Friday, August 22, 2014

Mississippi River Basin Water Resource Weekly News

~Virtual Newspaper for an Aquatic World~

Noteworthy @UpperMiss Twitter Postings for the Week

Water Quality -
  • Ohio lays out plan to assist cities with testing and treating drinking water, help farmers to prevent algae growth
  • Editorial: Timely attack by Ohio legislators on the state's toxic algal blooms will translate into votes
  • Farm fertilizers contaminate watershed that supplies Columbus, Ohio's drinking water
  • Lake Erie algal bloom crisis is putting pressure on U.S. farm states to tackle agricultural pollution problems
  • Op-ed: Clean water is worth an Iowa special legislative session
  • Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-Mo.): proposed EPA waters of the U.S.  rule "is wrong for Missouri and wrong for America”
  • Minnesota Pollution Control Agency seeks public comments on proposed 4,800 hog confined feed units in Blue Earth County
  • Draft water pollution report for Pomme de Terre River watershed in west-central Minnesota open for public comment
  • Wisconsin DNR fines farm owner less than $500 for manure spill extending months (Little Eau Pleine River basin)
  • U.S. EPA's response to the Duke Energy oil spill on Ohio River
  • Crews continue to remove oil, contaminated water from Ohio River near Cincinnati following Duke Energy plant spill
  • Coast Guard proposes increase in liability limits for oil spill damage under 1990 Oil Pollution Act to keep pace with inflation
  • MN Dept of Ag certifies farms in Stearns County SWCD under state Agricultural Water Quality Certification Program
  • Federal judge: Army Corps can ignore mountaintop removal-public health link studies when approving new Clean Water Act mining permits
  • American Indian Tribe environmental director says public left "in the absolute dark" re: massive North Dakota brine spill
  • Richland Creek Watershed Alliance fears 8,500-gallon fuel spill into basin wasn't contained; threatens suit (Tennessee)
Water Resource Management (Floodplains, Dams, Navigation, Wetlands, Flooding, Supplies, etc.) -
  • Army Corps: Higher-capacity ports, expanded locks and dams, other infrastructure improvements needed in Mississippi River Basin
  • Plaquemines Parish's $50 million, 7.8-mile long, forested ridge project along Mississippi River to be bid next month
  • EPA finalizes long-delayed cooling water intake rule to protect fish, larvae, other species from entrainment, impingement; story: and rule:
  • On the books since 1988, the nearly $3 billion Ohio River Olmsted Locks and Dams project is now scheduled to be completed in 2020
Agriculture -
  • In case with national implications, the American Farm Bureau Federation files amicus brief in closely-watched appeal of landmark U.S. EPA-led Chesapeake Bay cleanup plan
  • Conservationists use GPS tracking to gain a better understanding of how cattle move across 2400-acre Minnesota prairie
  • Cornell University software developed to help farmers simultaneously save money and mitigate environmental impacts from excessive nitrogen
  • New website to focus attention on "the critical role of healthy soils in vibrant natural resources
  • 2012 census of U.S. agriculture signals a small but consistent pattern of growth in agribusiness among Latinos
  • Farm groups claim USEPA improperly released personal information of concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs)
  • List of Regional Conservation Partnership Program pre-proposal projects asked to submit full proposals by Oct. 2 to USDA-NRCS; PDF file: - 19 from Mississippi River Basin
  • Monsanto expects to begin selling herbicide-resistant soybean seeds, paired with a new and stronger weedkiller, in 2016
Climate and Weather -
  • US weekly drought update: scattered pockets of both drought deepening and relief evident across Mississippi River Basin
  • Climate change reflected in altered Missouri River flow: Montana and Wyoming water shortages and Dakotas flooding
  • Louisville, Kentucky, the fastest-warming city in the U.S., reaches for the brakes
  • After a wet start to the 2014 growing season, northern and central Illinois has seen a significant drop in rainfall (A larger regional map also shows drier conditions in parts of Iowa, Indiana and Ohio over the past 30 days
  • Warmer oceans are likely playing a part in changing land temperatures, including the cool Midwest 2014 summer
Arctic grayling
Biodiversity, Wildlife and Invasives -
  • Illinois company is the latest of a growing number of firms to test various Asian carp marketing opportunities
