Thursday, August 13, 2015

What We Learned This Week - "Push 'em back. Push 'em back. Way back."

Thirteen states asked a federal judge to issue a preliminary injunction to halt the Waters of the U.S. rule before its August 28 implementation. The National Corn Growers Association wrote a letter to the EPA asking that the agency push back that effective date.  Downstate Illinois state lawmakers want the Interior Department to extend the public comment period on its new mining stream protection rule.  The Farm Bureau said its maps depict an EPA Clean Water Act regulatory overreach.  EPA disagreed, calling the Farm Bureau maps "highly inaccurate depictions.” A Minnesota Court of Appeals upheld the state's new water quality standards. Exxon Mobil will pay $5 million to Arkansas and the federal government over its role in a 2013 Pegasus pipeline crude oil spill.  Several thousand near-surface fracking wells pose a threat to U.S. drinking water supplies.  The  number of U.S. farmers markets tripled over the past 15 years.  An Army Corps of Engineers' analysis indicates that replacing the Tennessee River's aging Chickamauga Lock would be twice as costly as originally estimated; however, Tennessee Sen. Lamar Alexander believes that the project should be completed.  Louisiana state leaders and environmental groups renewed their demand that the federal government fix wetlands outside of New Orleans destroyed by the Mississippi River-Gulf Outlet shipping channel. A list of Gulf of Mexico restoration projects recommended to receive the first round of BP oil spill fine funding was released for public comment. The federal Keystone XL pipeline decision process is taking far longer than usual. An analysis by federal agencies found that an Arkansas hog farm is not likely to have significant detrimental impacts on the Buffalo National River.  A newly identified tadpole disease has been found to be impacting frogs worldwide.  A coal strip mining operation is set to start on a sizable portion of an eastern Ohio wildlife area.  And last but not least, five percent more U.S. adults approve of the way Congress is doing its job today than did in 2013 (meaning that a total of 14 percent now approve).

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