Federal Water Tap, August 11: Army Corps of Engineers Agrees to Dam Pollution Settlement

The Army Corps of Engineers will for the first time track and disclose oil pollution and oil spills from the machinery used in eight dams on the Columbia and Snake rivers, the Associated Press reports.

The agreement, covering dams in Oregon and Washington, is part of a legal settlement with Columbia Riverkeeper, an environmental group, which filed a lawsuit in 2013. The corps will also apply for pollution permits from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

In response, Doc Hastings, a Republican congressman from Washington whose district includes several of the dams in question, sent a letter to the commander of the corps asking for an explanation of the settlement’s rationale.

Columbia River
Two Oregon congressional representatives introduced the Columbia River Restoration Act, which would provide $US 50 million per year through 2020 for environmental projects in the second largest river in the United States, as measured by flow.

Billion-Dollar Disasters
Nine, not seven. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration updated its registry of U.S. weather disasters in 2013 that exceed $US 1 billion in damages. NOAA now puts the number at nine after adding floods in Illinois and a series of severe storms in the Midwest. The new analysis also added to the list 17 disasters dating as far back as 1980.

Flood Hazard Maps for Energy Assets
The U.S. Energy Information Administration has put together a jewel of a resource: a visual catalog of the nation’s energy infrastructure, the pipelines and power plants, transmission lines and oil fields.

Now, a new layer has been added: a map showing flood risks, with data from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Water Resources Reform and Development Act
President Obama signed the $12.3 billion bill in June to authorize dozens of water projects overseen by the Army Corps of Engineers. Starting this week the corps will gather public comments via teleconference and webinar about how to implement the law.

There will be four meetings, each covering different sections of the law. Here are the instructions for dialing in.

Water Break
Congress is taking its annual August leave of absence from the humid national capital. Senators and representatives return on September 7.

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.

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply