Thursday, December 19, 2013

Mississippi River Basin Water Resource Weekly News

~Virtual Newspaper for an Aquatic World~

Noteworthy @UpperMiss Twitter Postings for the Week  

Water Quality -
  • Environmental groups, state officials meet with administration over plan to regulate minor ponds, streams, wetlands
  • EPA and Army Corps say benefits of protecting additional wetlands and streams far outweigh costs
  • Ohio water quality bill is revamped to buy time for research to inform regulations
  • Metropolitan Sewer District board of Louisville, KY to pay $101,000 federal fine for 250 illegal sewage discharges
  • Wisconsin fines sand mining company in water pollution case
  • Environmental group asks state lawmakers for $300,000 to help create a plan to restore Iowa rivers
  • 17-year-old initiative to clean up Minnesota River will end in its current form at the end of the month
  • Rivers in U.S. wintry cities remain salty year-round
Water Resource Management (Floodplains, Dams, Navigation, Wetlands, Flooding, Supplies, etc.) -
  • Report estimates 114,000 jobs could be created across Minnesota by making much-needed infrastructure investments
  • Plan to transport fracking wastewater on river barges draws criticism from both environmentalists, oil-gas industry
  • Wisconsin company snatches up, reclaims aging hydroelectric dams
  • Louisiana wetlands have been tattered by industrial canals, not just river levees
  • Army Corps of Engineers seeks information on firms able to perform Ohio River Olmsted Dam lock rehabilitation
Farm Bill-
  • House-Senate farm bill conference committee eyeing votes during the week of Jan. 6 after the New Year’s holiday
  • Senate does not plan to take up House-passed farm bill extension
  • Sen. John Thune (R-SD): new farm bill likely to include national "sodsaver" provision
  • World Wildlife Fund: "Farm Bill: Stand Up and Protect America's Grasslands" (video)
Agriculture -
  • Fledgling cellulosic-based ethanol industry puts down roots, raises hopes in Corn Belt
  • Rising damage from weather events worries farmers, insurers
  • Bankers and agricultural economists are predicting a slowdown in farmland prices that could turn into a bust
  • NPR: Robots could help farmers rein in fertilizer pollution
  • Developers lure buyers to subdivisions with on-site community vegetable, livestock farms run by professional growers
Climate and Weather -
  • The latest NOAA/NWS national update: snow alleviates Midwest/Upper Plains drought
  • U.S. Geological Survey model: The bottom line for Louisville, KY includes more heat and rain
Louisiana Coastal Region-
  • Louisiana Oil & Gas Association files suit against state Attorney General in attempt to halt wetlands damages lawsuit
Resource Development -
  • Minnesota Environmental Quality Board releases draft Silica Sand Model Standards and Criteria (sand mining)
  • Draft set of model standards for regulating Minnesota's silica sand mining industry gets mixed reviews
  • Competing hydraulic-fracturing studies are painting different pictures about the industry’s impact on Ohio economy
  • Study: hydraulic fracturing chemicals can disrupt human hormone function
  • Interior Department likely to initiate new rulemaking on oil and gas development impacts to national wildlife refuges
Federal Budget -
  • Senate on Wednesday gave final passage to a two-year federal budget plan in a 64-36 vote
  • In wake of budget deal, leaders of congressional spending committees immediately begin working on 2014 appropriations
  • Budget deal has implications for both remainder of 2014 fiscal year's agriculture appropriations bill, new farm bill
  • Budget bill policy riders could be attached to block Obama administration on environmental regulations, other matters
  • McConnell skeptical of ‘clean’ debt ceiling hike, POLITICO reports:
Events -  Information on all past and future events listed here can be viewed in the on-line calendar (here as a stand-alone calendar)
  • Numerous Bald Eagle watches slated along the Upper Mississippi River in January
  • Save the date: Conservation Psychology Institute, Keene, New Hampshire, June 15-18
e-Newsletters, Publications, Journals, Multimedia  -
  • Montana Watershed Coordination Council December 12 Watershed News
  • America's WETLAND Foundation December Newsletter
  • Link to December 17 "Water News and More" from  the Tulane Institute on Water Resources Law and Policy, here:
  • Minnesota Pollution Control Agency Feedlot Update - December 12
  • Basin Alliance for the Lower Mississippi in Minnesota "Currents" e-newsletter
  • U.S. Water Alliance December News Waves e-newsletter
  • Green Lands Blue Waters biweekly update on Mississippi River crop cover-water quality issues
In the States -
  • Minnesota Legislature won't battle over $109M Outdoor Heritage plan that places premium on prairie protection
In the Cities-
  • Madison's Monroe Street is state’s first business district to utilize Wisconsin Environmental Initiative tools
  • Our latest Street of the Week is Main Street in Little Rock, AR. See why:
Politics and People-
  • Iowa GOP Rep. Tom Latham declares that he will be retiring from the third district seat he’s held for 10 terms
  • Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT) rumored to be eyed by President to serve as the next U.S. ambassador to China
Last Word -
"It's been a year of great accomplishments and achievements.  When I'm down at the old soldiers' home and I'm sitting in my rocking chair I'll say, 'Boy, 2013 was a banner year.'" Senator John McCain, Republican of Arizona (pictured, right), who "wore a mischievous grin, his voice thick with sarcasm," according to the New York Times.

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