Thursday, August 21, 2014

What We Learned This Week - "So Bigger I Got"

People are calling upon Ohio and Iowa state legislators to address water pollution in their respective states. A U.S. House Representative thinks that a proposed national water quality rule is "wrong for Missouri."   An Iowa advocacy group filed a complaint in federal district court alleging that the state's August 19 approval of new Clean Water Act rules was illegal.  By its own estimate, the Wisconsin DNR fined the owners of a dairy farm that spilled manure into a nearby wetland for months on end about $0.00077 per gallon of manure.  At the other end of the expense spectrum, first authorized in 1988, the nearly $3 billion Ohio River Olmsted Locks and Dams project is now on track to be completed in 2020. That's spending money at the rate of just over a quarter of a million dollars a day.  Meanwhile, the state of Louisiana will operate in the red next year; losing money at a nearly $3.3 million per day clip.  The Commander of the Army Corps of Engineers’ Mississippi Valley Division believes that higher-capacity ports, expanded locks and dams and other infrastructure improvements are needed in the Mississippi River Basin.  The U.S. EPA released its long-anticipated cooling water intake rule to protect fish and other aquatic organisms, drawing the ire of both environmental groups and Congressional Republicans.  Many of those Republicans will acknowledge the realities of climate change in private, but see little political benefit to recognizing them publicly.  Some green groups want to be connected with the Center for Sustainable Shale Development, and others don't. From 1996 to 2011 the Gulf Coast region lost 996 square miles of wetlands due to land subsidence, erosion, storms, sea level rise and other factors.  And last but not least, according to a New York Times correction, "bald eagles and ospreys . . . eat fish, and their poop is white; they do not eat berries and excrete purple feces."  Now you know.

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