Trump wants to cripple storm forecasting just when it’s getting good — and we need it most.
By Eric Holthaus on Oct 23, 2017
As Hurricane Harvey roared toward the Texas coast in late August, weather models showed something that forecasters had never seen before: predictions of four feet of rainfall in the Houston area over five days — a year’s worth of rain in less than a week.
“I’ve been doing this stuff for almost 50 years,” says Bill Read, a former director of the National Hurricane Center who lives in Houston. “The rainfall amounts … I didn’t believe ‘em. 50-inch-plus rains — I’ve never seen a model forecast like that anywhere close to accurate.
“Lo and behold, we had it.”
That unbelievable-but-accurate rain forecast is just one example of the great leap forward in storm forecasting made possible by major improvements in instruments, satellite data, and computer models. These advancements are happening exactly when we need them to — as a warmer, wetter atmosphere produces more supercharged storms, intense droughts, massive wildfires, and widespread flooding, threatening lives and property.
And yet the Trump administration’s climate denial and proposed cuts threaten these advances, spreading turmoil in the very agencies that can predict disasters better than ever. The president’s budget proposal would slash the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s budget by 16 percent, including 6 percent from the National Weather Service.
Besides hampering climate research, the cuts would jeopardize satellite programs and other forecasting tools — as well as threaten the jobs of forecasters themselves. And they may undermine bipartisan legislation Trump himself signed earlier this year that mandates key steps to improve the nation’s ability to predict disasters before they happen.
Billy Raney and Donna Raney climb over the wreckage of what’s left of their apartment after Hurricane Harvey destroyed it on August 26, 2017 in Rockport, Texas. Joe Raedle/Getty Images
It’s hard to overstate how backward that seems after the hurricane season we’ve just witnessed, as well as the deadly wildfires in California, the climate-charged droughts and deluges and, well, you name it. Just when we need forecasting to be better than ever — and need our forecasters to be able to go even further, using those predictions in ways that protect people’s lives and livelihoods — the Trump administration wants to cut back?
Here’s how far we’ve come in forecasting: Three-day hurricane forecasts are now nearly as accurate as one-day forecasts were when Katrina struck 12 years ago. Even routine, “will it rain this weekend?” forecasts are better today than you probably realize. A 2015 paper in the journal Nature called the advancements a “quiet revolution,” both because they’ve gone relatively unnoticed by the general public, and because it’s been cheap. The National Weather Service, an agency of the U.S. government, costs taxpayers about $3 per person each year.
Still, knowing what the weather is going to do tomorrow and understanding how best to warn the public about potential risks are two different things. The first is all about physics; the other is about psychology, human behavior, social interaction, the built environment, and much more. You can guess which is easier.
Forecasts for Hurricane Harvey’s rainfall totals might have been stunningly accurate, but the floodwaters still surprised thousands of people. Days after Harvey’s rains ended, first responders in towns throughout southeast Texas were still rescuing families stranded by rising waters that flowed downstream toward the Gulf.
In the interest of saving lives, forecasters have started moving from simply predicting the weather to attempting to predict the consequences. Call it impact forecasting, an attempt to say what will happen after the rain hits the ground. Scientists hope to answer questions like: Where will water accumulate? Where will floodwaters head? How will it affect people?
The next step is using those “impact forecasts” to get people to safety. Researchers are working to build customized, real-time personal prediction tools that could tell people if their house is likely to flood, or how long they might go without power. There’s also a drive to create easier to understand warning systems, making better use of the latest communication tools and social media.
Besides getting people out of harm’s way, better warning systems could help by letting nonprofits seek donations in advance of a devastating storm, for instance, so they could provide relief more quickly. And they could help public officials do a better job of prepping for the worst.
Residents affected by Hurricane Maria wait in line for fuel donated by the Fuel Relief Fund in the municipality of Orocovis, outside San Juan, Puerto Rico. REUTERS / Shannon Stapleton
The need for this new branch of forecasting was highlighted during the height of Harvey’s rains, when the National Weather Service issued a bulletin that put the deluge in stark terms: “This event is unprecedented & all impacts are unknown & beyond anything experienced.”
“This was a good step forward,” says Kim Klockow, a meteorologist and behavioral scientist at the University of Oklahoma who supports the effort to develop impact forecasting. “It admitted something very important,” Klockow says — namely, that the system we have for warning people isn’t good enough.
In fact, experts say the best early-warning systems are ones that start years before the wind picks up and raindrops begin to fall, alerting people who live in vulnerable areas who might be prone to more threats in a climate-charged world.
Following Harvey, Klockow was named to a team of external scientists who will study the National Weather Service’s performance and look for ways to improve. They could start with better flood warnings, she says. “It’s like peering into a black box,” she says. “We give people almost nothing.”
In part, that’s a consequence of insufficient flood-zone maps. Even though rainstorms are getting more intense as the climate warms, FEMA sticks to historical flood data to determine which neighborhoods are required to purchase flood insurance — a policy that’s already leading to skyrocketing losses from floods. A recent study showed that 75 percent of the flood losses in Houston between 1999 and 2009 fell outside designated 100-year flood zones.
If residents don’t know their home is at risk of flooding, they’re less likely to consider that it might, even when a major storm is forecast. So it’s no surprise that, after floods, people report being caught by surprise.
How to keep them from getting surprised? Talk plainly.
There’s evidence that giving people unambiguous information can help move them to action. Recent research has shown that people often need to see the storm with their own eyes before they take cover. They need to see neighbors boarding up their houses before they do the same.
Read, the former National Hurricane Center director, says the same thing applies to him, despite his years of forecasting experience. “Most people, including myself if I’m really honest about it, are in denial that the bad thing will happen to you.”
Before Hurricane Katrina hit the New Orleans area in 2005, the National Weather Service issued a blunt statement that promised “certain death” should anyone be trapped outside unprotected. A post-storm analysis credited that warning with spurring an evacuation rate of more than 90 percent. Read says that’s why the Weather Service is shifting its focus toward making impending storms feel as real as possible to those in its path.
Forecasters need to “personalize the threat,” he says.
Klockow says that she’d like to see flood warnings take a personal approach, too. During a storm, an overlay in Google Street View could show you how high the water is rising in your neighborhood and re-route you away from flooded roads to get you home safely.
The tools to make that happen already exist. Several companies and local governments have already developed mapping tools that to warn of impending floods. North Carolina’s Flood Inundation Mapping and Alert Network relies on 500 measurement stations across the state that transmit their readings back to a central database. When conditions are ripe for flooding, the system’s software estimates possible consequences and alerts emergency managers.
This budding technology, integrated with databases of rescue supplies, could help FEMA figure out where to put aid and supplies before they’re needed.
Other organizations are working on an initiative called “forecast-based financing.” The idea is to allocate money for clearing out storm drains, as well as distributing first aid and water filtration systems, in the days ahead of a storm. Already tested in Uganda, Peru, Bangladesh and other countries, this innovation is now in the process of being scaled up worldwide. It could help organizations like the American Red Cross craft appeals for donations in advance, instead of relying on scenes of devastation after disaster strikes.
All of these efforts and ideas show a lot of promise. Yet even as forecasters have come to understand the importance of developing better advance-warning techniques, their ability to undertake those efforts is being undercut by a White House hostile to funding science.
Earlier this year, along with recommending that Congress gut funding for NOAA, President Trump proposed an 11 percent cut from the National Science Foundation’s budget, slashing funds from the institution behind much of the country’s basic scientific research. If Congress agrees, it would be the first budget cut in the foundation’s 67-year history.
At the National Weather Service, the Washington Post recently reported that the agency couldn’t fill 216 vacant positions as a result of a Trump-imposed hiring freeze. As a result, meteorologists were working double shifts when hurricane after hurricane hit last month and covering for each other from afar.
A forecast center in Maryland, for example, provided days of backup to the National Hurricane Center as hurricanes spun toward shore. National Weather Service meteorologists at the San Juan, Puerto Rico, office complained of “extreme fatigue.” Colleagues in Texas stepped in to give them breaks.
The threat of budget cuts is already crimping federally funded disaster research. A few days after Harvey struck Texas, the Colorado-based National Center for Atmospheric Research — one of the country’s top meteorological research institutions — cut entire sections of its staff focused on the human dimensions of disasters, including impact forecasting.
In an all-staff meeting on Aug. 30, the center’s director explained that the anticipation of tighter budgets forced the decision.
Antonio Busalacchi, president of the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research, which oversees the center, called the cuts “strategic reinvestments” in a statement to Grist. He said the money saved would be reallocated to “the priority areas of computer models, observing tools, and supercomputing.”
But researchers at the center, called NCAR, say the layoffs will hurt efforts to make forecasts more human-focused and effective.
“Our whole group was cut,” says Emily Laidlaw, an environmental scientist at NCAR, whose work focuses on understanding what puts people at risk from climate change and climate-related disasters. “I would absolutely say that these cuts make people less safe.”
Read, the former hurricane center chief, says increases in supercomputing power shouldn’t come at the expense of developing forecasts that work better for people.
“You can’t drop one for the other,” he says.
The cuts to the National Center for Atmospheric Research will result in the loss of 18 jobs. That may not sound like a lot, but consider that these were some of the only scientists in the United States working to prepare our country’s system for predicting disasters in an era of rapid change.
In that context, the recent revolution in meteorology and pitfalls in preparedness become a powerful metaphor: We know that if we stick to our current course, the future will be bleak. Acting on the forecast of a warmer planet in a way that helps us to usher in a safer and more prosperous future is completely possible, and the stakes keep getting higher.
One-third of the U.S. economy, some $3 trillion per year, is subject to fluctuations in the weather, and millions of people endure weather disasters every year — a number that keeps going up as climate change boosts the frequency and intensity of storms.
Despite excellent weather forecasts, hundreds of people have lost their lives, and billions of dollars in economic value have been lost during this year’s record-breaking hurricane season. In some especially hard-hit places, like Barbuda, Dominica, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, recovery will take years, or longer.
But it doesn’t have to be this way. Get people out of a hurricane’s path, put aid workers and supplies in the right place, and a raging storm might not lead to a catastrophe.
We are living in a golden age for meteorology, but we haven’t yet mastered what really matters: knowing in advance exactly how specific extreme weather events are likely to affect our lives. Getting that right could usher in a new era of disaster prevention, rather than the current model of Disaster Response.
A Beacon in the Smog®
© 1999-2017 Grist Magazine, Inc. All rights reserved. Grist is powered by WordPress.com VIP.
Defenders of Wildlife Blog
19 September 2017
Walling Off Wildlife
Posted by: Bryan Bird
The Trump administration pushes forward with plan to wall off wildlife.
While the president continues his bombastic border wall talk and the administration and Congress argue over funding for this monstrosity, construction equipment is already moving in, land is being cleared and people and wildlife are being displaced in the borderlands of California and Texas.
By Hook or by Crook
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has already waived a host of environmental and other laws in order to expand the border wall along a 15-mile stretch of the U.S.-Mexico border near San Diego, California. Defenders, along with a coalition of national conservation groups, sued to stop this unlawful overreach of the authority provided by Congress in the Real ID Act of 2005.
