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EPA Administrator Tours Houston’s Buffalo Bayou Project

In early March, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Gina McCarthy toured Houston’s $58 million Buffalo Bayou Project, a restoration and conservation project on which construction started in 2012. The tour also focused on the city’s Bayou Greenways 2020 program. The Buffalo Bayou Project includes restoration of natural landscapes as well as new and upgraded [...]

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ACWA Releases Groundwater Management Recommendations

On April 7, the Association of California Water Agencies (ACWA) released recommendations for improving management of California groundwater basins. ACWA’s recommendations come as discussions continue in the regulatory and legislative arenas to identify ways to address potentially unsustainable declines in groundwater levels and degraded groundwater quality in some basins of the state. The drought has [...]

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EPA Awards 16 Cities with Grants for Green Infrastructure on the Great Lakes

In late February, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) began announcing the 16 recipients of the Great Lakes Shoreline Cities Green Infrastructure Grant. Cities in Minnesota, New York, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Ohio received grants throughout March. The grants will result in cleaner water and a more resilient shoreline by helping to prevent flooding. Extreme precipitation [...]

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EPA Stays Decision on Mississippi Basin Numeric Nutrient Criteria

On March 17, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit approved the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) request to stay a decision on whether the agency must provide numeric nutrient criteria for Mississippi River Basin states. In a previous 2013 U.S. District Court ruling, EPA was given until March 19 to determine whether [...]

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Government of Alberta Allocates CAD$1.1 Billion to Flood Recovery and Mitigation

On March 14, the Government of the Alberta announced a commitment of $1 billion (CAD$1.1 billion) over the next three years to flood-recovery.  Nearly $120 million (CAD$132 million) will be available for flood mitigation, floodway relocation, erosion control grants, and flood hazard studies and updating flood maps. The amount also includes $8.9 million (CAD$9.7 million) [...]

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Ohio River Basin Trading Program Transacts First Credits

On March 11, the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) transacted the first interstate credits for  nutrients in the United States, officially launching water quality pilot trades in the Ohio River Basin. Duke Energy, Hoosier Energy, and American Electric Power are the first buyers in the program. Collectively, the companies purchased 9000 stewardship credits, agreeing to [...]

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Pine Beetles Alter Hydrology of Mountain Watersheds

The mountain pine beetle has caused the death of millions of acres of trees in western states ranging from New Mexico to British Columbia. In Colorado alone, the beetle is responsible for 1.4 million ha (3.4 million ac) of dead pine trees, as reported by the National Science Foundation. The tree deaths not only increase [...]

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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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