Wall Street Journal - Two years ago, the Federal Emergency Management Agency issued a new flood map for the New York City region, one that substantially expanded what's known as the "100-year floodplain" - areas where there is at least a 1$ chance of flooding in any given year. FEMA's map, a preliminary document still subject to approval and its first significant update since 1983, would expand the number of city residents in the 100-year floodplain by 83% to 400,000. It nearly doubles the number of structures in the zone to 71,500.
NY Times - In a rare disagreement with President Obama, Hillary Rodham Clinton on Tuesday came out against drilling for oil and gas in the Arctic Ocean, one day after the White House granted approval for exploration off the coast of Alaska. Mrs. Clinton, a Democratic presidential candidate who served in Mr. Obama's cabinet as secretary of state, has largely stood by the president on policy matters since beginning her campaign this year. While she has remained silent on whether she would support the Keystone XL oil pipeline project, which Mr. Obama has under review and which environmentalists oppose, Arctic drilling was an opportunity for her to accommodate the progressive wing of her party.
NY Times - One of the last executives charged in a chemical spill that left 300,000 people without clean tap water for days pleaded guilty to federal pollution violations Tuesday. Dennis Farrell, a former Freedom Industries owner, pleaded guilty in federal court in Charleston, joining the bankrupt company itself and four other Freedom officials who had already pleaded guilty. The deal calls for a sentence of 30 days to two years in prison, as well as a maximum $200,000 fine. The former company president, Gary Southern, the final and highest-profile executive targeted for the spill, is expected to plead guilty Wednesday. In January 2014, a run-down Freedom tank in Charleston leaked coal-cleaning chemicals into the water supply for nine counties.
U.S. News - The inspector general for the Environmental Protection Agency is investigating the cause of a massive spill from an abandoned Colorado gold mine that unleashed 3 million gallons of contaminated wastewater into rivers that supply water to at least three states. The inspector general's office said the investigation will focus on the EPA's response to the Aug. 5 spill from the defunct Gold King Mine near Silverton, Colo. EPA and contract workers accidentally unleashed 3 million gallons of contaminated wastewater as they inspected the idled mine.
Department of Commerce - On or about August 12, 2015, the U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Office of Habitat Conservation and Eastern Acquisition Division, Kansas City, intends to issue an Invitation for Bid for construction contractor services for Dredging and Construction for BA-76 Chenier Ronquille Barrier Island Restoration Project, Gulf of Mexico, Louisiana. The solicitation will close on or about September 17, 2015.
Associated Press - U.S. Navy salvage divers have begun recovery efforts on 5-ton sections of a "captured enemy vessel," the Confederate warship CSS Georgia, which sank in the Savannah River in 1864. Divers have been working at the site since late June, helping to recover unexploded shells, cannon, the ship's propeller, but are now faced with the major challenge of retrieving the Civil War ironclad's namesake armor, estimated at 250,000 pounds.
Miami Herald - Deepening Port Miami to make way for bigger ships has caused far more damage to rare coral at the bottom of Biscayne Bay than federal wildlife managers originally calculated. In a series of letters and emails with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which is overseeing dredge work, the National Marine Fisheries Service warned between February and June that damage "greatly exceeds" what was anticipated, risking harm to a stretch of reef on the south and north sides of Government Cut up to four times the size originally projected. Yet efforts to get an accurate take on damage have been rebuffed by Corps officials. And Fisheries Service divers hoping to survey the area have repeatedly encountered obstacles, they complained.