E&E Daily - Senate Democrats today are expected to filibuster the popular Energy and Water Development appropriations bill, as they continue to prod Republicans toward an end-of-the-year budget deal. The upper chamber will vote today on cloture on the motion to proceed with the $35.4 billion Energy-Water measure, H.R. 2028, which is generally one of the less controversial of the 12 appropriations bills. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), the ranking member on the Appropriations subcommittee that wrote the bill, said Democrats would oppose ending debate. "That's the plan," she told E&E Daily yesterday. Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), the vice chairman of the Democratic conference, also told E&E Daily yesterday that he expects Democrats to filibuster the bill - a tactic the minority has employed for months in an effort to force Republicans into budget negotiations. Read more.
New York Times - Hurricane Joaquin's wild ride up the East Coast over the last week stirred up chilling memories for William Bauer, managing director of Royce Leather in New Jersey. The family business already went through Hurricane Sandy, which flooded the fulfillment center in Secaucus, ruining many fine leather goods like wallets and briefcases. A $100,000 server, which held vital customer records, was also destroyed. "The ground felt like it was caving in around me," recalled Mr. Bauer 24. "I was talking to my psychologist three times a week." Concerned about what seemed to be a rising number of violent storms, the family decided it would not be caught unprepared again. Royce now has a simple, three-page business continuity plan to help it stay operating when disaster strikes. Read more.
Wall Street Journal - The U.S. Coast Guard said Wednesday it would halt its search for survivors from El Faro, dealing a devastating blow to relatives and friends of the cargo ship's crew, many of whom said they had held out hope their loved ones would be found alive nearly a week after their vessel sank off the Bahamas. Many family members learned of the Coast Guard's decision at the Seafarers International Union hall in Jacksonville earlier Wednesday, near the port where El Faro departed for San Juan, Puerto Rico, a week earlier. Read more.
Washington Post - For just the third time on record, scientists say they are now watching the unfolding of a massive worldwide coral bleaching event, spanning the globe from Hawaii to the Indian Ocean. And they fear that thanks to warm sea temperatures, the ultimate result could be the loss of more than 12,000 square kilometers, or over 4,500 square miles, of coral this year - with particularly strong impacts in Hawaii and other U.S. tropical regions, and potentially continuing into 2016. The event is being brought on by a combination of global warming, a very strong El Nino event, and the so-called warm "blob" in the Pacific Ocean, say the researchers, part of a consortium including the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration as well as XL Catlin Seaview Survey, The University of Queensland in Australia, and Reef Check. Read more.
New York Times - House Republicans gather on Thursday to choose their candidate to succeed Mr. Boehner as speaker, but that internal election won't be the last word. Representative Kevin McCarthy of California, the No. 2 Republican as the majority leader, is still considered the leading candidate despite Wednesday's endorsement of Representative Daniel Webster of Florida by the conservative Freedom Caucus, a group of about 40 of the 247 House Republicans. Mr. Webster doe snot appear to have broad support, and Mr. McCarthy remains likely to get majority backing from his colleagues. In the past, that would have settled the matter, and Mr. McCarthy would have cruised to victory. But these are not traditional days for House Republicans. Read more.
New York Times - All along, through months of complaints from residents of this city about the peculiar colors and odors they said were coming from their faucets, the overriding message form the authorities here was that the water would be just fine. Yes, there had been a boil order when fecal coliform bacteria turned up in some neighborhoods last year. And yes, the extra chlorine that was pumped in to solve that problem seemed to create another one - increased levels of a different contaminant. Still, the guidance from Flint officials about the temporary water supply they switched to in 2014 - partly to save money - sounded reassuring. In a notice sent to residents in July, city officials declared: "This is not an emergency. If a situation arises where the water is no longer safe to drink, you will be notified within 24 hours." The soothing talk has vanished. Read more.
