Friday, October 31, 2014

Mississippi River Basin Water Resource Weekly News

~Most of the Water News - None of the Spin~

Noteworthy @UpperMiss Twitter Postings for the Week

Water Quality -
  • 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rebuffs coal company on West Virginia water quality conductivity appeal
  • National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, Public Lands Council ask Administration to withdraw proposed Clean Water Act rule
  • National Association of Conservation Districts requests that current version of proposed Clean Water Act jurisdiction rule be withdrawn to provide time to clarify uncertainties and risks
  • Kansas officials contend they find evidence contrary to EPA’s connectivity science lying behind proposed Clean Water Act rule
  • EPA inspection reveals Clean Water Act violations at Winifred Feed Lot near Frankfort, Kansas
  • Supreme Court asked to consider whether Clean Water Act Louisiana wetland determination can be challenged in court (story:
  • Public review period open for FEMA's draft Environmental and Historic Preservation Guidance for Federal Disaster Recovery Assistance Applicants
Water Resource Management (Floodplains, Dams, Navigation, Wetlands, Flooding, Supplies, etc.) -
  • "Till the Well Runs Dry: Is Wisconsin’s greatest resource being sacrificed by short-sighted politics?"
  • Louisiana sues Corps of Engineers for $3 billion cost of repairing Mississippi River-Gulf
    North Platte River
    Outlet damaged wetlands
  • Army Corps of Engineers Missouri River Basin Water Management Division holds series of public meetings on its draft 2014-2015 Operating Plan - - Comments due November 21 (draft plan:
  • Pueblo (Colorado) Conservancy District awards contract for phase one of a project to repair the aging Arkansas River levee
  • Annual fall North Platte River system report contains good news regarding 2015 irrigation water supplies
  • Casper officials approve $2 million grant for North Platte River riparian and aquatic restoration
  • Army Corps seeks to evaluate possible Lewis and Clark Lake sediment solution in pilot flushing at small Nebraska dam
  • Army Corps of Engineers plans to lower Missouri River reservoirs in the Dakotas before spring
  • Second Minnesota River Congress focus is on facilitating environmental, economic, and social vitality in the basin
  • Army Corps hears concerns at meeting from public and officials of repeat of 2011 Missouri River flooding
Agriculture -
  • USDA rolls out new farm bill conservation compliance web-page-hosted information for producers, other interested parties
  • Evidence from pilot studies suggests crop and rainfall insurance have an impact on farmers’ behaviors
  • Projections indicate that soybeans will be more profitable than corn in 2014; may influence 2015 planting decisions 
    Example USDA NASS Census Map
  • USDA NRCS to offer over $4 million to help Midwestern farmers improve bee habitat and thereby boost crop productivity
  • USDA National Agriculture Statistics Service releases new set of U.S. agricultural census maps; story: NASS page:
Climate and Weather -
  • US drought update: small parts of Minnesota and the Dakotas abnormally dry; little change in Oklahoma and Louisiana drought conditions 
    Photograph: Design Pics Inc/Alamy
  • NOAA Climate Prediction Center monthly drought outlook for November (will be published at 3 PM ET on Friday, October 31)
  • U.S. insurance industry seeks to avoid climate change risks by limiting coverage in high risk markets
Biodiversity, Wildlife and Invasives -
  • Advocates press Army Corps of Engineers to end operations at Mississippi River's Ford dam, Lower St. Anthony Falls Lock and Dam to block Asian carp from spreading upriver
  • Minnesota DNR wants multi-state rules for Mississippi River anglers
  • Upper Midwest Invasive Species Conference covered latest efforts to manage  invasive species 
    Mississippi River in Minneapolis
    in North America
  • Fish and Wildlife Service grants Endangered Species Act protections to two Great Plains butterflies
  • Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility sues FWS over killing of cormorants to protect fish in 24 states, including Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Ohio, Oklahoma, Tennessee, West Virginia, and Wisconsin
  • Fish and Wildlife Service considering placing common snapping turtle and other freshwater turtles on international endangered species list Federal Register Notice:
In the Cities -
  • Design unveiled for new proposed park on Minneapolis riverfront
  • Brainerd, Minnesota Public Utilities Board decides to once again stop chlorinating city drinking water (groundwater source)
  • Name of new Stillwater park along St. Croix River narrowed to one of six
In the States-
  • New Iowa large livestock operation, clean water rule goes into effect with support of farm groups
