Tag Archives: usepa

U.S. Regulatory Update – 2015 Ecosystem Banking Forum

The 2015 National Mitigation & Ecosystem Banking Conference will be held in Orlando, Florida May 4-8.  Founded in 1997 with a diverse steering committee of regulators, bankers and Michael Sprague.Oceanographic Museum.Submarineenvironmentalist, this is the first – and only – National hands-on conference for mitigation, conservation and ecosystem banking that focuses on banking to protect wetlands, endangered species and other natural resources.

We hope you’ll make plans to attend the Friday morning Regulatory Update moderated by Michael Sprague, President of Trout Headwaters, Inc and featuring officials from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Federal Highway Administration, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. >See Detailed Agenda http://www.mitigationbankingconference.com/mitigation_agenda.htm or >Register for the conference http://www.mitigationbankingconference.com/mitigation_registration_fees.htm

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EPA Releases Climate Change Adaptation Plans

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently released the final version of its Agency-wide Climate Change Adaptation Plan and seventeen Climate Change Adaptation Implementation Plans. The plans were developed in response to directives in President Obama’s Executive Order 13653 – Preparing the United States for the Impacts of Climate Change. The Plans reflect input received from a public comment period and are living documents that will be periodically revised in subsequent years to account for new knowledge, data, scientific evidence, and lessons learned from EPA’s ongoing efforts to integrate climate adaptation planning into its programs, policies, rules and operations.

Commitments in the Climate Change Adaptation Plan include: integrating considerations of climate change into the Clean Water State Revolving Funds process and continuing to work with States to ensure investments in water infrastructure are resilient to changes in climate; and, providing communities with the tools they need to increase their resilience, such as the Stormwater Calculator and Climate Adaptation Tool. All plans, including the Office of Water Climate Change Adaptation Implementation Plan can be found here.

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Clean Water Drives Economic Growth

EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy writes in the Huffington Post: “To have clean water downstream in our rivers and lakes — and enjoy the economic growth clean water brings — we need healthy headwaters upstream. In fact, a recent survey found that 80 percent of U.S. small business owners favor including small streams and headwaters in federal clean water protections, because every business in America needs clean water to thrive.” >Read the Full Op Ed

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First Mitigation Bank in Wyoming History Approved

DumbellRanchMitigationBank.CopyrightTHI2012Trout Headwaters, Inc is pleased to announce the approval of the first mitigation bank in the history of Wyoming and sponsored by Sweetwater River Conservancy, LLC.  Following on publication of the state’s first Stream Mitigation Procedure (SMP), the Dumbell Ranch Mitigation Bank has received approval from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, WY Department of Environmental Quality, Wyoming Department of Game and Fish and the Wyoming State Engineer’s Office.

“This first bank represents a very significant step for advance mitigation in the state and we expect will facilitate increasing restoration efforts across a potentially vast landscape,” said Trout Headwaters’ President, Michael Sprague.

The 1047 acre Stream, Riparian and Wetland Bank will provide credits for an area spanning north of  Rawlins, Wyoming.   The bank will provide credits to offset impacts to palustrine emergent wetlands, riverine wetlands, stream channels, and riparian areas. Prior to THI’s assessment of the property in 2012, the ranch had been used exclusively for cattle grazing and hay production.  As a result of the practices, the stream banks and buffers as well as wetlands had been destroyed or significantly degraded.  Approved plans include restoration of these resources using sustainable techniques and the long-term conservation of these restored resources.

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Wetland Losses Go On (and On)

Status-and-Trends-of-Wetlands-in-the-Conterminous-United-States-2004-to-2009_Page_001With the 2013 release of trend data for U.S. wetlands (with apparent delay) came concerning statistics about the nations vanishing wetland resources.   This report does not draw conclusions regarding trends in the quality or condition of the Nation’s wetlands, rather focusing on wetland areas and extents.  The report discloses estimated net losses of more than 60,000 acres in the years 2004- 2009 and signals reason for continued concern with implementation of the nation’s requirement for ‘no net loss.’

The report notes: “The cumulative effects of losses in the freshwater system have had consequences for hydrologic and ecosystem connectivity. In certain regions, profound reductions in wetland extent have resulted in habitat loss, fragmentation, and limited opportunities for reestablishment and watershed rehabilitation.”

Further examination of wetland condition on the national level has been initiated by the Environmental Protection Agency in conjunction with the Fish and Wildlife Service and other Federal, State and Tribal partners.

>Read the Full Report


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EPA Survey: Three-Quarters of Our Nation’s Rivers Need Our Help

EPA graphicThis week the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency released the results of a comprehensive survey looking at the health of thousands of stream and river miles across the country, finding that 55 percent are classified as poor, and another 23 percent in fair condition for aquatic life.

