Water

Stateline Midwest ~ December 2012

A group of states wanting to wall off Asian carp entry into the Great Lakes via the Chicago Area Waterway System have run into another legal stumbling block. 

Stateline Midwest ~ December 2012

Every year, billions of gallons of raw sewage, trash and personal hygiene products flow into the Great Lakes. And as a 2012 report by the Alliance for the Great Lakes notes, this problem poses not only environmental and health risks (due to the bacteria, viruses and pathogens in untreated sewage), but has economic costs as well (the forced closure of beaches, for example).

Yesterday, the Supreme Court ruled 8-0 in favor of the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission  determining that temporary flooding events caused by the federal government can be considered a "takings" under the Fifth Amendment. At issue was a long-standing legal dispute between the state agency and the Army Corps of Engineers over temporary flooding from water releases at a federal dam which killed timber in the Black River Wildlife Management Area in Northeast Arkansas.

On November 19, Iowa Governor Terry Branstad released a nearly 200 page report calling for reductions in nutrients like nitrogen and phosphorus found in fertilizer run-off from agriculture operations and wastewater treatment plants. The report, nearly two years in the making, came as a result of a 2008 EPA directive called the Hypoxia Action Plan which outlined a strategy for 12 states in the Mississippi River watershed to reduce discharges of nutrients that contributed to the "dead zone" in the Gulf of Mexico - an oxygen deprived area that causes algae blooms and fish kills.

Stateline Midwest ~ November 2012

Five years ago, Michigan issued its first ballast water permit — the result of legislation passed in 2005 and of decades-long concerns about the ecological and economic impact of aquatic invasive species. The move was widely regarded as a historic moment in Great Lakes protection. 

No other state had established such a permitting program, and Michigan was ahead of the federal government in addressing the leading cause of harmful non-native species entering the Great Lakes. But some Michigan legislators say the time has now come for their state to revisit its unique permitting standards.

The Utah Division of Water Quality voted 9-2 to allow the U.S. Oil Sands company to begin commercial mining for oil shale bitumen, a thick clay-like substance, which will be the first of its kind in the U.S. The agency review was requested by two opposing environmental groups  after a previous ruling was made by the agency to allow the 213 acre project to move forward in eastern Utah without a water pollution or groundwater monitoring permit. Observers now expect the decision to be taken on in the courts by the project opponents.

Stateline Midwest ~ October 2012

When the history is written about Great Lakes policymaking in the early 21st century, at least two groundbreaking initiatives will stand out. The first was enactment of a state compact and companion agreement with the provinces to prevent diversions of Great Lakes waters and improve basin-wide management of them. The second was the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, an unprecedented funding commitment by the U.S. government to clean up and protect the lakes.

On paper at least, says Andy Buchsbaum of the National Wildlife Federation, a new binational agreement has the potential to be added to this short list of history-making Great Lakes protections.

Val Marmillion, the featured speaker of CSG’s webinar “Restoring the Mississippi River Watershed,” kicked off his presentation by noting water quality and supply is perhaps one of the most important issues for state policymakers yet it receives little media attention. As the managing director of America’s WETLAND Foundation, his organization plays a vital role as a neutral arbiter that seeks consensus solutions to help raise awareness and increase support for efforts to save wetlands and coastal areas. The need to promote comprehensive solutions to mitigate these resource losses now is more crucial than ever as Marmillion remarked that coastal wetlands and marshes the size of football fields in Louisiana are being lost at the rate of once every hour.

Val Marmillion, the featured speaker of CSG’s webinar “Restoring the Mississippi River Watershed,” kicked off his presentation by noting water quality and supply is perhaps one of the most important issues for state policymakers yet it receives little media attention. As the managing director of America’s WETLAND Foundation, his organization plays a vital role as a neutral arbiter that seeks consensus solutions to help raise awareness and increase support for efforts to save wetlands and coastal areas. The need to promote comprehensive solutions to mitigate these resource losses now is more crucial than ever as Marmillion remarked that coastal wetlands and marshes the size of football fields in Louisiana are being lost at the rate of once every hour.

CSG's upcoming webinar, "Restoring the Mississippi River Watershed" will highlight an initiative driven by Illinois Governor Pat Quinn and Louisiana Lt. Governor Jay Dardenne called the "Big River Works." Please join us at 2PM/Eastern on October 9th for this informative event. For registration information, please click here.

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