August 1, 2011

Debt Deal Nearly Done

After weeks of hotly contested negotiations involving walkouts, shout outs, fear mongering and other uninspiring behavior by our nation’s leaders, the House and Senate began voting today on a plan to raise the nation’s debt ceiling by $2.1 trillion and reduce spending by $2.5 trillion.

ESA Rider Removed from House Appropriations Bill

 

Language preventing the Fish and Wildlife Service from spending funds to list species, designated critical habitat, or process petitions was removed from the House Interior and Environment Appropriations Bill for FY 2012.  Democrats previously tried and failed to remove this rider during the Appropriations Committee hearing on the bill. 

State Establishes Public Health Goal for Chromium 6

California established a final public health goal today for hexavalent chromium in drinking water at .02 parts per billion.

The PHG is a health risk assessment, not an enforceable drinking water standard, and is the first step in the process of setting a drinking water standard for cancer-causing chromium 6.

Clean Water Act Guidance Should be Withdrawn, ACWA Says in Comment Letter

Draft guidance for the Clean Water Act issued earlier this year represents a vast expansion of federal jurisdiction over water bodies and could put recycled water projects in jeopardy, ACWA said in comments submitted July 22 to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Calling the draft guidance a “rule in disguise,” ACWA called on EPA to withdraw the guidance and begin a formal rulemaking process.  

ACWA Calls on Fish and Wildlife Service to Withdraw Rule on Santa Ana Sucker

Weighing in on an issue affecting regional water supplies for much of inland Southern California, ACWA called on the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service this week to withdraw a final rule designating an additional 1,026 acres of land as critical habitat for the Santa Ana sucker.

ACWA Submits Comments on Draft National Climate Change Action Plan

A draft national action plan on climate change should build upon existing local and state efforts, ACWA urged in a letter to the Council on Environmental Quality.

Released by the council on June 2 for public comment, “Draft National Action Plan: Priorities for Managing Freshwater Resources in a Changing Climate,” recommends federal agency actions to aid freshwater resource managers in managing and protecting the nation’s water resources.

Interior Announces WaterSMART Grants for California, Other Western States

California is poised to receive more than $1.6 million to study ways to improve water efficiency under WaterSMART grants announced today by U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar.

The state is one of six selected to receive a total of $2.7 million from the Bureau of Reclamation to study key river basins and identify strategies to address imbalances between water supplies and demands. Kansas, Nebraska, Oregon, Utah and Texas also will receive funding.