Federal Water Tap, May 2: Clean Water

The President’s Water Plan
The Obama Administration announced a clean water strategy. Among the recommendations is a proposal to expand the number of rivers and streams that fall under the regulatory domain of the Clean Water Act. There is a 60-day public comment period. Comments can be emailed to owdocket@epa.gov, with “EPA-HQ-OW-2011-0409” in the subject line.

Cleaner Water
The Environmental Protection Agency released a strategy for improving stormwater discharges by investing in green infrastructure. In addition, the agency will partner with ten cities that have already started such programs.

Water in the West
The Department of the Interior released a report looking at how climate change will affect water resources in eight major Western river basins. Mandated by a law passed in 2009, the report used the median figure from 112 climate projections to conclude that Western basins face temperature increases of 5 to 7 degrees Fahrenheit by the end of the twenty-first century. The Northwest will get wetter, but the Southwest will see less precipitation. The timing of snow runoff will shift earlier in the year, disrupting irrigation, salmon runs and hydropower.

The House Energy and Commerce Committee released a report categorizing chemicals injected by the nation’s leading energy companies when they use the drilling technique known as hydraulic fracturing. The report is the most extensive such survey to date. Meanwhile, President Obama’s economic adviser said the industry should support “common sense regulation that builds the public trust.” Gene Sperling made the remarks at an energy conference, according to PlanetArk.org.

From Lake Michigan to the Gulf of Mexico
The Army Corps of Engineers is conducting a study of the interconnected Mississippi River and Great Lakes basins. The study’s goal is to identify how to best prevent the spread of invasive species between the two basins. The study group has published its first newsletter.

Federal Water Tap is a weekly digest spotting trends in U.S. government water policy. To get more water news, follow Circle of Blue on Twitter and sign up for our newsletter.

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