Thursday, September 3, 2015
What We Learned This Week - "Starry, Starry Sight"
filed a lawsuit against the Environmental Protection Agency and Army Corps of Engineers, challenging their new Clean Water rule. Dueling court briefs were filed by thirteen states and the Obama Administration regarding the states in which that rule currently applies. Industry and environmental interests clashed at the Interior Department's opening hearing on its proposed stream protection rule. The summer's rash of toxic algal blooms continued on the Ohio River and its tributaries, as well as in North Dakota. A sometimes-deadly amoeba was found in a fourth Louisiana water supply system. Minnesota's Agricultural Water Quality Certification Program is transitioning from four pilot areas to statewide. A U.S. District Court judge ruled that the Army Corps of Engineers is liable for the entire $3 billion cost of the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet wetland restoration. An Arkansas commission approved a five-year ban on new, medium and large hog farms in the Buffalo National River watershed. Eighty percent of rented farm land in the U.S. is owned by non-farmers. The drought deepened in Louisiana and Arkansas at the end of August, and NOAA climate scientists predicted that the drought would deteriorate further in those states during September. Invasive starry stonewort algae were found in two mid-state Minnesota lakes and in six southeastern Wisconsin lakes. A federal judge vacated the Fish and Wildlife Service's decision to list the lesser prairie chicken as a threatened species. That ruling casts doubt on the Fish and Wildlife Service's listing policy, at the same time the agency proposed to remove Endangered Species Act protections for the rare Kentucky white-haired goldenrod and to keep the Kentucky arrow darter off its endangered or threatened species lists. Both the GOP and Democratic Party are now viewed unfavorably by 24% of American adults. And last but not least, there may soon be a new candidate running for U.S. President: Lucy Lou - Border Collie and mayor of the Ohio River town of Rabbit Hash.