Week of June 3, 2013
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Wal-Mart pleads guilty to environmental crimes and will pay more than $81
people from hazardous wastes and chemicals,”
said Cynthia Giles, assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Enforcement
and Compliance Assurance. “Walmart is committing to safe handling of
hazardous wastes at all of its facilities nationwide, and action that will
benefit communities across the country.”
Wal-Mart pleaded guilty this morning in San
Francisco to six misdemeanor counts of negligently violating the Clean Water
Act. The six criminal charges were filed by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in
Los Angeles and San Francisco (each office filed three charges), and the two
cases were consolidated in the Northern District of California, where the
guilty pleas were formally entered before U.S. Magistrate Judge Joseph C.
Spero. As part of a plea agreement filed in California, Wal-Mart was
sentenced to pay a $40 million criminal fine and an additional $20 million
that will fund various community service projects, including opening a $6
million Retail Compliance Assistance Center that will help retail stores
across the nation learn how to properly handle hazardous waste.
Pursuant to the plea agreement filed in
Missouri and accepted today by U.S. District Judge John T. Maughmer,
Wal-Mart agreed to pay a criminal fine of $11 million and to pay another $3
million to the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, which will go to
that agency’s Hazardous Waste Program and will be used to fund further
inspections and education on pesticide regulations for regulators, the
regulated community and the public. In addition, Wal-Mart has already spent
more than $3.4 million to properly remove and dispose of all hazardous
material from Greenleaf’s facility.
Temperatures through the Memorial Day weekend were below seasonal averages and have warmed up this week. Scattered showers and thunder storms are forecasted over the next few days with some areas expected to receive over two inches of rain. Temperatures are expected to drop slightly by the end of the weekend with partly sunny conditions forecasted for Monday and Tuesday. The significant amount of precipitation falling during the last week of May will likely give the Great Lakes basin above average precipitation for the month.
LAKE LEVEL CONDITIONS
The water level of Lake Superior is 4 inches above its level of a year ago, while Lake Michigan-Huron is 2 inches lower than at this time last year. Lakes St. Clair and Erie are 4 and 5 inches, respectively, lower than their levels of a year ago while Lake Ontario is 2 inches above last year’s level. Over the next month, Lakes Superior and Michigan-Huron are forecasted to rise 3 and 2 inches, respectively. The water levels of lakes St. Clair, Erie and Ontario are projected to rise 2, 1, and 3 inches, respectively, in the next thirty days.
FORECASTED MONTHLY OUTFLOWS/CHANNEL CONDITIONS
Lake Superior’s outflow through the St. Marys River is projected to be below average for the month of May. Lake Huron’s outflow into the St. Clair River and the outflow from Lake St. Clair into the Detroit River are also expected to be below average throughout the month of May. Lake
Erie’s outflow through the Niagara River is predicted to be below average and the outflow of Lake Ontario into the St. Lawrence River is expected to be below average in May.
Official records are based on monthly average water levels and not daily water levels. Lake Michigan-Huron is near chart datum. Users of the Great Lakes, connecting channels and St. Lawrence River should keep informed of current conditions before undertaking any activities that could be affected by changing water levels. Mariners should utilize navigation charts and refer to current water level readings.
Questions and comments from the public are encouraged
SPRINGFIELD, IL – The Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) has scheduled a series of open houses for the public to ask questions and receive information about Illinois' deer herd this June.
IDNR Division of Wildlife Resources staff will be on hand at each meeting to discuss the deer management program, hunting regulations, and surveillance/management of chronic wasting disease.
The public is invited to attend the open houses from 4 – 7 p.m. at the following locations and dates:
• June 3 – Rockford Public Library (East Branch), 6685 East State St., Rockford, IL
• June 4 – Hickory Hills Discovery Center (Twinleaf West room), St. Charles Park District, 3795 Campton Hills Road, St. Charles, IL
• June 5 – Champaign County Farm Bureau Auditorium, 801 Country Fair Drive, Champaign, IL
• June 6 – John A. Logan College (TDR room), 700 Logan Drive, Carterville, IL
• June 11 – PASA Park, #1 Pasa Park, Barry, IL (off I-72 west of Pittsfield)
In addition to the open houses, the IDNR will have a survey for attendees at the open houses and available online. IDNR will post all materials presented at the meetings on the Department’s website and provide opportunities for hunters, landowners, and other members of the public to review them and provide comments.