In certain regions, like the Coastal Plains and Temperate Plains, only 12 and 15 percent of streams respectively as found to be in good biological health. The National Rivers and Streams Assessment (NRSA) 2008-2009 Draft Report is part of EPA’s expanded effort to monitor waterways in the U.S. and gather scientific data on the condition of the nation’s water resources.

While the EPA is doing an important job, it has taken five years to compile and disseminate the 2008-2009 National Rivers and Stream Assessment data. During that time, private landowners and developers have led the effort to restore and protect thousands of miles of our nation’s waterways. With the emergence of private ecosystem markets, improvements in conservation incentives, and the advent of low-cost, green restoration, many opportunities for private owners and businesses have developed since 2008. Private industry and private landholders hold the capability and the capacity to improve the quality and quantity of our nation’s freshwater resources.

Public comment is being taken on the National Rivers and Streams Assessment (NRSA) 2008-2009 Draft Report (PDF). Comments must be emailed to nrsa-hq@epa.gov by 11:59 p.m. May 9, 2013. A fact sheet is available for a summary of the findings.

You can also register for a free webcast on the findings of the NRSA 2008-2009 on April 3, 2013 from 1-3 p.m. EDT.  Read more: http://water.epa.gov/type/rsl/monitoring/riverssurvey/index.cfm

Download the full EPA Survey: http://water.epa.gov/type/rsl/monitoring/riverssurvey/upload/NRSA0809_Report_Final_508Compliant_130228.pdf


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Climate Ready Estuaries Releases 2012 Progress Report and Related Publications

Estuaries are the endpoint of our nation’s rivers and the nurseries of our nation’s seas. The health of our nation’s streams and rivers directly affect the health of our oceans. EPA has released its Climate Ready Estuaries 2012 Progress Report, which describes program accomplishments and the new National Estuary Program projects started during 2012, with 2008-2011 project information to show how climate change adaptation will help to meet clean water goals.

Read: http://water.epa.gov/type/oceb/cre/upload/CRE_2012Report_122612a.pdf


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Importance of Water to the United States Economy

Current economic literature provides some insights into the importance of water to various sectors, including agriculture, tourism, fishing, manufacturing, and energy production, but this information is dispersed and, in many cases, incomplete.
EPA is conducting a study on the importance of water in the U.S. economy to:

  • Summarize existing knowledge about the role and importance of water to the U.S. economy;
  • Provide information that supports private and public sector decision-making, and
  • Identify areas where additional research would be useful.

As part of the study, EPA has supported the development of a series of papers written by experts to supplement existing information and to present current economic analyses and innovations, and held a technical workshop to present and discuss the agency’s literature review and the expert papers, and to solicit feedback. EPA will release a draft report that synthesizes all of this information in the coming months. The study is expected to be completed sometime in 2013.

Read the full draft background report: http://water.epa.gov/action/importanceofwater/upload/Background-Report-Public-Review-Draft-2.pdf
Read more about the study components: http://water.epa.gov/action/importanceofwater/study.cfm

For more information or to provide feedback to EPA on this study, please contact  ImportanceOfWater@epa.gov

The EPA study is not a new law, regulation, guidance, or policy, and does not change any existing laws, regulations, or policies.

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USEPA Video on Nutrient Pollution Impacts

Nutrient pollution is one of the nation’s most widespread and costly environmental problems. Excess nitrogen and phosphorus from farm and lawn fertilizer, livestock waste, roads and houses, faulty septic systems, and treated sewage can turn waters green with slime and pollute waters for swimming, boating, and fishing. To help raise awareness about this growing environmental problem, EPA created a short video to illustrate the potential impacts of nutrient pollution.  See Video> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vCicSNnKUvM

Healthy, functioning floodplains, combined with efforts to reduce point source and non point source pollutants, are key to improving water quality.  Trout Headwaters, Inc works to restore and protect floodplains and healthy riparian vegetation zones in order to filter and absorb excess nutrients before they enter our waterways.

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The Importance of Water to the U.S. Economy via Webcast

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) is conducting a study on the importance of water in the U.S. economy to better understand how water contributes to the economic welfare of the nation and plays a critical role in many sectors of the U.S. economy. On December 4, USEPA will host a public symposium in Washington, D.C. with speakers that represent a diverse array of industries including agriculture, food and beverage production, manufacturing, recreation, tourism and fishing. USEPA will also release a draft report on the importance of water to the U.S. economy.

Click here to register to watch the symposium via webcast. For more information, contact John Powers (powers.john@epa.gov or 202-564-5776).

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