President Trump announced yesterday that he will nominate a widely respected veteran of Western water issues to lead the Bureau of Reclamation. Trump said he will tap Brenda Burman to be commissioner of the bureau.
Eleven national marine sanctuaries and monuments — from Monterey Bay to New England to the South Pacific — could lose protections under new details of a Trump Administration plan released Monday that seeks to expand offshore oil and gas drilling.
EPA, Interior and Energy all have influence over infrastructure, but possibly the most influential agency is one that many Americans have never heard of — the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. … For years, energy industry CEOs have complained about FERC’s slow pace, partly caused by multiple public hearings and comment periods, so affected landowners can express their concerns.
When it comes to managing water in uncertain times, few things are more important than knowing how much is flowing in the river alongside your city, or filling the reservoir that irrigates local farms. … But this basic information is at risk across the West because the nation lacks a reliable funding source for the simple stream gages that measure river flows.
The Trump administration on Monday threw out a new rule intended to limit the number of endangered whales and sea turtles caught in fishing nets off the West Coast, saying existing protections were already working.
Lawmakers concerned about curbing pollution and a warming planet gave a cool reception to President Donald Trump’s environmental chief on Thursday as he defended the administration’s proposal to sharply reduce the budget of his own agency.
Water infrastructure, for both drinking and irrigation, is especially in need of improvement in the arid West. Amid a wave of aging reservoirs, treatment plants and pipelines, and a Congress unwilling to pony up funding to fix them, the Bureau of Reclamation is considering private investment as a possible solution. While some municipalities in the U.S. have partnered with private companies on water projects, such deals are almost non-existent on the federal level.
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.”
“Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today [May 27] joined Senate Agriculture Committee Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow to launch a new era in American conservation efforts with an historic focus on public-private partnership.
“Yesterday [May 27], Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack launched a new era in American conservation efforts with an historic focus on public-private partnership. The Regional Conservation Partnership Program will competitively award funds to conservation projects designed by local partners specifically for their region.