Similarly, in Texas the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) have started clearing land, taking soil samples and conducting tests in areas where they plan to build new border wall – often without even notifying the landowners or the public of their actions. This was the case when the managers of the National Butterfly Center in Mission, Texas, discovered industrial mowers stripping vegetation from their land and imperiling more than 200 species of butterflies.
Now, CBP is trying to conceal efforts to build a 60-mile extension through the area that includes two national wildlife refuges and important habitat for the endangered ocelot and jaguarundi.
In a letter recently sent to a select group of stakeholders earlier this month, CBP requested comments on the proposed construction of 60 miles of border wall that would cut through parts of the Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge, the Lower Rio Grande Valley National Wildlife Refuge, the National Butterfly Center and the Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park. The letter appears to be a dubious ploy to claim that the agency is fulfilling its obligation to “seek public comment,” while not actually making the public aware of their plans. Perhaps even they realize what a terrible idea it is to construct a barrier through these sensitive habitats and critical wildlife corridors that support countless species of wildlife, including more than 500 species of birds, 300 butterfly species and 1,200 plant species.
A Tale of Two Refuges
Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge
Few places in the Western Hemisphere exhibit such a diversity of flora and fauna as the lower Rio Grande Valley in south Texas, home to the Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge. While small in size, the Santa Ana Refuge contains an abundance of neotropical songbirds, raptors, mammals and reptiles, including the nine-banded armadillo, Texas tortoise, Mexican free-tailed bat. It is also home to more than 400 bird species, more than 300 species of butterflies –half of all butterfly species found in North America – and more than 450 varieties of plants.
The refuge also provides habitat for at least eight species protected under the Endangered Species Act, including the highly-imperiled ocelot and jaguarundi. With fewer than 50 left in the United States, the refuge is essential to ocelot recovery.
Lower Rio Grande Valley National Wildlife Refuge
Comprising several units along the Rio Grande, the Lower Rio Grande Valley National Wildlife Refuge helps protect a crucial link between coastal and river wildlife corridors. The various refuge units are located at the nexus of four climate zones – tropical, temperate, coastal and desert – and at the confluence of the Mississippi and Central flyways, making the region one of the most diverse conservation areas in North America. The Lower Rio Grande Valley is home to more than 700 vertebrate species, 300 species of butterfly and at least 18 threatened or endangered species, including the highly-endangered ocelot and jaguarundi.
The Lower Rio Grande Valley refuge complex conserves Mid-Delta Thorn Forest, a rare forest type that provides habitat for an array of small mammals and birds and serves as a key hunting ground for the ocelot. As the thorn forest has continued to diminish over the years, ocelots have been forced to cross open fields and been exposed to more dangers from vehicular traffic and predators. Further degradation of this crucial habitat from wall construction could prove devastating to the dwindling U.S. population of ocelots.
A Decisive Blow to Wildlife
The construction of an impenetrable wall through these refuges would fragment riparian habitats, block migration corridors for rare migratory birds and imperiled species, degrade and destroy habitat, and disrupt nesting, breeding and foraging by countless birds and other wildlife. Levee walls, which are proposed for at least 28 miles along this route, can trap wildlife and drown animals during severe flooding events.
Both refuges serve as important migration corridors for animals like the ocelot and jaguarundi, who travel back and forth from Mexico to the U.S. These rare cats would be cut off from crucial habitat affecting their dispersal and their potential to establish new resident populations in the U.S. The noise from increased vehicle traffic and lighting along the border wall could also greatly impair these animals’ ability to hunt and alter the behavior of their prey.
No Longer the “Land of the Free” for Wildlife
A border wall offends our core American values – freedom, equality, justice and the preservation of our natural heritage. For wildlife in the borderlands, a wall would set back decades of conservation success in the region.
We are the guardians of these imperiled animals and at Defenders we are fighting to make sure they have a voice and can continue to recover and prosper in our country. The illicit and secretive actions by the current administration would have disastrous consequences for wildlife.
Tell the administration you won’t stand for any attack on our refuges or our wildlife. Stand up for imperiled wildlife in jeopardy because of the border wall.
Stand up for wildlife now!
Tell CPB and the administration that you oppose any border wall construction that would destroy vital wildlife habitat on our national wildlife refuges and public lands.
Defenders is committed to protecting human communities, wildlife and habitat threatened by a border wall. We have joined a diverse coalition of conservation, human rights, civil rights, religious and other groups to mount substantial opposition. Please join us in this important fight.
Bryan Bird, Southwest Program Director
Bryan oversees Defenders work in the Southwest, where he has spent 23 years working on wildlife conservation. His efforts are focused on maintaining and enhancing vital wildlife habitat, and on protecting imperiled species, such as Mexican gray wolves, jaguars, desert tortoises and California condors, in the face of a changing climate, drought, and increasing development.
Categories: border wall, Habitat Conservation, habitat conservation, jaguarundi, Lower Rio Grande, Lower Rio Grande Valley National Wildlife Refuge, migration corridor, ocelot, Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge, Take Action, Trump administration, Wildlife
Your weekly roundup of wildlife news from across the country.
1130 17th Street NW
Washington, DC 20036
©2017 Defenders of Wildlife
First Suit Filed for an Injunction Against Trump’s Keystone XL Pipeline Permit by Indigenous Environmental Network, North Coast Rivers Alliance
WASHINGTON – The Indigenous Environmental Network (IEN) and North Coast Rivers Alliance (NCRA) have filed suit in Federal District Court in Great Falls, Montana, challenging the Presidential Permit issued by President Trump allowing construction and operation of the Keystone XL Pipeline.
IEN’s and NCRA’s Complaint challenging the State Department’s approval of a Presidential Permit for the KXL Pipeline is available here: http://www.ienearth.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/Complaint_for_Declaratory_and_Injunctive_Relief.pdf
Stephan Volker, attorney for IEN and NCRA, filed the suit on Monday, March 27th. The suit alleges that the State Department’s Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (“FSEIS”) fails to (1) provide a detailed and independent Project purpose and need, (2) analyze all reasonable alternatives to the Project, (3) study the Project’s transboundary effects, (4) disclose and fully analyze many of the Project’s adverse environmental impacts, (5) formulate adequate mitigation measures, and (6) respond adequately to comments. In addition, the FSEIS was irredeemably tainted because it was prepared by Environmental Resource Management (“ERM”), a company with a substantial conflict of interest. The suit also alleges that Trump’s permit violates the Endangered Species Act, the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, and the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act.
“President Trump is breaking established environmental laws and treaties in his efforts to force through the Keystone XL Pipeline, that would bring carbon-intensive, toxic, and corrosive crude oil from the Canadian tar sands, but we are filing suit to fight back,” said Tom Goldtooth, Executive Director of the Indigenous Environmental Network. “Indigenous peoples’ lands and waters are not here to be America’s environmental sacrifice zone. For too long, the US Government has pushed around Indigenous peoples and undervalued our inherent rights, sovereignty, culture, and our responsibilities as guardians of Mother Earth and all life while fueling catastrophic extreme weather and climate change with an addiction to fossil fuels. The time has come to keep fossil fuels in the ground and shut down risky extreme energy projects like the tar sands that are poisoning our families, wildlife, water sources and destroying our climate.”
“Oil, water and fish do not mix. KXL poses an unacceptable risk to the Missouri River and its fisheries, including the nearly extinct Arctic grayling,” said Frank Egger, President of the North Coast Rivers Alliance (NCRA). “No oil pipeline is safe. One major oil spill, and the Missouri River and adjacent aquifers would be polluted for generations.”
“Because President Trump has turned his back on the Native American community and protection of our clean water, endangered fisheries, and indeed, survival of the Planet itself, we have asked the Federal Courts to order him to comply with our nation’s environmental laws,” said Volker. “We are confident that the courts will apply and enforce the law fairly and faithfully, and protect our irreplaceable natural heritage from the risky and unneeded KXL Pipeline. Alternatives including renewable energy and conservation must be given full and fair consideration to protect future generations from the ravages of global warming.”
Additional documents pertaining to the litigation can be obtained from the Volker law offices.
Copyright © 2017 · All Rights Reserved · Global Justice Ecology Project
The USDA website has taken down the portal to their records of animal cruelty, claiming a need to protect personal information that has long been redacted from those records. This is bad news for animals all over the world suffering from abuse and unethical treatment. Sign this petition to demand the USDA restore the portal to these records.
BREAKING: Trump Approves Dakota Access and Keystone Pipelines
Posted on January 24, 2017 by Anne Petermann
With the stroke of a pen, Donald Trump moments ago signed executive orders to pave the way for completion of the massively contested Dakota Access and Keystone XL Pipelines.
In response to Trumps executive orders – a statement the Indigenous Environmental Network just put out:
“These actions by President Trump are insane and extreme, and nothing short of attacks on our ancestral homelands as Indigenous peoples.
The executive orders demonstrate that this administration is more than willing to violate federal law that is meant to protect Indigenous rights, human rights, the environment and the overall safety of communities for the benefit of the fossil fuel industry.
These attacks will not be ignored, our resistance is stronger now than ever before and we are prepared to push back at any reckless decision made by this administration.” #NoDAPL
Time to ramp up our resistance now that the Empire has been unmasked!
Category: Featured, Social Media News Tags: dakota access pipeline, Keystone, pipelines, trump
Copyright © 2017 · All Rights Reserved · Global Justice Ecology Project
Source: Don Wrightman
There’s an insidious law for us to ponder, courtesy of Barack Obama. An online radio host pointed out back in 2013 that the law would grant the federal government huge power to saturate Americans with domestic propaganda at the taxpayer’s expense. “This law allows the federal government to have sweeping power to push television, radio, newspaper and social-media propaganda onto the U.S. public,” warned Michael Evans, host of America’s Voice Now. He said that the law would remove protection for Americans from the ideologies of Obama’s administration. The Smith-Mundt Modernization Act of 2012 was specifically what Evans was referring to; it was inserted into the 2013 National Defense Authorization Act.
A so-called anti-propaganda law formerly prevented the U.S. government’s broadcasting arm from reaching American viewers. On July 2, 2013, the implementation of the new reform marked an end to shielding Americans from government delivered programming. The government now…
View original post 297 more words
Summary September 19, 2016
Fiscal Year 2017
Once again, the Republican leadership, especially in the House, is advancing a Big Polluter Agenda to undermine just about every basic environmental protection current law provides to the American people. It appears no environmental law is safe from the demands of corporate polluters and their cheerleaders in the Republican Party.
The Republican Leadership is trying to force this Big Polluter Agenda on the public through provisions in must-pass spending bills. These provisions are called “riders” because they ride along on unrelated legislation. Riders that are typically tacked onto a spending bill, for example, would not change federal spending by one cent. Instead, riders are used to sneak through legislative changes that would be difficult to pass on their own in open congressional debate. Riders often result in the measures getting less scrutiny and enable their sponsors to avoid responsibility for pushing them. And they can be harder to veto because of all the unrelated items surrounding them. In the past, spending riders have led to government shutdowns when intransigent Republicans were unwilling to fund the government without restricting environmental protection.
But polling clearly shows strong public support for environmental protection. That’s why the Republican leadership uses riders – they know how hard it would be to prevail on a clean yes-or-no vote directly on environmental and public health protections. Republican leaders have learned little after forcing a government shutdown that Standard & Poor’s says cost the nation $24 billion. They are again threatening damage to America’s families, communities, and economy as they strive to reverse many years of progress.
