Friday, August 5, 2011

Mississippi River Basin Water Resource News for the Week

EPA Denies Mississippi River Basin Water Quality Petition
In a July 29 letter from its Office of Water, the EPA responded to and denied a petition for rulemaking filed on July 30, 2008 by the Natural Resources Defense Council and other petitioners (submitted to the EPA under section 4 of the Administrative Procedures Act).  The 2008 petition had requested in part that EPA “exercise its powers under Sections 303(c)(4) and 303(d) of the (Clean Water Act) . . . to prepare and publish numeric water quality standards and establish TMDLs needed to protect the nation’s waters, or at least the waters in the Mississippi Basin” (a pdf file of the petition is available here; a related Houston Chronicle news story is here).    In denying the petition, EPA contended that its current approach of encouraging states to develop their own water quality limits would be a better use of the agency's limited resources, stating, "we do not believe that the comprehensive use of federal rule making authority is the most effective or practical means of addressing (the petitioners') concerns at this time." The entire, six-page EPA letter can be viewed and downloaded here.

Congressional Recess
The U.S. House and Senate are not in session, their August recesses having started earlier this week following passage of Federal debt limit legislation. Except for pro forma sessions designed in part to negate the ability of the President to make unilateral Executive Branch recess appointments, the next Senate session starts at 2 PM on Tuesday, September 6, while the next significant House action is scheduled for Wednesday, September 7 (the Senate may also take a brief break today (Friday) from its recess to address a lack of funding for the Federal Aviation Administration, whose spending authority ended on July 22, when the last of a series of 20 short-term FAA spending extensions expired).

Notable @UpperMiss Twitter Postings for the Week:
Agriculture -
    In the States-
    Water Quality-
    Floodplains, Dams and Navigation -
    Current Flooding -
    Biodiversity, Wildlife and Invasives -
    • Army Corps releases Great Lakes & Mississippi River Interbasin Study Aquatic Nuisance Species white paper (report pdf)
    • Great Lakes and Mississippi River Interbasin Study white paper IDs 'Feared 40' interbasin invasive species (article)
    • Wisconsin DNR Collaborates with River Alliance to plan invasives workshop
    Federal Budget -
    Gulf Coastal Area-
    Events -
    E-newsletters and Publications
    Other news-
    Political News-
    Last Word
    “A. Be a glutton for punishment; B. Have a real good bladder; and C. Be able to spend some time in August at this job, which none of us want to do.” - U.S. Senate Republican Jon Kyl (IA), describing his recommended qualifications for people named to the “supercommittee” that will be formed by the end of next week and empowered to come up with another $1.2 trillion in deficit reduction before Thanksgiving.

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