Powerful Republican congressmen and governors are pressing President Donald Trump to take an unprecedented step: Reverse his predecessor’s creation of several national monuments under a law that dates back to Theodore Roosevelt.
From the water safety crisis in Flint, Michigan to the near-disaster with the Oroville Dam in California, a string of water-related events have made headlines, and called into question the U.S. focus on keeping critical water systems safe and functioning. In advance of the U.S.-focused Water Week and the U.N. World Water Day, Brookings experts have explored many dimensions of water infrastructure.
Since 1965, the federal Land and Water Conservation Fund has helped protect civil war battlefield sites, national parks and local recreation areas such the American River Parkway in Sacramento and Henry Lake in Idaho.
Late one Friday night in 2014, Ohio’s environmental agency received word of a frightening test result from Toledo’s water supply: A toxic greenish substance had rendered the drinking water of half a million Toledo residents unsafe to drink.
Lately, water infrastructure has gained a lot of national attention, although not always for the most reassuring reasons. … Despite all of this federal uncertainty, however, cities and states are not slowing down in their water infrastructure plans and investments. As places from New Orleans to Flint to Oroville see the impetus for action, they are exploring new financial tools, designing more resilient systems, and forging stronger collaborations – public, private, philanthropic, and otherwise.
The conservative California farmers who have long sought to eliminate the Legal Services Corp. would get their wish fulfilled under the Trump administration’s bare-bones budget outline made public Thursday.
President Donald Trump, fashioning himself the builder-in-chief, promised to invest $US 1 trillion to make America’s potholed highways, unstable bridges, leaky water systems, strained ports, and brittle levees whole again. The pledge is more a slogan at this point. Still, Trump and his advisers are adamant that such a big bet on the nation’s arteries of commerce, health, and safety come with a large role for investor-owned companies and equity firms to form public-private partnerships, or P3s.
Rep. Jared Huffman and environmentalists are concerned that a House subcommittee hearing Wednesday on Capitol Hill marks the beginning of a Republican assault on a national marine sanctuary system that protects 350 miles of California’s coast from offshore oil development and pumps millions of dollars into local economies, including Sonoma County.
The Heidi-Renee appeared on the water in early December. One day, it was business as usual in the channel leading from Marina del Rey to the sea: kayakers, sailboats, water-skimming pelicans, the occasional sea lion.
In the battle over public lands, House Republicans recently carried out a raid. In early January, the House approved a small change to the rules dictating how federal land can be transferred to state or local governments, doing away with a requirement that the value of offloaded land be offset in the federal budget.
Agriculture secretary nominee Sonny Perdue says he will step down from several positions at companies bearing his name, restructure family trusts and create blind trusts to avoid a conflict of interest if he is confirmed.
The U.S. Geological Survey joins its many partners in other federal agencies, at universities, and in state and local governments in recognizing the importance of the Water Resources Research Act (WRRA) of 1964.
Signed into law 50 years ago by President Lyndon B. Johnson on July 17, 1964, the WRRA established a Water Resources Research Institute in each state and Puerto Rico.
From The New York Times, in a commentary by David Bornstein:
The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that public water systems lose, on average, one-sixth of their water — mainly from leaks in pipes. The E.P.A. asserts that 75 percent of that water is recoverable.
Three U.S. states with anticipated water supply deficits in the coming decades reached milestones in July in their deliberations on how to meet the demands of cities, farmers, and industries. … A few plans have already been published. California, for example, released its five-year update in January.
Attendees of the U.S. Conference of Mayors will vote Monday on a resolution that encourages cities to use natural solutions to “protect freshwater supplies, defend the nation’s coastlines, maintain a healthy tree cover and protect air quality,” sometimes by partnering with nonprofit organizations.
The U.S. Forest Service is seeking public comment on a proposal addressing water provided for ski areas on national forest lands through the permitting process. The proposal would help to ensure public winter recreation opportunities on Forest Service lands are available in the long term.
From the Los Angeles Times, in a commentary by David Horsey:
“One of the great environmental success stories of our time is how the air in L.A. has gotten dramatically better over the years, thanks to auto emissions standards. … There are other good stories … It should be noted that every one of these positive outcomes resulted from government action.”