The Senate will not vote this year to confirm a new head of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, lawmakers said this week. That leaves the agency responsible for understanding and predicting changes in the earth’s climate without a Senate-confirmed leader for the longest period since it was created in 1970.
Burdensome and excessive federal regulations often delay or prohibit American businesses from investing in infrastructure or land development projects that will create jobs, grow crops and improve how we manage our natural resources. Upon taking office, President Trump initiated a process to review and replace these regulatory barriers, which included the Obama administration’s 2015 “waters of the United States” definition.
The chance of a government shutdown that could furlough EPA and Interior Department employees days before Christmas increased yesterday after an extraordinarily tense meeting between President Trump and congressional Democratic leaders at the White House.
The Trump administration laid out plans Tuesday to roll back Obama-era rules protecting isolated streams and wetlands from industrial pollution, a move that conservation groups said could harm creeks and impact drinking water in the Bay Area and throughout California. The move by the Environmental Protection Agency to roll back the 2015 Waters of the U.S. rule, known as WOTUS, was hailed by farmers and industry, which have long sought to rewrite the rules.
Among the up-is-down, night-is-day practices of the Trump administration, one of the most dangerous and disturbing is its habit of turning America’s leading science agencies into hives of anti-science policymaking. A new report lays out how this has produced a “monumental disaster” for science at the Department of the Interior.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein is joining forces with House Republicans to try to extend a controversial law that provides more water for Central Valley farms, but with a sweetener for the environment: help with protecting California’s rivers and fish. The proposed extension of the WIIN Act, or Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation Act, would keep millions of federal dollars flowing for new dams and reservoirs across the West.
The Trump administration is poised to roll back Clean Water Act protections on millions of acres of waterways and wetlands, including up to two-thirds of California’s inland streams, following through on a promise to agriculture interests and real estate developers to rewrite an Obama-era rule limiting pollution.
Federal health officials say that it is too soon to know how many Medicare providers are complying with a government agency’s order to reduce the risk of Legionnaires’ disease, the deadliest waterborne illness in the United States. A division of the Department of Health and Human Services, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) reimburses hospitals and nursing homes for providing healthcare to recipients of those two government programs.
The federal government continues to mishandle contracts with private companies during disasters such as California’s wildfires, according to a report published Thursday by the Government Accountability Office. The advance contracts are meant to ensure needed goods and services are in place when disasters strike, such as construction supplies and services, tarps, food, water, blankets, generators, cleaning and hygiene supplies, housing and lodging assistance and communication support.
A typically noncontroversial part of Congress’ must-pass farm bill has become a flash point in the aftermath of California wildfires that President Trump blamed on neglected forests, prompting House and Senate leadership to intervene in negotiations over how to regulate federally owned woodlands.
The Trump administration is expected to put forth a proposal on Tuesday that would significantly weaken a major Obama-era regulation on clean water, according to a talking points memo from the Environmental Protection Agency that was distributed to White House allies this week.
George H.W. Bush was the first president to sign the U.S. onto a global climate deal, a modest effort recognizing the threat of climate change, and possibly the last to successfully take on a wholesale revision of the Clean Air Act.
The Senate environment panel’s top Democrat wants EPA acting chief Andrew Wheeler to explain the basis for his recent comments questioning a federal climate science report. … Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.), ranking member on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, rejected Wheeler’s claims about the report in a statement Dec. 4.
The grades for major U.S. infrastructure would give any parent indigestion if they were on a child’s report card. Roads: D; bridges: C+; dams: D; ports: C+: railways: B; airports: D; schools: D+; public transit: D-. … The need to rebuild the nation’s highways, dams and other infrastructure is one of the only areas of agreement among President Trump, congressional Republicans and Democrats, who will take control of the House next year.
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.