These are the riders that have been added so far to the spending bills for fiscal year 2017, which begins October 1. We include section numbers to indicate where these riders are found in the corresponding legislation. In some cases, we include amendment numbers for riders that were voted into legislation but have not yet been assigned section numbers. This page will be updated as the appropriations process plays out in the House and Senate.
Clean Air & Climate Change
A rider in the House Interior and Environment appropriation (p.83) requires all biomass burned for electricity production to be considered to have zero carbon pollution despite the fact that emissions from wood biomass are often higher than those from coal. This language threatens the long term health of forests by encouraging the burning of trees to generate electricity, and worsens climate change by pretending climate-changing emissions don’t exist. A similar rider was included in the Senate Interior and Environment appropriation (Sec. 414).
A rider in the House Interior and Environment appropriation (Sec. 127) added by Rep Culberson (R-TX) prevents new air quality protections that under development by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management’s (BOEM). The new rules will improve air quality for coastal communities by updating decades old standards and require better pollution controls for offshore sources.
A rider in the House Interior and Environment appropriation (Sec. 417) permanently prevents the EPA from limiting pollution from livestock production under the Clean Air Act. A similar rider was added to the Senate Interior and Environment appropriation (Sec. 420).
A rider in the House Interior and Environment appropriation (Sec. 418) prevents the EPA from requiring the reporting of greenhouse gas emissions from manure management systems. A similar rider was added to the Senate Interior and Environment appropriation (Sec. 421).
A rider in the House Interior and Environment appropriation (Sec. 431) prevents EPA from limiting carbon pollution and implementing the first-ever carbon pollution standards for new and existing fossil fuel power plants.
A rider in the House Interior and Environment appropriation (Sec. 434) blocks EPA’s ability to set standards curtailing use of super-polluting hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) refrigerants and foam blowing agents. HFCs are potent greenhouse gases that have thousands of times more impact on climate change, pound for pound, than carbon dioxide. Companies are making safer alternatives, but the rider would allow unlimited growth in these outmoded and dangerous pollutants. The rider would also damage the United States’ international credibility and frustrate efforts – supported by industry – to negotiate a global HFC phase-out under the Montreal Protocol.
A rider in the House Interior and Environment appropriation (Sec. 436) blocks EPA from considering of the costs of carbon pollution on the rest of the world. It bars the government from assessing and weighing the full costs of extreme weather or other climate impacts caused by our pollution, and the full benefits of any actions to improve energy efficiency or clean up carbon pollution. We want Europe and China to be responsible for the harms their emissions impose, so it’s only right for us to consider the effects of our carbon pollution on others.
A rider in the House Interior and Environment appropriation (sec. 438) delays EPA’s latest health standards for ground-level ozone (smog) pollution for ten years, preventing Americans from even having the right to know if the air they breathe is unhealthy for ten years and severely delaying cleanup steps. The rider also would let corporations that apply for air pollution permits pollute at levels that are unsafe under national health standards.
A rider in the House Interior and Environment appropriation (Sec. 439) prevents EPA from addressing methane emissions from sources in the oil and natural gas sector under Sections 111(b) or (d) of the Clean Air Act. This includes the recently finalized new and modified methane source standard and an as yet to be proposed standard for existing sources of methane emissions in the oil and gas sector, including a recently initiated process by EPA to obtain data for existing methane sources. The rider also blocks yet to be finalized Draft Control Techniques Guidelines that would control emissions of volatile organic compounds for the oil and natural gas industry.
A rider in the House Interior and Environment appropriation added by Rep Perry (R-PA) rolls back the Clean Air Act and blocks any potential plan to address climate change. Instead of listening to the national security experts, faith leaders, scientists, energy innovators, health professionals and many others who are sounding the alarm on climate change and have implored our nation’s elected officials to support action, this amendment simply seeks another way to say “no.
A rider in the House Interior and Environment appropriation added by Rep Ratcliffe (R-TX) blocks a proposed, voluntary program that encourages and rewards early action to reduce carbon pollution, something many states and power companies have asked for as EPA developed the Clean Power Plan. In addition to providing incentives for clean energy technologies like wind and solar, the program would provide a double credit for energy efficiency investments in low-income communities. By releasing the Clean Energy Incentive Program proposed rule and taking public comment, EPA is doing the prudent thing by continuing to work with those states, power companies, and stakeholders that are continuing to plan for future Clean Power Plan implementation.
A rider in the House Energy and Water appropriation offered by Rep. Gosar (R-AZ) blocks work on the Department of Energy’s Climate Model Development and Validation Program.
A rider in the Senate Interior and Environment appropriation (Sec. 419) attempts to waste resources and thwart progress by requiring the Administration to submit a report to the congressional Appropriations committees describing all Federal agency funding for climate change programs, projects, and activities in fiscal years 2016 and 2017.
A rider in the Senate Energy and Water appropriation committee report (Committee Report, p. 62) would block any Department of Energy regulation in FY17 that analyzes the impact of the rule on carbon emissions until EPA revises its “social costs of carbon assessment” downward in a biased fashion. A similar rider was added to the House Energy and Water appropriation (H. Amdt. 8) by Rep Gosar.
A rider in the House Transportation, Housing and Urban Development appropriation (Sec. 236) blocks the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) from updating its standards for publicly funded construction to better avoid flood damage. In order to update the standard, the rider requires HUD to perform the Herculean task of mapping every floodplain in the United States; a task that is highly cost prohibitive. This requirement is just a ploy to stop implementation of the federal flood protection standard. It is a myopic action that will harm our country in the long-run as the federal flood protection standard is meant to increase our resilience to future flooding and reduce the amount of federal tax dollars spent to rebuild after a disaster.
A rider in the House Defense appropriation (Sec. 8132) would prevent the Department of Defense from enforcing Section 526 of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007. EISA Section 526 is a do no harm provision that simply requires high carbon unconventional fuel producers to capture and store their excess carbon before launching their projects through federal awards. It simply ensures that federal contractors reduce the damage they inflict on taxpayers before benefitting from public funds. Taxpayer accountability is an extremely fair thing to ask.
An amendment added to the House Defense Appropriation by Rep Buck (R-CO) would discourage the Department of Defense from making its military installations and the military industrial complex more resilient to weather related disasters. It prevents the Department of Defense from assessing the impacts of climate change despite global warming’s long acknowledged role as a security threat multiplier. Many military installations are exposed to worsening weather driven events, yet the amendment elevates climate denial over national security.
A rider in the House Financial Services and General Government appropriation (Sec. 745) would unnecessarily delay implementation of new measures to protect public infrastructure from flooding. The rider requires every agency responsible for incorporating the new requirements into their regulations and operating procedures to hold a six-month long public comment period on any proposed regulation, policy, or guidance to implement the executive order. The opportunity for public comment must and should happen, but requiring a minimum of 180 days for public comment is just a blatant attempt to delay implementation until the next Administration. It is not about ensuring public participation and transparency. This sleight-of-hand political maneuvering only serves to harm the American public. The federal flood protection standard is meant to increase our resilience to future flooding, protecting lives and reducing taxpayer dollars spent to rebuild after a disaster.
A rider in the House Financial Services and General Government Appropriation (Sec. 1228) offered by Rep Posey would block guidance designed to better inform the public, shareholders and policymakers of the potential risks of climate change to businesses. Climate change can pose a wide variety of risks to a business from loss of assets to broader implications on market trends; disclosure of those potential business risks provides important information for both investors and policymakers. Ignoring the effects of climate change will not make them go away.
Top of page
Clean Energy & Energy Efficiency
A rider in the House Energy and Water appropriation (H. Amdt. 33) offered by Rep. Burgess (R-TX) blocks the Department of Energy (DoE) from implementing and enforcing common sense energy efficiency standards for light bulbs. These standards were passed by a bipartisan majority, enacted in 2007 and gradually phased in over the past two and a half years. By all reasonable measures the transition has been a success, and efficient incandescent bulbs are among the variety of choices available for consumers. Continuing the rider will prevent DoE from issuing clarifications on the law that manufacturers desire or enforcing the standards against inefficient, non-compliant bulbs.
A rider in House Energy and Water appropriation offered by Rep. Buck (R-CO) prevents the Department of Energy from finalizing or enforcing energy efficiency standards for ceiling fans, ceiling fan light kits, dishwashers, and vending machines.
A rider in House Energy and Water appropriation offered by Rep. Stivers (R-OH) prevents the Department of Energy from doing anything to further the Cape Wind Project off the coast of Massachusetts.
A rider in the House Energy and Water appropriation offered by Rep. Sanford (R-SC) prevents the Department of Energy from making loans under the Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing Loan Program. This program is designed to ensure that growing demand for efficient vehicles creates jobs in the United States.
A rider in the House Energy and Water appropriation offered by Rep. Mullin (R-OK) prevents the Department of Energy from promulgating any regulation with an annual effect of over $100 million between November 8, 2016 and January 20, 2017. This rider continues the false narrative that public protections are snuck through in the final hours of an administration. In fact, these protections are often developed over years with opportunity for public comment at numerous points along the way.
A rider in the House Energy and Water appropriation (Sec. 505) would prevent the government from shutting down the proposed nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain in Nevada.
A rider in the Senate Energy and Water Appropriation (Sec. 306) would allow nuclear waste to be stored in private facilities. The rider severs any meaningful linkage between the storage and disposal of nuclear waste by exploring storage as a viable option for dealing with nuclear waste from the nation’s weapons programs and nuclear power plants. This dangerous precedent breaks with over 50 years of scientific consensus that supports permanent isolation in deep geological repositories as the only technically, economically, and ethically viable waste disposal option. The substantial distinction between nuclear waste storage and nuclear waste disposal must be preserved and never be blurred.
A rider in the House Interior and Environment appropriation added by Rep Black (R-TN) prevents EPA from applying vehicle efficiency and carbon pollution standards to heavy duty truck rebuilds. The amendment would unnecessarily perpetuate pollution and oil dependence by weakening heavy duty vehicle fuel economy standards.
A rider in the House Interior and Environment appropriation added by Rep Loudermilk (R-GA) prevents EPA from regulating greenhouse gas emissions from heavy duty truck trailers. Medium and heavy duty vehicles represent a disproportionate share of transportation emissions. New EPA-NHTSA standards for medium and heavy duty vehicles can reduce these emissions with known and available technology, including efficiency improvements to trailers. These measures will help the nation slow climate change and reduce its reliance on oil. Congress should reduce our oil dependency rather than perpetuate it.
An amendment added to the House Defense Appropriation by Rep McClintock (R-CA) prevents the Department of Defense from implementing common sense clean energy and energy efficiency programs that are encouraged through Executive Order and statute even though the Department of Defense could benefit from minimizing energy demand and diversifying energy sources.
Top of page
A rider in the House Interior and Environment appropriation (Sec. 118) unnecessarily diverts funding away from real solutions for restoring the health of California’s Bay-Delta estuary to hatcheries. Scientists and conservation groups agree that conservation hatcheries do not address the underlying environmental problems that must be solved in order to save Delta Smelt and other native species in California’s Bay-Delta estuary. In fact, hatcheries in California have not prevented the decline of native salmon populations.
