WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency announced that federal disaster aid has been made available to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to supplement commonwealth and local recovery efforts in the area affected by a severe winter storm, snowstorm, and flooding during the period of February 8 - 9, 2013.Language English
Following is a summary of key federal disaster aid programs that can be made available as needed and warranted under President Obama’s emergency declaration issued for Texas.
Assistance for the State and Affected Local Governments Can Include as Required:Language English
WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced that federal disaster assistance has been made available to Texas to supplement state and local response efforts due to the emergency conditions resulting from explosions beginning on April 17, 2013, and continuing.Language English
NEW YORK — Disaster assistance to New York survivors of Hurricane Sandy:Language English
FEMA Continues to Monitor Midwest Severe Weather: Residents should remain vigilant as weather continues to move through the area
CHICAGO – As severe storms and flooding continue to impact several states throughout the Midwest, the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Region V office continues to monitor the situation and urges all residents to remain vigilant, and take extra caution as severe weather threatens.Language English
SMYRNA, Del. -- More than $2.2 million in federal funding has been awarded thus far for Hurricane Sandy recovery, the Delaware Emergency Management Agency (DEMA) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced today.
As DEMA and FEMA continue to partner in Hurricane Sandy recovery, additional funding will be forthcoming following state and federal review and approval.
Recent obligations include projects totaling more than $964,642 in Public Assistance funding, bringing the total amount of FEMA dollars awarded thus far to $2,231,450.Language English
Following is a summary of key federal disaster aid programs that can be made available as needed and warranted under President Obama’s emergency declaration issued for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
Assistance for the Commonwealth, Tribal and Affected Local Governments Can Include as Required:Language English
WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced that federal disaster assistance has been made available to Massachusetts to supplement commonwealth and local response efforts due to the emergency conditions resulting from explosions during the period of April 15-22, 2013.Language English
Biodiversity Information Serving Our Nation or BISON is the only system of its kind; a unique, web-based Federal resource for finding species in the U. S. and territories. Its size is unprecedented, offering more than 100 million mapped records of nearly every living species nationwide and growing. And the vast majority of the records are specific locations, not just county or state records.
What’s more, BISON provides an "Area of Interest" search capability in which users can query by drawing the exact boundary around their area of interest, down to and including towns, villages, or even much smaller areas such as parks. For instance, New York City's Central Park has more than 100,000 "species occurrences" recorded in BISON, with each species noted in detail. Other BISON search options include querying the species by scientific or common name, year range, state, county, basis of record, or provider institution.
As for the results, BISON displays them in both an interactive map and a list format. Users can click on each species occurrence point to retrieve more information, such as the institution providing the data, the collector, the date collected, and whether it was from a collection or an observation. Further, occurrences can be dynamically visualized with more than 50 other layers of environmental information in the system. Extensive web services are also available for direct connections to other systems.
"The USGS is proud to announce this monumental resource", said Kevin Gallagher, Associate Director, Core Science Systems," and this is a testament to the power of combining the efforts of hundreds of thousands of professional and citizen scientists into a resource that uses Big Data and Open Data principles to deliver biodiversity information for sustaining the Nation's environmental capital".
"BISON is destined to become an indispensable toolkit to manage species occurrence data to support scientific, educational, and policy-making activities in the US", Dr. Erick Mata, Executive Director of the Encyclopedia of Life explained. "This is highly complementary and synergistic with EOL's efforts to raise awareness and understanding of living nature."
"With BISON, the USGS takes a big step toward making biodiversity data held within Federal agencies easier to find and use", added Mary Klein, President & CEO of NatureServe. "I am enthusiastic about future opportunities to work with USGS to increase collaboration among Federal, state and private data holders."
USGS Core Science Systems Mission Area, which developed the resource, expects that BISON users will be broad-based and include land managers, researchers, refuge managers, citizen scientists, agriculture professionals, fisheries managers, water resource managers, educators, and more.
Land managers, for instance, might be looking for a piece of land to purchase for conservation—but first they want to know what species have been documented for that parcel. BISON will tell them after only a few mouse clicks.
BISON serves as the U.S. Node of the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF) and will form an integral part of EcoINFORMA, the information delivery strategy in "Sustaining Environmental Capital: Protecting Society and the Economy," a recent report by the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST).
"BISON responds directly to a key need PCAST pointed out in 'Sustaining Environmental Capital' - to make Federal environmental data available, inter-operable, and usable to the public," said PCAST member Rosina Bierbaum, "We look forward to this 'biodiversity' hub being supplemented by complementary ecological data hubs by other Federal partners, to further the goal of helping communities across the Nation make increasingly wise planning and management decisions."
