Thursday, July 28, 2016

Sweeping changes

Florida passes controversial new water toxins rule

People who wish to address the Environmental Regulation Commission rise to take a public oath before their meeting at the Florida Department of Environmental Protection building on Tuesday. JOE RONDONE

Florida Times-Union

Florida Times-Union

A Florida regulatory panel Tuesday narrowly approved the first changes to Florida’s surface-water quality standards in nearly a quarter-century, despite objections from environmentalists who argued the new criteria potentially create more health hazards. The Environmental Regulation Commission, whose members are appointed by Gov. Rick Scott, voted 3-2 to support changes that increase the number of regulated chemicals allowed in waterways.


Paving wetlands increases Houston flood risk

Austin American-Statesman

The wetlands outside Houston are being paved over at a rate faster than the city, another reason concerns are being raised that the area will be more likely to suffer damage from heavy rains in a flood-prone region. The region’s spiking population and development have vexed engineers and advocates trying to protect open space and prevent mass runoff of water in the event of heavy rains.


Scientists present strategy for river diversion

New Orleans Times-Picayune

New sediment diversions planned by the Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority to rebuild rapidly eroding wetlands must balance land-building potential with their effects on fisheries and wildlife, an independent team of scientists said. The scientists recommended that the diversions be operated in pulses to mimic the natural flood cycle of the Mississippi.

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