A rider in the House Interior and Environment appropriation (Sec. 120) blocks the Department of Interior (DOI) from developing or implementing safeguards designed to protect streams from pollution from surface coal mining. A similar rider was added to the Senate Interior and Environment appropriation (Sec. 121).
A rider in the House Interior and Environment appropriation (Sec. 425) permanently prevents the Environmental Protection Agency from updating the definition of “fill material” or “discharge of fill material,” allowing the mining industry to continue dumping toxic waste from mountaintop removal activities into mountain streams.
A rider in the House Interior and Environment appropriation (Sec. 426) exempts pollutant discharges that Congress intended to be covered by the Clean Water Act. These discharges damage or destroy streams and wetlands without adequate environmental review, even though the Clean Water Act would otherwise require such oversight.
A rider in the House Interior and Environment appropriation (Sec. 427) permanently prohibits the Environmental Protection Agency from clarifying which streams and wetlands are protected by the Clean Water Act. Blocking EPA’s updated Clean Water Rule would threaten those waters, which help supply one in three Americans’ drinking water and trap flood water.
A rider in the House Interior and Environment appropriation (Sec. 433) undermines management of federal lands and waters by unreasonably limiting the ability of federal agencies to condition permits to protect fish and wildlife, including endangered species. Last year the White House noted that an identical measure was unnecessary and would preclude management agencies from protecting the public interest. Furthermore it would prevent land management agencies from maintaining sufficient water for other congressionally-designated purposes and ensuring water rights are tied to the activities for which they were developed.
A rider in the House Interior and Environment appropriation (Sec. 447 and Sec. 448) added by Rep Valadao (R-CA) would harm endangered and native fish species, threaten thousands of fishing jobs, and upend water usage in California. It overrides protections required under two Endangered Species Act biological opinions regarding management of the state and federal water projects in California’s Bay-Delta estuary, mandating pumping levels far in excess of what is required to protect salmon and other native fish under the Endangered Species Act. It prohibits implementation of the San Joaquin River Restoration settlement between the United States, Friant Water Authority, and conservation and fishing groups to restore the river as required under state and federal law, which is likely to lead to further litigation and eliminate funding for water supply and flood control projects. It further requires the Department of the Interior to increase unsustainable water supply allocations to certain Central Valley Project contractors north of the Delta and reduces reservoir releases in order to provide greater water supply to certain Central Valley Project contractors at the expense of the environment and water deliveries to Southern California.
A rider in the House Interior and Environment appropriation (Pg. 83) forces EPA to continue using Safe Drinking Water Act aquifer exemption rules that have allowed for the contamination of underground sources of drinking water. These rules are used to exempt underground sources of drinking water from the protections of the Act, and have led to approval of aquifer exemptions without scientifically-defensible evidence about water quality, demand for groundwater, the rapid depletion of aquifers in many states, the extent to which climate change is likely to exacerbate these problems, improved technologies for water treatment to use brackish groundwater as a drinking water source, and advances in our scientific and technical understanding of groundwater contaminant fate and transport.
A rider in the House Interior and Environment appropriation added by Rep Crawford (R-AR) prevents EPA from enforcing or implementing oil spill prevention requirements on farms, irrespective of the amount of oil they store. This approach is nonsensical, in view of the fact that oil spills are no less dangerous to waterways when they come from agricultural operations. The amendment also ignores a study Congress directed EPA to undertake, which identified a “lack of evidence that farms are inherently safer than other types of facilities,” and it ignores the fact that farms already are treated more leniently than other facilities under this program.
A rider in the House Interior and Environment appropriation added by Rep Gosar (R-AZ) blocks completion or public distribution of an important EPA-USGS technical report that describes the environmental effects of water flow alteration and how states can manage those effects under existing law.
A rider in the House Energy and Water appropriation (Sec. 108) prevents the Army Corps of Engineers from changing the definition of “fill material” or related definitions. This perpetuates the Bush-era redefinition, which treated all kinds of solid material, except garbage, as fill and undid a prior regulatory limitation on discharging other material primarily for the purpose of getting rid of waste. As a result, the rider prohibits action to curtail the use of the nation’s waters as waste dumps for polluting activities like mountaintop removal coal mining.
A rider in the House Energy and Water appropriation (Sec. 109) prevents the Army Corps of Engineers from requiring a permit “for the activities identified in subparagraphs (A) and (C) of section 404(f)(1)”. This has been interpreted as reinforcing existing Clean Water Act exemptions for discharges of dredged or fill material associated with farming, ranching, and forestry.
A rider in the House Energy and Water appropriation (Sec. 110) prohibits the Army Corps of Engineers from developing, implementing, or enforcing any change to the regulations and guidance” in effect concerning the meaning of “waters of the United States” in the Clean Water Act prior to the Clean Water Rule’s development. The rider would undermine a critically needed, long-overdue, overwhelmingly supported, and scientifically sound rule that protects drinking waters for roughly one in three Americans. The rider also potentially interferes in the judicial process and ongoing litigation around the rule.
A rider in the House Energy and Water appropriation (Sec. 204) restricts implementation of two Endangered Species Act biological opinions regarding management of the state and federal water projects in California’s Bay-Delta estuary, making it harder to reduce water pumping to protect salmon and other endangered species under those biological opinions.
A rider in the House Energy and Water appropriation (Sec. 205) overrides protections required under two Endangered Species Act biological opinions regarding management of the state and federal water projects in California’s Bay-Delta estuary. The rider mandates pumping levels outside of the Delta far in excess of the maximum limits permitted under those biological opinions, prohibits re-initiation of consultation under the Endangered Species Act, and prohibits implementation of the biological opinions if doing so would reduce water supply.
A rider in the House Energy and Water appropriation (Sec. 206) requires the Department of the Interior to attempt to increase unsustainable water supply allocations to certain Central Valley Project contractors north of the Delta.
A rider in the House Energy and Water appropriation (Sec. 207) prohibits implementation of the San Joaquin River Restoration settlement between the United States, Friant Water Authority, and conservation and fishing groups to restore the river as required under state and federal law. This would prevent funding for water supply and flood control projects that benefit local farmers, and likely lead the parties back to court because it would allow some 60 miles of California’s second longest river to remain completely dry in violation of state law.
A rider in the House Energy and Water appropriation (Sec. 209) attempts to undermine environmental protections for salmon and water quality on the Stanislaus River, reducing reservoir releases in order to provide greater water supply to certain Central Valley Project contractors at the expense of the environment and water deliveries to Southern California.
A rider in the House Interior and Environment appropriation added by Rep Lummis (R-WY) prevents EPA’s common sense proposal to monitor groundwater where in-situ uranium mining takes place. These increasingly common mining activities threaten to contaminate groundwater resources with uranium and other harmful pollutants like arsenic. Groundwater that is contaminated by these activities cannot be restored to pre-mining conditions. These long lived contaminants can also migrate to other water sources, demanding that we carefully monitor their movements at a very minimum. The rider also resides in the House Interior and Environment committee report (Committee Report pg. 61). A similar rider was added to the Senate Interior and Environment appropriation committee report as well (Committee Report pg 72).
A rider in the House Interior and Environment appropriation added by Rep Goodlatte (R-VA) undermines the successful cooperative federalism of the Chesapeake Bay cleanup and would severely hamper progress being made to clean up local waters. The cleanup is working, and the current process has given the states more control than ever in seeking a solution to the degraded waters of the region, while taking advantage of federal resources to help the states meet their commitments.
Top of page
A rider in the House Interior and Environment appropriation (Sec. 112) blocks implementation of the “Wild Lands” initiative unveiled by then-Interior Secretary Salazar in 2010 that would ensure that lands with wilderness characteristics remain unspoiled. A similar rider was added to the Senate Interior and Environment appropriation (Sec. 113).
A rider in the House Interior and Environment appropriation (Sec. 407) allows the Secretary of Agriculture to rely on outdated forest plans, ignoring the reality that national forests are not being managed sustainably, nor taking into account additional considerations such as the increasing impacts from climate change.
A rider in the House Interior and Environment appropriation (Sec. 421) exempts livestock grazing permit renewals from environmental review. A similar rider was added to the Senate Interior and Environment appropriation (Sec. 424).
A rider in the House Interior and Environment appropriation (Sec. 428) forbids federal land management agencies from placing reasonable limits via the normal land use planning process on fishing, shooting activities for hunting, or recreational shooting if those activities were allowed as of January 1, 2013.
A rider in the House Interior and Environment appropriation (Sec. 440) prevents federal agencies from raising royalty rates for federal onshore oil, gas or coal production. American taxpayers are currently being shortchanged by low onshore oil, gas and coal royalty rates and should be allowed a fair return on publicly owned resources.
A rider in the House Interior and Environmental appropriation (Sec. 441) derails necessary reforms to coal leasing. The federal coal program faces systemic problems that fail to generate a fair return for taxpayers or provide an efficient, transparent process for coal leasing. The broken federal coal program needs a complete overhaul but instead, this rider short circuits the reform process by placing an unnecessary and arbitrary deadline for its completion. Coal companies have already stockpiled enough unmined coal on existing leases to continue current production levels for at least 20 years, making this rider completely unwarranted.
An amendment added to the House Interior and Environment appropriation (Sec. 443) by Rep Simpson (R-ID) prevents new federal land use planning procedures from going forward. This rulemaking will improve not only how BLM treats renewable energy facilities but how it plans for all types of development and conservation on its lands. It is critical that this rule is finalized.
An amendment added to the House Interior and Environment appropriation (Sec. 453) by Rep Stewart (R-UT) prevents monument designations in a long list of U.S. counties. The amendment undermines the Antiquities Act, one of our most important tools for preserving our natural and cultural heritage for future generations.
A rider in the House Interior and Environment committee report (Committee Report pg. 12) pressures the Bureau of Land Management to allow oil and gas development in sensitive and unique habitats. The BLM is currently deciding the fate of oil and gas leasing in pristine roadless areas of the White River National Forest in Colorado, the most visited national forest in the country. The WRNF is home to priceless outdoor recreational opportunities and essential wildlife habitat and is the source of much-needed tourism dollars and clean drinking water for numerous communities. More than 50,000 members of the public commented on BLM’s Draft Environmental Impact Statement, with the vast majority asking BLM to cancel illegal oil and gas leases and ensure that roadless areas and all their ecological values are fully protected. Congress should not try to politicize the process and intimidate BLM into changing course.
A rider in the Senate Interior and Environment appropriation (Sec. 122) allows for the construction of a gravel road through the Izembek National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska. This provision would overturn Interior Secretary Sally Jewell’s December 2013 decision rejecting the 11 mile road through the Izembek refuge. Construction of the road through congressionally-designated wilderness within the wildlife refuge would not only have disastrous environmental impacts on the region, but would also set a dangerous precedent that could allow for other infrastructure projects in refuges nationwide.
A rider in the Senate Interior and Environment appropriation (Sec. 407) allows the Secretary of Agriculture to rely on outdated forest plans, ignoring the reality that national forests are not being managed sustainably, nor taking into account additional considerations such as the increasing impacts from climate change.
