel we are making a difference by collecting useful data for Gasp, while encouraging others to join us in becoming “citizen scientists.”

By Alex Warren, Devan Carmichael, Jeffrey Franks, Kelcie Schlensker, Kendra Harwood, Kuheli Mitra, Yanyu Chen

 

 

Alabama Legislature 2018: Monday Morning Digest

Alabama Legislature 2018: Monday Morning Digest

Alabama Legislature 2018: Monday Morning Digest

January 29, 2018

Haley Lewis

Staff Attorney

Haley joined Gasp in 2014 as our programs manager and was named staff attorney in 2016. She has a B.A. from George Washington University, J.D. from Cumberland School of Law and an M.P.A. from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Email Haley

We are 20 days into the 2018 Legislative Session, and there’s already a lot to keep up with. As always, bills range from no big deal to downright awful this year. I’ll be updating you every Monday on the status of any bills that will affect the environment, public health and public transportation.

If anything moves quickly or a bill gets legs under it and should be either opposed or supported, I’ll also let you know. Be sure to check out Gasp’s new Advocacy Toolkit as you read through these bills and decide to take action yourself!

 

Bill #SponsorSummaryCommitteeStatus
HB5Hanes (R)

Whorton

Amending Ala. Code 40-8-140: provide income tax refund check off to state parks, Dep’t of Mental Health and MedicaidWays & Means General Fund
HB40South (R)Amend Ala. Code 32-9-20: extends length restrictions and allows greater weight restrictions for trucks using natural gasTransportation, Utilities and Infrastructure
HB 53Johnson (R)Repeal Ala. Code  22-30B-19: Abolish the Alabama Legacy for Environmental Research Trust Fund

COMPANION BILL SB 122

Ways & Means General Fund
HB58Drake (R)Amend Ala. Code § 9-14-8: Create Park for Patriots Act of 2018. Adds in active, Alabama residentMilitary & Veterans Affairs1/25: read for the second time and placed on the calendar

1/16: moves to the Senate, referred to committee (Veterans and Military Affairs)

1/16: passes in House

HB78Johnson (R)Propose local amendment for Coosa County to additional payments from the Alabama

Trust Fund to the Forever Wild Land Trust to reimburse Coosa County for lost ad valorem tax

payments as a result of the acquisition of property

by the Forever Wild Land Trust.

Local Legislation1/25: third reading, carried over to Call of the Chair (voice vote adopted)
HB113Johnson (R)Amend Ala. Code 22-25C-1 and 22-25C-2: requires bond paid to be used for clean up of facility and repeals provisions for fees

COMPANION BILL SB48

Transportation, Utilities and Infrastructure
HB217Morrow (D)Amend Ala. Code 22-22A-6, to change the qualifications of that the Environmental Management Commission of the Alabama Department of Environmental Management so that a geologist may serve as a member of the commission.Boards, Agencies and Commissions
HB224South (R)Notification to State Health Officer required when changes made to fluoride levels

COMPANTION BILL SB180

Health
SB33Ward (R)Amend Ala. Code 29-2-270 to 29-2-275: Permanent Joint Legislative Committee on Energy Policy: this bill would revise the membership of the committee, delete the requirement that the committee complete the Alabama Energy Plan, limit the reporting of the committee, delete authorization for the committee to create and staff a Legislative Energy Policy Office, would authorize the committee to form advisory committees as needed.Transportation & Energy1/25: Moves to the House, read for the first time and referred to the House of Representatives committee on Transportation, Utilities and Infrastructure

1/23: Passes Senate

SB48Pittman (R)Amend Ala. Code 22-25C-1 and 22-25C-2: requires bond paid to be used for clean up of facility and repeals provisions for fees.

COMPANION BILL HB113

Finance and Taxation General Fund1/23: moves to House (referred to committee on Ways & Means General Fund)

1/23: passes Senate

SB75Bussman (R)Under the Sunset Law, provides for the continuance of the Surface Mining Commission until October 1, 2022

SB 134 RELATED

Fiscal Responsibility and Economic Development1/25: read for the second time and placed on the calendar

1/18: moves to House (referred to committee on Boards, Agencies and Commissions)

1/16: passes Senate

SB122Sanford (R)Repeal Ala. Code  22-30B-19: Abolish the Alabama Legacy for Environmental Research Trust Fund

COMPANION BILL HB53

Finance and Taxation General Fund
SB134Bussman (R)Remove the Surface Mining Commission from the sunset review process

RELATED TO SB75

Fiscal Responsibility and Economic Development1/25: read for the second time and placed on the calendar

1/18: moves to House (referred to committee on Boards, Agencies and Commissions)

1/16: Passes Senate

SB180Bussman (R)Notification to State Health Officer required when changes made to fluoride levels

COMPANION BILL TO HB224

Health and Human Services
Public Transportation
HB10Williams (Jack) (R)Alabama Public Transportation Act. Alabama Public Transportation Trust Fund, established, ADECA required to administer trust fund; Public Transportation Trust Fund Advisory Committee, created. ADECA must adopt rules, make annual reports, conduct a public transportation needs assessment, enter into contracts, conduct audits and award grants.Transportation, Utilities and Infrastructure
HB25Pringle (R)Amend Ala. Code 23-1-21 and 23-1-21.2: establish a State Transportation Commission (and requirements and duties thereof)Transportation, Utilities and Infrastructure
HB97Faulkner (R)Would require transportation network companies to obtain a permit from the PSC, maintain an agent for service of process, implement a nondiscrimination policy, implement a zero tolerance intoxicating substance policy, and maintain certain records, collect local assessment fee for each trip.

