Friday, October 9, 2015

What We Learned This Week - "A Bridge Too Far"

The Ohio River algal bloom stretched to 650 miles in length - over two-thirds of the River’s length.  The National Wildlife Federation sued the U.S Department of Transportation over its alleged failure to protect people, communities and the environment from inland waterways oil pipeline spills.  Congressional advocates sought to forge a bipartisan path toward permanently reauthorizing the  Land and Water Conservation Fund. The Army Corps of Engineers proposed a $14 billion list of water resources development projects it wants to deauthorize.  Illinois Rep. Mike Quigley worked on a farm for a bit, and said that the nation needs to upgrade the Mississippi River's locks and dams to help farmers.   West Virginia reached an agreement with Patriot Coal Corp., which will now set aside $50 million for its coal mining environmental cleanup responsibilities. Federal officials finalized a $20+ billion deal with BP to settle 2010 Gulf oil spill-related lawsuits.  Allies on Louisiana Coastal restoration issues found themselves at odds over plans to tap into BP oil spill fine money for Louisiana Route 1 bridge work.  The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service proposed to list the Kentucky arrow darter as "threatened" under the Endangered Species Act, but  won't be protecting Kentucky's Cumberland arrow darter or Tennessee cave beetles.  Zebra mussels invaded two more lakes in Minnesota's Twin Cities region. Signs at Minnesota's Lake Calhoun are now subtitled "Bde Maka Ska."  Incumbent Memphis Mayor A C Wharton was defeated in a Thursday election by City Councilman Jim Strickland. And last but not least, it's stressful living in Memphis and New Orleans (St. Louis and Minneapolis . . . not so much).

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