Washington Post- The world’s oceans have suffered a lot at the hands of humans — ask any marine conservationist. Unsustainable fishing, pollution and the effects of climate change are just a few of the issues that worry scientists and environmentalists. While we have a good idea of which activities are causing harm to the ocean, scientists have been less clear on which ones are the most damaging and which regions of the ocean are getting the worst of it. Now, new reserch has allowed scientists to map the impacts of 19 different types of human activity that have harmed the ocean over a span of five years. The study was published Tuesday in the journal Nature Communications.
The Hill- House Republicans moved Tuesday to force the Obama administration to disclose certain documents related to the development of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) major water jurisdiction rule. The House Oversight Committee sent a subpoena on the rule to the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA), which is responsible for reviewing all major federal regulations before they are issued. Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) alleged in his subpoena that OIRA and its chief, Howard Shelanski, are illegally withholding from Congress documents that lawmakers have requested since a March hearing.
The Hill- The chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee blamed the outcome of the California oil spill two months ago on the Obama administration for missing regulatory deadlines. Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.) said that had the Pipeline and Hazardous Material Safety Administration (PHMSA) implemented rules from a 2011 law when it should have, the spill on Santa Barbara County’s coast would have been different. “Some of these provisions, I am convinced, would have made a difference in the recent oil spill in Santa Barbara, had they been implemented by PHMSA in a timely manner,” Upton said at a Tuesday hearing on pipeline safety.
E&E Daily- A Republican bill dealing with California's historic drought and water issues in other Western states is expected to come up for a vote on the House floor later this week, despite a veto threat yesterday from President Obama. H.R. 2898, by Rep. David Valadao (R-Calif.), would loosen environmental restrictions on how much water can be pumped from the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta to parched agricultural communities in the Central Valley and municipalities farther south, similar to a bill the House passed last year
E&E Daily- Senate GOP critics of a new Obama administration water regulation are pressing U.S. EPA's chief to defend the rule's legal underpinnings. All 11 Republican members of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee called on EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy in a letter sent yesterday to provide a legal explanation of the Waters of the U.S. rule. EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers in May released the final rule that would increase the number of streams and wetlands that receive automatic protection under the Clean Water Act.
E&E Daily- The House is barreling toward speedy passage of an almost five-month extension of highway and transit programs, setting a floor vote for this afternoon, just two days after the bill was introduced. The measure, H.R. 3038, would prevent a partial cutoff of federal transportation funding at the height of the summer construction season when the current authorization expires at the end of the month. With the help of an $8 billion bailout for the perennially strapped Highway Trust Fund, it would also maintain current spending levels through Dec. 18.Under an hourlong debate framework approved yesterday by the House Rules Committee, no amendments will be permitted.
International Business Times- The American Water Works Association (AWWA) said that the government needs to spend at least US$1 trillion [$1.34 trillion] to make every water pipe across the country capable of providing potable water. If it fails to invest wisely in waterways infrastructure programs, a large percentage of the entire American population is most likely to be affected by absolute water scarcity in 2025. According to the United Nations, this could also affect the whole world if the issue remains unaddressed, as the threat of widespread water pollution is worse in countries with smaller economy. The problem of deteriorating pipelines due to age and constant overflowing has been a national quandary since the beginning of the current century, but experts admit that utilities haven’t moved quickly enough to address these issues.
Gizmodo- At a UNESCO climate conference last week, scientists declared (once again) that climate change is already happening. The evidence is our wacky weather — even Paris, where the conference was held, was broiling in a historic heatwave. But the biggest red flag is the rise in peak global mean temperatures: Which means rising sea levels will almost certainly be a reality, too.
Georgia Environmental Finance Authority- Four Georgia communities were awarded financing totaling $7,750,000 for water and wastewater infrastructure improvements by the Georgia Environmental Finance Authority (GEFA) executive committee.The communities include the cities of Emerson, LaFayette, Loganville, and Putnam County.
NYSAC- For the past five years, Governor Cuomo has successfully enacted on-time budgets that achieve his major goals of controlling taxes and spending, creating jobs, and making smart investments in key areas like education, community resiliency and the environment. At DEC, we are especially pleased the 2015-16 State Budget includes funding for programs and projects that protect the State’s water resources and complete critical infrastructure upgrades. This is good news for communities that need additional resources to fulfill their commitment to provide residents with clean and safe water for drinking and recreation. Implementing these projects will also create good paying jobs.
WaterWorld- These days, it's difficult to have a conversation about water or wastewater without broaching the subject of aging infrastructure. Identifying it, fixing it, and paying for it are at the forefront of our minds and, as evidenced in Black & Veatch's fourth annual Strategic Directions report, it is once again the number one challenge facing water and wastewater utilities. Over the past four years, the report has emerged as a way to benchmark the challenges -- and opportunities -- in the water industry in the United States. And while some things may have changed from year to year, concern about aging infrastructure has not.
Water Online- Considering the critical role of water across that triple bottom line, upgrading water infrastructure should be job one; yet in most communities, it’s not even close to the top priority. The reason? It’s easy to think the issue is money. But it may be more accurate to say that the problem lies in how the general public thinks about how water infrastructure is funded — or financed. In many cases, the population assumes that capital for water infrastructure comes only from public funding, grants, or endowments. The trouble is public sources aren’t keeping up with municipal water infrastructure needs. Communities where public funding falls short are facing some significant changes if they expect to enjoy a sustainable water supply.
St.Croix Source- Although experts agree the Virgin Islands is late in taking climate change seriously, you might be surprised by how much research actually is happening. The Caribbean Landscape Conservation Cooperative – one of a network of private-public sector LCC groups created by the U.S. Department of the Interior – lists several recently completed research projects and three that are in progress. They all involve the Caribbean territories of the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. Scientists are looking at everything from “vegetation dynamics” and the effects of rising sea and land temperatures to how specific species of animals may possibly adapt to future changes.
Coastal Review Online- The Corps of Engineers’ Wilmington District released on Thursday the required supplemental environmental study for a proposed project to build a terminal groin and pump sand onto the beach to protect homes threatened by erosion on Figure Eight Island in New Hanover County.The so-called Figure Eight Island Shoreline Management Project includes plans to install a 1,500-foot terminal groin at the north end of the island on Rich Inlet and to pump sand on about 4,500 feet of oceanfront beach and 1,400 feet of soundside shoreline. The latest document is an update to the Corps’ 2012 draft study.