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Saturday, July 30, 2011

Late Night: Professional Climate Change Denialist Issues Climate Change Denying Study, Wingnuts Rejoice

Late Night: Professional Climate Change Denialist Issues Climate Change Denying Study, Wingnuts Rejoice

Climate Change & the Future – When You Know Trouble is Coming

Climate Change & the Future – When You Know Trouble is Coming

Is climate change the biggest national security challenge we are facing? Posted By Thomas E. Ricks

Posted By Thomas E. Ricks

Geoengineering and tackling climate change

Geoengineering and tackling climate change

Aquarius Reef Base—A Living Laboratory for Ocean Acidification

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Aquarius Reef Base—A Living Laboratory for Ocean Acidification

July 28, 2011
Contact:
Keeley Belva, 301-734-1030

Over the past 15 years, scientists have been documenting increases in acidity in waters of the global ocean. This summer, two groups of scientists will be researching the very local aspect of ocean acidification on coral reefs in the Florida Keys.
Ocean acidification, a phenomenon scientists call “the other carbon problem,” hinders the ability of marine creatures to build shells – and already is presenting challenges to oyster harvesters on the U.S. West Coast. Over many decades, emissions of carbon dioxide into Earth’s atmosphere have significantly increased, mainly due to burning of fossil fuels. The oceans have been absorbing some (about 25 percent) of these emissions. While this may help delay atmospheric warming and climate change, scientists have discovered that carbon dioxide in the ocean is making the waters more acidic.
 The East Coast missions will use a unique underwater laboratory near Key Largo, Fla., known as Aquarius. The world’s premier underwater laboratory that can accommodate divers for multi-day missions, Aquarius is owned by NOAA through its Office of Ocean Exploration and Research and operated by University of North Carolina Wilmington.
The first of Aquarius’ two ocean acidification missions this summer has just concluded. The 10-day research dive was led by Marc Slattery, Ph.D., of the University of Mississippi. Slattery and his team took advantage of the unique test-bed capabilities of Aquarius to collect information about micro-habitats around the reef and to map acidity levels. They collected samples from sponges and corals that tolerate acidic conditions in order to look at their genetic patterns and ultimately to better understand why some are resistant to acidification while others are harmed by it. Ultimately this research will help coral reef managers predict changes in the reef community structure and function, and potentially develop strategies to mitigate added stress due to increased acidity.
Another study in August will look at local ocean acidification—acidification that is caused by respiration of local reef animals. The principal investigator for the project, Chris Martens, Ph.D., from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, explains his experiment in this video. The team has developed new technologies to monitor carbon dioxide levels remotely for extended periods. One advancement is an undersea mass spectrometer that measures various gasses in the water and sends the information to a laptop ashore where scientists monitor gas levels in real-time. The team will be looking at differentiating between carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and carbon dioxide generated on the seafloor by reef animals, with results expected to help resource managers address ocean acidification issues. NOAA’s Ocean Acidification Program is also funding this effort.
Staying Underwater – for Days at a Time
Both of the missions described above require science divers to be on the seafloor for extended times. 
To understand the complexities of thousands of unique life forms in the ocean and the environments they inhabit, ocean scientists who are divers face a daunting challenge: How to stay underwater long enough to study these complexities effectively?
One way is to bring samples from the ocean to a land-based laboratory by conducting several short dives. This produces results but, with the need to stop and surface repeatedly, is inefficient and costly. Another way is to create an undersea laboratory where scientists can live and work for days or weeks at a time. 
Aquarius Reef Base, the world’s premier undersea coral reef research facility, is an example of the latter approach and the only one that accommodates aquanauts working up to nine hours a day in depths of about 100 feet during scientific missions lasting for about 10 days on average.
Aquarius is located on a sandy patch of seafloor adjacent to deep coral reefs in NOAA’s Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary, 63 feet below the surface. The lab is well located to study coral reefs, to follow long-term trends in their health, and to observe over time their response to specific threats — including ocean acidification.
Follow these missions and see live broadcasts from Aquarius at the lab’s website, http://aquarius.uncw.edu
  NOAA's Office of Ocean Exploration and Research is commemorating 10 years of using state-of-the-art technologies to explore the Earth's largely unknown ocean in all its dimensions for the purpose of discovery and the advancement of knowledge.
NOAA’s mission is to understand and predict changes in the Earth's environment, from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun, and to conserve and manage our coastal and marine resources. Visit us at www.noaa.gov and join us on Facebook, Twitter, and our other social media channels.

 

Ocean acidification/warmer water.

Ocean acidification/warmer water.

Climate models make too hot forecasts of global warming

Climate models make too hot forecasts of global warming

July 29, 2011 By Daniel Horton
Data from NASA's Terra satellite shows that when the climate warms, Earth's atmosphere is apparently more efficient at releasing energy to space than models used to forecast climate change have been programmed to "believe."

