Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals will hear WOTUS Rule

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest In a case successfully argued by Ohio’s Solicitor Eric Murphy, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals based in Cincinnati has determined that it has jurisdiction to hear challenges to the Clean Water Rule (WOTUS Rule) proposed by the U.S. EPA and Army Corps of Engineers. The Rule expands the geographic extent of the “waters of the United States” (WOTUS) that are subject to the Clean Water Act. A brief backgroundWhen the agencies published the final WOTUS Rule last summer, dozens of parties and 31 states, including Ohio, filed challenges in nine federal district courts and eight federal courts of appeal. The filings raised an immediate uncertainty about whether federal district courts or federal courts of appeal have jurisdiction to review the Rule. Despite this uncertainty, the U.S. District Court for the District of North Dakota issued a temporary injunction that prevented the Rule’s application in the 13 states that were involved in that district’s litigation. Other district courts in West Virginia and Georgia declined to issue injunctions and instead ruled that they did not have jurisdiction to review the Rule. A federal panel consolidated the cases filed before the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, which includes the challenge by the State of Ohio. The Sixth Circuit first issued a nationwide stay of the WOTUS Rule last October before turning to the jurisdictional challenges raised by the EPA and Army Corps.The Sixth Circuit’s fractured opinionThe decision on jurisdiction issued by the Sixth Circuit’s three judge panel is not harmonious. Judge McKeague wrote the court’s opinion and based jurisdiction on two of seven provisions in the Clean Water Act that grant appellate court jurisdiction to review EPA actions: subsection 1369 (b)(1)(E) for actions “approving or promulgating any effluent limitation or other limitation” under certain sections of the Act and subsection 1369(b)(1)(F), for actions issuing or denying National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permits. Judge McKeague relies on a U.S. Supreme Court decision that interprets the “other limitations” language in 1369 (b)(1)(E) to include limitations that “indirectly” produce limitations on point source operators and permit issuing authorities. He also cites the Sixth Circuit’s earlier decision in National Cotton Council v. U.S. EPA to conclude that agency actions “issuing or denying” an NPDES permit under 1369(b)(1)(F) include actions creating “regulations governing the issues of permits” and “rules that regulate NPDES permitting procedures,” such as the WOTUS Rule.A concurring opinion written by Judge Griffin agrees only with the requirement to follow the Sixth Circuit’s previous decision in National Cotton Council. Judge Griffin clarifies that he is bound by but does not agree with the court’s reasoning in that case, and would not otherwise accept jurisdiction under subsections 1369(b)(1)(E) or (F). In a dissenting opinion, Judge Keith agrees with the concurring opinion that neither subsection 1369(b)(1)(E) or (F) grants an appeals court jurisdiction in regards to the WOTUS Rule. Judge Keith also argues that Judge McKeague mistakenly relies upon and overly broadens the National Cotton Council decision, which he believes does not apply to the WOTUS Rule.ImplicationsDespite the disagreements between the Sixth Circuit Court judges, the decision means that the nationwide stay of the WOTUS Rule remains in effect and the court will proceed to hear the circuit’s consolidated cases that challenge the WOTUS Rule. The court’s decision on jurisdiction applies only to the states within the Sixth Circuit—Ohio, Michigan, Kentucky and Tennessee. Given the range of reasoning in the Sixth Circuit’s decision, other federal courts could reach differing decisions on the question of which court has jurisdiction over the cases. If so, we can expect a request for the United States Supreme Court to review the jurisdictional issue. As we expected, the WOTUS Rule challenges will be with us for quite some time.Read the Sixth Circuit’s opinion for In re: U.S. Dep’t of Defense & U.S. Envtl. Protection Agency Final Rule: Clean Water Rule at http://www.ca6.uscourts.gov/opinions.pdf/16a0045p-06.pdf.last_img read more