A rider in the Senate Interior and Environment appropriation (Sec. 409) prohibits the use of eminent domain deemed necessary to support federal lands management without approval by the Appropriations committee, with the exception of federal assistance to Florida for Everglades restoration.
A rider in the House Agriculture Appropriations committee (Sec. 714) cuts funding for Farm Bill conservation programs essential to protecting our lands and waterways from agricultural pollution. The committee cut funding for the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) by $225 million dollars, and reduced the Conservation Stewardship Program by 2 million acres. In the absence of strong regulations, these voluntary programs are the only line of defense against agricultural pollution and they are essential for reducing pollution from agricultural land. These programs also improve wildlife habitat and help farms mitigate and adapt to climate change. Unfortunately, Congress has disproportionately targeted conservation programs for budget cuts every year through the annual appropriations process.
A rider in the House Interior and Environment appropriation added by Rep Lamborn (R-CO) would stop the implementation of the Bureau of Land Management’s hydraulic fracturing rule. This rule will help reduce the severe risks posed to clean water and important drinking water sources by widespread hydraulic fracturing by improving well safety, increasing transparency, and addressing threats from toxic wastewater. Health, safety and environmental protections must keep pace with hydraulic fracturing’s rapid growth.
Top of page
A rider in the House Energy and Water appropriation (Sec. 506) would prevent implementation of the National Ocean Policy, a landmark policy designed to safeguard our oceans and coasts.
A rider in the House Interior and Environment appropriation added by Rep Byrne (R-AL) prevents implementation of the National Ocean Policy. The National Ocean Policy is a common sense policy that improves the way we manage our oceans, reducing duplicative efforts and conflicting government actions, and facilitates better coordination between federal, state, and local stakeholders.
A rider in the House Interior and Environment appropriation added by Rep Zeldin (R-NY) blocks new marine monuments in U.S. waters and undermines the Antiquities Act. By prohibiting the designation of new marine monuments in the Exclusive Economic Zone, this amendment would effectively block future marine monument protections in more than 4.5 million square miles of the ocean. The Antiquities Act is a critical conservation tool and any attempts to undermine it should be opposed.
Top of page
Toxics and Public Health
A rider in the House Interior and Environment appropriation (Sec. 420) permanently prevents the EPA from regulating toxic lead in ammunition, ammunition components, or fishing tackle under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) or any other law. A similar rider was added to the Senate Interior and Environment appropriation (Sec. 423).
A rider in the House Interior and Environment appropriation (Sec. 429) blocks EPA from enforcing rules to limit exposure to lead paint.
A rider in the House Interior and Environment appropriation (Sec. 430) blocks EPA from requiring industries with high probability of causing catastrophic damage by releasing toxics into the environment from carrying insurance to cover environmental damages they cause. A similar rider was included in the Senate Interior and Environment appropriation (Sec. 417).
An amendment added to the House Defense Appropriation by Rep Smith (R-NE) legislatively overrides DOD autonomy to make decisions on nutritional standards for military personnel critical to meet the needs of individual combat readiness, morale, and long-term health obligations. Specifically, it prohibits the military from offering nutritionally complete vegetable-based and/or meat-free meals, even when such meals are determined to be healthier or specifically requested by personnel. These types of nutritional decisions should be science-based, and left to military health and dietary experts who are better qualified to understand the readiness, health, and long term healthcare cost implications of dietary standards, and the commanders who are responsible for the wellbeing and quality of life of their personnel.
A rider in the House Interior and Environment appropriation added by Rep Newhouse (R-WA) prohibits EPA from writing any rule that would require the largest industrial animal farms (Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations, or CAFOs) to properly store, transport, or dispose of their wastes, including the hundreds of millions of tons of manure they generate annually. CAFO wastes contain dangerous pollutants that can increase the risk of birth defects, infant deaths, diabetes, and cancer. When not handled properly, CAFO wastes endanger drinking water sources and pose a particularly severe risk to rural communities reliant on well water.
Top of page
A rider in the House Interior and Environment appropriation (Sec 114) prevents the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) from fulfilling its obligations under the Endangered Species Act. The provision overrides a court requirement that FWS must make a determination on whether sage-grouse should be listed as a threatened or endangered species, and sets a dangerous precedent by circumventing the scientific and legal process established to protect imperiled species. A similar rider was added to the Senate Interior and Environment appropriation (Sec. 115).
A rider in the House Interior and Environment appropriation (Sec. 119) delists gray wolves in the Great Lakes and Wyoming from the Endangered Species Act and prevent judicial review of this action. A similar rider was added to the Senate Interior and Environment appropriation (Sec. 119).
A rider the House Interior and Environment appropriation (Sec. 445) added by Rep Yoder (R-KS) would prevent implementation of enforcement of a threatened species listing for the lesser prairie chicken under the Endangered Species Act. A similar provision was included in the Senate Interior and Environment appropriation (Sec. 111).
A rider in the House Interior and Environment appropriation added by Rep Lamborn (R-CO) blocks protections for the threatened Preble’s Meadow Jumping Mouse under the Endangered Species Act, thwarting recovery efforts for this western species, which continues to experience habitat loss and other threats throughout its range. The rider eliminates crucial recovery programs for the mouse, such as Habitat Conservation Plans, that require the participation of private and public land managers as well as federal funding.
A rider in the House Interior and Environment appropriation added by Rep Lamborn (R-CO) blocks funding for species listed under the Endangered Species Act if the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service fails to complete a timely 5-year review of that species’ status. Yet insufficient funding can cause FWS to miss the deadline. Thus, this amendment would condition the very survival of some species on Congress’s longstanding and continuing failure to pass bills to appropriately fund FWS.
A rider in the House Interior and Environment appropriation added by Rep Newhouse (R-WA) blocks efforts to protect endangered gray wolves in the continental United States by 2017 under the Endangered Species Act. This species is currently listed as endangered in most of the lower-48 states. A national delisting for wolves would reverse the remarkable progress the ESA has achieved for this species and once again put the gray wolf at risk of extinction.
A rider in the House Interior and Environment appropriation added by Rep Pearce (R-NM) blocks federal recovery efforts for the endangered New Mexico Meadow Jumping Mouse under the Endangered Species Act. This rare southwestern subspecies has suffered a significant population decline due to habitat loss and fragmentation throughout its range.
A rider in the House Interior and Environment appropriation added by Rep Gosar (R-AZ) blocks federal funding for the endangered Mexican gray wolf under the Endangered Species Act. It also limits recovery to “historic range,” even though scientists say the wolves must be restored to new habitats to recover. There are less than 100 Mexican gray wolves in the United States; blocking recovery for these wolves and keeping them out of suitable habitats they need to recover brings them one step closer to extinction.
A rider in the House Interior and Environment appropriation added by Rep Westerman (R-AR) blocks enforcement of a federal court decision that found the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service violated the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) by allowing the killing of double crested cormorants without current data, adequate scientific analysis, or evaluating less harmful alternatives. Congress should allow court decisions to stand, rather than stepping into a role that is not rightfully theirs.
A rider in the Senate Interior and Environment appropriation that was added to the committee report (Committee Report pg. 68) declares glyphosate safe for humans and wildlife and urges EPA to rush completion of its registration. Glyphosate is linked to the dramatic decline in pollinator habitat and potentially poses risks to human health. EPA should expeditiously complete its review but only on the basis of sound science rather than political pressure from Congress.
A rider in the Senate Interior and Environment appropriation (Sec. 117) blocks an important FWS rule to conserve wolves, grizzly bears and other native carnivores on national wildlife refuges in Alaska. This provision would bar FWS from prohibiting the state’s aggressive “predator control” program on our federal public lands, effectively allowing extreme non-subsistence hunting practices that target iconic carnivores, including trapping, baiting, aerial gunning, killing at den sites and killing mothers and young. The provision would prevent FWS from ensuring over 100 million acres of federal lands in Alaska are managed in accordance with bedrock conservation laws.
A rider in the House Interior and Environment appropriation added by Rep Gosar (R-AZ) would threaten wildlife and risk public safety at Havasu National Wildlife Refuge in Arizona. It would block the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and stakeholders from addressing certain recreational activities on the refuge that create dangerous conditions for visitors and undermine natural resource conservation, setting a dangerous precedent for the entire Refuge System.
A rider in the House Interior and Environment appropriation added by Rep Cramer (R-ND) would block a badly needed rule that better protects lands and wildlife where non-federal oil and gas development takes place in the National Wildlife Refuge System. This rule will at least better mitigate the impacts of oil and gas extraction on refuges that host wildlife, prized recreation opportunities and natural heritage. By blocking efforts to improve protections, the amendment increases risks to wildlife and public lands.
Top of page
A rider in the House Interior and Environment appropriation added by Rep Price (R-GA) blocks implementation of any rule or regulation that is considered “major.” Official analyses from administrations of both political parties consistently find that such regulations often provide far greater benefits than costs. Yet under this amendment, a rule that brings billions in benefits and a rule that saves human lives will still be barred as long as it has impacts of more than $100 million. A similar rider was added to the Financial Services and General Government appropriation (sec. 1204) by Rep Duffy (R-WI).
A rider in the House Financial Services and General Government Appropriation (Sec. 1211) offered by Rep Hudson (R-NC) would stop any regulations from being proposed or finalized until Jan 21, 2017. This amendment would block implementation of regulatory standards and safeguards simply by virtue of when they were proposed or finalized. Such an arbitrary distinction, which bears no relationship to the merits of any particular regulation, would impact regulations that have been in the works for years. Indeed, regulatory process experts at the Administrative Conference of the United States recently released their recommendation on reforms to “midnight” rulemaking, stating “shutting the rulemaking process down during this period would be impractical given that numerous agency programs require constant regulatory activity, often with statutory deadlines.
A rider in the House Interior and Environment appropriation added by Rep Weber (R-TX) denies all funds to EPA for its entire budget under the spending bill if the agency is found to act at odds with a single provision in the Clean Air Act to evaluate employment effects. A coal company is suing EPA alleging the agency has failed to conduct such an evaluation. If the company prevails, the court would direct EPA to do the evaluation. This amendment would then prohibit all funds to EPA under the spending bill because the agency was found to have contravened this single Clean Air Act provision. It is irrational and punitive to the American people to defund an entire agency budget over the failure to conduct an evaluation, especially when linked to the active litigation strategy of a company suing the agency.
A rider in the House Interior and Environment appropriation added by Rep Smith (R-MO) undermines the ability of citizens to recover legal fees when they settle a lawsuit brought under the Endangered Species Act, Clean Air Act, or Clean Water Act. This restricts access to the courts and allows for the most egregious violations of the Act to remain unchecked and encourages costly litigation rather than settlement.
A rider in the House Interior and Environment appropriation added by Rep Smith (R-MO) severely undermines the National Environmental Education Act by prohibiting all funding for environmental education grants to elementary and high schools, colleges and universities and state education and environmental agencies under this law. These grants help state and local educators develop curricula for America’s school children; train teachers, state and local officials, and not-for-profit organizations; and advance environmental education, science and research. The amendment would cripple valuable federal support for environmental education under a law adopted during the first Bush administration.
