Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Source: NALMS Newsnotes
Monday, December 29, 2008
Friday, December 26, 2008
EPA has prepared a Question and Answer document that can be found on the CARE Web site (www.epa.gov/care). Any additional questions or comments must be communicated in writing via postal mail, facsimile, or by using our Web site listed above. Answers will be posted, bi-weekly, until the closing date of this announcement at the OAR Grants/Funding Web page
Source: EPA Waterheadlines
It will require private owners of large impervious surfaces (including institutions, commercial, industrial and residential properties) to manage stormwater.
The draft regulations, draft general permit, draft Fact Sheet, Summary of the program and various supporting documents are all posted on MassDEP's web site: http://www.mass.gov/dep/service/regulations/newregs.htm#storm
MassDEP will be holding 5 information sessions around the state the week of January 5, 2009, and will follow with 4 public hearings the week of January 19th: http://www.mass.gov/dep/public/hearings/stormreg.htm
MassDEP will accept verbal and written comments on the proposed regulations and draft general permit at the hearings, and written comments until 5:00 p.m. on February 9, 2009.
Mass DEP is particularly interested in receiving public comment on two definitions included in the proposed regulations: redevelopment of impervious surface and minor repair of a paved surface.
MassDEP is also soliciting public comments on section 21.11 of the proposed regulations which sets forth the transition rules for sites undergoing projects for the development and/or redevelopment of impervious surfaces.
All written comments should be submitted to MassDEP, One Winter Street, 5th floor, Boston, MA 02108, attn. Glenn Haas, or by email at DEP.Waterpermitting@state.ma.us.
Source: Fred Civian, MassDEP
Stormwater Coordinator (via NPSInfo Listserve)
Thursday, December 25, 2008
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Among the sweeping recommendations, the paper pushes for Congress to create a Clean Water Trust Fund to finance clean water infrastructure projects; end EPA's use of 301(h) waivers that excuse wastewater treatment plants from secondary treatment; create stringent controls for nutrients, pesticides and pharmaceuticals in water; and treat factory farms as industrial polluters. The group pushes for a boost to enforcement resources and a restructuring of the office to encourage more even standards across the country, a net-gain wetlands policy and impaired waters listing for beaches. To view the Blueprint for Clean Water Report, visit: http://www.insideepa.com/secure/data_extra/dir_08/epa2008_1806.pdf.
Source: NALMS Notes
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Funding Options was released in September. This week 3 additional installments in the series are being released: Green Infrastructure Retrofit Policies addresses the challenges and opportunities associated with implementing a comprehensive municipal program to incorporate green infrastructure into existing landscapes, including descriptions of a wide variety of incentives and regulations that communities have used to drive green infrastructure retrofits. Green Streets focuses on one of the most common opportunities for implementing green infrastructure in urban areas, the transportation right-of-way; this paper discusses specific designs, how to overcome typical hurdles, and includes descriptions of several successful municipal green streets programs. Rainwater Harvesting Policies provides information on the impetus for rainwater harvesting, including energy and climate change drivers, technical and policy considerations for establishing water harvesting programs, and mu
nicipal case studies. Coming Attractions in 2009 will be Handbook installments on operation and maintenance, municipal incentives, and more.
Sunday, December 14, 2008
- DEC TO MAKE SIGNIFICANT CHANGE IN DRAFT DAM SAFETY REGULATIONS!!
- Info on Grant Writing Workshop scheduled for March 2009
- Info on the invasive aquatic plant Hydrilla now known to be present in New York (see also my December 6 posting on Lake Stewardship Blog)
I do not mean to say anything bad about the company or the work they do, but I feel the need to clarify the significance of the work they do. On the single job level, they appear to do what they say they do - remove sediments and plants from a small area.
Click HERE or on Title link to view the discussion on the Discovery Channel's Dirty Jobs Fan Blog. I am "Cedar Eden" and the President Jerry Davis is "myaquacleaner" and some of the otheres are staff. The first post is just an unknown fan of the show.
