Stateline Midwest ~ March 2012

With concerns high about the potential impact that an Asian carp invasion could have on the $7 billion Great Lakes fishing industry, policymakers have another dollar figure to consider — $4.3 billion, the lowest-cost option for physically separating the Great Lakes and Mississippi River watersheds.

Stateline Midwest ~ April 2012

The state of New York has halted plans to implement a ballast water discharge standard next year that would have been the toughest in the Great Lakes region and more stringent than any existing or proposed U.S. or Canadian rules.

Stateline Midwest ~ May 2012

Recent fracking-related legislation in Midwest »

North Dakota's efforts to meet increased infrastructure needs, plan for post-fracking boom »


Over the past three years, the hometown of North Dakota Republican Rep. Patrick Hatlestad has doubled in population size.

Stateline Midwest ~ June 2012

Under an expedited timeline that had been sought by state and federal lawmakers alike, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is planning to release in 2013 a set of options for keeping Asian carp out of the Great Lakes.

Stateline Midwest ~ July/August 2012

With Ohio Republican Gov. John Kasich’s signing of HB 473 into law in June, each of the eight Great Lakes states now has water-management plans in place to comply with a historic agreement designed to protect the world’s largest system of fresh surface water.

The state of Illinois is set to boost funding for agriculture research and water quality, while also providing a sustainable revenue resource for the regulatory efforts of its Department of Agriculture.

Although the Air Force has acknowledged a spill from an underground pipe leak at Kirtland Air Force Base back in 1999, officials have recently projected the spill volume to have ballooned to over 24 million gallons - nearly twice the size of the Exxon Valdez accident. A full remediation plan from the Air Force is not expected until 2014, but county officials, environmentalists, and concerned citizens worry that the drinking water of Albuquerque and other outlying areas could be seriously threatened.

Arkansas' Attorney General Dustin McDaniel recently intervened in a lawsuit brought by environmental groups against the EPA regarding agricultural run-off of nutrients like phosphorus and nitrogen in the Mississippi River. The groups, led by the Natural Resources Defense Council, contend that the run-off contributes to hypoxic or "dead" zones in the Gulf of Mexico which are deprived of oxygen and marine life.

This week, New Jersey legislators passed legislation to ban the treatment and storage of wastewater produced from hydraulic fracturing. Although no fracking takes place in New Jersey, some wastewater or "flowback" has been treated in the state that came from drilling operations in Pennsylvania's Marcellus Shale formation. The legislation is now before Governor Christie where it is till under review.

Legislation was unanimously approved by the Connecticut General Assembly to direct the State Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) to create a website with an interactive map and alert system to notify the public of expected sewage overflows. Representative Gerald Fox III introduced the measure after constituents raised concerns when a local sewage treatment plant received a violation from state regulators for releasing 43 million gallons of partially treated wastewater into Long Island Sound.  The bill is expected to be signed into law soon by Governor Dannel Malloy.