The Hill - A bill slashing Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) funding and blocking several of its new regulations is scheduled to pass through the House Appropriations Committee. Republicans are pushing an Interior and Environment funding bill that cuts $718 million, or 9 percent, from the EPA’s budget in fiscal 2016, on top of the 20 percent cut the agency has absorbed since Republicans took the House in 2011. The bill also includes policy riders meant to block agency rulemaking that is key to President Obama’s environmental agenda.
The Hill - Regulators have told a group of California’s oldest water rights holders to stop pumping their water from some of the state’s rivers and streams. The move is the latest step taken by state officials to protect California’s dwindling water reserves in the midst of a severe drought. The move affects rights holders who have held priority access to pumping the state’s water supplies since 1903, according to the California Water Resources Control Board. The move affects water rights holders in the San Joaquin and Sacramento watersheds and delta in the Central Valley.
The Hill - President Obama and top Cabinet officials met via video Friday with the governors of six Western states to discuss federal efforts to combat a years-long drought. Obama also announced $110 million in new federal efforts to help agriculture and rural communities in the West deal with drought and the accompanying wildfires. The meeting included leaders from the Agriculture, Interior and Labor departments, as well as the Environmental Protection Agency, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Army Corps of Engineers.
Yahoo News - UAE-based ports and logistics company Gulftainer has opened a new cargo terminal at Port Canaveral in Florida, becoming the first ever Arab company to be allowed to operate a port facility in USA.The official opening of the Canaveral Cargo Terminal comes one year after Canaveral Port Authority signed a 35-year operations agreement with GT USA, the US arm of Gulftainer which is headquartered at the port authority’s offices.
Ecns - The sea level off the coast of Guangdong province reached the third-highest level on record last year, raising concerns about increased impact from typhoons, coastal erosion and salt tides. The level was 105 millimeters higher than the average between 1975 and 1993, though it dipped by 10 mm year-on-year, according to a report on oceanic disasters last year released by Guangdong’s Administration of Ocean and Fisheries.
Herald Tribune - On Florida’s 8,500 miles of tidal frontage, there are thousands of environmentally questionable seawalls waiting to be replaced. Approximately 30 groups are vying for a $375,000 grant from the Gulf Coast Community Foundation. The grant, something akin to the XPRIZE, is for a worthwhile marine sciences project that helps create a more sustainable environment while providing a booster effect for economic development in Southwest Florida.
Palm Beach Daily News - Permitting is nearly complete for a public-private dredging project that will give boat owners in three areas of town better access to the Intracoastal Waterway. The three channels will allow larger boats to reach private docks at low tide. The total cost of the project has been estimated at $1.3 million to $1.5 million.
Arkansas Online - When a levee breaks, David Maxwell steps in. The veteran leader of the Arkansas Department of Emergency Management recently got a firsthand look at the havoc a failing levee can create. Floodwaters chewed away a nearly 150-yard section of an old levee in Perry County, and a feared breach in Miller County led to the evacuation of 242 people from the town of Garland. Recent flooding throughout the state led Gov. Asa Hutchinson to declare emergencies in 37 counties, and has prompted lawmakers, Maxwell, and other state and local officials to ask: What is the state of the state’s flood levees?