Friday, May 22, 2015

What We Learned This Week - End Game

As dictated by the state constitution, the clock ran out on Minnesota's 2015 Legislature with natural resource legacy funding left in limbo; however, environment, natural resource and agriculture funding was approved. The Minnesota agriculture spending bill included stream buffer requirements, with more flexibility built in than originally proposed. Some environmental groups like that; some don't.  Iowa released its most recent draft of the state’s impaired waters. Bisphenol-A may be entering Missouri streams by way of atmospheric deposition. The Missouri state Legislature passed a bill changing the definition of “waters of the state.” The "Waters of the United States" rule debate persisted through another week. As the end to the rulemaking process draws nigh, organizations are streaming to the White House in large numbers to make their voices heard. Most voters think that Congress should allow the rule to move forward. But that public attitude isn't reflected in the opinions of many members of Congress. Speaking of regulations, the Obama administration unveiled its semiannual regulatory agenda on Thursday, detailing the rules that agencies will make top priorities next year. decade-old oil leak off of Louisiana Gulf Coast may last ten decades longer. Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota parks are the best of those in large U.S. cities. Climate change's future impact on the water cycle in the Midwest is less than certain. Storminess reduced the drought’s footprint across the U.S. mid-section. It's becoming more certain that a large El NiƱo event will emerge this year. Endangered freshwater mussels may not be as bad off as previously thought. The U.S. House wants to make sure that the Lesser Prairie Chicken doesn't officially become labeled as "endangered." And last but not least, Fish and Wildlife Service officer Matt Belew is a hero to scores of Oklahoma boy scouts.

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