Top of page
On this Page
Clean Air & Climate Change
Clean Energy & Energy Efficiency
Toxics and Public Health
2016 Anti-Environmental Budget Riders by Appropriations Bill
September 19, 2016
2015 Anti-Environmental Budget Riders
Tony Vaz Seaside Heights Mayor: Save The Amazing Boardwalk Cats of Seaside Heights NJ!
by megan meyer · 12,828 supporters
NO MORE BOARDWALK CATS IN SEASIDE HEIGHTS NJ!
Toms River, NJ
Jul 8, 2016 — The recent Seaside Heights town council meeting was attended by many animal advocates who were hoping a plan was in the works for solving the issues the council had with the current TNR program and the majestic cats of the boardwalk. Although the public was given 3 minute periods to address the board, it was clear that a plan had already been created in the form of an ordinance. When asked the details of the mentioned ordinance, the public was told it would not be shared at this meeting as it was 21 pages and that the details would be given at the July 20th meeting. It was never read yet the details were shared at the close of the meeting and do not support the continuation of cats being a part of the boardwalk experience.
Below is the exact ordinance the council claims was shared during the meeting. It is filled with location restrictions-removing cats from most areas of the town including the boardwalk-regulations so complex and lengthy that many current colony caregivers will need to abandon their labor of love -penalties including $500 a day for infractions, jail time and the TRAP-RELOCATION OR “HUMANE” EUTHANIZATION of cats not fitting into the procedures and guidelines.
Please read the details of the ordinance and decide if directly contacting the town is the next action. The 12,710 signatures did not change a single detail of the new ordinance.
To share your thoughts-thank you for caring!
“The greatness of a nation can be judged by the way its animals are treated -Gandhi
ORDINANCE NO. 2016–11
AN ORDINANCE OF THE BOROUGH OF SEASIDE HEIGHTS, COUNTY OF OCEAN, STATE OF NEW JERSEY AMENDING AND SUPPLEMENTING THE BOROUGH CODE OF THE BOROUGH OF SEASIDE HEIGHTS, SO AS TO AMEND CHAPTER 29, ENTITLED “ANIMALS” SO AS TO ADD ARTICLE VIII, ENTITLED, “CATS.”
WHEREAS, the Borough of Seaside Heights, like many communities throughout the State of New Jersey and the United States, has an obligation to effectively and humanely control feral cat populations within its borders; and
WHEREAS, the Mayor has recommended to the Borough Council that the Council adopt a modified Trap, Neuter and Return Program (TNR) in an effort to reduce the feral cat population over time without the necessity of wholesale capture and euthanization; and
WHEREAS, the Borough Council recognizes that this approach must be balanced against the Borough’s obligations to protect the public health, safety and welfare, including protecting the public from the potential transmission of zoonotic diseases; and
WHEREAS, the Borough Council also believes that it has the obligation to preserve the property rights of citizens and residents who may not approve having a feral cat colony located near their private property; and
WHEREAS, the Borough Council believes that TNR alone will not reduce the feral cat population and, therefore, there must be a strong emphasis on cat adoption and building relationships between the Borough and owners/operators of animal sanctuaries in New Jersey and out of state; and 2 GILMORE & MONAHAN A Professional Corporation COUNSELLORS AT LAW Allen Street Professional Center Ten Allen Street P.O. Box 1540 Toms River, New Jersey 08754
WHEREAS, the Borough Council recognizes that some feral cats and stray cats will eventually be trapped and humanely euthanized because our community is small, only 16 blocks by 5 blocks and, consequently, we will not be able to reduce the feral cat population solely through TNR and/or relationships with owners/operators of animal sanctuaries despite exercising good faith and exhaustive efforts in those areas; and
WHEREAS, this balanced approach is more likely to lead to a reduction in the feral cat population over time; will better respect the rights of property owners and residents; and will retain the Borough’s obligation and authority to protect the public health, safety and welfare rather than delegating that obligation and authority to a third party person or organization.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT ORDAINED by the Mayor and Borough Council of the Borough of Seaside Heights, County of Ocean, and State of New Jersey, as follows:
SECTION 1. The Borough Code of the Borough of Seaside Heights is hereby amended and supplemented so as to amend Chapter 29, entitled “Animals,” so as to create a new Article VIII, entitled “Cats,” which shall read in its entirety as follows:
Notwithstanding anything to the contrary in this chapter, this article is intended to govern all matters which relate to the management of domesticated cats and feral cats. For the purposes of this article, the following terms shall have the meanings set forth in this section. When not inconsistent with the context, words used in the present tense include the future, 3 GILMORE & MONAHAN A Professional Corporation COUNSELLORS AT LAW Allen Street Professional Center Ten Allen Street P.O. Box 1540 Toms River, New Jersey 08754
words in the plural number include the singular, words in the singular number include the plural, and words in the male gender include the female gender.
ABANDONED – An owner or caregiver has forsaken a domesticated cat entirely, or has neglected or refused to provide care and support to the cat.
ANIMAL CONTROL OFFICER – Any person employed or appointed by the Borough of Seaside Heights who is authorized to investigate violations of laws and regulations concerning animals, and to issue citations in accordance with New Jersey law and this Code.
ANIMAL COORDINATOR – The person or organization designated annually by the Animal Control Officer or, in cases where a contract will be executed, appointed annually by the Mayor with the advice and consent of Borough Council, to maintain records of feral cats, to recommend caregivers and to do such duties as specified in this chapter.
CAREGIVER – A volunteer, uncompensated person who agrees to serve to facilitate the TNR program within the Borough, including the provision of food, water or suitable shelter or to otherwise care for a cat or cats, in accordance with this chapter and any rules and regulations that may be established by the Borough Administrator and Animal Control Officer. A caregiver shall not be deemed an employee of the Borough and shall hold such volunteer position at the pleasure of the Borough Administrator or Animal Control Officer and may be removed from or precluded from holding such volunteer position in the sole discretion of the Borough Administrator or Animal Control Officer in light of concerns regarding public health, animal safety and sensitivity to the rights of residents, property owners and visitors.
CAT – Any member of the domestic feline species; male, female or altered. 4 GILMORE & MONAHAN A Professional Corporation COUNSELLORS AT LAW Allen Street Professional Center Ten Allen Street P.O. Box 1540 Toms River, New Jersey 08754
CAT OF LICENSING AGE – Any cat which has attained the age of six months, or which possesses a set of permanent teeth.
CATTERY – Any room or group of rooms, cage or exhibition pen, not part of kennel, wherein cats for sale are kept or displayed.
DOMESTICATED CAT- A cat that is socialized to humans and is appropriate as a companion for humans.
EAR MARKED – A tagged, notched or tipped left ear as performed by a licensed veterinarian.
FERAL CAT – Any cat that is not licensed in accordance with this chapter and is free-roaming as part of an identifiable colony of such cats, which may consist of several cats or a single cat. Typically, a feral cat is a cat that is not socialized to humans and is not appropriate as a companion for humans.
FERAL CAT COLONY – A group of cats that congregates, more or less, together as a unit. Although not every cat in a colony may be feral, any non-feral cats that congregate with a colony shall be deemed to be a part of it.
FREE-ROAMING CAT – A cat that is regularly off the property of the owner and is not under the physical control and restraint of the owner.
NEUTERED – Rendered permanently incapable of reproduction as certified by a licensed veterinarian.
NUISANCE – Shall include, but not be limited to the following,
(a) disturbing the peace by habitually or continually howling, crying, caterwauling, or screaming by a cat or cats; 5 GILMORE & MONAHAN A Professional Corporation COUNSELLORS AT LAW Allen Street Professional Center Ten Allen Street P.O. Box 1540 Toms River, New Jersey 08754
(b) spraying or leaving feces unburied or buried on private property by a cat or cats without permission of the owner of the property;
(c) fighting by a cat or cats;
(d) the desecration or soiling of personal and/or real property by a cat or cats without permission of the owner of the property;
(e) endangering the life or health of other animals or persons;
(f) interfering with the rights of citizens, other than their owners, to enjoyment of life or property;
(g) damaging the property of anyone other than their owner’s property;
(h) entering the property of anyone other than their owner’s property;
(i) killing or maiming domestic animals or wildlife;
(j) fouling the air with odor and thereby causing unreasonable annoyance or discomfort to neighbors or others near to the premises where the cat or cats are kept or harbored;
(k) causing unsanitary conditions in enclosures or surroundings where the cat or cats are kept or harbored;
(l) becoming offensive or dangerous to the public health, welfare or safety by virtue of the number and/or types of cats maintained in light of the nature and the size of the property on which they are maintained;
OWNER – When applied to the proprietorship of a cat, shall include any person, firm, corporation, partnership, association, trust, estate, or any other legal entity having a right of property (or custody) in such cat and every person who has such cat in his/her keeping, or 6 GILMORE & MONAHAN A Professional Corporation COUNSELLORS AT LAW Allen Street Professional Center Ten Allen Street P.O. Box 1540 Toms River, New Jersey 08754
who harbors or maintains a cat or knowingly permits a cat to remain on or about any premises occupied by that person. A caregiver, however, shall not be considered an owner.
RESCUE GROUP – A for-profit or not-for-profit entity or a collaboration of individuals with at least one of its purposes being the adoption or placement of cats in homes with humans to serve as companion animals.
SUITABLE SHELTER – Shelter that provides protection from rain, sun, and other elements that is adequate to protect the health of the cat.
ZOONOTIC DISEASE – Those diseases transmittable to humans from animals, including parasitic, bacterial, fungal and viral diseases.
§29-28. Responsibilities of owners of domesticated cats.
A. Domesticated cats, generally
Owners of domesticated cats shall:
1. Provide appropriate and adequate food, water and suitable shelter for their cats, pursuant to N.J.S.A. 4:22-26;
2. Exercise reasonable care to guard against the cat creating a nuisance;
3. Not permit a sexually intact (not spayed or neutered) domesticated cat to roam unsupervised or off-leash; and
4. Not abandon a domesticated cat, pursuant to N.J.S.A. 4:22-26.
B. Provisions relating to rabies vaccination of cats.
1. Vaccination and license requirements. No person shall own, keep, harbor or maintain any cat over six months of age which possesses a permanent set of teeth within the Borough of Seaside Heights unless such cat is vaccinated and licensed. The provisions of this section do not apply to cats held in a cattery, or those held by a state or federal licensed 7 GILMORE & MONAHAN A Professional Corporation COUNSELLORS AT LAW Allen Street Professional Center Ten Allen Street P.O. Box 1540 Toms River, New Jersey 08754
research facility, or a veterinary establishment where cats are received or kept for a diagnostic, medical, surgical or other treatments or licensed animal shelters, pounds, kennels or a pet shops.
2. Vaccination. All cats shall be vaccinated against rabies by a licensed veterinarian in accordance with the latest Compendium of Animal Rabies Vaccines and Recommendations for Immunization published by the National Association of State Public Health Veterinarians, except as provided for in section 4 below.
3. Vaccination certificate. A certificate of vaccination shall be issued to the owner of each animal vaccinated on a form recommended by the state.
4. Exemptions. Any cat may be exempted from the requirements of such vaccination for a specified period of time by the Animal Control Officer, upon presentation of a veterinarian’s certificate stating that because of an infirmity or other physical condition, or regimen of therapy, the inoculation of such cat shall be deemed inadvisable.
