"Ground Water Rule Training"
Date: Wednesday, January 19, 2011, at 2:00 p.m., Central Standard Time
Presenters: Mike Finn and Ed Moriarty
Event Fee: Free
Michael Finn is an Environmental Engineer with the Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Groundwater and Drinking Water, Drinking Water Protection Branch.
Ed Moriarty is an environmental protection specialist for the U.S. EPA and Team Lead for the Effective Rule Implementation Team.
February 7 – 9
Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill
Please pre-register before January 21, 2011.
By phone: 1-800-332-8715
By fax: 1-580-255-4476
By mail: Rural Water Rally, 2915 S. 13th St., Duncan, OK 73533
Or online: www.nrwa.org/evRally.htm
The Philadelphia Inquirer
WASHINGTON — BP is mounting a challenge to the U.S. government estimate of how much oil flowed from the company's runaway well in the Gulf of Mexico, an argument intended to reduce by billions of dollars the federal pollution fines it faces for the biggest offshore oil spill in history.
BP's lawyers are arguing that the government overstated the spill by 20 percent to 50 percent, staffers working for the presidential oil spill commission said Friday.
In a 10-page document obtained by The Associated Press, BP says the government's spill estimate of 206 million gallons is "overstated by a significant amount," and the company said any consensus around that number is premature and inaccurate.
FRANKFORT, KY. (The Associated Press) — The Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet sued two coal companies Friday, challenging the validity of water quality reports filed with state regulators, and the companies have agreed to settle the case.
Along with the lawsuit, the agency also filed a proposed settlement agreement under which International Coal Group would pay $350,000 in penalties and Frasure Creek Mining would pay an additional $310,000 in penalties. Both companies are based in West Virginia but have mining operations in Kentucky.
At issue is the accuracy of wastewater discharge reports produced for the coal companies by independent laboratories working under contract.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency celebrated its 40th anniversary this week as House Republicans axed a global warming committee.
Its EPA@40 website notes the agency was founded Dec. 2, 1970, one year after Ohio's Cuyahoga River caught fire because it was so polluted. Soon after, Congress passed the Clean Air Act, setting national air quality and auto emission standards. In 1972, the Clean Water Act followed.
EPA, which has deemed greenhouse gases a threat to human health, is now moving forward to regulate them under the Clean Air Act. Many Republicans and some Democrats say they'll try to block the rules. This week, Rep. John Boehner, R-Ohio, in line to become the next House Speaker, said he will disband a global warming panel created by Democrats.
The Detroit News
A conservation group is renewing calls to create permanent barriers to keep invasive Asian carp out of the Great Lakes, after a federal judge opted not to close Chicago's shipping locks.
Members of the Natural Resources Defense Council want three barriers at key points along the waterway system leading to Lake Michigan. Those barriers, combined with a pumping system, could effectively halt the carp south of the Great Lakes, group members said on Tuesday.
Given the court's unwillingness to step in, the $80 million to $120 million plan may represent the next best opportunity to prevent the fish from taking over the lakes, group members say.
"Separation is possible," said Bill Abolt of the Shaw Group environmental engineering firm, former Commissioner of the Environment for the City of Chicago. "It is not some engineering miracle."
The Wall Street Journal
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said Tuesday that oil and natural gas producer, Range Resources Corp., has contaminated a pair of drinking wells in North Texas's Barnett Shale, one of the richest natural gas reservoirs in the U.S.
Two families living near natural-gas-producing wells owned by Range outside Fort Worth complained to federal regulators about "flammable and bubbling drinking water coming out of their tap" beginning in late August. EPA testing has identified "extremely high levels" of natural gas in the water, the agency said. The water wells are located in the Trinity Aquifer, which underlies 20 Texas counties, the agency said.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency issued an emergency order against a Texas gas driller Tuesday, accusing the company of contaminating an aquifer and giving it 48 hours to provide clean drinking water to affected residents and begin taking steps to resolve the problem.
The order is unprecedented in Texas, partly because the federal body overstepped the state agency responsible for overseeing gas and oil drilling in the state. The EPA's move could ratchet up a bitter fight between Texas and the EPA that has evolved in the past year from a dispute over environmental issues into a pitched battle over states rights.
EPA regional director Al Armendariz said he issued the order against Range Resources of Fort Worth, Texas, because he felt the Texas Railroad Commission was not responding quickly enough to contamination found in two water wells belonging to Parker County residents in North Texas.
San Diego Union-Tribune
Governors from throughout the western U.S. are spending a second day on the Las Vegas Strip, talking about cooperative solutions to divisive problems during a two-day winter conference at the Venetian resort.
The discussion turned Wednesday to the Endangered Species Act.
Water and national climate policies were the focus on Tuesday, with conservation and efficiency topping the solutions for state executives trying to deal with limited water resources and an extended drought.
The Washington Post
By Robert McCartney
When it comes to something as basic as ensuring that our drinking water doesn't poison our children, you'd think federal scientists and environmentalists would hustle to give the public the fullest and most reliable information as quickly as possible.
You'd also think the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Environmental Protection Agency would go out of their way to publicize it when the government's own research finds that the risk posed by lead in the water nationwide is greater than previously described, and that one of the EPA's top recommended solutions is useless.
You'd be wrong.
The Daytona Beach News-Journal
By Barney T. Bishop, Florida Voice
Billions of dollars. That is what four separate studies have shown as the anticipated cost of the EPA mandates for Florida's water bodies. Unfortunately, the federal Environmental Protection Agency is full of fanatics who don't care about the cost of this unprecedented action to Floridians.
