The Hill- Two top Obama administration officials Tuesday lambasted House Republicans for a bill they say would have “far-reaching consequences” for federal environmental protections. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) chief Gina McCarthy and White House Office of Management and Budget head Shaun Donovan told reporters Tuesday that the White House would not accept the policy provisions attacking top environmental priorities or funding cuts that would make it difficult to protect the nation’s air and water. “The appropriations bill currently under consideration by the House would have far-reaching consequences for the agency’s ability to ensure protections of public health and the environment,” McCarthy said.
The Hill- The head of the Environmental Protection Agency remains confident on the legality of the Obama administration’s environmental agenda despite a Supreme Court ruling against a major EPA regulation. Gina McCarthy on Tuesday characterized the June 29 ruling in Michigan v. EPA as “very narrow” and said it will have no bearing on the administration’s carbon dioxide rules for power plants or other regulations. "EPA is still committed to finalizing the Clean Power Plan. So making a connection between the mercury and air toxics standards decision and the Clean Power Plan is comparing apples and oranges,” McCarthy said at an event hosted by The Christian Science Monitor.
Washington Post- The site of some of the fiercest environmental wars over water in recent years is now the subject of a federal investigation into millions of dollars that whistleblowers say were intended to secure water for drought-stricken fish but flowed instead to farmers and ranchers. The Office of Special Counsel, the small federal office that investigates disclosures by whistleblowers, has found enough of a likelihood that $48 million was spent improperly by the Interior Department in the Klamath Basin that it directed the agency to do a formal investigation.
New York Times- Though no amount of money can ever compensate for the staggering damage caused by the 2010 BP oil spill, last week’s provisional $18.7 billion settlement among five states, the federal government and the company will help make amends for one of the worst environmental disasters in American history. If approved by a federal judge, the deal will end years of legal battles and bring the total amount BP will pay for its role in the calamity to more than $50 billion. It will also provide a significant, continuing source of revenue for the repair and restoration of the Gulf of Mexico’s marshes, barrier islands, fisheries, deep-sea corals and other vulnerable elements of an ecosystem that had been ailing long before the spill.
New York Times- Across California, home cooks and restaurant chefs are adjusting to a new reality in kitchens where water once flowed freely over sinks full of vegetables, and no one thought twice about firing up a big pot of water for pasta.The state is in the fourth year of a severe drought, but the reality of living with less water began hitting hard in the spring. For the first time, state officials ordered residents of every city and town to conserve water or face consequences.
NOAA- As unusually warm ocean temperatures cover the north Pacific, equatorial Pacific, and western Atlantic oceans, NOAA scientists expect greater bleaching of corals on Northern Hemisphere reefs through October, potentially leading to the death of corals over a wide area and affecting the long-term supply of fish and shellfish.While corals can recover from mild bleaching, severe or long-term bleaching kills corals. Even if corals recover, they are more susceptible to disease. Once corals die, it usually takes decades for the reef to recover.
WMBF News- Coastal Carolina University researchers calculate about 200,000 cubic yards of sand were lost when Tropical Storm Ana hit in North Myrtle Beach. Most of the sand was lost in Cherry Grove. Beach renourishment projects involve construction, bringing in sand to replenish the shoreline. The federal projects are done every 10 years for the entire Grand Strand region. With the tide sweeping in and out and nature taking its course, beachfront disappears and erodes into the ocean, especially at high tide.
Port Arthur News- The Jefferson County Commissioners’ Court plowed ahead with its coastal restoration Monday, just days after speculating how a record $18.7 billion settlement between energy giant BP and five Gulf Coast states could benefit the county’s marshland. Last week Fred Jackson, assistant to Jefferson County Judge Jeff Branick, said if a federal judges gives the settlement — agreed upon Thursday morning by BP and the states devastated by BP’s 134 million oil spill in 2010 — the final OK, Jefferson County could finally realize the completion of its McFaddin National Wildlife Dune Restoration project.
The Modesto Bee- Modesto is poised to take a big step Tuesday in its project to send highly treated wastewater to drought-stricken West Side farmers as soon as 2018, though the Turlock Irrigation District remains a staunch opponent over concerns of how the project will affect its groundwater basin. The City Council is expected to approve the environmental studies for the project, make findings regarding the project’s environmental impacts and the steps the city will take to lessen them, approve components of the project and authorize staff to begin the process of hiring a company to design and build the project.
GE Reports- Inefficiencies are flooding the global water infrastructure. Nearly 20% of water is lost in developed countries through leaks, theft or mismanagement. This percentage, also known as non-water revenues, can rise to 40-50% in developing countries. Overall, this represents nearly $14bn per year globally in lost revenues according to the World Bank. In a context of increasing water demand (+55% by 2050) and growing population (9.6bn by 2050), finding ways to reduce these losses and increase efficiencies in the system is growing evermore crucial. Developments on the hardware and software sides are offering new possibilities.