Thursday, April 28, 2011

EPA water pollution guidelines run afoul of state authority

So where do you stand on the issue of federal control of fresh water sources? I prefer federal oversite rather than state, and most certainly rather than the continued privitization of fresh water supplies by corporate conglomerates. Oh wait; our government is essentially run by corporate entities rather than "We The People"! Almost missed that thought. Maybe it is better to keep state control and allow for autonomy; wait corporation's pretty much run state government as well!! Looks like a no win situation for the rights of the people. I just want my right to clean water left alone but there is to much money to be made and I can't think of more effective power play than to CONTROL THE FLOW AND DISTRULIBUTION OF WATER!  Wake up "We The People" the well will soon be a source through which you do as you are told or will you go thirsty.

Comment is encouraged, dialogue is absolutely necessary.


Wednesday, April 27, 2011


Obama Administration Affirms Comprehensive Commitment to Clean Water

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: "Makuch, Joseph" <>
Date: Apr 27, 2011 1:37 PM
Subject: [ENVIRO-NEWS] Obama Administration Affirms Comprehensive Commitment to Clean Water
To: <>

From: U.S. EPA []
Sent: Wednesday, April 27, 2011 12:35 PM
Subject: Water News Release (HQ): Obama Administration Affirms Comprehensive Commitment to Clean Water

(CEQ)    Taryn Tuss, 202-456-6998
(EPA)    202-564-6794;
(USDA)  202-720-4623
(DOI)      Kendra Barkoff, 202-208-6416
(DOA)    Moira Kelley, 703-614-3992

April 27, 2011

Obama Administration Affirms Comprehensive Commitment to Clean Water

WASHINGTON - Recognizing the importance of clean water and healthy watersheds to our economy, environment and communities, the Obama administration released a national clean water framework today that showcases its comprehensive commitment to protecting the health of America's waters. The framework emphasizes the importance of partnerships and coordination with states, local communities, stakeholders and the public to protect public health and water quality, and promote the nation's energy and economic security.

For nearly 40 years, the Clean Water Act, along with other important federal measures, has been a cornerstone of our effort to ensure that Americans have clean and healthy waters.  The administration's framework outlines a series of actions underway and planned across federal agencies to ensure the integrity of the waters Americans rely on every day for drinking, swimming, and fishing, and that support farming, recreation, tourism and economic growth.   It includes draft federal guidance to clarify which waters are protected by the Clean Water Act nationwide; innovative partnerships and programs to improve water quality and water efficiency; and initiatives to revitalize communities and economies by restoring rivers and critical watersheds.

"Clean water and healthy waterways are vital to the health and vibrancy of our communities and the strength of our economy," said Nancy Sutley, chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality.  "Working with our partners across communities, governments and sectors, we are taking comprehensive action to ensure Americans have the clean and healthy waters they need and deserve."

"The steps we're outlining today will be instrumental to protecting the waters of the United States, and ensuring that the vital natural resources our communities depend on for their health and their economy are safeguarded for generations to come," said EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson. "After four decades of progress on clean water, there is still work to be done to address unfinished business and tackle new threats to our waters. American families and businesses are counting on us to maintain and improve the rivers, lakes, streams and other waters that support thousands of communities and millions of jobs across the country."

"Healthy rivers and clean waters are fundamental to our economy, our health, and our way of life," said Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar. "With growing pressures on our natural systems, we must work to secure cleaner, safer, and more reliable water supplies for our communities."

"As our nation's foremost conservationists, farmers, ranchers and forest owners have a values system rooted in rural America that recognizes we cannot continue to take from the land without giving something back," said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. "At USDA, we are working with farmers, ranchers and forest owners to conserve land, plant stream buffers for cleaner water, and install other conservation practices. We also will continue to invest in rural water and community facility projects that help small towns ensure their citizens have access to safe and reliable drinking water. The draft Clean Water Act guidance released today reflects USDA's work with our federal partners by maintaining existing exemptions for ongoing agricultural and forestry activities, thereby providing farmers, ranchers and forest landowners with certainty that current agricultural and forestry activities can continue."

"The Army is very proud of our ecosystem restoration efforts across the nation," said Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works Jo-Ellen Darcy.  "The proposed joint EPA and Army guidance will clarify Clean Water Act jurisdiction and help the Corps and its partner agencies protect important aquatic resources and watersheds that communities rely on for their quality of life and essential services."

Clean water provides critical health, economic and livability benefits to American communities. Since 1972, the Clean Water Act has kept billions of pounds of pollution out of American waters, doubling the number of waters that meet safety standards for swimming and fishing.  Despite the dramatic progress in restoring the health of the nation's waters, an estimated one-third of American waters still do not meet the swimmable and fishable standards of the Clean Water Act.  Additionally, new pollution and development challenges threaten to erode our gains, and demand innovative and strong action in partnership with federal agencies, states, and the public to ensure clean and healthy water for American families, businesses, and communities.

The Obama administration is safeguarding clean water by:

Promoting Innovative Partnerships
Federal agencies are partnering with states, tribes, local governments and diverse stakeholders on innovative approaches to restore urban waters, promote sustainable water supplies, and develop new incentives for farmers to protect clean water.

Enhancing Communities and Economies by Restoring Important Water Bodies
The Obama administration is dedicating unprecedented attention to restoring iconic places like the Chesapeake Bay, California Bay-Delta, Great Lakes, Gulf of Mexico and Everglades, investing in action and helping states, local governments and stakeholders find pollution control solutions that are tailored to their specific needs.

Innovating for More Water Efficient Communities
The administration is working with policymakers, consumers, farmers and businesses to save water - and save money - through 21st century water management policies and technology.

Ensuring Clean Water to Protect Public Health
The Obama administration is aggressively pursuing new ways to protect public health by reducing contaminants in Americans' drinking water.  We are updating drinking water standards, protecting drinking water sources, modernizing the tools available to communities to meet their clean water requirements, and providing affordable clean water services in rural communities.

Enhancing Use and Enjoyment of our Waters
The administration is promoting stewardship of America's waters through innovative programs and partnerships.  These efforts include expanding access to waterways for recreation, protecting rural landscapes, and promoting public access to private lands for hunting, fishing and other recreational activities.

Updating the Nation's Water Policies
The administration is strengthening protection of America's waters and American communities.  We are modernizing water resources guidelines, and updating federal guidance on where the Clean Water Act applies nationwide.  The draft guidance will protect waters that many communities depend upon for drinking, swimming, and fishing, and provide clearer, more predictable guidelines for determining which water bodies are protected from pollution under the Clean Water Act. The guidance is open for 60 days of public comment to all allow all stakeholders to provide input and feedback before it is finalized.

Supporting Science to Solve Water Problems
The administration is using the latest science and research to improve water policies and programs and identify and address emerging pollution challenges.

More information and to read the Obama administration's clean water framework:


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Information Center at the National Agricultural
Library.  The center's Web site is at

The Enviro-News list facilitates information exchange.
Inclusion of an item in Enviro-News does not imply
United States Department of Agriculture(USDA) agreement,
nor does USDA attest to the accuracy or completeness of
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EPA Climate Change and Water News

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: "Makuch, Joseph" <>
Date: Apr 27, 2011 9:37 AM
Subject: [ENVIRO-NEWS] EPA Climate Change and Water News
To: <>

From: Elana Goldstein []
Sent: Tuesday, April 26, 2011 5:41 PM
Subject: EPA Climate Change and Water News

EPA Climate Change and Water News

EPA News

EPA Announces New Website: A Student's Guide to Global Climate Change

This website provides information and tools for students regarding
climate change and is available at:

EPA Publishes Notice of Peer Review Workshop and Public Comment Period
for Implications of Climate Change for Bioassessment Programs and
Approaches to Account for Effects. Public Comments Accepted until May 6,