BISON already includes millions of points from the Federal investment in biodiversity research. It is formally cooperating with other Federal agencies to greatly expand the delivery of federally funded biodiversity data for the greatest possible good. Hundreds of thousands of citizen and professional scientists have collected the data in BISON. Non-governmental organizations, state and local governments, universities, and many others are also participating in this enormous undertaking.
The USGS has built and maintains BISON, which is hosted on the massive Federal computing infrastructure at Oak Ridge National Laboratory.
The USGS Core Science Analytics and Synthesis program within Core Science Systems is home to BISON and focuses on innovative ways to manage and deliver scientific data and information. The program implements and promotes standards and best practices to enable efficient, data-driven science for decision-making that supports a rapid response to emerging natural resource issues. One of the ways this is accomplished is by developing national data products that increase our understanding of the Earth’s natural systems.
TRENTON, N.J. -- Disaster assistance to New Jersey survivors of Hurricane Sandy by the numbers as of April 15:Language English
TRENTON, N.J. -- Hurricane Sandy survivors who had storm-related damages in New Jersey have just two weeks left to register with the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Residents must register for disaster assistance by midnight (EDT), May 1.Language English
The report and maps are posted online.
NEW CUMBERLAND, Pa. – Eight percent of more than 5,000 wells tested across Pennsylvania contain groundwater with levels of arsenic at or above federal standards set for public drinking water, while an additional 12 percent – though not exceeding standards – show elevated levels of arsenic.
These findings, along with maps depicting areas in the state most likely to have elevated levels of arsenic in groundwater, are part of a recently released U.S. Geological Survey study done in cooperation with the Pennsylvania Departments of Health and Environmental Protection.
The results highlight the importance of private well owners testing and potentially treating their water. While public water supplies are treated to ensure that water reaching the tap of households meets federal drinking water standards, private wells are unregulated in Pennsylvania, and owners are responsible for testing and treating their own water.
For this study, USGS scientists compiled data collected between 1969 and 2007 from industrial, public, and private wells. Arsenic levels, along with other groundwater quality and environmental factors, were used to generate statewide and regional maps that predict the probability of elevated arsenic. The study examined groundwater from carbonate, crystalline, and shale/sandstone bedrock aquifers, and from shallow glacial sediment aquifers. Similar maps have been produced for other states.
"This research is not intended to predict arsenic levels for individual wells; its purpose is to predict the probability of elevated levels of arsenic in groundwater to help public health efforts in Pennsylvania," said USGS scientist Eliza Gross, who led the study. "The study results and associated probability maps provide water-resource managers and health officials with useful data as they consider management actions in areas where groundwater is most likely to contain elevated levels of arsenic."
The Pennsylvania Department of Health plans to use the maps as an educational tool to inform health professionals and citizens of the Commonwealth about the possibility of elevated arsenic in drinking water wells and to help improve the health of residents, particularly in rural communities.
Arsenic occurs naturally and, in Pennsylvania, is most common in shallow glacial and shale/sandstone type aquifers, particularly those containing pyrite minerals. Arsenic can also result from human activities. Geologic conditions, such as fractures, and chemical factors in groundwater, such as low oxygen, extreme pH, and salinity, can cause arsenic to leach from rocks, become mobile, and contaminate wells distant from the source. Groundwater with elevated arsenic levels – more than 4 micrograms per liter -- can be found in scattered locations throughout Pennsylvania.
Arsenic in drinking water has been linked to several types of cancer, reproductive problems, diabetes, a weakened immune system, and developmental delays in children. Arsenic can be reduced or eliminated in tap water through treatment.
Private well owners can find testing and other information on Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection Arsenic in Drinking Water website.
BATON ROUGE, La. — Louisiana property owners whose homes or other structures were damaged during Hurricane Isaac-related flooding have only a short time remaining to file claims for their losses. Most policyholders have until April 22 to complete their proof of loss claims.
Because of the widespread destruction caused by the storm, the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) authorized four extensions to the initial 60-day filing deadline, increasing policyholders’ time to file to 240 days from the date of loss.Language English
HARRISBURG, Pa. -- More than $3.8 million in funding has been awarded thus far for Hurricane Sandy recovery, the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency (PEMA) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced today.
The total amount thus far, $3,816,521, will be funded by PEMA and FEMA on a cost-sharing basis through the Public Assistance program. FEMA has obligated $2,862,391, or 75 percent. The Commonwealth will cover $954,130, or 25 percent.Language English
TRENTON, N.J.--Three disaster recovery centers will close Saturday, April 20, and transition into Small Business Administration Disaster Loan Outreach Centers on Monday, April 22.
