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Delaware State Parks to celebrate the New Year with First Day Hikes across the state

DNREC News - Tue, 12/30/2014 - 13:41
DOVER (Dec. 30, 2014) – Delaware State Parks will sponsor free, guided hikes in nine state parks on New Year’s Day as part of America's State Parks First Day Hikes initiative. The hikes offer individuals and families an opportunity to begin the New Year by connecting with the outdoors on Jan. 1 at a state park close to home.

DNREC announces grant to help Delaware schools businesses and institutions with recycling programs

DNREC News - Mon, 12/29/2014 - 10:32
DOVER (Dec. 29, 2014) – To help Delaware’s schools, businesses and institutions start or expand their recycling programs, DNREC is once again offering the Universal Recycling Grant and Low Interest Loan Program, with up to $500,000 in funding available for grant proposals.

Holidays are the perfect time to recycle

DNREC News - Mon, 12/29/2014 - 10:28
DOVER (Dec. 29, 2014) – DNREC reminds Delawareans that holiday time is the right time to trim your “wasteline” while helping the environment – by recycling all those extra mail order boxes, gift-wrapped packages, tags and cards.

DNREC Fish and Wildlife Enforcement Blotter Dec 15 to 21

DNREC News - Wed, 12/24/2014 - 14:25
DOVER (Dec. 24, 2014) – To achieve public compliance through education and enforcement actions that help conserve Delaware’s fish and wildlife resources and ensure safe boating and public safety, DNREC Division of Fish & Wildlife Enforcement Natural Resources Police officers between Dec. 15-21 made 569 contacts with anglers, hunters, boaters and the general public, including 33 vessel boardings for boating safety and fishing regulation compliance checks. Agents issued 14 citations.

Precautions and vigilance urged for avian influenza

DNREC News - Wed, 12/24/2014 - 14:19
DOVER (Dec. 24, 2014) – Delaware authorities are urging poultry and bird owners to be vigilant in the wake of avian influenza cases reported in Oregon and Washington state.

FEMA Housing Mission Sees Continued Progress

FEMA Press Releases - Wed, 12/24/2014 - 14:13

DENVER - As 2014 comes to an end, the temporary housing program managed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency in the aftermath of the September 2013 foods continues to assist Colorado families while helping them secure permanent housing.  There are 13 households in Boulder, Weld and Larimer counties still residing in FEMA-provided manufactured housing units, with the program scheduled to be completed by mid-March. Over the course of this housing program, a total of 47 households in the three counties have found housing in FEMA-provided manufactured homes. 

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Categories: Federal News

DNREC, Delaware City Refining Co. reach settlement for water-related violations that includes installing improved fish return system

DNREC News - Wed, 12/24/2014 - 13:55
DOVER (Dec. 10, 2014)– DNREC Secretary David Small announced today that the department has entered into a penalty settlement agreement with the Delaware City Refining Company, LLC (DCRC) that will result in the company’s installation of modern technology to reduce impacts on aquatic life in the Delaware River and includes an improved fish return system at the Delaware City refinery’s water intake structure.

Public Invited to Comment on Aransas County, Texas, Preliminary Flood Maps

FEMA Press Releases - Tue, 12/23/2014 - 12:48

DENTON, Texas– Months of teamwork by officials from Aransas County and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) have led to new preliminary flood maps. Now, the public is encouraged to participate in a 90-day appeal and comment period about the maps.

Homeowners, renters and business owners in Aransas County are encouraged to view the preliminary flood maps to better understand where flood risks have been identified. Those who would like to file an appeal have from December 18, 2014 until March 17, 2015 to submit them. 

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Categories: Federal News

Federal Aid Programs for State of New York Disaster Recovery

FEMA Press Releases - Mon, 12/22/2014 - 16:26

Following is a summary of key federal disaster aid programs that can be made available as needed and warranted under President Obama’s major disaster declaration issued for the State of New York.

Assistance for the State and Affected Local and Tribal Governments Can Include as Required:

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Categories: Federal News

President Declares Disaster for New York State

FEMA Press Releases - Mon, 12/22/2014 - 16:20

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 state of New York to supplement state, local and tribal recovery efforts in the area affected by a severe winter storm, snowstorm, and flooding during the period of November 17-26, 2014.

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Categories: Federal News

Disaster Assistance Tops $30 Million for South Napa Earthquake

FEMA Press Releases - Mon, 12/22/2014 - 15:46

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – State and federal disaster assistance now totals more than $30 million for people and businesses affected by the South Napa Earthquake. The current total includes $8.8 million in grants from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES), as well as $21.2 million in low-interest disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).