EPA will convene an independent panel of experts and organize and
conduct an external peer review workshop to review the external review
draft report titled, Implications of Climate Change for Bioassessment
Programs and Approaches to Account for Effects (EPA/600/R-11/036A) and
its supporting document, Freshwater Biological Traits Database
(EPA/600/R-11/038). Public comments will be accepted until Friday, May
6, 2011. These draft documents were prepared by the National Center for
Environmental Assessment (NCEA) within EPA's Office of Research and
Development. For additional information, visit:

EPA Solicits Comments on Draft Document, Identifying and Protecting
Healthy Watersheds: Concepts, Assessments, and Management Approaches.
Public Comments Accepted until June 3, 2011.

This draft technical document provides the basis for implementing the
Agency's Healthy Watersheds Initiative, which, in partnership with
States, Tribes, local governments, nongovernmental organizations, and
others, is intended to protect the nation's remaining healthy
watersheds, prevent them from becoming impaired, and accelerate
restoration successes.   The Healthy Watersheds approach, as part of the
initiative, is based on a holistic, integrated, systems view of aquatic
ecosystems that acknowledges their dynamics and interconnectivity in the
landscape. For additional information, visit:

EPA Solicits Public Comment on Permit to Reduce Stormwater Discharges
from Construction Sites. Public Comments Accepted until June 14, 2011.

EPA is releasing for public comment a draft permit that will help
improve our nation's waterways by regulating the discharge of stormwater
from construction sites. Stormwater discharges during construction
activities can contain sediment and pollutants that harm aquatic
ecosystems, increase drinking water treatment costs and pollute waters
that people use for fishing, swimming and other recreational activities.
For additional information, visit:
[or ].

EPA Publishes National U.S. Greenhouse Gas Inventory

EPA has released the 16th annual U.S. greenhouse gas inventory.  The
final report shows that overall emissions during 2009 decreased by 6.1
percent from the previous year.  This downward trend was attributed to a
decrease in fuel and electricity consumption across all U.S. economic
sectors. The report is available at:

EPA Awards Climate Showcase Communities Grant Funding to Choctaw Nation
of Oklahoma

EPA announced that the Choctaw Nation in Oklahoma will receive $189,817
in Climate Showcase Communities grant funding to improve the energy
efficiency of its health facilities through technology and behavioral
change. This clear and effective strategy will serve as a much needed
model for small and rural communities across the United States. To read
the full press release, visit:
ABF [or ].

Other Federal News

National Research Council to Host a Conversation on America's Climate
Choices on May 12, 2011 from 4:00-6:30 p.m. EST at the National
Academies in Washington, D.C.

The public is invited to participate in A Conversation on America's
Climate Choices. Several members of the America's Climate Choices report
authoring committee will discuss the report's findings with Climate
Central's Heidi Cullen, followed by a question-and-answer period and a
reception. The event will take place at the National Academies, 500
Fifth Street NW location in Washington, D.C. To register, visit:

Other News

The Water Innovations Alliance to Host the Blue Tech Valley Conference
on May 3-4, 2011 in Fresno, CA

The purpose of this conference is to provide water constituents within
the private, public, and academic arenas the opportunity to collectively
explore and discuss new innovations, developments, and trends relating
to current water issues. The conference theme - International Solutions
to Regional Issues - will address current issues that have a direct and
visible impact regionally, as well as world-wide implications. For
additional information, visit:

The Horinko Group to Host a Webinar, The State of Flood Risk Reduction
in the United States on May 4, 2011 from 2:15-4:00 p.m. EST

The Horinko Group, as part of its 2011 Global Sustainability Webinar
Series, will host a panel of thought leaders and practitioners to
discuss the status of Flood Risk Management in the United States and the
prognosis for moving the effort in a sustainable direction that reduces
risk and gradually restores the ecological services performed by our
nation's floodplains. For additional information, visit:
states [or ].

