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University of Maryland Study Examines Effective Chesapeake Bay Management Practices

A new report by the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science (UMCES) looks at 40 case studies in the Chesapeake Bay watershed to determine which management practices have been most effective. According to the report, “New Insights: Science-based evidence of water quality improvements, challenges, and opportunities in the Chesapeake,” upgrading water resource recovery facilities, [...]

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Court Vacates 2008 Rule Decreasing Mining Waste Proximity to Streams

On Feb. 21, a federal district court vacated a 2008 Department of the Interior rule decreasing the proximity to streams that mining waste could be dumped. The rule had also allowed companies to fill streams and conduct mitigation efforts offsite. The court’s decision was based on the fact that the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation [...]

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State Environment Department Leads Investigation on North Carolina Coal Ash Spill

Duke Energy discovered a coal ash spill Feb. 2 after a 122-cm (48-in) stormwater pipe ruptured beneath a coal ash pond near Eden, North Carolina. The ash ponds are storage lagoons containing a mixture of water and ash, a waste product from coal-burning power plants. The coal ash contains hazardous heavy metals including arsenic, lead, [...]

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Delaware Governor Announces Clean Water Initiative

In Delaware, 377 water bodies are impaired, and 30 state waterways are not fishable. However, Gov. Jack Markell announced a plan March 4 to pay for stormwater, wastewater and drinking water infrastructure upgrades. The initiative, Clean Water for Delaware’s Future, would impose a “clean water fee” on residential, commercial, and industrial property owners. Over the [...]

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Draft Chinese Water Plan Focuses on Water Conservation and Pollution Controls

China will focus on water quality, preserving the health of aquatic ecosystems, and protecting drinking water based on a draft Water Pollution Prevention Plan released by China’s Ministry of Environmental Protection in February, Bloomberg BNA reports. China Environmental News indicated that US$329 billion (2 trillion yuan) could be spent implementing measures to improve industrial and [...]

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President’s Budget Calls for $1 Billion for Climate Resilience

President Barack Obama announced his 2015 budget on March 4, calling for a $1 billion climate resilience fund. The fund would support adaptation efforts as well as research and technology that improves community preparedness for extreme weather events, such as drought and flooding. According to the White House, the $1 billion price tag is small [...]

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California Governor Signs Bill Providing $687 Million for Drought Relief

On March 1, California Governor Jerry Brown signed into law a $687 million emergency drought relief package following his January declaration of a drought State of Emergency. The package includes $549 million from the accelerated expenditure of voter-approved bonds for infrastructure grants for local and regional projects that are already planned or partially completed. Projects [...]

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Source Water Collaborative Releases Partnership Building Toolkit

In mid-January, the Source Water Collaborative — a group of 25 national organizations united in protecting America’s drinking water at the source — released a new online toolkit. The guide helps to “facilitate partnerships to protect drinking water sources through agriculture, conservation practices, stormwater and forest management.” With the toolkit, users can obtain guidance on [...]

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China Announces Water Resource Protection Programs

On Jan. 14, China’s National Development and Reform Commission announced two programs intended to reduce nutrients and improve drinking water quality in the Yangtze River Delta near Shanghai. The first program focuses on the country’s largest man-made reservoir, Qiandao Reservoir in Zhejiang Province, and the upstream basin of the Xin’an River. The program so far [...]

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Study Proposes Water Management in BC Follow Watershed Boundaries, Not Political Lines

On Jan. 22, the POLIS Project on Ecological Governance at the University of Victoria released a report on British Columbia’s freshwater management and policies. “A Blueprint for Watershed Governance in British Columbia” proposes that water management decisions align with watershed boundaries rather than political lines. According to POLIS, this is the best way to achieve [...]

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