The result is that are warming substantially faster than the atmosphere, says Dr. Roy Spencer, a principal research scientist in the Center at The .
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Friday, July 29, 2011

US EPA says wants to cut VOCs from fracking by 95%

US EPA says wants to cut VOCs from fracking by 95%
Washington (Platts)--28Jul2011/339 pm EDT/1939 GMT


The US Environmental Protection Agency wants the oil and natural gas industry to cut its volatile organic compound emissions by 25%, air toxics releases by nearly 30% and methane emissions by 26%, according to an EPA fact sheet issued Thursday.

The proposed regulation also includes a 95% reduction in VOC emissions from hydraulically fractured gas wells.

Ocean Acidification economics chart


Ocean acidification economics chart | Sightline Daily
Ocean acidification economics chart. Cooley and Doney, Environmental Research Letters, 2009, via Richard Feely presentation. Full size is 1039 × 785 pixels| ...
daily.sightline.org/.../ocean-acidification-economics-chart/

How troubling is ocean acidification - High Country News


 
How troubling is ocean acidification? — High Country News
Troubling enough to possibly devastate the fishing economy.
www.hcn.org/blogs/range/how-serious-is-ocean-acidification

Biotech Food For a Warming Planet

Biotech Food For a Warming Planet

You cannot have food, water, or energy security without climate security. They are interconnected..."

Posted: 28 Jul 2011 11:07 AM PDT
“You cannot have food, water, or energy security without climate security. They are interconnected and inseparable. They form four resource pillars on which global security, prosperity and equity stand. Each depends on the others. Plentiful, affordable food requires reliable and affordable access to water and energy.
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On the Misdiagnosis of Surface Temperature Feedbacks from Variations in Earth’s Radiant Energy Balance

On the Misdiagnosis of Surface Temperature Feedbacks from Variations in Earth’s Radiant Energy Balance

Roy W. Spencer * email and William D. Braswell email
ESSC-UAH, University of Alabama in Huntsville, Cramer Hall, Huntsville, AL 35899, USA
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 24 May 2011; in revised form: 13 July 2011 / Accepted: 15 July 2011 / Published: 25 July 2011
PDF Full-text Download PDF Full-Text [370 KB, uploaded 25 July 2011 17:53 CET]

New NASA Data Blow Gaping Hole In Global Warming Alarmism

New NASA Data Blow Gaping Hole In Global Warming Alarmism

New Poll Finds Most Americans See No Immediate Threat from Climate Change

New Poll Finds Most Americans See No Immediate Threat from Climate Change

Among the attitudes of the "Six Americas," only 40 percent of the U.S. is concerned about global warming

Arctic vulnerable to worst-case oil spills

Arctic vulnerable to worst-case oil spills
Washington (UPI) Jul 27, 2011 - As more of the Arctic Ocean becomes open for shipping, the United States isn't prepared for potential disasters such as the Deepwater Horizon spill in the Gulf of Mexico, top U.S. Coast Guard and U.S. State Department officials told a Senate subcommittee Wednesday. Coast Guard Adm. Robert Papp said that when the Deepwater Horizon explosion occurred in spring 2010, the Coast Guard was ab ... more

Aura Detects Pollution in the Great Lakes Region

Aura Detects Pollution in the Great Lakes Region
Greenbelt MD (SPX) Jul 25, 2011 - Fires throughout Ontario are generating pollution that is showing up in data from NASA's Aura Satellite in the Great Lakes region. The fires have also forced thousands of residents to evacuate to other areas in Canada, according to CBC News. About 112 fires have ravaged 81,545 acres so far, said the province's minister of natural resources, Linda Jeffrey. Because of the smoke from wildfire ... more

Horn of Africa drought seen from space

Horn of Africa drought seen from space by Staff Writers Paris, France (ESA) Jul 25, 2011


The animation, derived from SMOS satellite data, shows soil moisture in the Horn of Africa from April to mid-July 2011. The orange and yellow colouring depicts little to no moisture, while green and blue depict higher levels of soil moisture. Full size animation available at ESA. Credits: CESBIO/ESA
Drought in Somalia, Kenya, Ethiopia and Djibouti is pushing tens of thousands of people from their homes as millions face food insecurity in a crisis visible from space. ESA's SMOS satellite shows that the region's soil is too dry to grow crops.
Somalis, who already face war in their country, have been fleeing to neighbouring countries in search of refuge. In Kenya's Dadaab refugee camp, for example, over 1000 people - mostly children - arrive daily, severely dehydrated and malnourished.