Climate Information for Managing Risks (CIMR) to Host Local to Regional
Adaptation and Mitigation Strategies Conference on May 24-27, 2011 in
Orlando, FL

This conference will emphasize the challenges of applying climate
information and predictions at local and regional levels, for regions
and locations from around the world. CIMR 2011 will address climate
related vulnerabilities, impacts, and opportunities for adaptation.
Additional information is available at:

EPA Climate Change and Water News is produced by the United States
Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA). For more information on EPA's
climate change activities, visit  For an
overview of climate change and water issues, visit

Enviro-News is a service of the Water Quality
Information Center at the National Agricultural
Library.  The center's Web site is at

The Enviro-News list facilitates information exchange.
Inclusion of an item in Enviro-News does not imply
United States Department of Agriculture(USDA) agreement,
nor does USDA attest to the accuracy or completeness of
the item. See
You can contact the list owner at

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Is your toilet costing you money?

Odds are the answer is YES.
It may come as a surprise to learn that in the US the toilet is where most of the water in a home is used & wasted. 

On average 30% of all potable water used in a household is for flushing the toilets. If your toilets are older than 1992 then that percentage could be even higher. When we consider the growing problem of water shortages across the country I have to ask why. "Why do we use potable fresh water to flush human feces and urine down the drain?" This is a self indulgent luxury that borders on insanity. We are running out of fresh water but yet we use it as though it were an inexhaustible resource. 

As this practice is ingrained in our lifestyle, and designed into the infrastructure of our communities, correcting this absurd behavior will take time and money. To start we can take some basic steps to minimizing the waste of potable water we use to flush toilets. One of the most cost effective and simplest things you can do is convert your current toilet into a dual flush toilet. Of the many kits available I recommend the DualFlush Pro. This kit has all the components needed to replace all of the old parts in a standard tank type two piece toilet. For under $35 (including shipping) you get a new fill valve, dual action flush valve and dual action flush lever (not a push button), all gaskets and tank bolts. I was so impressed with the quality of design and simplicity of installation, I posted a video on YouTube demonstrating the installation in less than 10 minutes. A dual flush toilet can save over 5000 gallons of water per year. 
A couple other brand I have tested include the Hydro Right by MJSI and Select A Flush kit.

Thanks for checking in.

Friday, April 8, 2011


This draft report to US Congress, produced by the Center for Environmental Quality (CEQ) is full of things we don't know and aren't doing adequetly. Read for yourself; it's not good news but at least in knowing what we need to be changed, we have a better chance of improving.

Read it for yourself here.

I welcome opinions on the matter.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

GreenPlumbers USA trianing gets underway at Warren Wilson College.

In keeping with their environmental stewardship goals and commitments Warren Wilson College in Asheville NC has begun offering GreenPlumbers USA core curriculum certification.

The innaugural class is comprised of twelve students that are eager to enhance their educational experience and improve their ability to aide in devloping sustainable communities. "We're creating champions of conservation and guardians of global resources".

Plumbers and plumbing apprentices are at the front lines of a growing effort to improve water use efficiency, protect fresh water resources and minimize human impact on the environment.

I am humbled by the sincerety and commitment of our young adults. It gives me hope for doing a better job of caring for our world and for each other.

For additional information regarding GreenPlumbers USA training opportunities visit:

Thanks for stoping by.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Are you kidding me?

Well here is another fine example of big business having its way with the US House. I cant imagine that members of the House of Representatives truly believe that lessening restrictions on pesticide use is a step in the right direction. I see it as exactly the opposite! Exempting farmers and companies use of pesticides, on or near water, from complying with the EPA Clean Water Act amounts to turning a blind eye at a time when we need to see improvements in fresh water resource preservation efforts. I certainly hope the Senate has the decency and presence to pull the plug on this effort. 

This isn't the first time this has been argued by the EPA on behalf of the pesticide industry. In Jan 2009, the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals reversed an earlier EPA decision that pesticide use "should not" fall under the  Clean Water Act passed in 1972. The court ruled that "pesticides constituted pollutants under federal law and thereby had to be regulated to protect public health and the environment". The rule excluding pesticides was put into place by the Bush administration; no surprise there. 

What do you think?