October 21, 2011

ESA Subject of House Science Committee Hearing

The House Science, Space, and Technology Subcommittee on Investigations and Oversight held a hearing on the nexus of science and policy related to the Endangered Species Act on October 13. 

In his opening statement, Subcommittee Chairman Broun (R-Ga.) called for an overhaul of the Endangered Species Act.  He said that U.S. District Court Judge Oliver Wanger statements on the Delta Smelt Biological opinion have “attracted this Subcommittee’s attention” and he quoted Judge Wanger’s criticism of Interior Department scientists.

Rep. Dennis Cardoza announces retirement

Representative Dennis Cardoza (D-18) announced that he will not seek re-election in 2012.

He will continue to serve the 18th congressional district for the remainder of the term. Cardoza has represented California’s central valley for over 20 years.

“Reflecting on our successes, I am most proud of our work to build community centers, new schools, roads and water infrastructure in both the Valley and throughout California,” said Cardoza.

EPA to Host Webinars on New Software Tool to Help Water Systems Plan for Climate Change

EPA has developed new software, the Climate Resiliency Evaluation and Awareness Tool (CREAT), to assist drinking water and wastewater utilities in understanding potential climate change threats and assess related risks.

House Subcommittee Holds Hearing on Cutting EPA Spending

The House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigation held a hearing on Oct. 12 to discuss cuts to the Environmental Protection Agency. 

Chairman Cliff Stearns (R-FL) said that the purpose of the meeting was review EPA’s spending and make sure that “EPA can still meet its core mission but at a lower cost.” A majority of the hearing dealt with EPA’s personnel policies, job load, rents and unappropriated monies.

Reclamation Seeks Comments on Requirements for Water-Related Contracting Activities

The Bureau of Reclamation is seeking public comment on draft Reclamation Manual releases for water-related contracting activities. These draft releases provide definitions of key terms and revise existing definitions; restructure and clarify Reclamation's water transfer and conversion policy; and consolidate and set-out basic pricing requirements for water-related contracts.

For more information please see the Bureau of Reclamation’s press release

EPA to Regulate Wastewater from Fracking

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced plans Thursday to develop national standards for the disposal of wastewater generated by the natural gas extraction process known as hydraulic fracturing, or fracking.

EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson said the agency will begin the process of developing a standard with input from stakeholders, including the natural gas industry and public health groups.

U.S. Senate Approves Hoover Power Allocation Act

Southern California water agencies and others will continue to benefit from clean, low-cost hydroelectric power after the U.S. Senate's approval of the Hoover Power Reallocation Act yesterday.

Water Agencies Testify During Field Hearing on Santa Ana Suckerfish Habitat

The potential threat to the local economy and water supplies posed by expanding critical habitat for the Santa Ana suckerfish was discussed during a field oversight hearing in the Inland Empire yesterday.

Held by the House Subcommittee on Water and Power, the hearing featured testimony from Western Municipal Water District General Manager John Rossi and the City of San Bernardino Water Department General Manager Stacy Aldstadt.

Reclamation Awards Nearly $3.5 Million in Water Use Efficiency Grants

The Bureau of Reclamation awarded $3.5 million in water use efficiency and conservation grants in 2011.

Nearly $3 million was awarded through the CALFED Water Use Efficiency Grant Program and $530,000 was awarded through the Water Conservation Field Service Grants Program.

Lorri Gray-Lee Named Reclamation's Pacific Northwest Regional Director

Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner Michael L. Connor announced that Lorri Gray-Lee will succeed Karl Wirkus as the Pacific Northwest Regional Director when he retires at the end of December. Gray-Lee served the last four years as the Lower Colorado Region Regional Director.

For more information see the Bureau of Reclamation’s press release