Friday, March 6, 2015

Mississippi River Basin Water Resource Weekly News

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

This Week and Next
Photo: AP/Pablo Martinez Monsivais
It was a relatively quiet week in the Mississippi Basin and Washington, DC from a water perspective; except for the snow, sleet and ice in the region and in Washington that slowed things down a bit.  There were more veto threats from the White House; this time over GOP bills aimed at the EPA rulemaking process, while the Senate failed to override the President's recent XL pipeline veto.  And there was the usual spate of lawsuits, introduced bills and funding announcements.  On the legislative front, it appears that more is happening on the state level than the national.

Next week may not be much busier, at least on Capitol Hill.  The House is recessed for the week, and while the Senate is in session from Tuesday onward, no hearings or floor activities of River-relevance have been scheduled thus far.

Noteworthy @UpperMiss Twitter Postings for the Week

Water Quality -
Water Resource Management (Floodplains, Dams, Navigation, Wetlands, Flooding, Supplies, etc.) -
  • March 2015 Congressional Budget Office report: Public spending on transportation and water projects since 1956
  • Op-ed: U.S. has a huge deficit of infrastructure investment, and it shows (including water infrastructure)
  • Army Corps of Engineers upgrades Arkansas River navigation from a moderate-use to a high-use system
Agriculture -
  • USDA statistics confirm Illinois had 'historic' corn and soybean yields in 2014
  • Bipartisan Senate "Preventing Antibiotic Resistance Act" introduced Monday seeks to curb animal antibiotics use (link to bill:
  • Some warn new federal tank car rules risk disrupting the movement of grain and other agricultural products
  • Why Midwestern farmers want to break the Cuba embargo
  • After five years of increases, average farmland values in Nebraska dropped three percent over the past year
Click to enlarge
Climate and Weather -
  • US drought update: dryness improvements in Kentucky; extreme drought expands in north-central Oklahoma
  • NOAA Climate Prediction Center drought outlook for March; drought persistence anticipated for Oklahoma, Kansas
Biodiversity, Wildlife and Invasives -
  • Natural Resources Defense Council sues U.S. EPA over "Roundup" herbicide threat to monarch butterflies (story
  • Fish and Wildlife Service announces nearly $46 million in grants for wildlife agencies in all 50 states
In the States-
  • Minnesota Gov. Dayton's proposal calling for vegetative buffer strips along the state's
    States in the news this week
     waterbodies to be discussed at Farm Forum
  • Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's (R) budget proposal would cut renewable, bio-energy research
  • Wisconsin DNR considers selling state parks naming rights
  • Illinois State General Assembly bill would establish Home and Business Flood Protection and Loan Program Fund; bill: (story:
  • Missouri state bill would modify "waters of the state" definition, removing currently-included "waters of the United States"
  • Colorado state bill would promote water conservation in the land use planning process (Senate version of bill)
  • Colorado adopts rule designed to prevent spills from new, existing oil, natural gas drilling operations in floodplains
  • DEP-DCNR: Pennsylvania Governor's proposed budget invests in energy development, conservation, recreational resources
In the Cities -
  • Municipal "Green Streets" pilot project in West Union, Iowa wins best development award
  • Op-ed: St. Louis city leaders have a persistent lack of vision about what the riverfront could be
  • Memphis Riverfront Development Corporation officials hope to soon see Mississippi River water taxis
  • Minneapolis downtown ranked as second best in US in part due to location on the Mississippi River, near many lakes (also see:
  • Maps: The nation’s fastest-growing big cities are in the South and the West
Gulf Coastal Region-
  • Louisiana Gov. Jindal's proposed $20.6 million Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority budget cut won't affect ongoing projects
  • Louisiana levee authority votes to continue appeal of decision to throw out a lawsuit against oil, gas and pipeline companies over coastal wetland damage
Resource Development -
  • Senate fails to override President Obama’s veto of legislation approving the Keystone XL pipeline
Federal Budget -
  • Republicans in the House and Senate plan to release separate budget blueprints this month
  • House votes to fund the Department of Homeland Security through September, providing $25 million for FEMA predisaster mitigation fund story here:
  • House Agriculture Committee leaders ask Budget Committee Chairman to leave reauthorized farm bill programs alone
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)
  • "Iowa Ag Summit" - elected officials publicly discuss agricultural issues; March 7, 8:30 a.m. Iowa State Fairgrounds, Des Moines, IA
  • Mississippi River Forum: “How Futures Research Might Lead Us to a More Resilient Mississippi River” March 13, 8 AM, Minneapolis
  • National Ground Water Association Groundwater Summit; March 16-18, San Antonio, Texas
  • National Water Quality Monitoring Council Webinar Series: Ohio River Nutrient Trading Program; March 17, 3 PM ET (registration required)
  • USEPA Webinar: Water Quality Modeling: Basics and Beyond; the role of modeling in water quality investigations; March 26, 1 PM EDT (registration required)
  • National Ground Water Association Upper Great Plains Groundwater Conference; September 22-23, Cheyenne, Wyoming
e-Newsletters, Publications, Journals, Multimedia  -
  • Minnesota Pollution Control Agency February 27, Watershed Network News
  • Missouri Coalition for the Environment February 26 e-newsletter
  • Tulane Institute on Water Resources Law and Policy's March 3, TUWaterWays e-newsletter
  • Minnesota Pollution Control Agency Industrial Stormwater Program, March 2015 Newsletter
  • Minnesota Pollution Control Agency Waterfront Bulletin for March 2015
  • The Horinko Group's "Sustainabulletin" quarterly newsletter looks at water and wastewater public–private partnerships
  • Minnesota Pollution Control Agency Feedlot Update - March 4
  • Montana Watershed Coordination Council March 5 Watershed News
Other news-
  • White House threatens to veto two House bills aimed at changing how EPA uses science in rulemaking
  • Center for American Progress: "States of Change" - 10 big demographic trends that are transforming America
  • Watershed Conservation Resource Center, Fayetteville, Arkansas, seeks to fill Watershed Specialist position; deadline March 9
  • Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana seeks to fill Science/Technical Director position (March 31 deadline)
  • U.S. EPA's staff workforce shrinks to its lowest level since the late1980s
Politics and People-
  • Curtis Taylor, head of West Virginia Division of Natural Resources wildlife section, retires suddenly
  • President Obama resubmits his nomination of Suzette Kimball to lead the U.S. Geological Survey
Your Moment of Zen -
Photo Credit: AP Photo/Andres Kudacki

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