Researchers Provide Detailed Picture of Ice Loss Following Collapse of Antarctic Ice Shelves

Researchers Provide Detailed Picture of Ice Loss Following Collapse of Antarctic Ice Shelves
Greenbelt, MD (SPX) Jul 26, 2011 - An international team of researchers has combined data from multiple sources to provide the clearest account yet of how much glacial ice surges into the sea following the collapse of Antarctic ice shelves. The work by researchers at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC), the Laboratoire d'Etudes en Geophysique et Oceanographie Spatiales, Centre National de la Recherche Scient ... more

Using Satellites for Human and Environmental Security Needs

Using Satellites for Human and Environmental Security Needs
Washington DC (SPX) Jul 27, 2011 - Can satellites attuned to curbing human rights violations become an instrument for stopping genocide here on Earth? An opinion editorial asks this question and more in the Summer 2011 issue of Imaging Notes - a distinctive publication that is partnered with Secure World Foundation and focuses on Earth remote sensing for security, energy and the environment. "To what extent are projec ... more

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Sea level rise less from Greenland, more from Antarctica, than expected during last interglacial

Sea level rise less from Greenland, more from Antarctica, than expected during last interglacial

Earth is getting fatter

Earth is getting fatter
Like many of its inhabitants, the Earth is getting thicker around the middle -- that's what a new study out this week says. The increased bulge is due to the melting of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets.

Fracking Operations Cause Thousands of Earthquakes in Arkansas

Fracking Operations Cause Thousands of Earthquakes in Arkansas
Mike Ludwig, Truthout: "Geologists say fracking wastewater disposal wells in central Arkansas caused an outbreak of thousands of minor earthquakes. The Arkansas Oil and Gas Commission placed a ban on fracking wastewater wells in the area yesterday. A moratorium on well activity had been in place for months as geologists investigated a possible link between fracking activity and the outbreak of more than 1,200 earthquakes that measured lower than 4.7 in magnitude."
Read the Article

The Great Gulf Holocaust David Hodges

The Great Gulf Holocaust David Hodges

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Note from the Editor

Dear Readers
I will be away on business travel to Los Angeles for the next four days. I will periodically
post from there, but my coverage won't be as extensive. Please bear with me as I will
resume full posting upon my return. But I will be posting from airports.
Best Regards
Michele Kearney

Researchers Provide Detailed Picture of Ice Loss Following Collapse of Antarctic Ice Shelves

Researchers Provide Detailed Picture of Ice Loss Following Collapse of Antarctic Ice Shelves

Greenbelt, MD (SPX) Jul 26, 2011
An international team of researchers has combined data from multiple sources to provide the clearest account yet of how much glacial ice surges into the sea following the collapse of Antarctic ice shelves. The work by researchers at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC), the Laboratoire d'Etudes en Geophysique et Oceanographie Spatiales, Centre National de la Recherche Scient

Why Africa's Drought Is So Catastrophic

Why Africa's Drought Is So Catastrophic

Naomi Klein: The Real Reason Why Exxon's Oil Spilled into Yellowstone River

Naomi Klein: The Real Reason Why Exxon's Oil Spilled into Yellowstone River

Global warming's possible role in a Montana environmental disaster.

Maybe It’s Time To Stop Talking About Climate

Posted: 26 Jul 2011 10:31 AM PDT
Maybe it’s time to stop talking about climate change. And to stop pushing for comprehensive “climate policy.”

Stop Marketing “Good for the Environment”

Posted: 26 Jul 2011 03:24 PM PDT
Last week I had the pleasure to drive the Chevy Volt for the first time (and let me tell you, it’s fun to drive). The owner was an early adopter, but doesn’t have the psychographic profile that you would assume: he’s not an environmentalist, he’s not particularly concerned with escalating gas prices, and he’s not typically an early adopter. He simply hates the convenience of going to the gas station. In fact, he hasn’t been to the gas station in eight weeks, or 1,500 miles.

Feds silence scientist over salmon study Vancouver Sun

Feds silence scientist over salmon study Vancouver Sun

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Australian state government bans mining 'forever'

Australian state government bans mining 'forever'

The government of South Australia has announced its intention to ban mining in perpetuity in the Arkaroola region in the northern part of the state, citing the region's unique character and sensitive environmental, cultural and heritage values. Arkaroola includes the Mt Gee uranium deposit, with estimated indicated and inferred resources totalling over 31,000 tonnes U3O8 (26,300 tU), for which South Australian exploration company Marathon Resources holds an exploration lease. Following the announcement by South Australian premier Mike Rann, Marathon called a trading halt in its listed securities and said that it is taking advice with a view to seeking to redress the impact of the "unprecedented" action. The Arkaroola region will be protected under a three-step process, involving prevention of new exploration and mining titles, followed by special legislation to protect the natural, cultural and landscape values of the area, and finally nomination for listing on the National Heritage List and efforts to nominate it for World Heritage listing. After a period of consultation with stakeholders in the area, the South Australian government plans to introduce a bill enshrining the protection by the end of the year. Michael Angwin, CEO of the Australian Uranium Association, described the move as "a poorly balanced decision which unjustifiably locks away a part of the State for all time."
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Vote "No" on House Bill to Fast-Track Keystone Pipeline Review