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Categories: Federal News

One Week Left to Apply for South Napa Earthquake Disaster Assistance

FEMA Press Releases - Mon, 12/22/2014 - 15:09

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Individuals and business owners in Napa and Solano counties who had damages or losses as a result of the South Napa Earthquake have one week left to register for disaster assistance with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

Officials with FEMA and the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) urge anyone who still needs help to register before the deadline – Dec. 29, 2014.

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Categories: Federal News

Green Recovery Technologies, LLC withdraws Coastal Zone permit application from DNREC

DNREC News - Mon, 12/22/2014 - 10:57
DOVER (Dec. 22, 2014) – Green Recovery Technologies, LLC, a company with plans to develop product for the pet-food industry, has notified DNREC that it has voluntarily withdrawn its Coastal Zone Act (CZA) permit application.

DNREC Fish and Wildlife Enforcement Blotter Dec 8 to 14

DNREC News - Fri, 12/19/2014 - 17:44
DOVER (Dec. 19, 2014) – To achieve public compliance through education and enforcement actions that help conserve Delaware’s fish and wildlife resources and ensure safe boating and public safety, DNREC Division of Fish & Wildlife Enforcement Natural Resources Police officers between Dec. 8-14 made 1,125 contacts with anglers, hunters, boaters and the general public, including 74 vessel boardings for boating safety and fishing regulation compliance checks. Agents issued 35 citations.

Great gift ideas from DNREC that get recipients outdoors benefit the environment

DNREC News - Fri, 12/19/2014 - 15:58
DOVER (Dec. 19, 2014) – Looking for that perfect gift that benefits the environment as well as pleasing the recipient? Stumped on what to get for that outdoor enthusiast on your gift list? Here are a few suggestions for you from throughout the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control.

Advances in Dating Groundwater

USGS Newsroom Technical - Fri, 12/19/2014 - 10:40
Summary: Groundwater chemists and hydrologists are keenly interested in expanding the knowledge of environmental tracers that can be used to determine groundwater age. The age of groundwater is a valuable parameter that serves to inform many types of groundwater availability studies.

Contact Information:

Jon Campbell ( Phone: 703-648-4180 ); Karl Haase ( Phone: 703-648-5818 );



Groundwater chemists and hydrologists are keenly interested in expanding the knowledge of environmental tracers that can be used to determine groundwater age. The age of groundwater is a valuable parameter that serves to inform many types of groundwater availability studies.

Many environmental tracers — such as chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), SF6, and tritium — are of atmospheric origin. However, there are several classes of atmospheric trace gases whose application as groundwater age tracers have not been fully explored. Hydrofluorocarbons and hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HFCs and HCFCs) are among them.

USGS scientists have recently developed a high-sensitivity technique to measure two of these compounds (HCFC-22 and HFC-134a) in groundwater and the unsaturated zone.

The investigators found that, contrary to many simpler laboratory studies, these compounds can be degraded by bacteria in the environment. Consequently, both classes of compound (HFCs and HCFCs) are not likely to be useful for dating groundwater. Since they are depleted in the unsaturated zone, this reduction implies a weak environmental sink (a few percent or less) that has not been previously discussed.

The study by USGS hydrologists Haase, Busenberg, Plummer, Casile, and Sanford has been published in the journal Chemical Geology.

Learn more

Professional paper

USGS Groundwater Dating Lab

USGS Groundwater Information

Holidays The perfect time to recycle

DNREC News - Fri, 12/19/2014 - 10:17
DOVER (Dec. 19, 2014) – DNREC reminds Delawareans that holiday time is the right time to trim your “wasteline” while helping the environment – by recycling all those extra mail order boxes, gift-wrapped packages, tags and cards. It’s easier than ever to recycle these holiday items and more through Delaware’s Universal Recycling program, and keeping them out of the state’s landfills is a holiday gift to the earth.

FEMA Announces Launch of the Interim Office of the Flood Insurance Advocate

FEMA Press Releases - Thu, 12/18/2014 - 18:42

WASHINGTON –  The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Administrator Craig Fugate today announced the launch of the Interim Office of the Flood Insurance Advocate, led by the Acting Flood Insurance Advocate, David Stearrett. The Interim Flood Insurance Advocate office will stand up effective December 22, 2014.

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Categories: Federal News

Interior Department Announces Funding for Climate Change Studies

USGS Newsroom - Thu, 12/18/2014 - 13:18
Summary: U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell announced today that the Department of the Interior’s regional Climate Science Centers and the United States Geological Survey (USGS) National Climate Change and Wildlife Science Center are awarding nearly $6 million to universities and other partners for 50 new research projects to better prepare communities for impacts of climate change

Contact Information:

Arlene Compher ( Phone: 703-648-4282 );



WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell announced today that the Department of the Interior’s regional Climate Science Centers and the United States Geological Survey (USGS) National Climate Change and Wildlife Science Center are awarding nearly $6 million to universities and other partners for 50 new research projects to better prepare communities for impacts of climate change.

