Friday, June 12, 2015

What We Learned This Week - "How sweet it is"

Nitrates from upstream Scioto River farmland prompted a Columbus, Ohio drinking water advisory.  Wetland restoration and protection are cost-effective nutrient runoff "secret weapons." Scientists have found artificial sweeteners in bodies of water around the world. A Senate Committee advanced a bill to kill the Obama Administration's Clean Water Act rule. Sen.   Amy Klobuchar (D) of Minnesota will be one Senator not supporting that legislation.  The U.S. Senate is gearing up to spend weeks working on spending bills that have little chance of becoming law.  "Dreadful" policy riders were included in a House Interior and Environment spending bill. It's the one-year anniversary of the Water Resources Reform and Development Act, and uncertainty around key Army Corps projects remains.  The Upper St. Anthony Falls lock on the Mississippi River at Minneapolis was closed in an effort to block Asian carp.  The Nashville, Tennessee Metro Council rejected a contentious $100 million flood-protection proposal.  Residential properties and farmland flooded in rural northwest Louisiana.  The average age of U.S. farmers continues to creep upwards, while cropland values in Minnesota and the Northern Plains continue to creep downwards.   The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency is seeking public input on a proposed hog feedlot that would generate 1.7 million gallons of manure each year.  Discharges from an Iowa swine manure impoundment resulted in a fish kill in tributary to the Ocheyedan River.  One of the five largest coal companies operating on the Powder River Basin does not have the funds or insurance to clean up its own mining operations. Pennsylvania tops all U.S. states in turning old rail lines into hiking and biking trails.  And last, but not least, data may show that there really has been no recent slowdown in global warming, but we're still all climate change deniers at heart.

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