NY Times- Ten years ago, the neighborhood hard by the 17th Street canal in this city was water-blasted. The surges from Hurricane Katrina swept into the canal, broke through its flood walls and forced homes off their foundations. Much of New Orleans remained steeped in brackish filth for weeks until the sodden city could be drained. In the aftermath, Congress approved $14 billion for a 350-mile ring of protection around the city with bigger and stronger levees, gigantic gates that can be closed against storms, and a spectacular two-mile “Great Wall of Lake Borgne” that can seal off the canal that devastated the city’s Lower Ninth Ward when its flood walls fail. More work is underway, including pump stations that will keep the city’s three main drainage canals from being overwhelmed again during storms.
The Hill- The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) believes it spilled 3 million gallons of mine waste containing heavy metals into a Colorado river, it said.The latest estimate of the spill came out Sunday, and it’s triple the EPA's initial estimate regarding its release of mine waste from the Gold King Mine into the Animas River at Silverton, Colo., The Durango Herald reported.The agency has been under harsh criticism from political and environmental leaders in the days following the spill, which turned the river bright orange and caused officials downstream to restrict water intake, recreation, fishing and other activities.
The Hill- States, energy companies and business groups are preparing to sue the Obama administration over its new climate rule, viewing it as their bet shot at stopping the regulations while President Obama is still in office. With Congress largely powerless to stop the rule, opponents of Obama’s push say the court system is their only hope at beating back the carbon limits until a new president is in the Oval Office in 2017.“That is the most viable pathway by which the rule will be stopped during the Obama administration, because whatever the Congress does, he could veto,” said William Yeatman, a senior fellow at the conservative Competitive Enterprise Institute.
The Hill- Royal Dutch Shell said Friday that it will end its membership with the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), a state-level policy group, over its position on climate change.“ALEC advocates for specific economic growth initiatives, but its stance on climate change is clearly inconsistent with our own,” Shell said in a statement Friday. “As part of an ongoing review of memberships and affiliations, we will be letting our association with ALEC lapse when the current contracted term ends early next year.”Shell has previously acknowledged the existence of climate change and called for policy changes to confront it. In its statement, Shell said, “We have long recognized both the importance of the climate challenge and the critical role energy has in determining quality of life for people across the world."
ABC News- The Animas River in Colorado has turned orange as a toxic spill continues to flow downstream and through to other states.A team of workers with the Environmental Protection Agency accidentally released 3 million gallons of waste water from the Gold King Mine in Silverton, Colorado, on Aug. 5, the agency said. It was initially estimated to be a third of that size at one million gallons, the EPA said.
NPR- In a lush green bayou a little southeast of New Orleans, John Lopez and Howard Callahan are cruising the waterways in an airboat under the hot Louisiana sun on a recent day. It's an area known as Breton Basin, and Callahan is a local land manager who often helps researchers such as Lopez explore environmental changes in coastal wetlands. The pair head to a concrete and steel structure that separates the bayou from the nearby Mississippi River. This is the Caernarvon. Built in 1991, it works like a faucet: When it's open, freshwater and sediment from the Mississippi River — usually hemmed in by the levee system — flow back into what was a dying swamp. Diversions such as this one are meant to free the river to do its original job as it nears the Gulf of Mexico: spread out sediment, create land and provide freshwater to local habitats.
Business Wire- The rise of alliances among shipping carriers and industry moves towards post-Panamax and ultra large cargo ships are pressuring many U.S. ports to address access restrictions. The widening of the Panama Canal, slated to open in 2016, will further intensify the need to accommodate larger ships. Some regional ports that serve secondary markets and are unable to process larger vessels risk losing some services or being skipped completely, Fitch Ratings says.The combined impact of the shift to larger vessels and carrier alliances is giving shippers significant negotiating leverage over ports. Carriers are seeking economies of scale through higher utilization of each vessel, which can result in fewer vessel calls overall. Furthermore, larger vessels can limit an individual carrier's reliance on any particular port or terminal. This has led to a reduction in the number of ports called on each voyage, raising pressure on ports to improve terminal capability and productivity.
Dredging News Online- Following the Panama Canal expansion, which is approaching completion, up to 10 per cent of container traffic to the US from East Asia could shift from West Coast ports to East Coast ports by 2020, according to new research conducted by The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) and CH Robinson. Rerouting that volume is equivalent to building a port roughly double the size of the ports in Savannah and Charleston. The research - which involved extensive scenario analyses based on differing levels of demand, capacity, and costs - is believed to be the most comprehensive public study of how the canal’s expansion will likely change the way cargo moves, by both water and land, into and within the US.
Triple Pundit- The California drought's impacts on agriculture, water systems and infrastructure are well known. Now new research demonstrates that there is a negative carbon impact too – and that this may continue for several years. William Anderegg is an ecologist at Princeton University. He and his colleagues examined tree-ring data from more than 1,300 sites around the world. And by comparing the rings with known drought records, they found that trees don’t simply kick back into gear as soon as rains return.That drought ‘hangover’ causes tree growth to lag 5 to 10 percent below normal for several years following the dry spell.
Inframanage-The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency launched the Water Infrastructure and Resiliency Finance Center today to help communities across the country improve their wastewater, drinking water and stormwater systems, particularly through innovative financing and by building resilience to climate change. The center was announced as Vice President Biden and EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy toured the construction site for a tunnel to reduce sewer overflows into the Anacostia River in Washington, D.C. by 98 percent.