Vote "No" on House Bill to Fast-Track Keystone Pipeline Review

As early as Tuesday, the House will decide whether to rush a ruling over Big Oil's plan to run a pipeline through the American heartland to deliver the dirtiest oil on the planet from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico.
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Chemical Make-up of Gulf of Mexico Plume Determined

Chemical Make-up of Gulf of Mexico Plume Determined
Washington DC (SPX) Jul 26, 2011 - Taking another major step in sleuthing the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill, a research team led by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) determined what chemicals were contained in a deep, hydrocarbon-containing plume. The plume was at least 22 miles long. The scientists mapped and sampled it last summer in the Gulf of Mexico; it was a residue of the Deepwater Horizon oil ... more

Canada goes ahead with Arctic patrol ships

Canada goes ahead with Arctic patrol ships
Ottawa (UPI) Jul 25, 2011 - Canada is going ahead with a $3.3 billion plan to beef up Arctic security and assert its sovereignty amid competing measures by other countries increasingly interested in the thawing region's immense potential. The funds will be used to build up to eight Arctic/Offshore Patrol Ships, the navy said. In addition to more than $3 billion in acquiring the vessels, another $4.5 billion will b ... more
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80 percent of world climate data are not computerized

80 percent of world climate data are not computerized

New Lucius development shows gaining strength of the US Gulf

New Lucius development shows gaining strength of the US Gulf
The unitization moves the project one step closer to a project sanction on the development of the field, which is now expected for later this year -- a major vote of confidence for oil and gas operations in the US Gulf.

ExxonMobil to build two new crude oil tankers for US deliveries

ExxonMobil to build two new crude oil tankers for US deliveries
The vessels will be used to transport Alaska North Slope crude oil from Prince William Sound, Alaska to US West Coast destinations.

Forward to Friend US on track to decide fate of Canada oil pipe

Forward to Friend
US on track to decide fate of Canada oil pipe
The US State Department will issue a final environmental report next month on TransCanada Corp's pipeline that would ship Canadian oil sands crude to Texas refineries, keeping the project on track for a final decision by the end of this year.

BP adds two new deepwater blocks offshore Trinidad and Tobago

BP adds two new deepwater blocks offshore Trinidad and Tobago
The government of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago has awarded BP two new deepwater oil and gas exploration and production blocks in the Caribbean.

Researchers Provide Detailed Picture of Ice Loss Following the Collapse of Antarctic Ice Shelves

Researchers Provide Detailed Picture of Ice Loss Following the Collapse of Antarctic Ice Shelves
http://media.prnewswire.com/en/jsp/latest.jsp?resourceid=4681243&access=EH

New Film Exposes the Long and Controversial History of Sea World and the Entire Captive Dolphin and Whale Display Industry

  New Film Exposes the Long and Controversial History of Sea World and the Entire Captive Dolphin and Whale Display Industry
http://media.prnewswire.com/en/jsp/latest.jsp?resourceid=4680970&access=EH

Monday, July 25, 2011

Mass release of methane in oceans tilted Earth towards past extinction

Mass release of methane in oceans tilted Earth towards past extinction

July 24, 2011 – Prior to this research, most scientists have believed that the sudden extinction of nearly half of all life forms on the planet was due solely to the emissions from volcanic eruptions that were occurring in what was to become the Atlantic Ocean. Ruhl et al contend that instead, what happened, was that the small amount of atmospheric heating that occurred due to the exhaust from the volcanoes, caused the oceans to warm as well, leading to the melting of ice crystals at the bottom of the sea that were holding on to methane created by the millions of years of decomposing sea life. When the ice crystals melted, methane was released, which in turn caused the planet to warm even more, which led to more methane release in a chain reaction, that Ruhl says, was the real reason for the mass extinction that led to the next phase in world history, the rise of dinosaurs. Ruhl and his team base their assertions on studies they’ve made of the isotopes of carbon in plants (found in what is now the Austrian Alps) that existed during the period before the mass extinction. In so doing they found two different types of carbons and the molecules that were produced during that time frame. After extensive calculations, Ruhl and his team came to the conclusion that some 12,000 gigatons of methane would have had to have been pumped into the atmosphere to account for the differences in the isotopes; something the team believes could only have happened if the methane were to come from the sea floor. This new research, though dire sounding, may or may not have implications for modern Earth. While it is true that humans have pumped significant amounts of carbon into the atmosphere, amounts that are approaching what Ruhl and his team say led to the earlier methane release, it doesn’t necessarily mean we are on the same path, because as Ruhl points out, things are much different today, the very structure of the planet has changed so much that it would be impossible to transfer what might have been learned about events in Earth’s history 200 million years ago, to what is going on today. –Physics.org

Landsat Satellites Track Continued Missouri River Flooding

Landsat Satellites Track Continued Missouri River Flooding

Washington DC (SPX) Jul 21, 2011
Flooding along the Missouri River continues as shown in recent Landsat satellite images of the Nebraska and Iowa border. Heavy rains and snowmelt have caused the river to remain above flood stage for an extended period. A Landsat 5 image of the area from May 5, 2011 shows normal flow. In contrast, a Landsat 7 image from July 17 depicts flood conditions in the same location.

