Friday, January 28, 2011

Mississippi River Basin Water Resource News for the Week

112th Congress: Congressional and Environmental Committee Priorities
The 112th Congress convened on January 5, and although little has occurred yet of direct significance to the Mississippi River Basin, the year is shaping up to be one in which many such legislative issues will come up.  As mentioned in the Institute's December Mississippi River Basin Update, budgetary and economic issues have taken center stage as top Congressional priorities almost immediately, both from the standpoint of the current (2011) and next (2012) Fiscal Years (see more under "
Federal Budget," below).  

And even as many congressional committees are still in the process of finalizing their structures organizationally (see a list of committee assignments at the end of this posting), we’re starting to get some  hints as to what various committee priorities might be for the upcoming year.  Based upon input from various staff members from committees doing work directly relevant to the Mississippi River Basin, issues that will likely arise in Congress during 2011 that are relevant to Mississippi River Basin water resources include Water Resources Development Act reauthorization, the 2012 Farm Bill, clean water and wastewater infrastructure needs and funding to meet those needs, aquatic invasive species, Federal water resources management policy, nonpoint sources of water pollution, and National Flood Insurance Program reauthorization. 

You can read a much more in-depth listing and analysis of priorities and likely issues that will come before various Congressional committees in 2011 from a water resources perspective, here on our Mississippi River Basin Blog.

Notable @UpperMiss Twitter Postings for the Week

In the States -

Floodplains, Dams and Navigation -
  • U of MN scientist suggests climate & channel modifications probable causes for increased Lake Pepin sedimentation
  • River pilots: Army Corps spending cuts mean Mississippi River mouth faces more silting in
  • Clearer picture emerging on how rivers & deltas develop; understanding can play key delta management role
Agriculture -
  • Final USDA rule for Farm & Ranch Land Protection Program published in today's Federal Register (pdf file)
  • Farm subsidies in time of farm wealth present test of GOP budget cutting pledge
  • Purdue U agro economist: Tough times ahead for farm conservation programs
  • Land availability is a key constraint on US ability to expand biofuel production
  • House Ag Committee Chair Lucas says he would be pleased if agricultural spending could simply be frozen where it is now
  • Sens Chambliss & Roberts letter to OMB urges reduced "burdensome & ineffective" EPA & USDA regs impacting farmers
Events -
  • June 3-6: River Network’s 2011 National River Rally; North Charleston, SC
  • USDA Private Landowner Technical Assistance Program webinar has been changed to January 31, 2:00 PM EST
  • Farm Foundation Forum: Agriculture as a Provider of Environmental Services; Feb 15; Washington DC
Biodiversity, Wildlife and Invasives -
  • RT @restorm: Massive 6-state habitat restoration progresses: 130,000 acres in Year 1 [TN, AL, MO, AR, KY, IL]
  • New MN DNR Commissioner wants to address declining # of duck hunters and invasive species
  • For 1st time, an online guide to diatoms of the US is available, with readily-accessible images for identification
Other news-
  • Illinois Governor Quinn new Chair of Midwestern Governors Association (pdf)
  • Group urges local governments /businesses to support regional collaboration in parts of IA, WI and MN
  • Gov. Walker administration shelves plan for U of Wisconsin biomass plant; citing costs
  • Northeast-Midwest Institute's January Update on Mississippi River Basin news is now available:
  • Center for Neighborhood Tech & American Rivers report quantifies economic benefits of green infrastructure
  • Reps. Waxman & Green urge Energy & Commerce Committee Chair Upton to address failing water infrastructure
  • Dept of the Interior releases new strategic plan for fiscal years 2011 – 2016 (pdf file)
Federal Budget-
Political Scene -
Congressional Committee Assignments-
(House subcommittee assignments are now being made; previously announced Committee assignments are listed here)
  • House Ag Committee Ranking Member Peterson (D-MN) announces six Subcommittees' members & leadership 
  • Full list of House Agriculture Committee subcommittee assignments can be viewed here 
  • Republican members named to House Natural Resources Committee's five subcommittees 
  • House Natural Resources Committee ranking member Markey (D-MA) announces Dem subcommittee members
(Full committee assignments were just announced this week; subcommittee assignments will follow)

No comments:

Post a Comment