Monday, May 24, 2010

Mississippi River Water Resource News for the Week (last week)

The "Assistance, Quality, and Affordability Act of 2010" (H.R. 5320), sponsored by Energy and Commerce Chairman Henry Waxman (D-CA) and Rep. Ed Markey (D-MA), passed out of the Energy and Environment Subcommittee on May 19 by a vote of 18-13. The bill would reauthorize the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund and otherwise amend the Safe Drinking Water Act. A press release and links to the bill and bill summaries can be found here.  You can track progress on the bill at this Library of Congress web site.

This issue is so cross-cutting among all of the natural resource arenas that the news deserves widespread notice and has implications throughout the Mississippi River basin: a new suite of three National Research Council (National Academies) reports requested by Congress conclude (in the words of the National Academies) that "strong evidence on climate change underscores need for action" (National Academies' web page with reports and press release here).

Daniel Hellerstein (USDA ERS) has written an article in the June 2010 edition of Amber Waves entitled, “Challenges Facing USDA’s Conservation Reserve Program," in which Hellerstein notes that improved targeting of benefits, encouragement of better conservation practices, and heightened competition among bidders could hold promise for increasing the environmental benefits and lowering the cost of the Conservation Reserve Program. The full article can be found here.

EPA's National Water Program has released the final FY 2011 National Water Program Guidance. According to an EPA news release, "this Guidance describes water program priorities and strategies, including the suite of water performance measures and their targets, for the coming fiscal year."  The final Guidance is available at this EPA web site.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Rock Island District Regulatory Branch will hold a stream bank stabilization workshop August 2-4, at the Polk County Conservation Board's Chichaqua Longhouse, which is located at 8700 NE 126th Ave., Maxwell, Iowa. Space is limited to the first 60 people who register. Contact Al Forhlich, for more information, at: Regulatory Branch; Rock Island District; 309/794-5859

A map to the location can be found by following this link.

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