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Obama administration

The Global Rundown New research done in Pennsylvania shows increased rates of hospitalization for those living near fracking. Actor Tom Selleck will pay to settle a complaint that he had water illegally delivered to his home in California. The United States Interior Department has proposed a new set of restrictions on mining near surface waters. […]

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The Rundown NOAA scientists update their algae forecast for Lake Erie. California representatives introduce more water legislation while a massive engineering project spawns another environmental review and state regulators approve a reservoir plan to save salmon. NASA studies carbon storage in wetlands. The Obama administration reports on climate actions. Several EPA advisory committees will meet. […]

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The Rundown Using federal money to build in floodplains gets tougher. Vermont senator wants $US 1 trillion for infrastructure. Senate amendment to regulate fracking fails. Federal biologists criticize a California dam proposal. Water quality is a concern on the U.S-Canada border. The Senate holds hearings on the Clean Water Act and ballast water regulations. By […]

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The Rundown A new federal bond program targets public-private infrastructure deals while the EPA gains an infrastructure finance center. The secretary of state promotes dam-building in Pakistan. An aqueduct in Kansas would cost $US 18 billion. The EPA released a final report defining waters covered by the Clean Water Act. The Supreme Court denied an […]

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Climate Change Two-thirds of glacial melting in the past 20 years was due to human-caused climate change, according to new research published in the journal Science, the Guardian reported. Researchers used computer models to identify how the role of factors like greenhouse gas emissions and land use change compared to the role of volcanic eruptions […]

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For Water, Cities Look to Farms Conserving water on farms is the key to securing water for cities that face recurring shortages, according to a new study published in the journal Water Policy, National Geographic reported. The growth of both irrigated agriculture and cities in water-scarce regions has fueled these shortages, necessitating working relationships between […]

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The increasing demand for water, food, and energy is one of four “megatrends” that will shape the next 15 to 20 years, according to a National Intelligence Council report that looks at the forces creating “tectonic shifts” in how the world works. Many countries will not be able to avoid food and water shortages without […]

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Climate change will have the greatest economic effect on crops in the Midwest’s Corn Belt states, where annual loses could range from US$1.1 billion to US$4.1 billion by 2030. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service used four climate projections, a crop-growth simulation, and a model for predicting how farmers would change their crop […]

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Two reports from federal research agencies suggest that sea-level rise along the coastal United States will happen quicker and surge higher than the global average. Combined with storm surges and tidal fluctuations, higher seas increase the flood risk for billions of dollars of property, as well as vital infrastructure such as roads, power stations and […]

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Some key programs identified in the draft, which was released earlier this week, are also facing budget cuts for the 2013 fiscal year.

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Jumping Asian Carp

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is taking steps to speed up its recommendations for keeping invasive species out of the Great Lakes — but will its actions be quick enough to stop Asian carp?

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The Proposal Under a rule the Obama administration submitted for review on Friday, energy companies using hydraulic fracturing to drill for oil and gas on public lands would be required to disclose the chemicals they use in the process, the New York Times reports. However, owing to industry lobbying, companies will be allowed to wait […]

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Clean Water Act Interpretation The Obama administration is mulling regulatory guidance for the Clean Water Act that would reinstate language that was proposed by the George W. Bush administration, but was stymied by opposition from industry groups. Greenwire reports that the new guidance would make a broader claim as to which wetlands and small streams […]

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Restoration Hardware The Mississippi River Delta is the beating heart of economic activity in the nation’s midsection. From grain exports to fisheries to oil and gas production, the lower stretch of the country’s longest river is a both a trade conduit and a bulwark against storm surges and rising seas. Restoring it has become a […]

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Build Them Faster Continuing his mission of cutting red tape and making federal review processes leaner, President Obama signed an executive order to speed the pace of approval for infrastructure projects. The order establishes a committee comprised of cabinet-level departments, which will submit a plan for a streamlined, coordinated review process for water, energy, transportation […]

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Rise and Fall The bilateral commission charged with coordinating U.S. and Canadian policies on the Great Lakes released a draft plan for regulating water levels in Lake Ontario. The proposal will keep the lake closer to natural flow patterns: water levels during high and average conditions will be kept higher, and kept lower under low […]

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Hear Ye, Hear Ye Last Thursday the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs heard testimony on tribal water rights settlements. Federal officials talked about the Obama administration’s preference for negotiated settlements instead of litigation. Some 16 negotiations are in progress, two of which—the Blackfeet and the Navajo-Hopi—have legislation under consideration in Congress. The chair of the […]

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A National Standard It’s not what clean-energy advocates would have envisioned three years ago when the House of Representatives passed a cap-and-trade bill, but it’s something. Last week in the Senate, Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.) introduced the Clean Energy Standard Act of 2012, which would set national targets for energy produced from renewable and low-carbon sources. […]

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Jumping Asian Carp

The Supreme Court denied a request by five states that were calling for immediate action to stop invasive Asian carp from infiltrating the Great Lakes. This is the third time that the court has denied an injunction for the Asian carp case.

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Energy South Africa may invest $78 billion in new nuclear power plants, a hydropower project and a coal-fired power plant in order to keep up with energy demand, Business Week reported. A European Union expert committee failed to reach a decision on a proposal that would label fuel from tar sands as highly polluting, pushing […]

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