Horn of Africa drought seen from space

Horn of Africa drought seen from space

Paris, France (ESA) Jul 25, 2011
Drought in Somalia, Kenya, Ethiopia and Djibouti is pushing tens of thousands of people from their homes as millions face food insecurity in a crisis visible from space. ESA's SMOS satellite shows that the region's soil is too dry to grow crops. Somalis, who already face war in their country, have been fleeing to neighbouring countries in search of refuge.

Has warming put 'Dirty Dozen' pollutants back in the saddle?

Has warming put 'Dirty Dozen' pollutants back in the saddle?
"Dirty Dozen" chemicals, including the notoriously toxic DDT, are being freed from Arctic sea ice and snow through global warming, a study published on Sunday suggested.

Northwest Forest Plan has unintended benefit - carbon sequestration

Northwest Forest Plan has unintended benefit - carbon sequestration
The Northwest Forest Plan enacted in 1993 was designed to conserve old-growth forests and protect species such as the northern spotted owl, but researchers conclude in a new study that it had another powerful and unintended consequence – increased carbon sequestration on public lands.

For the love of trees: Book tells all about forest hydrology, biogeochemistry

For the love of trees: Book tells all about forest hydrology, biogeochemistry
Delphis (Del) Levia, associate professor of geography at the University of Delaware, has always loved trees. Growing up on his parents' 93-acre farm in central Massachusetts, he and his brothers and sisters played in the woods all the time, under the towering American beech, sugar maple and oak trees.

Impact statement on US oil pipeline due in August

Impact statement on US oil pipeline due in August
The US State Department said Friday it expects by mid-August to release a final environmental impact statement on a proposed $13 billion oil pipeline that would stretch from Canada to Texas.

Feds say Yellowstone cleanup will take more people

Feds say Yellowstone cleanup will take more people
(AP) -- Exxon Mobil Corp. will have to bring in more people to mop up oil from a broken pipeline beneath the Yellowstone River as receding floodwaters reveal new contamination, federal officials said Friday.

Emails Show White House Promotes Genetically Engineered Crops in Wildlife Refuges

Emails Show White House Promotes Genetically Engineered Crops in Wildlife Refuges
Mike Ludwig, Truthout: "The Obama administration is supporting genetically engineered (GE) agriculture in more than 50 national wildlife refuges across the country and watchdog groups say internal emails among top administration officials reveal that the GE plots are a priority in the White House. Earlier this year, a settlement in a lawsuit filed by the watchdog group Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) and its allies halted the planting of GE crops in US Fish and Wildlife Service wildlife refuges in northeastern states. Now PEER claims the Obama administration is working with the biotech lobby to shield GE plots in refuges from future legal challenges."
Read the Article

Climate Change, the Sahel, and Predictions of a Troubled Future

Climate Change, the Sahel, and Predictions of a Troubled Future

Debate Intensifies Over Climate Change Aspects of Canada's Oil Sands Pipeline

Debate Intensifies Over Climate Change Aspects of Canada's Oil Sands Pipeline

Climate Change 'Remobilizes' Long-Buried Pollutants as Arctic Ice Melts

Climate Change 'Remobilizes' Long-Buried Pollutants as Arctic Ice Melts

Japan to test-drill for seabed 'burning ice': Nikkei

Japan to test-drill for seabed 'burning ice': Nikkei
Tokyo (AFP) July 25, 2011 - Japan will seek to extract natural gas from seabed deposits of methane hydrate, also known as "burning ice", in the world's first such offshore experiment, a news report said Monday. The test is scheduled for a stretch of ocean southwest of Tokyo, between Shizuoka and Wakayama prefectures, over several weeks in the fiscal year to March 2013, the Nikkei financial daily said. The Ministry ... more

Note from the Editor

Dear Readers
I am on business travel today, but will resume posting later this evening.

Thank you.

Michele Kearney

Sunday, July 24, 2011

EPA Issues Final Guidance to Protect Water Quality in Appalachian Communities from Impacts of Mountaintop Mining

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 21, 2011

EPA Issues Final Guidance to Protect Water Quality in Appalachian Communities from Impacts of Mountaintop Mining
Agency to provide flexibility while protecting environment and public health

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today released final guidance on Appalachian surface coal mining, designed to ensure more consistent, effective, and timely review of surface coal mining permits under the Clean Water Act and other statutes. The guidance, which replaces the interim-final guidance issued by EPA on April 1, 2010, is based on the best-available science and incorporates input and feedback from over 60,000 comments received from the public and key stakeholders. By providing EPA’s regional offices with the latest information on existing legal requirements, the guidance enables them to work together with states, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, mining companies, and the public towards a balanced approach that protects communities from harmful pollution associated with coal mining. EPA will apply the guidance flexibly, taking into account site-specific information and additional science to arrive at the best decisions on a case-by-case basis.