  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service: Upper Missouri River population of Arctic grayling does not warrant Endangered Species Act protection and
  • New study: Midwest species to experience risks from combined exposure to both climate and land use change; story:; study abstract:
In the States-
  • Louisiana is expected to see a $1.2 billion dollar budget shortfall next year
  • Iowa environmental protection leaders unanimously approve rules to guide regulation of state livestock facilities (see two related stories, below)
  • Iowa environmental groups wanted much tougher Iowa livestock-water quality rules
  • Iowa advocacy group files complaint alleging conflict of interest in state's approval of water pollution rule
  • Missouri activists fight American Legislative Exchange Council over state's new “Right to Farm” constitutional amendment
  • West Virginia governor slow to appoint members to new commission to help improve state’s public drinking water protections
Gulf Coastal Region-
  • Council tasked with spending fines linked to 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill puts out call for ecosystem restoration projects
  • Tulane Institute on Water Resources Law and Policy releases new report on financing comprehensive coastal restoration and protection
  • NOAA analysis: Coastal development taking its toll on U.S. wetlands, forests; article: and NOAA release:
Forestry -
  • Minnesota’s timber industry worried over implications of possible northern long-eared bat endangered species designation
Resource Development -
  • Ties between Center for Sustainable Shale Development, oil and gas companies highlight differing views among environmental groups
  • Fighting to keep the oil boom out of vistas seen from little-known, North Dakota, Theodore Roosevelt National Park
  • Testimony ends in Kanawha State Forest-area surface mine review (West Virginia)
Federal Budget -
  • House Budget Committee chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI): Republicans won’t shut down government over a September budget showdown
  • USDA: Funding for the Vegetation and Watershed Management Program has been cut 22 percent since 2001; Wildlife and fisheries habitat management by 17 percent
Events -  Information on all past and future events listed here can be viewed in the on-line calendar (here as a stand-alone calendar)
  • August 26 public meeting to be held re: Hay and Wells creeks' bacteria-tainted water polluting Lake Pepin (Mississippi River)
  • State Level Nutrient Reduction Strategies Webinar-Minnesota Watersheds Nutrient Planning Portal; August 27, 10 AM CDT
  • Webinar: “Innovative Approaches to Financing and Funding Stormwater and Green Infrastructure Investments;” 1 PM EDT, August 27
  • The Depths of Environmental Arts, Culture and Justice; Biennial Conference, June 23- 27, 2015; University of Idaho, Moscow, Idaho (call for papers open)
e-Newsletters, Publications, Journals, Multimedia  -
Other news-
  • Three job openings (water quality): Natural Resource Social Science Lab; Department of Forestry and Natural Resources, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana
  • Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) now accepting proposals for watershed sampling grants in Upper Mississippi and Minnesota river basins
  • Editorial: Minnesota Public Safety Department sides with public information advocates on oil train information release
  • Interactive map of the week: Where people who lived in each state in 2012 were born
Politics and People-
  • Dispute erupts over hiring Executive Director for Minnesota's $100 million annual Legacy Amendment spending for the outdoors
  • State Sen. Chris McDaniel asks Mississippi court to declare him the winner of June 24 Republican runoff for Senate seat
  • Montana Democratic Party nominates state Rep. Amanda Curtis to replace retiring Sen. John Walsh on November U.S. Senate ballot
  • Many Republicans privately acknowledge climate change realities, but see little political benefit to speaking out
  • Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) touts his work for Kentucky farmers but tends to skip Senate Agriculture Committee hearings unrelated to Kentucky
  • The Hill lists 65 people who may run for U.S. President in 2016
Your Moment of Zen - 
International Space Station crew members photographed this nighttime image of the Gulf of Mexico coastline from 
some 225 miles above the Earth (photo credit: NASA)

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