Spray Foam Insulation Is Not a Cure-All

first_imgThe sum and substanceDon’t assume that just because a home is insulated with spray foam that it’s automatically a winner. As I said above, spray foam insulation is not a cure-all. Every product has its pitfalls, and spray foam is no exception. The good news, though, is that spray foam’s problems are generally infrequent and easy to overcome with proper training, planning, and follow through. 2. Spray foam installers missed some of the air leakage sites.Once I got a call to look at a 10,000-square-foot house that had spray foam throughout, but the owners had a serious problem their first summer in the house. When I arrived, they took me to the master suite, where two towels were on the floor — to catch the rain falling off of the supply registers in the ceiling!The problem was that the installers missed some areas at the soffit in the attic above the master bedroom, and gaps around the tray ceiling allowed the humid air into the room, where it naturally found the cold surface to condense on.As this example illustrates, it’s important to seal the enclosure completely. One of spray foam’s biggest selling points is its air-sealing ability, but it can’t seal places where it’s not sprayed. One of the nice things about using spray foam in new construction is that you can do a blower-door test before the drywall goes in. You also can test for leaks with a fog machine, as Martin Holladay described. Allison Bailes of Decatur, Georgia, is a speaker, writer, energy consultant, RESNET-certified trainer, and the author of the Energy Vanguard Blog. You can follow him on Twitter at @EnergyVanguard. Spray foam insulation is a great product. Homes insulated with it can be some of the most efficient and comfortable homes built. I’ve been in plenty of homes insulated with spray foam and can tell you that, when done well, those homes are airtight and comfortable. I’ve also seen homes where the spray foam was a waste of money. Spray foam and the building enclosureSpray polyurethane foam comes in two flavors, open-cell and closed-cell, and provides both parts of the building enclosure — the control layers for heat and air, also known as insulation and the air barrier. The building enclosure should completely surround the conditioned space, and the insulation needs to be in contact with the air barrier. Since spray foam is both insulation and air barrier, proper alignment of the insulation and the air barrier is guaranteed.What’s not guaranteed, however, is that all spray foam homes will be efficient and comfortable. It seems that some folks in the industry think the magic is in the product, that spray foam is a cure-all, but sadly, they’re wrong. Let’s take a look at four of the most common installation problems with spray foam insulation. 3. Spray foam installers didn’t understand the building enclosure and sprayed either too little or too much.In complex houses, seeing exactly where the building enclosure is (or should be) can be a challenge. If the installer misses areas, it may or may not be an air leak, but it will definitely be a thermal bypass because of the lack of insulation. Every part of the building enclosure must be insulated, or the home will have excess heat loss or heat gain.Another problem I’ve seen is that the installer sprays extra foam because they haven’t identified the location of the building enclosure, the boundary between conditioned and unconditioned space. In photo 3 below, that wall with foam all over it has conditioned space on both sides. The homeowner paid extra and got nothing for it. 4. Spray foam contracts and pulls away from the framing.Photo 4 below shows how the closed-cell foam in a new house had pulled away from the framing in many of the wall and ceiling cavities. The same thing can happen with open-cell foam, too. Some of the reasons for it are a bad batch of chemicals, improper mixing, foam temperature too high, or substrate temperature too low.Whatever the cause, it’s not a good thing. A little bit of uninsulated area like that adds up to a lot of heat loss or gain when the whole house has that problem, as it did here. Again, see my article on flat or lumpy insulation. 1. Spray foam isn’t thick enough.This may be more common with closed-cell foam, but it happens with open-cell foam, too. Since closed-cell foam has a higher R-value per inch, installers generally spray 2 inches in walls and 3 inches at rooflines to meet the minimum energy code requirements of R-13 and R-19, respectively, here in IECC climate zone 3. (Putting R-19 at the roofline is allowed under the UA tradeoffs rule in the IECC. See the Energy Nerd’s blog on this topic if you want to argue.)Open-cell foam usually fills the framing cavity completely, so it’s easy to tell if the installer has sprayed enough. Closed-cell foam normally doesn’t fill the cavity, so you’ve got to spot check in a bunch of places to make sure you don’t get shorted.The video below is from a house near Charleston, South Carolina that I visited in 2010. You can see that the homeowner in this case didn’t get his money’s worth. I knew immediately when I walked into the attic that something was wrong because it was too hot up there on that June afternoon. In a properly insulated spray foam attic, the temperature won’t be much higher than the house temperature.The problem was that the installer was doing his first spray foam job ever, and the thickness of the insulation varied from zero (visible roof deck) to about 9 inches. Unfortunately, good average thickness doesn’t cut it. The coverage needs to be uniform because a lot of heat will go through the under-insulated areas. (See my article on flat or lumpy insulation performance.) RELATED ARTICLES GBA Encyclopedia: Spray Foam InsulationSpray Foam Insulation Is Not a Magic BulletGetting Spray Foam RightJoe Lstiburek on Spray FoamSpray Foam in Cold ClimatesAir Leaks in Homes Insulated With Spray FoamIt’s OK to Skimp On Insulation, Icynene Sayslast_img read more