The disaster recovery centers transitioning are the center at the Henry Hudson Trail Activity Center in Leonardo, the center at the Little Egg Harbor Senior Center in Little Egg Harbor Township and the center at the Ocean County Southern Resource Center in Manahawkin.Language English
More than 50 years of water-quality data in the Piceance Basin are now available from the U.S. Geological Survey in two new reports.
The need for this baseline water-resources assessment was identified by energy producers and local governments to address concerns regarding potential changes to surface-water and groundwater resources as large-scale energy development and population growth occurs in the Piceance Basin. Data from 1,545 wells collected from1946 through 2009 were compiled, evaluated, and compared with U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) drinking-water standards, and are published in a USGS groundwater quality report, available online. Additionally, 347 surface-water sites were compared to EPA drinking-water and Colorado State standards, and are contained in a separate surface-water report.
Groundwater findings include:
- Recharge—the downward movement of surface water to groundwater—to most wells was derived from precipitation.
- Dissolved-solids concentrations commonly exceeded the EPA secondary drinking-water standard. Dissolved solids consist of minerals, organic matter, and nutrients that have dissolved in water. The major components of dissolved solids of natural waters include bicarbonate, calcium, sulfate, hydrogen, silica, chlorine, magnesium, sodium, potassium, nitrogen, and phosphorus in the form of phosphate.
- Arsenic concentrations were higher in low oxygen groundwater and likely from naturally occurring rock.
- Nitrate levels likely associated with septic systems, animal manure, or fertilizer.
- The majority of methane detections were found near the Mamm Creek-Divide Creek area.
Surface-water findings include:
- Salinity and selenium concentrations and loads—a primary concern for water managers in the Lower Gunnison River basin—are generally trending downward.
- Approximately 30 percent of phosphorus samples exceeded EPA’s recommended standard.
- Overall results varied by site.
“Data gaps were identified and suggestions provided to develop long-term regional-scale monitoring strategies to fill data gaps, minimize information redundancies, and to assist managers in making informed decisions regarding land and water resources,” said David Brown, Western Colorado Office Chief for the USGS Colorado Water Science Center.
This voluntary effort between energy producers and local, state, and federal agencies inventoried existing water resources in the Piceance Basin. The resulting data repository is the most comprehensive collection of Piceance Basin water-quality sampling information available in a single location.
The USGS studies were done in cooperation with (in alphabetical order): Antero Resources; Bureau of Land Management; Bureau of Reclamation; Chevron Corporation; Cities of Grand Junction and Rifle, Colo.; Colorado Department of Agriculture; Colorado Department of Natural Resources; Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment; Colorado Division of Wildlife—River Watch; Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission; Colorado River Water Conservation District; Counties of Delta, Garfield, and Rio Blanco, Colo.; EnCana Oil & Gas (USA) Inc.; Gunnison Energy Corp.; National Park Service; Natural Soda, Inc.; North Fork River Improvement Association; Oxy Petroleum Corporation; Petroleum Development Corp.; Shell Oil Company; Solvay Chemicals; Towns of Carbondale, De Beque, Palisade, Parachute, Rangely, and Silt, Colo.; U.S. Forest Service; West Divide Water Conservancy District; and Williams Companies, Inc.
DENTON, Texas –– In five months, on Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2013, new flood maps for Richland Parish, Louisiana will become effective. Before that date, state, local and federal officials are encouraging everyone to view the maps to understand their flood risk and consider purchasing flood insurance.Language English
The U.S. Geological Survey will award up to $4 million in grants for earthquake hazards research in 2014.
"The USGS has a long-standing grants program that has supported fresh and cutting-edge ideas all in an effort to reduce earthquake losses and protect communities," said USGS Senior Science Advisor Bill Leith. "We are looking forward to seeing the new proposals for 2014 and continuing to invest in innovative projects from experts across the nation and the world."
Interested researchers can apply online at GRANTS.GOV under funding opportunity number G13AS00029. Applications are due June 6, 2013.
Each year the USGS awards earthquake hazards research grants to universities, state geological surveys and private institutions. Past projects included cataloging earthquakes in southern California to better prepare emergency responders, the public and the media about earthquakes; providing seismic hazard estimates so communities and critical institutions can engineer their buildings and roads to be structurally sound; and analyzing data on ground shaking to help minimize damage.
A complete list of funded projects and reports can be found on the USGS Earthquake Hazards Program external research support website.
NEW YORK – The disaster recovery center in Freeport, Nassau County, currently staffed by state and federal specialists, will become a disaster loan outreach center operated by the U.S. Small Business Administration beginning at 9 a.m., Tuesday, April 16.
This disaster loan outreach center will be open Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Saturday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.Language English
NEW YORK — Disaster assistance to New York survivors of Hurricane Sandy has reached nearly $3.2 billion, including:Language English