Saturday , 18 November 2017

August 9, 2017 E-News

USDA AWARDS $4 MILLION IN GRANTS, LOANS TO NEW VILLAGE OF MAINE– The U.S. Department of Agriculture has awarded $4 million in grants and loans to the Village of Maine to make improvements to Brokaw’s water system, U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis., said Monday. The rural development money includes a $2.89 million grant and $1.2 million loan to help solve Brokaw’s financial troubles following the closure of the Wausau Paper mill, Baldwin said. “This investment will help Brokaw continue recovering and rebuilding, while providing the clean water that our rural communities deserve,” she said in a statement. The money will improve the water system in Brokaw and Maine, which has faced water quality, efficiency and freezing issues since the mill closing.

GREAT LAKES MAYORS HALT CHALLENGE TO WAUKESHA DIVERSION OF LAKE MICHIGAN WATER– A group representing mayors of Great Lakes cities in the United States and Canada has dropped its opposition to the City of Waukesha’s switch to a Lake Michigan water supply. The Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative announced Wednesday that it will not go to federal court to block a diversion of up to an average of 8.2 million gallons a day of lake water to Waukesha. The eight Great Lakes states in June 2016 unanimously approved Waukesha’s request for lake water. Waukesha’s plan, when coupled with conditions imposed by the states, complied with a 2008 federal law known as the Great Lakes protection compact, according to representatives of the states’ governors. The eight states subsequently denied a request by the cities to reverse the ruling.

FERTILIZERS, A BOON TO AGRICULTURE, POSE GROWING THREAT TO U.S. WATERWAYS– A study published Thursday in Science concludes that eutrophication, excessive nutrient enrichment, is likely to increase in the continental United States as a result of the changes in precipitation patterns brought by climate change. Heavier rains caused by warmer temperatures will cause more agricultural runoff, sluicing more nutrients into rivers, lakes and oceans. The authors found that future climate change-driven increases in rainfall in the United States could boost nitrogen runoff by as much as 20 percent by the end of the century.

DAIRY GROUP SUES STATE OVER CAFO RULES, CHANGING STANDARDS– The Dairy Business Association has filed a lawsuit against the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. The complaint claims it’s illegal for the DNR to require all concentrated animal feeding operations, or CAFOs, to have an operating permit because it surpasses federal requirements. “Our dairymen are the most regulated in the country,” said Mike North, president of the Dairy Business Association. “We have standards that go beyond what the (Environmental Protection Agency) has set as a standard in the Clean Water bill. And as a result, we are beyond conservation. We do things on our farms that are unheard of elsewhere in the country.” The lawsuit also claims the DNR is enforcing regulations that have not gone through the formal rulemaking process.

WHY THIS YEAR’S ‘DEAD ZONE’ IN GULF OF MEXICO IS BIGGER THAN EVER– Right now, in the depths of the Gulf of Mexico, lies an area the size of New Jersey that’s so oxygen-deprived it’s void of almost all marine life. The so-called “dead zone” isn’t a new phenomenon: it appears in the Gulf, and other bodies of water, every summer. But what makes this year’s Gulf dead zone unique is its magnitude: At 8,776 square miles, it’s the largest ever since tracking began in 1985, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced this week. Its size is projected to affect local fishing economies and is raising questions over the amount of pollutants that flow into our water — particularly nutrients from excessive use of nitrogen fertilizers.

FISH EXPOSED TO WASTEWATER ABSORB MANY MEDICATIONS MEANT FOR PEOPLE– Evidence that fish are being contaminated by pharmaceuticals introduced into wastewater keeps building. That’s clear as scientists look beyond drug levels in bodies of water and directly measure concentrations in the blood of fish that swim there, as one team undertook for a new study published July 26 in the journal Environmental Pollution. While experts say human health isn’t at risk, unknowns remain, given the increases in pollution levels as the population grows. For some drugs in the study, blood concentrations that would be high enough to treat a human were seen in comparable levels in fish – albeit in proportion to their much smaller body sizes and blood volumes – likely affecting them as well.

WRWA 16th ANNUAL OUTDOOR EXPO – Just two weeks away from this educational and fun-filled event. Classroom training, product demonstrations, attendee activities, heavy equipment displays, Raffle prizes and lunch & refreshments provided. It also includes our Utility Truck competition, “Buy, Sell and Swap” area where you can display items for sale to the over 700 attendees of the event, and the “Tools of the Trade” area where you can display items, tools and equipment you’ve designed yourself to make your job easier. For additional information on this event or to register, go to

QUOTE– “A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.” – Winston S. Churchill

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