Saturday, December 13, 2008
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is seeking public comment on whether it is appropriate to regulate greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from automobiles under the Clean Air Act. In order to regulate automobile emissions in this fashion, EPA would first have to make a finding that greenhouse gases endanger public health and safety and should be classified as a “pollutant.”
* Once an endangerment finding is made, Title V of the Clean Air Act is automatically triggered. Title V requires that any entity emitting more than 100 tons per year of a regulated pollutant must obtain a permit in order to continue to operate. EPA has no choice but to require these permits once an endangerment finding is made.
* USDA has stated that any operation with more than 25 dairy cows, 50 beef cattle or 200 hogs emits more than 100 tons of carbon and would have to obtain permits under Title V in order to continue to operate if GHG are regulated. According to USDA statistics, this would cover about 99 percent of dairy production, more than 90 percent of beef production, and more than 95 percent of all hog production in the United States.
* Title V is administered by the states, and permit fees vary from state to state. The tax for dairy cows could be $175 per cow, for beef $87.50 per head, and the tax on hogs would be a little more than $20 per hog.
* Unlike other regulated pollutants, GHGs are global in scope and distribute evenly across the planet. A ton emitted in New York has the same impact as a ton emitted in China. Regulating the ton in New York without addressing emission in China and other nations will do little to address the global issue, and only penalizes the NewYork producer.
"producing milk from cows for human consumption is hazardous to the animals and to the people who are drinking it."
MONTPELIER — The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals asked Ben & Jerry's Homemade Ice Cream this week to consider using human breast milk instead of cow's milk in their products.
PETA, an animal rights and vegetarian organization known for outrageous stunts, sent a letter to company co-founders Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield on Tuesday saying consumers and cows would benefit from a switch to human breast milk.
"The breast is best!" wrote PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman in the letter to the company. "Won't you give cows and their babies a break and our health a boost by switching from cow's milk to breast milk in Ben & Jerry's ice cream?"
Albany, NY 12205-0330
518-436-8495 / 800-342-4143
Friday, December 12, 2008
Agencies Revise Guidance to Protect Wetlands and Streams ● New Definition of "Waters of the United States"
"We are providing improved guidance to ensure the information is in place to fully protect the nation's streams and wetlands under the Clean Water Act," said Benjamin H. Grumbles, EPA's assistant administrator for water. "The guidance builds upon our experiences and provides consistent direction to our staff and the public."
"We are committed to protecting America's aquatic resources as required by the Clean Water Act and in accordance with the Supreme Court decision," said John Paul Woodley Jr., Assistant Secretary of the Army (Civil Works). "This revised interagency guidance will enable the agencies to make clear, consistent, and predictable jurisdictional determinations within the scope of the Clean Water Act."
More information on the guidance: http://www.epa.gov/owow/wetlands/guidance/CWAwaters.html
40 CFR 230.3(s) The term waters of the United States means:
- 1. All waters which are currently used, or were used in the past, or may be susceptible to use in interstate or foreign commerce, including all waters which are subject to the ebb and flow of the tide
- 2. All interstate waters including interstate wetlands;
- 3. All other waters such as intrastate lakes, rivers, streams (including intermittent streams), mudflats, sandflats, wetlands, sloughs, prairiepotholes, wet meadows, playa lakes, or natural ponds, the use, degradation or destruction of which could affect interstate or foreign commerce including any such waters:
- (i) Which are or could be used by interstate or foreign travelers for recreational or other purposes; or
(ii) From which fish or shellfish are or could be taken and sold in interstate or foreign commerce; or
(iii) Which are used or could be used for industrial purposes by industries in interstate commerce;
- 4. All impoundments of waters otherwise defined as waters of the United States under this definition;
- 5. Tributaries of waters identified inparagraphs (s)(1) through (4) of this section;
- 6. The territorial sea;
- 7. Wetlands adjacent to waters (other than waters that are themselves wetlands) identified in paragraphs (s)(1) through (6) of this section; waste treatment systems, including treatment ponds or lagoons designed to meet the requirements of CWA (other than cooling ponds as defined in 40 CFR 423.11(m) which also meet the criteria of this definition) are not waters of the United States.