COMPANION BILL TO SB65

Commerce and Small Business
SB65Singleton (D)Would require transportation network companies to obtain a permit from the PSC, maintain an agent for service of process, implement a nondiscrimination policy, implement a zero tolerance intoxicating substance policy, and maintain certain records, collect local assessment fee for each trip.

COMPANION BILL TO HB97

IDENTICAL TO SB143

Transportation and EnergyNo movement on this bill since first read: but, SB143 is co-sponsored with Marsh and is identical
SB85Smitherman (D)Creates the Alabama Public Transportation Trust Fund

*isn’t noted but seems like companion bill to HB10

Transportation and Energy1/25: Moves to House, read for the first time and referred to the House of Representatives committee on Transportation, Utilities and Infrastructure

1/25: Motion to Read a Third Time and Pass adopted Roll Call 148

SB143Singleton (D)Would require transportation network companies to obtain a permit from the PSC, maintain an agent for service of process, implement a nondiscrimination policy, implement a zero tolerance intoxicating substance policy, and maintain certain records, collect local assessment fee for each trip.

COMPANION BILL TO HB97

IDENTICAL TO SB65

Tourism and Marketing1/25: Passes Senate with substitute by Singleton

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Exposure to air pollution increases risk of birth defects

Exposure to air pollution increases risk of birth defects

Exposure to air pollution increases risk of birth defects

A new study in the Journal of Pediatrics Researchers looks at the relationship between birth defects in about 200,000 infants born between 2006 and 2010 in Ohio and fine particulate matter pollution (PM2.5) near mothers’ homes around the time of conception. Researchers found that mothers who were exposed to more air pollution were significantly more likely to give birth to babies with birth defects.

Here’s what the study concludes:

Increased exposure to PM2.5 in the periconception period is associated with some modest risk increases for congenital malformations. The most susceptible time of exposure appears to be the 1 month before and after conception. Although the increased risk with PM2.5 exposure is modest, the potential impact on a population basis is noteworthy because all pregnant women have some degree of exposure.”

In other words, a mother’s exposure to air pollution during the month before her child is conceived modestly increases the risk of birth defects. Study author Dr. Emily DeFranco (University of Cincinnati College of Medicine in Ohio) said, “Our study indicates that there are several particularly vulnerable exposure periods near the time of conception, both before and after conception, in which exposure to higher levels of particulate matter in the air may pose an increased chance for a birth defect to occur.”

Overall, the average level of PM2.5 was 13.79 micrograms per cubic meter of air (ug/m3) for women who lived within 10 kilometers (6.2 miles) of an air quality monitoring station. The researchers found for every 10 ug/m3 increase in PM2.5 levels women experienced during the month after conception, babies were 19 percent more likely to be born with birth defects.

Dr. Shruthi Mahalingaiah, an environmental health researcher at Boston University, told Reuters, “If you live in areas of the world with high levels of ambient air pollution, you may consider installing appropriate air or ventilation systems so that your in-home air quality is excellent. Ideally, working together with policy makers, companies, and nations to reduce emissions and innovate around sequestering current levels of emissions would be a goal.”

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Action Alert: Tell the EPA Not to Repeal the Clean Power Plan

Action Alert: Tell the EPA Not to Repeal the Clean Power Plan

The Clean Power Plan is good law and will save lives

President Trump’s EPA is trying to repeal the Clean Power Plan, a commonsense standard to cut carbon emissions from our nation’s existing power plants. Comments are due January 16, and I’d like to urge you to weigh in. Every argument presented in EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt’s press release is hollow. The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled on three separate occasions that the EPA has the responsibility under the Clean Air Act and other laws to protect human health and the environment from carbon pollution from power plants and other sources. 

To be clear, Scott Pruitt, who before becoming EPA Administrator sued the EPA 14 times, wants to delay taking action on climate change, which is a direct threat to human health and the environment. If anything, the Clean Power Plan should be strengthened, not repealed nor weakened. The Trump Administration’s own analysis found that the Clean Power Plan could prevent as many as 4,500 premature deaths each year by 2030 and previous estimates found the Clean Power Plan could provide up to $54 billion in health and climate benefits.

Help Save the Clean Power Plan

The Clean Power Plan is a critical step in forcing dirty power plants to reduce the dangerous pollution that harms our health and our planet. Transitioning away from fossil fuels to clean, renewable energy will make the world a more just, sustainable, and healthy place to live, work, and learn. Send a personalized letter to the EPA in support of the Clean Power Plan.

You may also submit comments in the following ways:

Email

Comments may be sent to a-and-r-Docket@epa.gov. Include Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2017-0355 in the subject line of the message.

Fax

Fax your comments to: (202) 566-9744. Attention Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2017-0355.

Mail

Environmental Protection Agency, EPA Docket Center (EPA/DC), Mail Code 28221T, Attention Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2017-0355, 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20460.

Hand/Courier Delivery

EPA Docket Center, Room 3334, EPA WJC West Building, 1301 Constitution Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20004, Attention Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2017-0355. Such deliveries are only accepted during the Docket’s normal hours of operation, and special arrangements should be made for deliveries of boxed information.

Note: Comments submitted will be part of public record.

But Wait, There’s More!

On December 18, 2017, the EPA released an Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking. This is a separate, but related attack on the Clean Power Plan. This notice asks the public for input on what a replacement rule for the Clean Power Plan would look like. Comments on this notice are due February 18, 2018. Gasp will also be submitting comments.

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