More information and details will be available at the IDNR website at www.dnr.illinois.gov as it becomes available.
Bassmaster Magazine recently named Lake St. Clair the top bass fishing location in the nation. Catch-and-keep season for largemouth and smallmouth bass on most waters, including the Great Lakes, starts May
25 and stretches all the way through Dec. 31. If you plan to fish on Lake St. Clair, St. Clair River or the Detroit River, the season opens for those waters on June 15. The minimum size limit for both largemouth and smallmouth bass is 14 inches.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo invited representatives of the New York State Sheriff’s Association to meet with him and discuss issues with the recently passed “SAFE Act.” At least that’s what the sheriffs thought the meeting would be about.
But instead, according to this article in the Albany Times Union, Cuomo told the sheriffs to cease and desist expressing their wide-ranging comments in opposition to many of the law’s provisions. “The governor was of the opinion that the sheriffs around the state should not be interjecting their personal opinions in reference to the law,” according to one attendee.
News flash to the governor: That cat is out of the bag, since both the Sheriff’s Association and several individual sheriffs have joined the litigation against the new law. But the governor isn’t out of options yet. No meeting attendee was willing to confirm this, but at least one source says that Cuomo threatened to use an obscure power of the governor’s office to remove sheriffs from office.
New York is not the only state where sheriffs are speaking out against new gun laws. In Colorado, a majority of state sheriffs have joined litigation against new gun laws filed earlier this week. NSSF is also a
party to the Colorado lawsuit, and proud to support the sheriffs for pointing out obvious problems with the new law, as noted in this article, which quotes their filing as follows:
“The Sheriffs have limited resources and limited public funds to spend on investigations . . . They cannot expend those resources to conduct investigations that would be necessary to monitor compliance with the new magazine restrictions. No documentation has ever been required for the retail or private purchase of magazines, making it a practical impossibility for the Sheriffs to determine whether one of the many magazines already in existence was obtained after the effective date.”
Of course, we told them that before the law was passed, but Colorado legislators weren’t listening then, any more than Cuomo is willing to hear criticism of his trademark law now. And we recall that Colorado legislators protested comments by state sheriffs in opposition when their new law was under debate.
It is rapidly becoming a hallmark of anti-gun politicians to view the First Amendment with equal disdain as the Second Amendment. Both are “inconvenient truths” in their zeal to enact new restrictions on our rights and our industry.
The public shooting range at the Yellowstone Wildlife Area on County Highway F near Fayette in Lafayette County will be closed beginning June 5 for range safety improvements and addition of features that will provide accessible parking and shooting.
Backstops will be improved and berms constructed down the sides of all ranges for added safety. Plans also call for improving drainage, constructing a roof over all firing lines and installing new shooting benches.
MZ Construction, Inc., of Linden Wisconsin will do the work with an estimated completion date of August 1, 2013. The planned project cost of $210,000 will be funded with $185,000 from the federal Pittman-Robertson Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Act fund and a $25,000 grant from the National Rifle Association Range Grant Program
Enacted in 1937, Pittman-Robertson collects an excise tax on purchases
of firearms, ammunition and archery equipment. Money is sent back to individual states and a portion of the dollars must be used to educate and train hunters through hunter safety classes and shooting ranges.
“This will be a great and welcome upgrade to the Yellowstone range,” said Bruce Folley, wildlife biologist with the Department of Natural Resources. “Yellowstone is the only free shooting range found on public land for many miles around. It’s popular and has been showing its age for some time now. Currently, it does not offer accessible parking or shooting. Closure during the summer months will be inconvenient for some but it will be open in time for the fall hunting seasons and I think folks will really like the improvements.”
Project specifications call for recovering as much lead as possible from the existing backstops for recycling. For shooting options during the construction phase the National Shooting Sports Foundation maintains a list of shooting ranges at wheretoshoot.org.
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