Waters of the United States do not include prior converted cropland. Notwithstanding the determination of an area’s status as prior converted cropland by any other federal agency, for the purposes of the Clean Water Act, the final authority regarding Clean Water Act jurisdiction remains with EPA.
Tuesday, December 09, 2008
Contracting Parties (158 countries containing 1,822 wetland sites covering 168 million hectares included in the Ramsar List of Wetlands of International Importance) meet every three years to assess Convention implementation progress, share knowledge and experience on technical issues, address the importance of further developing and intensifying internationally coordinated actions for the conservation of wetlands, and plan for the next triennium. With the theme Healthy Wetlands, Healthy People, COP 10 considered over 30 agenda items, including the Convention?s Strategic Plan 2009-2014, its budget for the triennium 2009-2011, reports and recommendations submitted by the Parties and the Convention?s Standing Committees, and the role of wetlands in sustainable development issues such as human health and well-being, climate change, biofuels, extractive industries, urbanization, and poverty eradication.
Monday, December 08, 2008
- The amount of water the designed landscape is allowed (budgeted) based on EPA criteria.
- How much water the designed landscape requires based on climate, plant type, and irrigation system efficiency.
- Whether the designed landscape meets the budgeted amount.
To read the budget tool and approach strategy: http://www.epa.gov/watersense/specs/waterbudget_tool.htm.
If you have questions about the landscape water budget tool, please contact the WaterSense Helpline at (866) WTR-SENS (987-7367) or e-mail
Source: EPA Waterheadlines
Saturday, December 06, 2008
Slow it down, Spread it out, Soak it in!
EPA's Watershed Academy held a Webcast to discuss the benefits of rain gardens on Wednesday, Dec. 3. Many communities across the country are struggling to address impacts from stormwater runoff due to increased development. Green or low impact development practices such as rain gardens can help manage runoff effectively as well as provide aesthetic benefits. Rain gardens can increase property values, add beauty and habitat, reduce a community?s carbon footprint, as well as provide important water quality benefits.
Speakers included the following:
- Jenny Biddle with EPA's Office of Wetlands, Oceans, and Watersheds
- Pamela Rowe, RainScapes Program coordinator with the Montgomery County, Maryland Department of Environmental Protection
- Lynn Hinkle, founder of ASTRA Communications, Inc. and Goin' Green.
For more information about Low Impact Development techniques, visit http://www.epa.gov/nps/lid/
Source: EPA Waterheadlines
For more information on hydrilla, log onto:
Source: Water Column, NYS Federation of Lake Associations (http://www.nysfola.org)
Friday, December 05, 2008
Nearly one quarter of the nation's housing and commercial development depend on onsite and septic wastewater treatment systems. When properly sited, designed, and maintained, these systems perform at a high level. However, between 10 and 20 percent fail each year, posing a great threat to surface and groundwater. Malfunctioning systems are the second greatest threat to groundwater quality in the United States.
More information on EPA's wastewater treatment system program: http://epa.gov/owm/septic
Source: EPA Waterheadlines
Thursday, December 04, 2008
Consumers should know about the carbon footprint and environmental impacts of bottled water. It takes a lot of energy to manufacture, transport, and store bottled water. Experts estimate the plastic bottle manufacturing process alone consumes 17 million barrels of oil a year.
Street litter and marine debris are costly concerns, as well. Marine debris is a major pollution problem affecting the world?s oceans, coasts, and watersheds. Although impacts may be more visible at the local beach; marine debris is a national and international problem. Anything can become marine debris. Extremely light-weight items, like plastic bottles, are more likely to become marine debris than heavier items because they can easily be carried by wind from one location to another.
Think globally and drink locally. Tap into the savings and recycle for the streams' sake.
For more information about Water on Tap visit: http://www.epa.gov/safewater/wot/index.html
For more information about the Waste Reduction Model: http://epa.gov/climatechange/wycd/waste/calculators/Warm_home.html
Source: EPA Waterheadlines