The science forming the basis for the interim-final guidance was also successfully applied in a number of mining decisions, including the Hobet 45 permit in West Virginia where EPA worked closely with a company to eliminate nearly 50 percent of their stream impacts, reduce contamination and lower mining costs. Successful outcomes resulting from the Corps' Coal Mac-Pine Creek permit decision also provide evidence that the practices in the interim guidance are both feasible and effective.

“Under this guidance, EPA will continue to work with other federal agencies, states, local communities, and companies to design mining operations that adequately protect our nation’s waters and people's health,” said Nancy Stoner, acting assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Water. “We have a responsibility under the law to protect water quality and this guidance allows EPA to work with companies to meet that goal, based on the best science.”

EPA’s final guidance reflects significantly enhanced science, extensive public comment and experience working with federal and state agencies and mining companies. It is based on improved, peer-reviewed science on impacts of mountaintop mining; extensive public and stakeholder input; and, lessons learned from the implementation of the interim guidance. The final guidance, like the interim guidance, is not a rule and is not binding legally or in practice.
EPA is committed to working with coal companies and stakeholders to reduce and prevent harm to water quality and human health and over the past two and a half years, EPA has built a strong foundation, working with federal and state agencies and mining companies to significantly reduce impacts to the environment.

• In January 2010, EPA worked with the Corps on the Hobet 45 permit in West Virginia to reduce stream impacts by almost 50 percent and minimize mine runoff into surface waters.

• In June 2010, EPA worked to ensure that the permit issued for the Pine Creek mine included an enforceable trigger for protecting downstream water quality and ensuring that the overall mining operation could protect water quality.

• In July 2011, EPA worked with Mid-Vol, Inc. and the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection to develop a Clean Water Act Section 402 permit that includes limits on ionic pollution to protect water quality.    

Mountaintop mining is a form of surface coal mining in which explosives are used to access coal seams, generating large volumes of waste that bury adjacent streams. The resulting waste that then fills valleys and streams can significantly compromise water quality, often causing permanent damage to ecosystems and rendering streams unfit for drinking, fishing, and swimming. It is estimated that almost 2,000 miles of Appalachian headwater streams have been buried by mountaintop coal mining.

To view the final guidance: http://www.epa.gov/owow/wetlands/guidance/mining.html

To view a copy of EPA’s Final Conductivity Benchmark Report as well as the Science Advisory Board’s final review: http://cfpub.epa.gov/ncea/cfm/recordisplay.cfm?deid=233809

