Thursday, December 9, 2010

Mississippi River Basin Water Resource News for the Week

Ring Out the Old; Ring in the New
As the last days of the 111th Congress wind down, with a final adjournment expected next week, preparations are being made for the 112th Congress, which will convene on January 5, 2011.  On Tuesday and Wednesday, the Senate and House, respectively, released their 2012 legislative calendars (which differ from each other considerably; see here for more details).  And on Wednesday, the House Republican Conference approved new committee chairs for the 112th Congress (listed here).

Key Committee Chair assignments that impact directly upon Mississippi River Basin water resource issues include: Agriculture (Frank Lucas (R-OK-3rd)); Appropriations (Harold Rogers (R-KY-5th)); Budget (Paul Ryan (R-WI-1st)); Natural Resources (Doc Hastings (R-WA-4th)); and Transportation and Infrastructure (John Mica (R-FL-7th)).  Links for each chairperson are to their congressional web page.

Notable @UpperMiss Twitter Postings for the Week

In the States -
  • Environment Iowa calls on Iowa leaders to curb agriculture pollution
  • USGS: Biofuels production has unintended consequences on water quality & quantity in Mississippi (state)
  • Ducks Unlimited & USDA-NRCS's Wetlands Reserve Enhancement Prog returning IL farmland to wetlands
  • Study at former Rhinelander WI manufactured gas plant site along Wisconsin River resumes
  • WI Brd of Ag considering adding ~10,000 Ac to 1.2 M where herbicide atrazine cannot be used due to polluted wells
  • Two natural Mississippi River waterfalls could be recreated around downtown Minneapolis island
Floodplains, Dams and Navigation -
Agriculture -
Water Quality-
  • Parking lot/driveway sealants largest contributors to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in urban lakes & reservoirs
  • Minneapolis, St. Paul, Blaine & Prior Lake MN show interest in installing SAFL stormwater baffles
  • Florida Sues EPA Over Water Standards (may have nationwide repurcusions)
Events -
Biodiversity, Wildlife and Invasives -
  • Congress passes Asian Carp import prevention bill [tho that horse may have already left the barn]
  • KY and TN considering reopening hunting for sand hill cranes
  • Columbia Environmental Research Center researchers study intersex sturgeon in the Missouri River
  • RT @InvasiveNotes: USDA-ARS climate change & invasive weed address at AGMasters conference
  • Penn State research: states might want to establish invasive species quarantines at their borders
  • National Environmental Coalition on Invasive Species launches redesigned invasive species website & resource page
Other news-
Political Scene -
  • GOP gets queasy on earmark ban; some think party may have overreached; impact on Army Corps projects cited
  • Rep. Hal Rogers (R-KY) chosen to lead powerful House Appropriations Committee
  • Democratic push to pass >100 public lands & water bills in lame duck session escalates
  • 120 groups sign ad urging omnibus water/wilderness bill passage (pdf of full page add)
  • SanFran Examiner Editorial: GOP must pick the right committee chairs
  • Political campaign reprise: How WI (D) Sen Russ Feingold lost
  • New poll shows Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) "would cruise to reelection" vs any Republican opponent
  • Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) releases 2011 Senate calendar; convenes Jan 5
  • 2011 House Calendar now available on Majority Leader-elect Eric Cantor’s website (pdf)
  • Rep. Frank Lucas (R-OK) selected to chair House Agriculture Committee in 112th Congress
  • House narrowly passes year-long FY 2011 Continuing Resolution; Senate fate unknown

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