Thursday, May 30, 2013

New Standard Practice For Developing Lists of Invasive Plant Species

ASTM has announced that it has begun an initiative to create a standard that 1) describes the criteria and procedures by which to develop an invasive plant list for a defined region and 2) will be useful as the foundation for creating lists of invasive plants to support building codes and related applications. Model building codes and rating systems that aim to improve the environmental performance of buildings and their sites increasingly incorporate clauses to address the ecological damage related to invasive plants in landscaping.

ASTM believes a standard is needed to provide government agencies as well as environmental, academic, and horticultural organizations a common approach to determining what plants are invasive to a specified area. Existing State and Federal noxious weed lists have generally not kept pace with the latest science in the field, and many focus predominantly on agricultural, rather than ecological, impacts. Few local governments have yet to develop their own lists. With definitions dependent on the existence of local, State, and Federal lists, ASTM has concluded that the invasive plant requirements in green building codes will have little effect.

Caltha LLP provides expert consulting services to public and private sector clients nationwide to address water quality standards, wastewater permitting and assessing potential impacts of chemicals in the aquatic environment.
Caltha LLP Aquatic Toxicology / WQ Standards Services Website


Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Keokuk, Iowa Receives Grant To Address Combined Sewer Overflows

EPA Region 7 has awarded $291,000 to the City of Keokuk, Iowa, for improvements to its sewer system. The project is expected to be completed by the fall of 2014. The purpose of the project is to construct new sanitary and storm sewer systems, which will eliminate four sewer overflows. The new sewer will provide adequate capacity for both current and anticipated future flows. A long-term strategy has been developed to eliminate six combined sewer overflows in Keokuk that drain either into the Mississippi River or Soap Creek.

Keokuk is one of 10 Iowa cities that have combined sewer systems. These systems typically use one pipe that combines sanitary sewer and storm sewer to the wastewater treatment plants during normal rainfall. However, during rainfall, this system sometimes overflows into nearby streams. and private partners.

Caltha LLP provides expert consulting services to public and private sector clients nationwide to address water quality standards, wastewater permitting and assessing potential impacts of chemicals in the aquatic environment.

Caltha LLP Aquatic Toxicology / WQ Standards Services Website



Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Update To Great Lakes Restoration Initiative Action Plan 2015-2019

The Great Lakes Interagency Task Force has scheduled meetings for the public to provide input to a planned update of the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative Action Plan. The updated Action Plan would direct Great Lakes restoration for fiscal years 2015-2019. The public may comment directly to the federal agencies and to the Great Lakes Advisory Board (GLAB), a panel of experts established to provide recommendations to the federal agencies.

Comments may be given at any of the following scheduled meetings:
•May 21-22 - Great Lakes Advisory Board Inaugural Meeting & Public Comment to GLAB
 •May 23 - Webinar
•May 28 - Buffalo, New York.
•May 30 - Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
•June 3 - Webinar
•June 5 - Cleveland, Ohio.

In February 2010, the Task Force released the GLRI Action Plan for FY2010-2014. The Action Plan identified goals, objectives, measurable ecological targets, and specific actions to help rehabilitate the Great Lakes. The Action Plan targets investments to reduce toxic contamination, rehabilitate fish and wildlife habitat, improve nearshore health, reduce nutrients and other land-based pollution, prevent invasive species, and promote accountability, education, and collaboration.

Caltha LLP provides expert consulting services to public and private sector clients nationwide to address water quality standards, wastewater permitting and assessing potential impacts of chemicals in the aquatic environment.
Caltha LLP Aquatic Toxicology / WQ Standards Services Website


PADEP List of Impaired Waters Approved For 2012

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has approved Pennsylvania’s 2012 final list of impaired waters. The list is part of a bi-annual monitoring and assessment report characterizing the condition of Pennsylvania’s surface waters. The 2012 list submitted by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PADEP) contains 7,009 impaired waters, of which 263 are newly listed including portions of Buffalo Creek and Plum Creek in the Upper Juniata watershed. The list also includes more than 650 stream miles within the Susquehanna River Basin that were added or updated in the 2012 list. The new list removes 39 water bodies that were on the previous list including over 96 miles in the Upper Susquehanna-Lackawanna basin and 27 miles of the Lehigh River.

The final report includes a change in the designation for a nearly 100-mile section of the main stem of the Susquehanna River from “unimpaired” for aquatic life and recreational uses, to having insufficient water quality data to make an impairment determination. That change from the draft to the final report reflects comments submitted to PADEP from EPA and others, as well as ongoing efforts to identify the cause of health impacts to the Susquehanna’s smallmouth bass population. PADEP initiated a special study of the fish health problem in 2012 and is continuing its data collection efforts in 2013 to further assess water quality in the Susquehanna River and its major tributaries, and identify the cause(s) for the decline in smallmouth bass. While these steps are underway, the Chesapeake Bay TMDL and accompanying Pennsylvania Watershed Implementation Plans require action to reduce nitrogen, phosphorus and sediment pollution within the Susquehanna watershed.

Caltha LLP provides expert consulting services to public and private sector clients in Pennsylvania and  nationwide to address water quality standards, wastewater permitting and assessing potential impacts of chemicals in the aquatic environment.

Caltha LLP Aquatic Toxicology / WQ Standards Services Website