Adobe Releases New Content Aware Fill Tool for After Effects

first_imgHow the Content Aware Fill Tool WorksAdobe’s Artificial Intelligence technology, “Adobe Sensei,” has been refined over the years to create some amazing tools. It uses its deep learning algorithms to recognize patterns in your video, so that you can remove objects, cars, boom mics, logos, and even people from your shot. This makes it possible for beginner to intermediate Adobe After Effects users to remove unwanted objects from frame.Using the Content Aware ToolFrom what we have seen so far, the Content Aware tool is simpler to use than anyone anticipated — according to the tutorial they released with the announcement.All you have to do is put a rough mask over the object you would like to remove, animate the frame in about 4-5 keyframes (just to make sure your mask keeps the subject inside of it), then open up the motion tracking tab on your right hand side. There is now a Content Aware Fill Toolbox waiting there for you to use. From there, select what fill method you would like to use, then click Generate Fill Layer. It will then create a series of .PNGs in a new layer that will fill your mask with the AI’s interpretation of what should be in the frame. It’s as simple as that!Adobe’s new tool is available for you to use now in their newest update.All images via Adobe.Looking for more industry updates? Check these out.Blackmagic RAW Added to BMPCC4K with Blackmagic Camera Update 6.2BREAKING: Blackmagic Design Announces the New URSA Mini Pro 4.6K G2Here’s What’s New in Panasonic’s EVA 3.0 Firmware UpdateBREAKING: SmallHD Releases New 7″ FOCUS Monitor with 1000 Nit BrightnessSony Announces a New 135mm G Master Lens at F1.8 In Adobe’s newest update for 2019, we’re finally getting what many motion graphics artists have been waiting for — a content aware fill tool for video.It’s been two years since Adobe teased their “Project Cloak” capabilities at Adobe MAX 2017, and motion graphics artists have been anticipating the release of this technology. Well, the wait is finally over. Along with a plethora of new Adobe features (such as the Freeform Project Panel in Premiere for storyboarding and the addition of rulers and guides for more accuracy in Premiere), Adobe has finally given us the video Content Aware tool that will save us all from painstakingly rotoscoping out unwanted items in a frame.Check out all their newest releases in their latest video:last_img read more

