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.
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.
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.
Congress is taking its annual August leave of absence from the humid national capital. Senators and representatives return on September 7.
Brett writes about agriculture, energy, infrastructure, and the politics and economics of water in the United States. He also writes the Federal Water Tap, Circle of Blue’s weekly digest of U.S. government water news. He is the winner of two Society of Environmental Journalists reporting awards, one of the top honors in American environmental journalism: first place for explanatory reporting for a series on septic system pollution in the United States(2016) and third place for beat reporting in a small market (2014). He received the Sierra Club’s Distinguished Service Award in 2018. Brett lives in Seattle, where he hikes the mountains and bakes pies. Contact Brett Walton