C. Licensing requirements.
1. Domesticated cats must have license number displayed. Any person who shall own, keep or harbor a cat of licensing age shall annually apply for and procure from the Borough Clerk of the Borough of Seaside Heights a license and official registration tag with license number, or a registration sleeve for each cat so owned, kept or harbored, and shall place upon such cat a collar or other device with the license number securely fastened or displayed thereto. Acceptable methods of displaying the license number shall include, but are not limited to, break-away or elastic collars. License tags or sleeves are not transferable.
2. Time for applying for license. The owner of any newly acquired cat of licensing age, or of any cat which attains licensing age, shall make application for license tag 8 GILMORE & MONAHAN A Professional Corporation COUNSELLORS AT LAW Allen Street Professional Center Ten Allen Street P.O. Box 1540 Toms River, New Jersey 08754
or sleeve for such cat within 10 days after such acquisition or age attainment. This requirement will not apply to a nonresident keeping a cat within the Borough of Seaside Heights for no longer than 15 days.
3. Cats brought into jurisdiction.
(a.) Any person who shall bring, or cause to be brought into this borough any cat licensed in another state for the current year, and bearing registration tag or sleeve and shall keep the same or permit the same to be kept within the Borough of Seaside Heights for a period of more than 30 days shall immediately apply for a license and registration tag or sleeve for each such cat.
(b.) Any person who shall bring or cause to be brought into this borough any unlicensed cat and shall keep same or permit same to be kept within the Borough of Seaside Heights for a period of more than 10 days shall immediately apply for a license and registration tag or sleeve for each such cat.
4. Application, contents, preservation of information. The application shall state the breed, sex, age, color and markings of the cat for which license and registration are sought, and whether it is of a long- or short-haired variety; also the name, email, street and post office address of the owner and the person who shall keep or harbor such cat. The information on said application and the registration number issued for the cat shall be preserved for a period of three years by the Borough Clerk.
5. License forms and tags. License forms and official tags or sleeves shall be furnished by the municipality and shall be numbered serially and shall bear the year of issuance and the name of the municipality. 9 GILMORE & MONAHAN A Professional Corporation COUNSELLORS AT LAW Allen Street Professional Center Ten Allen Street P.O. Box 1540 Toms River, New Jersey 08754
- Evidence of inoculation with rabies vaccine or certification of exemption; requirement for license. The Borough Clerk shall not grant any such license and official registration tag or sleeve for any cat, unless the owner thereof provides evidence that the cat to be licensed and registered has been inoculated with a rabies vaccine of a type approved by and administered in accordance with the recommendations of the United States Department of Agriculture and the United States Department of Human Services, or has been certified exempt by the Animal Control Officer as provided for in this ordinance. The rabies inoculation shall be administered by a duly licensed veterinarian, or by such other veterinarian permitted by law to do the same.
- License fee schedule. A license shall be issued after payment of a fee of $30 for each unneutered/unspayed cat and $8 for each neutered/spayed cat. A late fee of $5 will also be imposed for any licenses issued after January 31.
- Fees, renewals, expiration date of license.
(a.) The person applying for the license and registration tag and/or sleeve shall pay the fee fixed or authorized. The fee for the renewal of license and registration tag or sleeve shall be the same as for the original, and said license, registration tag or sleeve and renewal thereof shall expire on January 31 in the following year.
(b.) Only one license and registration tag or sleeve shall be required in the licensing year for any cat in this borough.
- Loss of license. If a license tag or sleeve has been misplaced or lost, the Borough Clerk may issue a duplicate license and/or registration sleeve for that particular cat at a fee of $5. 10 GILMORE & MONAHAN A Professional Corporation COUNSELLORS AT LAW Allen Street Professional Center Ten Allen Street P.O. Box 1540 Toms River, New Jersey 08754
Proof of licensing. Proof of licensing shall be produced by any person owning, keeping, maintaining or harboring a cat upon the request of any health official, police officer, animal control officer or other authorized person.
- Interfering with persons performing duties under this article. No person shall hinder, molest or interfere with anyone authorized or empowered to perform any duty under this article; to do so shall be a violation of this article and shall subject the violator to the penalties as provided in this chapter.
- Disposition of fees collected. License fees and other monies collected or received under the provisions of this article, shall be forwarded to the Chief Financial Officer of the borough and shall be placed in a special account separate from any of the other accounts of the municipality and shall be used for the following purposes only: collecting, keeping and disposing of cats liable to seizure; for local prevention and control of rabies; providing anti-rabies treatment under the direction of the Animal Control Officer for any person known or suspected to have been exposed to rabies; and for administering the provisions of this article, including provisions regarding support of feral cat colonies.
§29-29. Impoundment and disposition of domesticated cats.
A. The Animal Control Officer or any other person appointed for the purpose shall take into custody and impound or cause to be taken into custody and impounded:
(1) Any cat running at large in this municipality.
(2) Any cat off the premises of the owner or the person keeping or harboring said cat without a current registration tag on its collar and not controlled by a leash as provided in this article. 11 GILMORE & MONAHAN A Professional Corporation COUNSELLORS AT LAW Allen Street Professional Center Ten Allen Street P.O. Box 1540 Toms River, New Jersey 08754
(3) Any female cat in season off the premises of the owner or of the person keeping or harboring said cat.
(4) Any cat or other animal which is reasonably suspected to be rabid.
(5) Any cat or other animal off the premises of the owner reported to or observed by the Animal Control Officer to be ill, injured or creating a threat to public health, safety or welfare or otherwise interfering with the enjoyment of property.
B. When any cat so seized has been detained for seven days after notice, when notice can be given, or has been detained for seven days after seizure, when notice cannot be given, in accordance with the laws of the State of New Jersey, and if the owner or person keeping or harboring said cat has not claimed said cat and paid all expenses incurred by reason of its seizure and detention, and if the cat shall be unlicensed at the time of seizure and the owner or person keeping or harboring said cat has not produced a license and registration tag for said cat, the Animal Control Officer or other designated authority may cause the cat to be offered for adoption or humanely euthanized in the event adoption is not possible.
§29-30. Feral Cat Colonies
A. Feral cat colonies in general.
1. Feral cat colonies shall be permitted, and caregivers shall be entitled to maintain them in accordance with the terms and conditions of this article.
B. Restriction on Feral Cat Colony location
No feral cat colonies shall be located in the following zoning districts:
1. Resort Recreational District
2. Resort Recreational District A 12 GILMORE & MONAHAN A Professional Corporation COUNSELLORS AT LAW Allen Street Professional Center Ten Allen Street P.O. Box 1540 Toms River, New Jersey 08754
- Retail Business District on the west side of Ocean Terrace between Hiering Avenue and Porter Avenue.
- Retail Business District on the east and west sides of the Boulevard between Hiering Avenue and Porter Avenue.
- Public district, including the oceanfront and Bayfront.
- Neither feral cats nor feral cat colonies shall be maintained by any caregiver on property owned or controlled by the Borough of Seaside Heights located within the boundaries of the Borough of Seaside Heights. This shall not preclude the Borough of Seaside Heights from operating an animal sanctuary and feral cat colonies on land owned or controlled by the borough that is located within the boundaries of a different municipality.
C. In the areas set forth in B. above, the Animal Control Officer shall effectuate the capture of all feral cats and stray cats and transport same to a suitable animal sanctuary in New Jersey or out of state, or the Ocean County Animal Shelter if an animal sanctuary is unavailable or unwilling to accept the feral cats or stray cats.
§29-31. Registration of feral cat colonies
A. Except as provided in this chapter, it shall be unlawful for any person to maintain a feral cat colony by providing food, water, or other forms of sustenance and care, unless such person is a resident of the Borough of Seaside Heights, and has been designated as, and is currently appointed, a caregiver by the Animal Control Officer.
B. Borough residents desiring to provide food, water and other forms of sustenance and care to feral cats in Seaside Heights, shall annually apply to the Animal Control Officer to be 13 GILMORE & MONAHAN A Professional Corporation COUNSELLORS AT LAW Allen Street Professional Center Ten Allen Street P.O. Box 1540 Toms River, New Jersey 08754
designated as a caregiver, and every person so designated shall comply with the provisions of this article throughout their term of appointment.
C. The Animal Control Officer may only grant approval of a caregiver if:
(1) A waiver of liability and indemnification agreement has been executed by the colony caregiver, on a form approved by the Borough, which shall be filed with the Borough Administrator; and
(2) The caregiver has successfully completed the certification and training program conducted by the New Jersey Animal Rights Alliance, or other certified instructor.
(3) The owner of private property upon which the proposed feral cat colony will be located has granted written permission for the feral cat colony.
4.) Adjacent property owners have approved the feral cat colony in writing.
D. After appointment as a caregiver, the caregiver must meet with the Animal Coordinator, who will serve as a clearinghouse for information on current caregivers, education for new caregivers, and assistance for persons found in violation of this chapter.
§29-32. Role of Animal Coordinator
A. The Animal Coordinator shall:
(1) Help to resolve any complaints over the conduct of a colony caregiver or of cats within a colony;
(2) Maintain records provided by colony caregivers on the size and location of the colonies, as well as the vaccination and spay/neuter records of cats in the caregiver’s colony; 14 GILMORE & MONAHAN A Professional Corporation COUNSELLORS AT LAW Allen Street Professional Center Ten Allen Street P.O. Box 1540 Toms River, New Jersey 08754
(3) Report biannually to the Animal Control Officer and Borough Administrator, on July 1 and January 1 of every year, the following information regarding the previous six months of monitoring:
(i.) Number of known colonies in the Borough;
(ii.) Total number of cats in colonies;
(iii.) Number of cats and kittens spayed and neutered pursuant to the TNR program;
(iv.) Number of cats and kittens placed in permanent homes.
(v.) Advise caregivers of the names of the licensed veterinarians under contract with the Borough to perform those veterinarian services required by this article;
(vi.) Obtain from caregivers the invoice of the veterinarian contracted by the Borough to perform veterinarian services required by this article and present the invoice to the Borough Chief Financial Officer for payment; and
(vii.) Provide caregivers prior approval for veterinarian services required under this article.
§29-33. Enforcement; responsibilities of caregivers.
A. Caregivers of feral cat colonies shall implement proper management and sterilization practices, as well as seek the assistance of the Animal Control Officer and/or Animal Coordinator as follows:
(1) Provide (i.) written permission from the property owner on whose property the feral cat colony will be located or cared for; (ii.) evidence of reasonable efforts made to obtain the support for the feral cat colony from all adjacent property owners; and (iii.) a good 15 GILMORE & MONAHAN A Professional Corporation COUNSELLORS AT LAW Allen Street Professional Center Ten Allen Street P.O. Box 1540 Toms River, New Jersey 08754
faith estimate of the number of feral cats and kittens residing in the colony at the time a caregiver’s designation is applied for.
(2) Assume personal responsibility and make arrangements for feeding and providing emergency veterinarian treatment as needed to their feral cat or feral cat colony on a regular basis throughout the year, including weekends, holidays, and at such times as the caregiver is unable, for any reason, to provide such care.
(3) Provide for the regular and frequent trapping of not less than one time per month, through the use of humane box traps of feral cats and kittens over the age of six weeks who have not been spayed or neutered, vaccinated, and marked as provided herein. The trapped feral cats shall be spayed or neutered, vaccinated for rabies, and marked by having their ears tipped by a veterinarian professionally licensed by the State of New Jersey. It is also recommended, but not required, that all trapped feral cats be vaccinated by the veterinarian for distemper and implanted with a microchip for identification purposes.
(4) Make every attempt to remove kittens from the colony between the age of one week and sixteen weeks for domestication and placement with a person who is willing to be the owner of same.
(5) If possible, have all trapped feral cats and kittens tested for feline leukemia and feline immunodeficiency virus and any other infectious disease as mandated by law; and to have those which test positive for same humanely euthanized or assure that any feral cat or kitten known to have an infectious disease is not released to the outdoors.
(6) Sterilize (spay/neuter) all adult cats that can be captured.
(7) Vaccinate, as required by law, all cats that can be captured against rabies (three-year vaccine). 16 GILMORE & MONAHAN A Professional Corporation COUNSELLORS AT LAW Allen Street Professional Center Ten Allen Street P.O. Box 1540 Toms River, New Jersey 08754
(8) Maintain, on an individual cat basis, documentation of all vaccinations, inoculations, medical procedures and sustenance provided to feral cats under their care, and upon request, to provide such documentation to the Animal Control Officer or Animal Coordinator.
(9) Authorize veterinarians attending to feral cats or kittens under their care to release copies of all medical records with regard to such feral cats to the Animal Control Officer or Animal Coordinator.
(10) Maintain protection for the feral cats and kittens sufficient to shield them from adverse weather conditions, and maintain the surrounding area free and clear of garbage, trash and debris.
(11) Notify the Animal Control Officer or Animal Coordinator of the introduction of any new cats to the feral cat colony.
(12) Ensure that a feral cat colony for which a person has been designated a caregiver does not exceed ten cats unless reasonably authorized by the Animal Control Officer, giving consideration to the size, shape, locations and ability to maintain the feral cat colony on the property.
(13) Use due consideration to avoid the harming of rare, threatened or endangered species under the Endangered and Nongame Species Conservation Act, N.J.S.A. 23:2A-1 et seq.;
(14) Observe the colony cats at least twice per week and keep a record of any illnesses or unusual behavior noticed in any colony cats; and
(15) Take reasonable steps to prevent colony cats from creating a nuisance on properties not owned by or under the control of the caregiver. 17 GILMORE & MONAHAN A Professional Corporation COUNSELLORS AT LAW Allen Street Professional Center Ten Allen Street P.O. Box 1540 Toms River, New Jersey 08754
B. In the event a caregiver is found by the Animal Control Officer to have violated any provision of this article, or failed to comply with any of its provisions, the Animal Control Officer may require the caregiver to cease, desist and rectify their violation, or terminate their designation as a caregiver, depending on the severity of the violation. If abatement of the violation is appropriate, the caregiver shall be issued a notice of noncompliance specifying that the caregiver has forty-eight hours within which to provide a written response to the Animal Control Officer specifying the steps to be taken by the caregiver to come into compliance with the provisions of this article within a ten-day period. The Animal Control Officer may grant one twenty-day extension if the caregiver demonstrates a good faith effort to comply, and the Animal Control Officer feels that compliance may be achieved within the twenty-day extension period. The caregiver shall make an action report to the Animal Control Officer at the end of the compliance period or when compliance is achieved, whichever occurs first. If the Animal Control Officer determines that the violation is sufficiently serious to warrant termination of the caregiver designation, a notice of such termination shall be provided to that person.
C. If compliance with the provisions of this chapter are not achieved as provided in subsection (2) above, or if termination as a caregiver is otherwise warranted, the Animal Control Officer shall cause a notice of termination to be either personally delivered to the caregiver or mailed to the caregiver by certified mail, return receipt requested, at the address provided by the caregiver on their current application for such designation. Compliance with this subsection by personal delivery shall be effective upon delivery; compliance with this subsection by mailing shall be effective on the day first delivered to the recipient’s address. Termination of designation as a caregiver by the Animal Control Officer may be appealed to 18 GILMORE & MONAHAN A Professional Corporation COUNSELLORS AT LAW Allen Street Professional Center Ten Allen Street P.O. Box 1540 Toms River, New Jersey 08754
the Borough Administrator by such person by providing notice of the appeal in writing stating the basis for the appeal within ten calendar days of delivery of the notice of termination as required in this subsection. The Borough Administrator’s decision shall be made in light of concerns regarding public health, animal safety and sensitivity to the rights of residents, property owners and visitors and effective and efficient program administration and shall be final and binding.
D. The provisions of this section do not grant to caregivers any authority to enter upon the property of others without the property owner’s permission.
§29-34. Ear marking.
Ear marking will be used on feral cats in order to be identified as a spayed or neutered and vaccinated member of a managed colony.
§29-35. Investigation and disposition of feral cats by Animal Control Officer.
A. In the event the Animal Control Officer becomes aware, either through a complaint or personal observation, of a feral cat or feral cat colony, he shall make a reasonable attempt to determine if a suspected feral cat or feral cat colony has a caregiver who will comply with this chapter. If, after making such an attempt, no caregiver is identified or is willing to comply with the provisions of this chapter, the Animal Control Officer shall take all necessary action to obtain permission from the property owner(s) to enter upon the property to capture and remove the feral cats, and to dispose of the captured cats in accordance with the provisions of this chapter.
B. The Animal Control Officer shall make a good faith effort to contact animal sanctuaries in New Jersey and out of state for the purpose of making arrangements to deliver feral cats and stray cats who do not have a caregiver. In the event that no animal sanctuary is available 19 GILMORE & MONAHAN A Professional Corporation COUNSELLORS AT LAW Allen Street Professional Center Ten Allen Street P.O. Box 1540 Toms River, New Jersey 08754
or willing to accept the cats, the Animal Control Officer may deliver the cat(s) to the Ocean County Animal Control Shelter.
C. The Animal Control Officer has the right to seize or remove cats from a colony that have not been vaccinated against rabies and which are demonstrating signs of the disease.
D. The Animal Control Officer has the right to seize or remove a cat from a colony that is creating a nuisance, as defined above, and the caregiver has been given time to remove the nuisance but failed to do so.
E. The Animal Control Officer has the right to seize or remove a colony of cats when the caregiver regularly fails to comply with the requirements of this chapter, and the Animal Coordinator has not been able to obtain a replacement or substitute caregiver.
F. The Animal Control Officer has the right to seize or remove cats from a colony if it is determined that there is a public health threat, including, but not limited to, zoonotic diseases, feline HIV or leukemia.
G. The Animal Control Officer and police officers may investigate any nuisance complaint.
A. The Borough may establish a fund or budget line item, as permitted by law, or otherwise provide services to offset the costs of trapping, neutering, and vaccinating captured feral cats that can be returned to an appropriate, controlled, protected and registered colony site. Caregivers for such colonies, whether one or several animals, may be aided by the Borough in providing traps for the capture of the cat, transportation to a spay/neuter facility and offsetting costs, to the extent that funding is available. 20 GILMORE & MONAHAN A Professional Corporation COUNSELLORS AT LAW Allen Street Professional Center Ten Allen Street P.O. Box 1540 Toms River, New Jersey 08754
B. Any donated funds collected shall be given to the Chief Financial Officer and placed in a trust dedicated to the fulfillment of the TNR program, as allowed under applicable laws.
§29-37. Adoption of rules.
The Borough Administrator and Animal Control Officer shall have the authority to adopt further rules and regulations applicable to the TNR Program to the extent that the same are consistent with and do not modify the provisions of this article.
§29-38. Violations and penalties.
Any person who violates any one or more provisions of this chapter shall be subject to a fine of not more than $500 for each separate offense and/or confinement in the Ocean County Jail for a period of not more than 90 days. In the case of a continuing violation or violations, a fine of not more than $500 may be assessed for each day that said violation or violations are not corrected. A separate offense shall be deemed committed on each day during or on which a violation occurs or continues.
§29-39. Study and review.
Not later than December 31, 2018, the Borough of Seaside Heights shall study the effectiveness of the TNR program and review the continuance of this chapter.
SECTION 2. All ordinances or parts of ordinances inconsistent herewith are hereby repealed.
SECTION 3. If any section, subsection, sentence, clause, phrase or portion of this ordinance is for any reason held to be invalid or unconstitutional by a court of competent jurisdiction, such portion shall be deemed a separate, distinct and independent provision, and such holding shall not affect the validity of the remaining portions hereof. 21 GILMORE & MONAHAN A Professional Corporation COUNSELLORS AT LAW Allen Street Professional Center Ten Allen Street P.O. Box 1540 Toms River, New Jersey 08754
SECTION 4. This ordinance shall take effect after second reading and publication as required by law.
NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that the foregoing ordinance was introduced and passed by the Borough Council on first reading at a meeting of the Borough Council of the Borough of Seaside Heights held on the 6th day of July, 2016, and and will be considered for second reading and final passage at a regular meeting of the Borough Council to be held on the 20th day of July, 2016, at 5:00 p.m., at the Municipal Courtroom located at 116 Sherman Avenue in Seaside Heights, New Jersey, at which time and place any persons desiring to be heard upon the same will be given the opportunity to be so heard. _______________________________________
DIANE B. STABLEY, RMC
Clerk, Borough of Seaside Heights
Tomorrow Is An Important Day! Seaside Heights-Cooler With Colony Cats!
Share this petition
2,172 needed to reach 15,000
Share on Facebook
Tony Vaz Seaside Heights Mayor: Save…
Send an email to friends
Send a message via WhatsApp
Tweet to your followers
Update! Chinese Embassy refuses to accept Petition/ re URGENT: DEMO, LONDON AGAINST HORRIFIC YULIN ‘FESTIVAL’ 24 June – and – Request for help in Yulin
Wake up! It’s always about money and power!
The only way to have an effect is to boycott Chinese tourism and to tell every big corporation manufacturing in or buying cheap crap from China and re-selling it to us, that we will not buy their products so long as this obscenity is allowed to continue! Added benefit would be that it would bring back the millions of manufacturing jobs that have been lost in our own country!
The same goes for the Philipines, S. Korea, Vietnam and other countries in S.E. Asia where eating dogs/cats is still allowed.
China has no humane laws and they have been dragging their heels on this for years. it’s time to end bear-bile farms as well, where thousands…
View original post 1,349 more words
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is refusing to pay compensation to two Idaho families who say a pesticide treatment contaminated their crops and poisoned their cows.
The USDA told the families to file a lawsuit if they wish to claim compensation, an act that could bring farmers to bankruptcy and risk the $70 million potato pest eradication program in Idaho.
The Potato Cyst Nematode (PCN) was discovered in 2006, threatening Idaho’s $900 million potato industry. The next year, the USDA began treating infected fields with methyl bromide. The treatment reduced the pest, but it was stopped in 2014 because of concerns from a grower, said Brian Marschman, State Plant Health Director for APHIS, a branch of USDA.
Among those concerns were cattle with oozing lesions and spontaneously aborted calves, according to Idaho State Department of Agriculture documents obtained by The Associated Press.
The Eldredge-Kelley family, one of…
View original post 692 more words