EPA News Releases - Water

07/22/2011EPA and New York City Urge People to Save Energy, Money and the Environment on Hot Summer Days
07/21/2011EPA Issues Final Guidance to Protect Water Quality in Appalachian Communities from Impacts of Mountaintop Mining / Agency to provide flexibility while protecting environment and public health
07/19/2011EPA Announces Measures to Protect Raritan River from Ground Water Contamination Seeping from the American Cyanamid Superfund Site in Bridgewater Township, N.J.
07/19/2011EPA Orders Farmer to Provide Drinking Water To Nearby Residence
07/19/2011JERSEY CITY, N.J. TO UPGRADE AND REPAIR SEWER SYSTEM TO RESOLVE CLEAN WATER ACT VIOLATIONS
07/19/2011Update on the Cooling Water Intake Structures Proposed Rule
07/19/2011Company Fined $38,000 for Filling Wetlands in White Lake, North Carolina
07/18/2011$250,000 of Additional Funding Announced for Green Solutions in Kansas City’s Marlborough Neighborhood
07/12/2011OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET: Statement of Administration Policy: H.R. 2018 - Clean Water Cooperative Federalism Act (Rep. Mica, R-FL, and 39 cosponsors)
07/08/2011EPA Names DiPasquale Director of Chesapeake Bay Program
07/08/2011Companies in Vermont and Massachusetts face sanctions for failing to prevent oil spills
07/08/2011EPA Releases New Report on Sewage Pollution in New York and New Jersey
07/06/2011EPA Review Finds Coal Ash Ponds at Alliant Energy Corporation in Burlington, Iowa, Meet Safety Standards
07/06/2011New Jersey Forest and Farmland To Be Preserved Under EPA Settlement with Home Builder
07/05/2011EPA Seeks Public Input on Plan to Clean Up Ground Water at NL Industries Superfund Site in Pedricktown, New Jersey
06/29/2011Gandomcar Properties ordered to restore impacted section of Plum Creek (Douglas County, Colo.)
06/29/2011EPA Approves Iowa's List of Impaired Waters
06/29/2011EPA, NOAA and Others Receive Prestigious Award for Restoring the Passage of Fish to the Peconic River in Riverhead, NY
06/28/2011Floodway Chemical, Pesticide Contamination below Levels of Health Concern
06/28/2011EPA Seeks Penalty against Company for Illegal Dumping of Brine In Allegheny National Forest Wells
06/28/2011EPA Seeks Input from Small Entities on Revisions for the Lead and Copper Rule
06/27/2011EPA, Coast Guard Announce Agreement to Enforce Air Pollution Requirements for Vessels Operating in U.S. Waters
06/27/2011Update on Waters of the U.S. Draft Guidance
06/24/2011UPDATED: EPA Chief, DOI Secretary, CEQ Chair to Head Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Task Force Meeting in Galveston
06/24/2011Federal Agencies Partner to Revitalize Urban Waterways In Communities Across The U.S.
06/24/2011EPA announces South Platte River as one of seven Urban Waters Federal Partnership locations
06/24/2011Federal Agencies Partner to Revitalize Urban Waterways In Communities Across The U.S.
06/23/2011U.S. addresses sewage discharge violations in Unalaska
06/23/2011EPA Identifies Pennsylvania Sites for National Study on Hydraulic Fracturing
06/23/2011EPA Selects Sites in Louisiana and Texas for National Study on Hydraulic Fracturing
06/23/2011EPA selects Colorado, North Dakota sites as case study locations for national hydraulic fracturing study
06/23/2011EPA Identifies Case Studies for Hydraulic Fracturing Study / Agency to conduct field work in various regions of the country starting this summer
06/23/2011TOMORROW: Federal Officials, Local Leaders to Announce Urban Waters Initiative in Baltimore
06/22/2011Town of Medicine Bow (Wyo.) recognized for wind turbines at water facilities
06/20/2011Residents Urged to Move and Secure Potentially Hazardous Items in Advance of Rising Floodwaters along the Missouri River
06/17/2011EPA Seeks Public Input on Cleanup Plan for Lightman Drum Co. Superfund Site in Winslow Township, New Jersey; Contamination Closed Down Public and Private Drinking Water Supplies
06/17/2011EPA Administrator Tours WaterSense Manufacturing Facility to Highlight Products that Conserve Water / Consumers also save money with WaterSense
06/17/2011EPA Seeks Public Input on Plan for Cleanup at Puchack Superfund Site in Pennsauken Township, New Jersey; Contamination Closed Down Public Drinking Water Supply
06/16/2011City and Port of Seattle commit to $33 million cleanup of Terminal 117 on Lower Duwamish Waterway
06/15/2011Community Provided Sewer Line Connections Due to EPA Settlement with Ponce Landfill Owner
06/15/2011EPA Announces Partnership for First-Ever Great Lakes Week
06/15/2011EPA Seeks Small Business Participation on Wastewater Discharge Rule for Steam Electric Power Plants
06/14/2011Volkert, Inc. Receives Gulf Guardian Award for the Little Bay Finfish and Shellfish Recovery Project
06/13/2011EPA and Regional Leaders to Announce October's Great Lakes Week
06/10/2011EPA Marks the Startup of the Final Phase of Hudson River PCB Dredging; 500 Jobs Created By This Cleanup Project
06/09/2011Owner and Operator of Wastewater Treatment Facilities Sentenced for Violating the Clean Water Act / Jeffrey Pruett to serve 21 months in prison
06/09/2011U.S. EPA, City of San Jose announce $943,000 pilot program to reduce trash to San Francisco Bay
06/06/2011Skagit County’s Samish Bay shellfish beds deserve better protection, say federal, state and county officials
06/06/2011Second Phase of Historic Hudson River Cleanup Underway
06/06/2011EPA Awards $1.2 Million to Three New York Communities to Clean up and Revitalize Contaminated Properties
06/06/2011Rockville, Md. Wins EPA Award For Sustainable Drinking Water Service
06/06/2011EPA Awards $3.4 Million to Six New Jersey Communities To Clean up and Revitalize Contaminated Properties; Newark Receives $1 Million to Clean Up and Assess City Sites
06/06/2011U.S. EPA and City of North Charleston Construct Rain Garden for Chicora-Cherokee Community