Why France Is The World Cup Favorite Dont Worry — The US

Why France Is The World Cup Favorite Dont Worry — The US

SPI RatingsChance team will … All of this is before even getting into the specific on-field flaws that might haunt the U.S.’s bid for a second straight World Cup victory.But that’s not to say the USWNT looks weak this time around. The Americans still have the best team in the tournament on paper, and it took every bit of France’s home-field edge to deny the U.S. the favorite status. They have plenty of stars from World Cups past, present and future. There’s a solid chance that they will win it all again. (I personally would love to attend another victory parade down the Canyon of Heroes this summer.) Still, it will be a tougher path than usual, thanks to a vicious combination of geography, the knockout bracket and the parity growing across women’s international soccer. And while that might mean heartbreak for the U.S. and its fans, it should also make for an exciting tournament over the next month.Check out our latest Women’s World Cup predictions. The favorites in the World Cup fieldTeams with a chance of at least 10 percent to win the 2019 Women’s World Cup, according to the FiveThirtyEight model TeamGroupOff.Def.OverallWin GroupMake KnockoutsWin WC Each team’s specific path through the tournament matters quite a bit as well. The USWNT wasn’t the highest-rated team in the field last time around, but it was our model’s overall favorite despite drawing the dreaded “group of death” for the initial stage of the tournament. This year, the Americans drew one of the easiest groups, at least in terms of bottom-feeders (Chile and Thailand), and the hosting French got stuck in the group of death. But thanks to the persistent presence of longtime nemesis Sweden, the U.S. won’t necessarily be guaranteed to win Group F — and even if it does, the winner of the group will face Group B’s runner-up (most likely either Spain or China, a couple of solid sides defensively) in the round of 16 and then very likely the winner of Group A in the quarterfinals. The most probable team to be waiting there? France.That’s why the Americans’ odds of making the semifinals are just 46 percent this year, compared with 65 percent back in 2015. That year, the USWNT went through Colombia (the team rated fifth-lowest by SPI in the field) in the round of 16 and then China (a middle-of-the-field team by SPI) in the quarterfinals before running into top-rated Germany in the semis. (As neither team was the host, SPI had that match relatively even, and the U.S. won 2-0.) This time, the Americans are more likely to face tougher teams earlier in the tournament — which also has the byproduct of giving those tougher opponents fewer chances to be upset before making their way into the U.S.’s path.And there’s the fact that this year’s field is deeper and more dangerous than perhaps any other in Women’s World Cup history. Among the soccer cognoscenti, there’s a distinct sense that the rest of the world is quickly catching up to the United States in terms of talent on the women’s side, where America has traditionally had a strong first-mover advantage. That’s borne out in the numbers, too: Our model thinks more teams have more of a chance this year than it did four years ago: GermanyB4.20.794.2619511 Source: ESPN FranceA4.10.695.371%97%20% USAF5.10.797.276>9918 EnglandD3.60.692.755>9910 When the 2019 Women’s World Cup kicks off Friday, the initial match will contain FiveThirtyEight’s pre-tournament championship favorite — and no, the U.S. women won’t be on the field.1The Americans don’t play their first game until June 11. So, yes: With a 20 percent probability of winning the World Cup in our model, France has the best odds of any team in the field this summer, not the United States.Our American readers might be wondering, what gives?2First we declare the Golden State Warriors to not be NBA Finals favorites, and now this? Why is the defending-champion (and world No. 1-ranked) USWNT not the best bet to take home its fourth World Cup in the eight-tournament history of the event? After all, the last time the Americans didn’t win (back in 2011), it was a major upset that required Japan to score a dramatic tying goal in the 117th minute and win on penalties. And U.S. head coach Jill Ellis calls this year’s roster “probably the most talented we’ve had going into a major tournament like this, in my opinion.”But France is playing at home this year, and our model has traditionally given a big boost to the host country in international soccer tournaments. In the past, our research has found that soccer’s home-field advantage is worth two to three times as much as in, say, the NFL. There is recent evidence that this advantage is on the decline, though, so France’s added boost is a bit smaller than what historical World Cup results suggest the host team should receive. But even so, that edge is enough to lift France, the world’s second-most talented team (according to our Soccer Power Index ratings), past the top-ranked Americans for the title of most-likely champs. read more

High reliability of flexible organic transistor memory looks promising for future electronics

