Friday, November 4, 2011

Mississippi River Basin Water Resource News for the Week

Levees and the National Flood Insurance Program: Improving Policies and Practices
The National Academies' National Research Council (NRC) will convene a meeting, including a public session, on Levees and the National Flood Insurance Program: Improving Policies and Practices, on November 7 and 8,  in Washington DC.    Since August, the ad hoc NRC committee has been examining current FEMA treatment of levees within the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).  The committee has been tasked to provide advice in a report on how those levee-related policies and activities might be improved.  The report is expected to be issued in early 2013.  The study is addressing the following topics regarding how levees are considered in the NFIP:
  • risk analysis
  • flood insurance
  • risk reduction
  • risk communication
The public section of the two-day meeting will run from 10:15 AM through 4:30 PM (Eastern) on November 7.  Those wishing to attend that public session or who need more information should contact Michael Stoever at (or by telephone at 202-334-1889). 

Notable @UpperMiss Twitter Postings for the Week 

Agriculture -
  • Peoria Journal Star editorial: USDA needs adequate funds for conservation
  • EPA blasted in House Agriculture Subcommittee hearing on Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Load
  • NASDA Research Foundation resource guide on Federal & State environmental regulations impacting agriculture
  • USDA announces bioenergy program grant recipients under Bioenergy Program for Advanced Biofuels
  • Groups/speakers call for end of federal aid to CAFO producers at National Conference to End Factory Farming
  • Mississippi Farm Bureau pushes for end to state's eminent domain law in November 8 ballot referendum
  • Researchers report promising results from new farm conservation practice that removes nitrate from groundwater
  • National Farmers Union supports Local Farms, Food & Jobs Act, introduced by Rep. Pingree (D- ME) & Sen. Brown (D-OH)
Farm Bill-
  • Economists & conservationists worry fragile lands will be farmed with USDA help without conservation compliance
  • Bipartisan group sends letter of concern to supercommittee re: House & Senate Agri Committees' “secret” Farm Bill (PDF)
  • More coverage (Rep. Ron Kind; WI-3): "27 Members Advise Super Committee to Avoid Secret Farm Bill"
  • Rep. Peterson (MN-7) rejects charge that House & Senate Agri Comms are secretly crafting Farm Bill; hopeful of result
  • In Iowa speech, Agriculture Secretary Vilsack underscores what is at stake with Farm Bill & deficit reduction
  • Sen. Conrad (D-ND) convenes meeting of his farm Advisory Comm to detail strategy on securing ND Farm Bill priorities
  • National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition letter to House & Senate Ag Comm leaders sets top line Farm Bill priorities
  • House & Senate Ag Committees miss self-imposed Nov. 1 deadline  to present plan to reduce agriculture spending by $23B
  • Farmers fight cuts as billions in indemnity payments head to farmers with crops hurt by bad weather
Water Quality -
EPA and Water -
  • Sens Inhofe & Sessions; Reps Mica & Gibbs urge EPA to withdraw recently proposed Clean Water Act jurisdiction guidance
  • FL DEP moves forward with draft rules on numeric nutrient standards for state's waterways (national implications)
  • EPA grants "preliminary" okay of Florida draft state-authored water pollution regulations; PDF of letter: (national implications)
  • In new guidance EPA says it will be flexible on municipal sewer overflows; relief for strapped cities (PDF file)
  • EPA announces a new planning process to help local governments deal with costs of wastewater & stormwater controls
Water Resource Management (Floodplains, Dams, Navigation, Flooding, etc.) -
  • Army Corps of Engineers: needs about $1 B to repair damage from 2011 flooding in Missouri & Mississippi basins
  • Army Corps making slow progress on national flood levee inventory
  • Senate's 2nd "minibus" spending bill debate starts this week; includes civil works budget for Army Corps of Engineers
  • NRC meeting on Levees and the National Flood Insurance Program: Improving Policies and Practices Nov 7,  Washington DC
In the States -
  • MN's clean water Legacy Fund goals are unclear
  • Minnesota Pollution Control Agency finds numerous pollution problems throughout Sauk River watershed
  • 178 environmental experts rank recommended MN nonprofit organizations that work on conservation/environment:
Biodiversity, Wildlife and Invasives -
  • MN DNR: finding invasive Asian Carp like finding "needle in a haystack"
  • Workers along Illinois River seek to turn Asian Carp into organic fertilizer; fillets; other commercial products
Federal Budget -
  • Joint Committee on Deficit Reduction has far to go before any agreement can be reached
  • Nearing November 23 deadline, supercommittee holds public hearing on 2 old debt reduction plans
  • With barely 3 weeks remaining until  supercommittee’s  deadline, there is little outward sign of progress
  • Senate passes USDA-Transportation-Commerce 2012 spending minibus bill; USDA cut slightly from 2011; bill:
  • OMB Watch identifies numerous riders in Senate's just-passed minibus spending bill
  • Obama vows to veto spending bills with too many riders or spending cuts in letter from OMB (p. 2 of PDF)
  • House & Senate appropriators to convene 1st conference committee in 2 yrs in search of compromise spending agreement
  • Senate's 2nd "minibus" spending bill debate starts this week; includes civil works budget for Army Corps of Engineers
  • House will conference with Senate on FY 2012 USDA spending bill that both chambers have approved; in different forms
  • Congressional Research Service detailed analysis of “Agriculture and Related Agencies: FY2012 Appropriations” (PDF)
Resource extraction -
Events -
  • NRC meeting on Levees and the National Flood Insurance Program: Improving Policies and Practices Nov 7,  Washington DC
  • Restore America's Estuaries National Conference - Call for Proposals
e-Newsletters, Publications and Journals -
  • The National Great Rivers Research and Education Center's monthly e-newsletter is out
Other news-
  • Earthjustice: EPA data reveals more dangerous coal ash ponds
  • Surge in mining & several proposals to streamline WI mining code could pose threats to WI water resources (mostly N WI)
  • Digital applications win U.S. EPA's Apps for the Environment competition
Political Scene -
  • Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) on President Obama: will campaign with him, while emphasizing their differences
Last Word -  “Good morning. It has been 916 days since the Senate passed a budget. Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries could have married and filed for divorce over 12 times in that same span of time.” - Tuesday morning's House GOP daily whip notice

No comments:

Post a Comment