Washington Post - On Monday, Oct. 5, Stuart Farrell had planned to take the morning off from his job as a researcher at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in Golden, Colo., after being awake all night taking care of his sick 2-year-old son. But at 10:30 a.m., he received a call asking him to come in four an 11:30 meeting. "I woke up, got myself as awake as possible, and came into work," Farrell said. "My manager and I went to a meeting with the person above him, and they told me that I was let go. And I had the rest of that day to pack up my stuff and leave." Farrell, who had worked in solar energy research at the laboratory for two and a half years, was one of the 15 solar research staff members laid off that day due to federal funding cuts, according to NREL public affairs manager George Douglas. Read more.
USACE Buffalo District Press Release - The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, (USACE), Buffalo District awarded a $7.994 million contract on Oct. 6, 2015, to Wesson Group LLC, Johnstown, N.Y., for the construction of Braddock Bay Ecosystem Restoration Project located in Greece, N.Y., on the Lake Ontario shoreline. The contract covers the construction of a barrier beach: 1) a 1,675-foot long continuous rubblemound breakwater spine, as a core for the beach, with two 180-foot long rubblemound terminal groins attached; 2) a 3-acre headland beach; and 3)two 150-foot long headland rubblemound breakwaters. Read more.
Wicked Local Marshfield - Much like a town in the face of a major coastal storm, local officials, coastal groups, and politicans are bracng for impact when the Federal Emergency Management Agency releases its revised flood mpas. The new maps - revised versions of the proposed 2013 maps - will be released sometime this fall, likely this month. FEMA went back to the drawing board after accepting a joint appeal Scituate, Marshfield and Duxbury filed through the Woods Hole Group, Inc. It was one of two appeals filed by Marshfield in response to the maps. Accepting the appeal meant that FEMA agreed with the points made and will work in the changes to create the new maps, Kerry Bodgan, a senior engineer for FEMA Region 1, said. Read more.
San Diego Union-Tribune - State regulators have approved a controversial plan to buy nuclear waste in concrete bunkers within 125 feet of a seawall and the beach at the shuttered San Onofre nuclear power plant. The site permit approved Tuesday by the California Coastal Commission is only for 20 years, but opponents of the storage plan worry that steel casks packed with nuclear waste may linger at the site for generations to come, and might deteriorate to the point where they cannot be removed. Plant operator Southern California Edison plans to start building in January 75 concrete bunkers to hold spent nuclear fuel that accumulated over the 45-year life of the San Onofre Nucelar Generating Station. By 2022, Edison must report back to the commission how it will monitor the casks contained in those bunkers. Read more.
Press of Atlantic City - For Ventnor, the stake are high with sea-level rise. That was a recurring theme Tuesday night at a town hall meeting on flood mitigation at the Ventnor Education Community Complex. A panel of eight experts spoke to more than 60 people about the increasing risk of flooding in the city and possible solutions to the issue. Press of Atlantic City meteorologist Dan Skeldon served as the moderator for the two-hour event. With sea-level rise, coastal storms will produce a larger potential for damage, said Stewart Farrell, executive director of Stockton's Coastal Research Center. He discussed the causes of climate change, the areas of Ventnor that are most vulnerable to flooding - such as Ventnor Heights - and pitched three ideas to deal wit the effects of sea-level rise. Read more.
Newsworks - With many Jersey Shore communities reeling from severely eroded beaches and receding dunes after the latest coastal wallop, one private community in Ocean County actually benefited from the strong northeasterly winds. In Midway Beach, a private community in Berkeley Township adjacent to Seaside Park and just north of Island Beach State Park, a naturally-built dune system grew higher and wider since last week, according to Dominick Solazzo, 43, a naturalist and member of the community's board of directors. "The storm was powerful enough to move enormous amounts of sand," he explains, pointing at the ocean and moving his hands across the beach and toward the dunes. "From initial observations, all of our beach entrances were completely filled in." Read more.
MS News Now - The Department of Marine Resources is building an island in Jackson County. It's a 17-acre site that will eventually get much larger and connect with nearby Round Island. One DMR official calls it the "ultimate recycling project." That's because the department is using dredge spoils to create this new island habitat. What was once considered waste material is now being used to restore the coastal ecology. As we approached the 17-acre island, it looked like a scene from Alfred Hitchcock's move, "The Birds." Hundreds of brown pelicans and other species have taken a liking to this man-made habitat. Read more.