  • Minnesota regulators are considering banning or restricting a controversial class of neonicotinoid insecticides
  • North Dakota to decide in ballot measure whether to put five percent of future oil revenue into conservation
  • State commission evaluating West Virginia's drinking water systems may ask state lawmakers to delay new, spill-motivated regulations
Gulf Coastal Region-
  • Two energy companies settle over wetland damage with Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East (levee authority) for $50,000
  • Public comments sought on RESTORE Act draft NOAA science plan's long-term priorities for Gulf of Mexico ecosystem research
  • USDA,  National Fish and Wildlife Foundation to provide $40 million for Gulf of Mexico coastal restoration on private lands (also see article below)
  • USDA announces new partnership with National Fish and Wildlife Foundation to support ongoing Gulf restoration
  • "The Great Invisible" documentary about the aftermath of BP’s 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill is nuanced and cinematic
Resource Development -
  • U.S. oil and gas industry told by Washington political consultant to exploit greed and anger, use dirty tricks, in efforts to drill in more places
Forestry -
  • The 2014 U.S. Capitol Christmas tree was cut Wednesday from the Chippewa National Forest, Minnesota and will be sent on its way Sunday with a ceremonial "drink" from the Mississippi River's headwaters
Events - Information on all past and future events listed here each week can be viewed in the on-line calendar, located above and to the right (and here as a stand-alone calendar)
  • USEPA Webinar: Innovative Financing for Green Infrastructure; November 4, 1–2:30 PM EST
  • Water Environment Federation Webinar: Potential Impacts of Waters of the U.S. Rulemaking on Stormwater Infrastructure, November 6; 3-5 PM ET
  • Ohio Wetlands Summit, November 15-16, Columbus, Ohio
  • 2015 Ohio Stormwater Conference - Call for Abstracts, May 6-8, Kalahari Resort and Conference Center, Sandusky, Ohio
  • Association of State Floodplain Managers 2015 Annual National Conference: Mitigation on My Mind, Atlanta, GA, May 31-June 5 (presentation proposal abstracts due October 31)
  • St. Croix River Association announces route for the 2015 Paddle Namekagon; June 13-19, 2015
e-Newsletters, Publications, Journals, Multimedia  -
  • Gulf Restoration Network's October 30 Gulf Waves e-newsletter
  • Minnesota Pollution Control Agency River Connections for October 2014
  • Winners of the National Environmental Education Foundation 2014 Algal Bloom Photo Contest
  • The fall edition of the “Our Mississippi” magazine is now available
  • Lower Mississippi River Dispatch, Oct 2 featuring events, job announcement, Frosty Beaver Moon, Legacies of the River
  • Association of State Floodplain Managers' October "News and Views"
  • Tulane Institute on Water Resources Law and Policy's TUWaterWays e-newsletter for October 28
  • Montana Watershed Coordination Council's October 30 Watershed News
Other news-
  • Young artists' views of the Mississippi River 
    Painting by 5th grader Joey Jacobson
  • House plans vote on bill to prevent new EPA regulations, unless all supporting scientific data are publicly available
  • EPA adds 23 chemicals, including BPA, to list of chemicals that will be scrutinized for possible regulation
  • Two Wisconsin DNR Mississippi River program natural resource positions currently open
  • Plaquemines Parish leaders discuss possibility of Ebola virus threat posed by commercial Mississippi River ship traffic
Politics and People-
  • The most competitive U.S. Senate races in the Mississippi River Basin, based on the most recent polling averages
  • Louisiana's U.S. Senate race expected to go to December runoff between incumbent Sen. Mary Landrieu (D) and Rep. Bill Cassidy (R)
  • Here's how the SEC's December 6 championship football game might determine the balance of political power in the U.S. Senate
  • Joni Ernst is the GOP's Senate nominee in Iowa: one of two states never to have sent a woman to Congress or elected a female governor
  • Center for Responsive Politics analysis finds that the 2014 midterm election is going to be the most expensive in history
  • Roll Call: "Who are some of the hardest working men and women in Washington, D.C.? Congress, apparently."
  • Wesleyan Media Project: Spending for over 2.2 million political ad airings this election cycle tops $1 billion; Iowa ranks second nationally in number of Senate ads
  • Analysis of the Twitter accounts members of Congress (partisanly) follow 
  • A guide to possible recounts and their rules in the tossup Mississippi River Basin state and district midterm elections
Your Moment of Zen -

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