Senate EPW Committee Leaders Anticipate New WRDA Proposal Within Weeks
The Environment and Public Works Committee held a hearing focusing on the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund, laying the groundwork its consideration of a bipartisan Water Resources Development Act, or "WRDA," this year.
EPA Solicits Comments on 2014-2016 National Enforcement Initiatives
The 2014-16 proposed Environmental Protection Agency national enforcement initiatives largely mirror those developed for the 2011-2013 fiscal years, and, from a water standpoint, include municipal infrastructure - "addressing sewage discharges from combined sewer systems, sanitary sewer systems, and municipal separate storm sewer systems;" and preventing runoff from Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (or "CAFOs") from contaminating ground and surface water.
Study Documents Loss of 1.3 Million Acres of Grassland Over 5-Year Period in Parts of Corn Belt
Based upon land cover data from the National Agricultural Statistics Service Cropland Data Layer, used to assess grassland conversion from 2006 to 2011, in the US Corn Belt, a recent doubling in commodity prices has created incentives for landowners to convert grassland to corn and soybean cropping.
Large 2013 Gulf of Mexico Dead Zone Measured, But Smaller Than Predicted
The 2013 summer Gulf of Mexico “dead zone” was measured at 5,840 square miles; roughly the size of Connecticut, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. While a wet spring and associated surface water runoff carried considerable nitrogen from farmlands, and it was projected to result in the formation of a large dead zone this summer, windy conditions in the Gulf oxygenated the waters, limiting its size to just slightly above average.