Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Urban Subwatershed Restoration Manual Series

Get practical, comprehensive information on watershed restoration techniques with the Center’s Urban Subwatershed Restoration Manual series. Together, the USRM manuals introduce an integrated framework for urban watershed restoration, outline effective techniques for assessing urban watersheds, and provide a comprehensive review of watershed restoration techniques.

Center for Watershed Protection to order/view

Monday, December 17, 2007

Stormwater Management in Portland

Stormwater is rain and snow melt that runs off surfaces such as rooftops, paved streets, highways, and parking lots. Stormwater carries sediment, oil, grease, nitrogen, phosphorus, and other pollutants into storm drains and then, untreated, into nearby waterbodies. Because most stormwater drainage systems provide no treatment, preventing contamination of stormwater is crucial to ensure that pollutants do not enter waterways. Improperly managed stormwater runoff is also a leading cause of flooding, which can lead to property damage, cause road safety hazards, and clog catch basins and culverts with sediment and debris.
The federal Clean Water Act, Safe Drinking Water Act, and Endangered Species Act direct the City to improve stormwater quality and protect watersheds, rivers, streams and drinking water resources. The Bureau of Environmental Services coordinates the citywide response to the federal stormwater permit that requires the City to reduce stormwater pollution, and oversees other programs that respond to water quality requirements.

Read stormwater management

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Puget Sound: Decleansing rain

A cleansing rain? For Puget Sound, a downpour is polluting.

There could hardly have been better timing for a new report on the huge problems for the Sound caused by runoff from streets, roofs and the land. The runoff carries most of the worst pollutants plaguing Puget Sound.

The study, released Friday, is the start of attempts to systematically assess the sources of pollution that threaten the Sound's ecosystems for orcas, fish and people. It found that lands developed for residential, commercial and industrial use contribute to the bulk of lead, cadmium, oil and some other prime pollutants.

The report said, "Developed lands contributed the majority of several toxic chemicals to Puget Sound (i.e., cadmium, lead, zinc, nonylphenol, and oil and petroleum products)." But agricultural and forest lands also create problems. Air pollution also contributes some of the toxics.

Protecting Inland Waters

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Clean Water Act Definition of "Waters of the United States"

This page is designed to provide updates and background information regarding the scope of "Waters of the United States" protected under the Clean Water Act.

EPA and the Corps of Engineers have jointly issued a legal memorandum that interprets the June 19, 2006 Supreme Court decision in the consolidated cases Rapanos v. U.S. and Carabell v. U.S. (known as the "Rapanos" decision). The guidance is being released to Corps of Engineers and EPA field offices to ensure nationwide predictability, reliability, and consistency in identifying wetlands, streams and rivers subject to the Clean Water Act (CWA). The EPA/Corps guidance reflects the agencies’ intent to provide maximum protection for the Nation's aquatic resources under the CWA as interpreted by the Supreme Court in Rapanos. To ensure such decisions are made in a timely manner, the agencies have released concurrently with the guidance a Memorandum of Agreement laying out a process with specific short timeframes, when necessary, for reaching interagency agreements on jurisdictional calls. In addition, a series of questions and answers provides additional information.

Read more

Comments can be submitted to docket EPA-HQ-OW-2007-0282 through www.regulations.gov.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Operation Climate Vote - Tell the House to Act on Global Warming

Operation Climate Vote - Tell the House to Act on Global Warming

We've had a historic breakthrough on Capitol Hill! The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee just passed the Climate Security Act. This bi-partisan bill would cap America's global warming pollution.

Now, it's time for the House to act.

Time is running out to solve the global warming crisis. Waiting just two years to pass national climate legislation would double the rate at which the U.S. will need to cut emissions

Take action today. Urge your Representative to call on House leaders to make global warming a top priority.

Learn more about why Congress must act now.

"The issue of climate change is one that we ignore at our own peril. There may still be disputes about exactly how much is naturally occurring, but what we can be scientifically certain of is that our continued use of fossil fuels is pushing us to a point of no return."
-- Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill.