- Craig Lamb
- 0 Shares
Conservation groups have expressed great concern in recent weeks over the proposed "Oregon Rule," an exemption for federal dam operators that would allow them to circumvent mandates of the federal Clean Water Act. Proposed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Oregon Rule would have devastating consequences for river systems across the country, say opponents, and fish populations will suffer as a result. In short, the Oregon Rule would allow federal dam operators to petition for lower water quality standards in some rivers below dams owned and operated by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers even if lower standards would prevent restoration of healthy fish populations. This proposal is especially alarming to some since the Corps' previous track record on environmental protection has been questioned. In fact, the U.S. House of Representatives recently passed legislation designed to force closer environmental review for Corps projects. "Encouraging the Army Corps to violate the Clean Water Act is like encouraging a dog to chase a cat," said Paula Del Giudice of the National Wildlife Federation.
The U.S. Senate confirmed Mike Leavitt as new director of the EPA last month by an overwhelming margin of 88-8. The vote did not reflect the promise of some Democrats, however, to turn Leavitt's nomination into a referendum on President Bush's environmental policies. Shortly after the vote on the floor of the U.S. Senate, Leavitt announced that he would resign as the governor of Utah and begin his duties at the EPA.
Timber companies should be required to obtain federal water pollution permits before logging operations can begin, according to a federal judge in San Francisco. In that ruling, U.S. District Judge Marilyn Hall Patel said the EPA has misconstrued the original intent of the 1972 Clean Water Act by exempting logging companies from going through the same permitting process as other "point source" polluters, which would include wastewater treatment plants or any other facility that discharges pollution into public waters. The ruling was prompted by a lawsuit filed by the Environmental Protection Information Center and several other California groups against the EPA and a logging operation run by Pacific Lumber in Humboldt County. They charged that the company was polluting water as it cleared land and allowed sediment and chemicals to run off into streams. Attorneys for Pacific Lumber say they plan to appeal the decision.
Here are some rather disturbing figures. According to the Plastics Pipe Institute (PPI), 2.45 billion gallons of treated drinking water are reported as lost or unbilled every day in America and most of it is lost to leaking pipes. Furthermore, roughly $23 billion is needed each year for the next 20 years to pay for upgrades necessary to ensure that pipes for the nation's drinking water supply are safe and efficient. The PPI also reported that up to 3.6 million illnesses in this country are caused by accidental releases of untreated sewage due to overburdened or failed wastewater treatment systems using outdated pipe materials. "It's 2003 and our water pipes need help," said a PPI spokesman. "Yesterday's materials are failing sometimes in catastrophic proportions. If 2.45 billion gallons are being lost every day, multiplying that by 365 days, year after year, totals a number literally too large to swallow."
Biologists are currently looking into a new case of LMBV at Wes Watkins Lake in central Oklahoma. Reports of dead and dying bass were received by the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation from members of the North Oklahoma City Bassmasters. Tournament Director Earnie Baxter reported that members had seen dead and distressed fish while prefishing for the club's September tournament on this 1,000-acre reservoir just east of Oklahoma City. Baxter reported the sightings to ODWC biologist and fellow club member Gene Gilliland, who informed agency administrators of the situation. Samples of bass were collected by electrofishing and sent to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Pinetop Fish Health Center in Arizona for analysis. Results verified the virus was present in the samples, making Wes Watkins Lake the first confirmed LMBV-related fish kill in Oklahoma since Lake Tenkiller in 2000. Extremely low water levels (8 feet below conservation pool elevation) and high summer water temperatures (13 days with air temperatures exceeding 100 degrees) at Wes Watkins may have contributed to increased stress levels that triggered this LMBV disease episode. "We're learning more and more about LMBV every day. However, there's still many unanswered questions," said Kim Erickson, Oklahoma's chief of fisheries. "We will continue to keep a close eye on this situation. Wes Watkins Lake will be sampled by electrofishing again next spring to determine the health of the bass population." Erickson added that biologists continue to monitor the status of LMBV throughout Oklahoma and encourages all bass anglers to immediately report sightings of dead or dying fish to fisheries personnel.
Since he was in ninth grade, Karl-Anthony Towns has been winning people over with his kind and gentle heart and awe-inspiring game.
The woman who accused former Alabama defensive lineman Jonathan Taylor of assault this past weekend has since recanted her statement to police and was subsequently arrested for giving a false report, according to authorities.
The NFL will get to look at seven photographs that were submitted into evidence from Greg Hardy's domestic violence case as a part of its investigation into whether the former Panthers defensive end violated the league's personal conduct policy.
Kevin Durant made some of his strongest comments yet about his future free agency, going as far to say he wants to have his jersey retired in Oklahoma City.
Linebacker Rolando McClain has accepted a one-year contract to remain with the Dallas Cowboys.
Michigan will add one more quarterback to its roster for the 2015 season. Fifth-year senior Jake Rudock plans to transfer to the school and play for the Wolverines next fall, according to a source close to the situation.
Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers will appear on an edition of "Celebrity Jeopardy!" that will air on May 12.
Shane Victorino will likely start in right field for the Boston Red Sox on Opening Day, putting Rusney Castillo's status in limbo.
When asked why the Tampa Bay Buccaneers should make him the No. 1 overall pick in the draft, Jameis Winston didn't hesitate: "Because I'm the best player in the draft."
Just as Jameis Winston does not plan to attend next month's NFL draft in Chicago, neither does Marcus Mariota, per league sources. Mariota informed the league he plans to be in Hawaii among his family and the community that helped raise him
Tiger Woods played an 18-hole practice round at Augusta National on Tuesday, but his status for next week's Masters remains undecided.
Heading into the opening week of baseball season, more money has been bet on the Cubs to win the World Series than any other team at two of Nevada's largest sportsbooks.
Offense is on the decline. Can the trend be reversed? Here's how the hitters can strike back.
Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo says he was willing to take a cut in pay from his $17 million base salary in 2015 to keep DeMarco Murray, who left to sign with the rival Eagles.
Blake Griffin doesn't believe home court in the playoffs would be much of an advantage if Tuesday night's 110-106 loss to the Golden State Warriors is any indication.
Doc Rivers and Steve Kerr's latest bit of verbal jousting came before the Clippers hosted the Warriors at Staples Center on Tuesday night.
Patriots owner Robert Kraft took the stand Tuesday in the murder trial of Aaron Hernandez, recalling that the former star tight end told him he was not involved in the death of Odin Lloyd.
The strength, dexterity and versatility of USC's star pass-rusher makes him the surest thing in this year's NFL draft.
Browns receiver Dwayne Bowe, who had zero touchdown catches last year in Kansas City, thinks he can go "back to the Dwayne Bowe of 2010," when he had 15.
It's a whole new ESPN.com. Take a look at what we've done as we redesign for the first time since 2009.
NASCAR took 75 points from Ryan Newman and suspended crew chief Luke Lambert for doctoring tires at Auto Club Speedway on March 22.
Chicago Cubs pitcher Jon Lester declared himself ready for Opening Day after throwing 84 pitches in a minor league contest Tuesday.