Expand Conversation on environmentalism, urban water quality and Green Jobs in Urban Communities
06/04/2011At Annual Swim Event in Charles River, Yearly Water Quality Remains Good; EPA Grade from 2010 Monitoring: B+
06/03/2011SUNDAY: U.S. EPA and City of North Charleston Construct Rain Garden for North Charleston Community
06/03/2011Rockville to Receive EPA Public Health Protection Award
06/02/2011U.S. EPA Highlights 1st Ever National Wetlands Condition Assessment, Changing Federal Protections for California Wetlands
06/02/2011EPA to Host Public Listening Sessions during National Ocean Month
06/01/2011EPA Begins Summer Monitoring to Protect Area Beaches, Coastal Waters and New York/New Jersey Harbor
05/26/2011Meeting on Grand Calumet River Cleanup June 2
05/26/2011EPA’s Limited Sampling Indicates Bacteria in Floodwaters at Birds Point-New Madrid Floodway in Southeast Missouri
05/26/2011Beef Feedlot in Underwood, Iowa, to Pay $20,000 Civil Penalty to Settle Discharge Violations Affecting Mosquito Creek
05/24/2011Three Mass. Small Businesses Get EPA Funding to Develop Environmental Technologies
05/24/2011EPA to Conduct Limited Floodwater Sampling at the Birds Point-New Madrid Floodway
05/23/2011Testing of Private Drinking Water Wells Continues This Week at Compass Plaza Well Trichloroethylene Site near Rogersville, Mo.
05/20/2011EPA Proposes Plan to Remove Contaminated Soil from Nepera Chemical Superfund Site in Orange County, N.Y.; EPA to Hold Public Meeting on June 15 to Discuss Plan
05/19/2011EPA Applauds Maryland Lawn Fertilizer Bill for Helping Meet Chesapeake Bay Pollution Diet Goals
05/18/2011Texas Egg Producer to Pay $1.9 Million Penalty to Resolve Clean Water Act Violations
05/16/2011EPA and MDEQ Public Hearing and Information Sessions on Romulus Hazardous Waste Facility and Injection Wells
05/16/2011EPA Releases Searchable Website for Drinking Water Violations / Agency to host webinar to show how to use the public health data
05/16/2011EPA Issues Compliance Orders to Seven Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations in Iowa, Kansas and Nebraska
05/15/2011Mystic River Water Quality Score Downgraded to D-
Despite ongoing efforts, analysis shows more work needed
05/12/2011EPA Seeks More Information from Natural Gas Drilling Operations to Ensure Safety of Wastewater Disposal
05/12/2011EPA Takes Action to Protect Ground Water from Petroleum Contamination
05/12/2011EPA: Upgraded Water Quality Standards needed for portions of Chicago area waterway system
05/11/2011Prem Kumar Added to EPA Fugitive List / Defendant failed to surrender after indictment in illegal vessel pollution case
05/11/2011EPA and Army Corps of Engineers Release Draft Guidance to Clarify Waters Covered by Clean Water Act
05/09/2011EPA to Begin Soil Cleanup at Ellenville Scrap Iron and Metal Superfund Site in Ulster County, N.Y.; EPA to Hold Public Meeting on May 11 to Discuss Work at Site
05/06/2011EPA issues new draft permit associated with aquifer pump test at Weld County (Colo.) uranium site
05/06/2011Gulf Ecosystem Restoration Task Force Creates Citizens’ Advisory Committee, Releases Restoration Priorities / EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson, joined by CEQ Chair Nancy Sutley, other task force members, hold official meeting today in Mobile, Ala.
05/05/2011Students Recognized For Protecting Drinking Water
05/05/2011Dredging Firm to Pay $105,000 Fine for Ocean Dumping Violations in Mass.
05/05/2011FRIDAY: EPA Administrator to Head Gulf Ecosystem Restoration Task Force Meeting in Mobile, Ala.
05/03/2011TODAY: Federal Officials to Announce Pipeline Oil Spill Settlement with BP Alaska
05/02/2011EPA Seeks Public Comment on Proposed Changes to List of Impaired Waters for Missouri
04/29/2011Six Cape Cod Towns, plus the National Seashore Seek to Protect Coastal Water from Boat Pollution
04/29/2011EPA Honors U.S. Virgin Islands Environmental Leaders
04/29/2011EPA Honors Puerto Rico Environmental Leaders
04/29/2011EPA Honors New Jersey Environmental Leaders
04/29/2011EPA Honors New York Environmental Leaders
04/29/2011EPA Launches New Strategy to Promote Use of Green Infrastructure for Environmental and Economic Benefits
04/28/2011Havasupai Tribe to develop and enforce water quality standards
04/27/2011Federal Jury Finds that Massachusetts Cranberry Growers’ Filling Wetlands was Subject to Clean Water Act
04/27/2011Town of Greenwich, Conn. to Pay Penalty and Fix Wastewater Infrastructure
04/27/2011Obama Administration Affirms Comprehensive Commitment to Clean Water
04/27/2011Senior Obama Administration Officials to Host Press Conference Calls, Events Today to Discuss Clean Water
04/25/2011EPA Directs Company to Supply Information in PA Gas Well Incident
04/25/2011Dubuque, Iowa, to Pay $205,000 Penalty, Spend $3 Million on Sewer Improvements to Settle Violations of Clean Water Act
04/25/2011EPA and New York State Move to Ban Dumping Sewage from Boats Into Long Island Sound
04/21/2011EPA Marks Earth Day with Events Across the Country