Friday, January 27, 2012

Mississippi River Basin Water Resource News for the Week

Notable @UpperMiss Twitter Postings for the Week 

Farm Bill-
  • Rep. Peterson (D-MN-7): ‘relatively optimistic’ about new Farm Bill this year; Rep. Walz (D-MN-1): little prospect 
  • MN DNR estimates 550,000 acres of MN ag land will expire from Conservation Reserve Program in next 3 years
  • Sen. Tim Johnson (D-SD) doubts Congress will find will to write new farm bill this year; looks to extension instead
  • House Agriculture Committee Chairman Frank Lucas feels strong urgency to complete Farm Bill in 2012
Water Quality -
  • EPA study to focus on clean water value to various economic sectors: tourism, farming, fishing, manufacturing, etc.
  • TN issues water quality violation notice to coal company for discharging >1.4 M GAL into New River
  • House Natural Resources Comm GOP threatens subpoena Administration to get upcoming stream protection rule documents PDF
Water Resource Management (Floodplains, Dams, Navigation, Wetlands, Flooding, etc.) -
  • J of Soil & Water Conservation: Impacts of 2011 induced levee breaches on Mississippi River Valley agricultural lands
  • Agreement moves ahead for refurbishment work on Coon Rapids Dam (Mississippi River - MN)
  • Inland Waterways Users Board caught in "bureaucratic limbo" as its authority to exist expires
  • Crown Hydro seeks new hydroelectric project location from Corps on St. Anthony Falls lock & dam property (MN)
  • Army Corps will clear (dredge) barge traffic chokepoint at mouth of Mississippi River w/ $5 Million in extra funds
  • May 2011 Mississippi River floods created legacy of damage in 100s of agricultural acres
  • Iowa to receive $10.8 Million in Federal (USDA) farm-flood recovery funds
  • Fracking in Kansas pushes water use permits to new high, even as sections of state struggle with drought
  • Harpeth River (TN) advocates excited at this summer's dam removal and prospects for improved fish/mussel passage
  • Research calls into question whether constructed wetlands compensate for destroyed/buried ones they "replace"

Agriculture -
  • Kansas Governor, Attorney General object to proposed EPA Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations Reporting Rule
  • Op-ed: "President Obama Should Spend $6 Billion in Corn Ethanol Subsidies on Biofuels and Renewable Energy"
  • USDA releases new map of nation's growing zones; confirms what many already know: warmer winters
  • USDA Announces New Ag Energy Website
  • Agriculture and Climate Change, Revisited (NY Times): Future climate talks need strong food production focus
  • EPA meets w/ Region 7 & 8 state agriculture directors to discuss ag sector interests & concerns; news: & EPA release:
  • Nat Geog: "Raiding the Bread Basket: Use and Abuse of the Mississippi River Basin" [costs of industrial agricultural]
  • U of MN River Life blog overview of major federal-state effort to curb farm-based water pollution starting up in MN
  • Sen. Cardin (D-MD) calls for end to preferential treatment of corn-based ethanol
  • Congressional Research Service releases new report: “The Role of Local Food Systems in U.S. Farm Policy” (PDF)
  • National Assoc of Farm Service Agency County Office Employees calls on Congress to review proposed USDA office closures
 Biodiversity, Wildlife and Invasives -
  • Australian company to harvest carp from MN waters & open new MN processing plant
  • Parish along Ouachita River has highest number of invasive plant species in Louisiana (359)
  • NOAA & USFWS Draft National Fish, Wildlife & Plants Climate Adaptation Strategy open for Public Review thru March 5
Gulf Coastal Area-
  • Louisiana state $923 million coastal restoration & hurricane levee spending plan proposed
  • Louisiana's new flood plan relies more on wetland restoration; not past's heavy reliance on levees and seawalls
  • Fishers object to LA proposed 50-yr coastal restoration & protection plan reliance on freshwater & sediment diversions
Resource extraction -
  • WV state legislator to introduce >20 bills this session to amend Marcellus Shale measure passed last month
  • Ohio House members looking into ways to tighten state's regulation of fracking & injection disposal wells
  • VW DEP: Study finds no link between mining and complaints of polluted groundwater in southern WV
  • WI DNR has no plans for new limits on growing sand mining industry
Federal Budget -
  • Budget Committee Chair Paul Ryan (R-WI) confirms that House Republicans will move a budget resolution this year
  • Obama Administration delays 2013 budget release one week until February 13
  • See our Federal Budget &Appropriations Update here for the latest on where things stand politically & legislatively
  • Great Waters Coalition Webinar on Regional Restoration Program Authorizations; Feb 9; 4 PM EST (PDF file)
  • Registration deadline for the 2012 Upper Midwest Stream Restoration Conference is THIS Friday, January 27
  • EPA Nutrient Removal Webinar: Nitrogen Control at Wastewater Treatment Plants; March 8, 1:00-4:30 PM EST
  • WI Assoc for Floodplain, Stormwater & Coastal Mgmt Feb. 16 seminar on fish passages at road crossings; Waukesha, WI
  • USDA Webinar: "Assessing the Vulnerability of Water and Watersheds to Climate Change" February 2, 12:00 PM EST
  • Horinko Group Webinar: Agricultural Water Usage-Trends, Indicators, and What It All Means; February 16, 1:30 PM EST
  • RT @InvasiveNotes: National Invasive Species Awareness Week, February 26 - March 3, 2012 Washington, DC
e-Newsletters, Publications and Journals -
  • January edition of "Mississippi River Basin Update" now available online; full of River Basin policy & science news
Other news-
  • Minneapolis had the first centralized hydroelectric power in the nation
  • Scientists develop way to use satellites to help farmers improve harvests  could be available for wide use in 2 yrs
  • Johnson Foundation Report: urban water and sewage systems will need to overhaul to adapt to climate change (PDF file)
  • Nijmegen's (Netherlands) "Room for the River" plan receives "Excellence on the Waterfront Honor Award 2011"
Political Scene -
  • Freshman US Rep. DesJarlais (R-TN-4) catches break and will not face a primary challenge from state Sen. Ketron
  • US Sen. Mark Kirk (R-IL) suffers serious stroke but should be able to return to his full Senate duties
  • US Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN-6) confirms that she will run for 4th term in Congress this year
  • New Tennessee Congressional district map helps assure Republican dominance
Last Word -
"The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing."– Albert Einstein

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