Friday, June 11, 2010

Mississippi River Water Resource News for the Week

On Wednesday, June 9,  the Water and Power Subcommittee of the Senate's Energy and Natural Resources Committee held a hearing regarding several water resources bills, including the "Upper Mississippi River Protection Act," which would direct the U.S. Geological Survey to establish a nutrient- and sediment-monitoring network for the Upper Mississippi River Basin. The House bill (HR 3671), introduced by Rep. Ron Kind (D-WI-3rd), was passed by the House on March 19. The roll call vote in favor of the bill's passage was 289 - 121. The companion bill to the House measure (S 2779) was introduced in the Senate in November last year by Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN). Links to the bill web sites can be found on this Library of Congress site. Here is a link to the Subcommittee's website for Wednesday's hearing. 
That page includes written testimony from Department of Interior, Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner Michael Connor, who testified at the hearing.  Mr. Connor indicated in his written and oral testimonty that the DOI was concerned about the money needed to carry out the full scope of the study called for under the Upper Mississippi River Protection Act, and said authority now in place is sufficient to protect the basin.  His prepared remarks on the Upper Mississippi River Protection Act start on page 7.  It runs for three pages.

An analysis by David Biello (Associate Editor, Environment and Energy, Scientific American) looks at the potential impacts that the ongoing BP oil release might have on the chronically-occurring Gulf of Mexico hypoxic or "dead" zone, in a June 3 Scientific American online article. Biello concludes that "the ongoing oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico might exacerbate or ameliorate the seasonal dead zone pictured here--as well as potentially form new dead zones in deeper waters further out." You can read the entire article here.

Notable @UpperMiss tweets for the week:
  • Mississippi basin politics: Sen. Blanche Lincoln (AR) survived a bitter Democratic runoff Tuesday
  • Aged, damaged Chattanooga sewer lines threaten Tennessee River clean water
  • Before the Mississippi River, minerals show ancient rivers flowed west
  • America’s Waterway's June newsletter re: Mississippi River now available online
  • Developers break ground for 'macro green' business park in Iowa City
  • Fed agencies to develop plans for at least 5 % budget cuts by identifying programs that do little to advance missions
  • MSU scientists develop approach to make conserving & managing freshwater systems more integrated & effective
  • USGS to conduct series of seismic profiling tests near New Madrid Fault near Marianna, Ark. in 1st part of June
  • Quad-City Times editorial re: Cedar River flooding & development issues eschews quick fixes & poor planning
  • Mississippi River Gorge 1/2 day canoe trips scheduled throughout the summer in Minneapolis area
  • WI state laws & programs designed help to slow emerald ash borer spread
  • EPA "Managing Wet Weather with Green Infrastructure" Workshop July 29-30; Fayetteville AR

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