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New scale helps meteorologists measure positives and negatives of atmospheric river storms

Atmospheric rivers (ARs) are a newly understood phenomenon, officially defined by the American Meteorological Society (AMS; Boston) just 2 years ago. ARs – narrow, fast-moving bands of highly concentrated atmospheric water vapor that commonly stretch hundreds of miles in length – often result in severe rain or snow storms when that vapor makes landfall. On […]

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Texas A&M ‘Ecopark’ stormwater center to open for tours later this year

The Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center (A&M; College Station) announced in March plans to open a new building complex demonstrating green infrastructure and stormwater reuse on its North Dallas campus for public tours later in 2019. The 2.8-ha (7-ac) Benny J. Simpson Ecopark and Water Education Building also will become home to A&M’s […]

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Vancouver, Wash., to receive $7 million from state for stormwater improvements

The City of Vancouver, Wash., is in an important spot for water quality in the Pacific Northwest. The 21-km-long (13-mi-long) Burnt Bridge Creek meanders through the city center, flowing west into Vancouver Lake. The lake, in turn, drains into the Columbia River and, eventually, the Pacific Ocean. For this reason, the city takes great care […]

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University of Minnesota campus showcases stormwater ingenuity

The University of Minnesota (UMN; Minneapolis) is leading the way on innovation in stormwater management. University planners and students are thinking outside the box to protect water quality in the Land of 10,000 Lakes. In February, student newspaper Minnesota Daily reported that UMN will incorporate a state-of-the-art stormwater reuse system into its latest construction project. […]

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Passing planes pull added precipitation from clouds

From releasing greenhouse gases while in the air to discharging fuels, lubricants, and other potentially toxic chemicals before takeoff, countless studies have determined that air travel has an undeniable effect on the environment. Now, a newly published study, led by University of Helsinki (Finland) researchers, finds that planes flying above clouds during precipitation events can […]

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City of Hampton, Va., considers ‘pay-for-success’ funding strategy to enhance resilience

In coastal Hampton, Va., city planners are considering an innovative financing strategy to support new green stormwater infrastructure (GSI) projects. This aims to turn the tide against the severe weather and rising sea levels that have led to increased flooding. The city hopes that by issuing “environmental impact bonds” (EIBs) to investors who seek financial, […]

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Researchers read tea leaves to study precipitation across millennia

The 12-year “Millennium Drought” that parched parts of Australia beginning in the late 1990s often is considered the most severe drought ever experienced by the island nation. But according to results from a first-of-its-kind survey by University of Adelaide (Australia) researchers, the Millennium Drought was far from unique. New evidence, obtained by studying preserved tea […]

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Report suggests revamped guidelines for U.S. EPA industrial stormwater permit

More than 2000 industrial facilities nationwide are subject to stormwater monitoring and control requirements under the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Multi-Sector General Permit (MSGP). Ahead of an update to the permitting program expected in 2020, EPA enlisted researchers from the National Academies for Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine to highlight weak points in the existing […]

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Target Field, home of Minnesota Twins, unveils plans for enormous ‘living wall’

In the upcoming 2019 professional baseball season, the Boston Red Sox’s Fenway Park won’t be the only Major League Baseball venue sporting a Green Monster. The Minnesota Twins announced in January plans to construct a massive “living wall” directly opposite home plate at Minneapolis’ Target Field. Facilities staff expect construction on the living wall to […]

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Facing hefty cleanup costs, Minnesota cities sue refiners over PAH in retention ponds

A group of eight Minnesota municipalities recently filed federal lawsuits against seven chemical refiners. The municipalities seek to offset the costs of limiting environmental damages from polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). The plaintiffs allege that the refiners knowingly sold coal tar-based pavement sealants high in PAHs despite widespread evidence that the substances can cause cancer in […]

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