Industry News Roundup: May Week I

May 6, 2024

NOAA Predicts Record 2024 Hurricane Season

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) anticipates that the 2024 hurricane season will be the most intense on record.

Forecasts indicate 17 to 25 named storms, with eight to 13 developing into hurricanes, and four to seven escalating into major hurricanes with winds exceeding 111 mph.

Driven by near-record sea surface temperatures that are as warm as they typically are in August, this year’s projection breaks all previous records since NOAA began issuing predictions in 1998. It significantly surpasses the average of 14 named storms, seven hurricanes, and three major hurricanes.

Experts from leading universities support NOAA’s prediction. The Atlantic’s sea surface temperatures are averaging 82.5°F, well above the usual 78.5°F. This trend is worsened by weak trade winds and reduced Saharan dust.

Although seasonal forecasts are becoming more accurate, uncertainties remain. The 2024 hurricane season is expected to be extraordinarily active.

For insights on how our environmental professionals can help and what our clients can do to handle hurricanes, learn how to “Weather the Storm” from our team on the Atlas Sphere.

Airline Passengers to Receive Automatic Refunds and Fee Transparency

Travelers, rejoice! The U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) has introduced new mandates ensuring that airlines provide automatic refunds for cancellations, delays, or substantial changes, and disclose all fees upfront.

Announced by U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, this move aims to enhance transparency and alleviate the hassles associated with air travel.

Now, a “significant” delay is uniformly defined as three hours for domestic flights and six hours for international flights, standardizing passenger entitlements to refunds.

Furthermore, any additional fees for services like checked baggage and seat selection must be clearly displayed before ticket purchase.

Set to phase in from October, these regulations promise a smoother and more predictable flying experience for all.

So take those plans out of the group chat — and book those flights!

EPA Invests $9 Billion to Eradicate Lead Pipes

The EPA has embarked on a monumental $9-billion campaign to remove approximately 1.7 million lead service lines across the U.S. over the next three years.

Funded by the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), this initiative will help the government and partnered agencies target and eliminate lead exposure particularly harmful to children.

With a significant portion of the budget designated towards disadvantaged communities, the EPA’s strategy includes not only the physical removal of lead pipes — but also community education on the dangers of lead.

By prioritizing states with the most critical need, the EPA endeavors to ensure safe drinking water for all Americans, addressing a longstanding public health issue head-on.

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