Studies produced by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) and the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) and two independent studies produced by Cardno ENTRIX and Carollo Engineers all show the impact to Florida's economy will be in the billions. This is a stark contrast to the tune the EPA is singing. They project a much lower, unrealistic cost that is closer to $200 million. They say it's just "pennies a day." My experience is when you hear that from the federal government, you better hold on to your wallet.
The Charlotte Observer
In Charlotte, we are fortunate to be just a few hours' drive from majestic forests and treasured seashores. North Carolina is graced by natural beauty, and it's a blessing that we do not take for granted.
Other places around the country, like New Orleans, have so many threats facing their lands and waters. But even here, we are witnessing an alarming loss of nature.
Congress can help right now by passing pending legislation to fully fund the Land and Water Conservation Fund. This federal program protects some of America's most important natural areas, such as national parks and forests, coastlines, working farms, wildlife refuges and neighborhood parks.
San Jose Mercury News
Agencies to study amounts in San Bernardino Valley
Each winter, state snow surveyors trek and ski through the Sierra Nevada range, checking to see how much water is in mountain snow and estimating how much will trickle into state reservoirs.
Local water officials go through a similar annual process, though they're not looking for water on top of mountains – they're looking for it underground.
At a meeting Monday, officials from 16 local water agencies will look at estimates of the San Bernardino Valley's groundwater supplies and determine how much water they'll try to put back into the ground in the coming year.
New Jerseyans need to take "urgent action" to address a rising tide of pollution and ecological damage in the Jersey Shore, according to a new report issued by environmental activists today.
Entitled "The Shore at Risk," the report offers a disturbing portrait of the region’s environmental health. The entire Atlantic coast of the state, from Sandy Hook to Cape May, suffers from low dissolved oxygen levels. Beaches continue to be plagued by bacterial contamination. Some important species, like sea grasses and hard clams, have declined sharply.
The report, published by Environment New Jersey Research and Policy Center, blames overdevelopment in the area as the primary culprit, feeding more fertilizers and pollutants into the waterways and altering natural water flows.
The Environmental Protection Agency's enforcement efforts in Oklahoma resulted in companies and other entities spending about $272 million on pollution controls in 2010, according to figures provided Monday by the federal agency.
More than 17 million pounds of pollutants will be reduced, treated or eliminated in the state because of EPA actions this year, the agency estimates.
"It's important to make clear that when people break environmental laws – laws that have proven over these last 40 years to have had a marked difference in people's lives – they put people and communities at risk," EPA Regional Administrator Al Armendariz said in a news release. "We have a strong record of success in enforcing environmental crimes and will continue to do so whenever necessary to protect people and communities."
Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel
Achieving sustainable use of Wisconsin's water resources is the primary goal of a proposed rule governing public water supply systems that will be discussed at hearings this month, state environmental regulators said.
The rule establishes basic requirements that systems must meet to provide adequate quantity and quality of water to customers, and to protect the state's groundwater, streams, lakes, wetlands and the Great Lakes, according to Dino Tsoris, a water supply specialist with the Department of Natural Resources.
About 77 of the state's largest water systems serving populations of 10,000 or more would be required to submit comprehensive water supply service area plans, if the rule is adopted early next year by the Natural Resources Board. Deadline for compliance is December 31, 2025.
Knoxville News Sentinel
Rich natural gas deposits in Tennessee will be coaxed out of the ground in coming years, but in most cases it won't take a controversial extraction method to secure them.
Mining companies in some eastern states above the massive geological formation known as the Marcellus Shale use a process called hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, to free the gas from underground reservoirs. The extraction process involves the use of millions of gallons of water laced with chemicals, sand and salt.
The practice is used on a much smaller scale in Tennessee, where more accessible deposits are freed by the use of nitrogen gas.
New Products and Technology
The News Tribune
No one wants to deny a thirsty child a glass of clean water to drink – especially not in the United States, where clean water flows freely from our taps, our drinking fountains and our Brita filters. But around the world, three billion people die every year from waterborne diseases caused by unclean drinking water and 90 percent of them are children under the age of five.
Although this problem may seem far away from the Pacific Northwest, one Tacoma organization, A Child's Right (ACR), sees it as very close to home.
With projects in North America, sub-Saharan Africa and Asia bringing filters and other materials to children who do not have access to clean water, ACR promotes the idea that the entire world – even the parts that do have clean water to drink – should be looking to give that right to everyone.
A spacecraft impact into a lunar crater pitched up frozen water with perhaps a dash of salt, astronomers report.
NASA's Lunar Crater Observing and Sensing Satellite (LCROSS) smashed into the moon's south pole-located Cabeus Crater on Oct. 9, 2009. The blast pitched up about 660 pounds of water frozen in the bottom of the crater, according to the LCROSS team.
It also added about 3.3 pounds of sodium, one of the ingredients in table salt (sodium chloride), to the water plume, reports a team led by R. M. Killen of NASA's Goddard Spaceflight Center in Greenbelt, Md. In the Geophysical Research Letters journal, the team reports observations of the strike from the McMath‐Pierce telescope in Arizona, which revealed some chemical spectra data from the plume.
Water University was created to acknowledge recognition and certification for experience and educational achievements in the field of water and wastewater management.
State rural water associations – who are the trainers of the industry, and train approximately 100,000 personnel each year – will administer the certification program as a satellite of Water University. This partnership provides an added local state dimension of the value to the certification designation. The overall goal is to provide recognition that ultimately makes certification holders more hirable, more promotable and more valued. The UMC is a career investment that will reap many returns as the industry raises the bar of management excellence.
Contact YOUR State Rural Water Association for more information, TODAY! Or visit www.wateruniversity.org.