High reliability of flexible organic transistor memory looks promising for future electronics

first_img Citation: High reliability of flexible organic transistor memory looks promising for future electronics (2010, July 8) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2010-07-high-reliability-flexible-transistor-memory.html More information: Soo-Jin Kim and Jang-Sik Lee. “Flexible Organic Transistor Memory Devices.” Nano Letters. DOI: 10.102/nl1009662 . Contact information: jangsik[at]kookmin.ac.kr (Left) A photograph of the 3 x 3 cm2 flexible organic memory devices. (Right) A diagram of the memory device architecture. Image credit: Soo-Jin Kim and Jang-Sik Lee. Explore further Engineers Jang-Sik Lee and Soo-Jin Kim from Kookmin University in Seoul, Korea, have published the details of the flexible organic transistor memory in a recent issue of Nano Letters. “The advancement in this memory device is the improved reliability and stability,” Lee told PhysOrg.com. “Actually, organic electronic devices suffer from the severe degradation in terms of device performance according to the operation time. Here, we demonstrated the improved data retention and endurance capability by optimizing the memory device structures. In addition, the flexible memory devices are found to be very stable in repeated bending cycles, confirming the good mechanical stability.”As the researchers demonstrated in their study, the memory device can offer controllable threshold voltage for writing and erasing information, storage times of more than a year, and reliability after hundreds of repeated programming/erasing cycles, as well as good flexibility that could endure more than 1,000 repeated bending cycles. Plus, all the fabrication processes could be carried out at low temperatures, enabling lower manufacturing costs.To design the memory, the researchers took advantage of existing organic transistor devices, which already offer excellent performance. By embedding gold nanoparticles (as charge-trapping elements) and dielectric layers (as charge tunneling and blocking elements) into organic thin-film transistors, the researchers created organic memory devices with similar electrical and mechanical properties as the transistors. The resulting organic transistor-based memory was synthesized on a flexible substrate of about 3 x 3 cm2.As the researchers explained in more detail, the programming and erasing operations were performed by applying a positive or negative 90-volt pulse for one second to the bottom-gate electrode. For writing information, a negative voltage was applied, which caused charge carriers to tunnel through a 10-nm-thick tunneling layer to reach the gold nanoparticles in the gate dielectric layer. In the charge-trapping layer, each nanoparticle trapped 4-5 holes, which the researchers defined as written states. The written states could be erased by applying a positive voltage that caused the gold nanoparticles to eject the holes. A reading voltage of -8 volts could be applied to measure and read the drain current. The engineers showed that these programming, reading, and erasing operations could be carried out repeatedly with less degradation compared to other memory devices. “The flexible memory devices that have previously been reported are based on resistive switching memory devices,” Lee said. “In that case, we need additional active components (for example, a diode or transistor) to operate the resistive switching memory elements. The memory devices developed in this study are based on the field-effect transistors, and memory elements are embedded in the gate dielectric layers of organic transistors. So the program/erase operations can be controlled by the transistor operations. This is a great advantage in terms of device scaling and circuit design since the structure is similar to the conventional flash memory devices. So we can use the state-of-the-art flash memory technology to design and fabricate the integrated flexible memory devices.” Currently, the researchers are working on further enhancing the memory properties of these organic transistor-based memory devices, such as by decreasing the operating voltage. In addition, since most of the device is transparent except for the electrodes, the researchers hope to incorporate transparent electrodes to create a fully transparent, flexible memory device. “The flexible organic memory devices can be applied to wearable/stretchable/foldable electronic devices,” Lee said. “In addition, there is almost no limit in substrate materials and geometry, so the integration of memory devices onto unconventional substrates is possible. Finally, we think the memory devices can be adopted in see-through displays and head-up displays in the near future.”• Learn about becoming PhysOrg.com sponsorcenter_img Copyright 2010 PhysOrg.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or part without the express written permission of PhysOrg.com. (PhysOrg.com) — With the constant demand for high-performance nonvolatile memory devices, researchers continue to develop better memories – ones with low power consumption, good reliability, and low manufacturing costs. In a recent study, engineers from Korea have demonstrated a flexible memory based on an organic transistor, which they say could be easily and cheaply integrated, along with transistors and logic circuits, into flexible electronic devices. Organic flash memory developed This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more