Highly Pathogenic H5 Avian Influenza Confirmed in Wild Birds in Washington State H5N2 Found in Northern Pintail Ducks & H5N8 Found in Captive Gyrfalcons

USGS Newsroom - Wed, 12/17/2014 - 12:58
Summary: WASHINGTON, Dec. 17, 2014 — The United States Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) confirmed the presence of highly pathogenic (HPAI) H5 avian influenza in wild birds in Whatcom County, Washington. Two separate virus strains were identified: HPAI H5N2 in northern pintail ducks and HPAI H5N8 in captive gyrfalcons that were fed hunter-killed wild birds. Neither virus has been found in commercial poultry anywhere in the United States and no human cases with these viruses have been detected in the United States, Canada or internationally. There is no immediate public health concern with either of these avian influenza viruses. Neither virus found in commercial poultry in U.S.; no public health concern at this time

Contact Information:

Marisa Lubeck, USGS ( Phone: 303-526-6694 ); Joelle Hayden, APHIS ( Phone: 301-851-4040 ); CDC Press ( Phone: 404-639-3286 );



WASHINGTON, Dec. 17, 2014 — The United States Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) confirmed the presence of highly pathogenic (HPAI) H5 avian influenza in wild birds in Whatcom County, Washington. Two separate virus strains were identified: HPAI H5N2 in northern pintail ducks and HPAI H5N8 in captive gyrfalcons that were fed hunter-killed wild birds. Neither virus has been found in commercial poultry anywhere in the United States and no human cases with these viruses have been detected in the United States, Canada or internationally. There is no immediate public health concern with either of these avian influenza viruses.

Both H5N2 and H5N8 viruses have been found in other parts of the world and have not caused any human infection to date. While neither virus has been found in commercial poultry, federal authorities with the U.S. Department of Agriculture also emphasize that poultry, poultry products and wild birds are safe to eat even if they carry the disease if they are properly handled and cooked to a temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

The finding in Whatcom County was reported and identified quickly due to increased surveillance for avian influenza in light of HPAI H5N2 avian influenza outbreaks in poultry affecting commercial poultry farms in British Columbia, Canada. The northern pintail duck samples were collected by officials from the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife following a waterfowl die-off at Wiser Lake, Washington, and were sent to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) National Wildlife Health Center for diagnostic evaluation and initial avian influenza testing. The U.S. Department of the Interior's USGS, which also conducts ongoing avian influenza testing of wild bird mortality events, identified the samples as presumptive positive for H5 avian influenza and sent them to USDA for confirmation. The gyrfalcon samples were collected after the falconer reported signs of illness in his birds.

Following existing avian influenza response plans, USDA is working with the U.S. Department of the Interior and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services as well as state partners on additional surveillance and testing of both commercial and wild birds in the nearby area.

Wild birds can be carriers of HPAI viruses without the birds appearing sick. People should avoid contact with sick/dead poultry or wildlife. If contact occurs, wash your hands with soap and water and change clothing before having any contact with healthy domestic poultry and birds.

HPAI would have significant economic impacts if detected in U.S. domestic poultry. Commercial poultry producers follow strict biosecurity practices and raise their birds in very controlled environments. Federal officials emphasize that all bird owners, whether commercial producers or backyard enthusiasts, should continue practicing good biosecurity. This includes preventing contact between your birds and wild birds, and reporting sick birds or unusual bird deaths to State/Federal officials, either through your state veterinarian or through USDA's toll-free number at 1-866-536-7593. Additional information on biosecurity for backyard flocks can be found at healthybirds.aphis.usda.gov.

CDC considers the risk to people from these HPAI H5 infections in wild birds to be low because (like H5N1) these viruses do not now infect humans easily, and even if a person is infected, the viruses do not spread easily to other people.

Avian influenza (AI) is caused by influenza type A viruses which are endemic in some wild birds (such as wild ducks and swans) which can infect poultry (such as chickens, turkeys, pheasants, quail, domestic ducks, geese and guinea fowl). AI viruses are classified by a combination of two groups of proteins: hemagglutinin or "H" proteins, of which there are 17 (H1–H17), and neuraminidase or "N" proteins, of which there are 10 (N1–N10). Many different combinations of "H" and "N" proteins are possible. Each combination is considered a different subtype, and can be further broken down into different strains. AI viruses are further classified by their pathogenicity—the ability of a particular virus to produce disease in domestic chickens.

For more information on avian influenza and wild birds, please visit the USGS National Wildlife Health Center. For other information visit the USDA avian influenza page and the USDA APHIS avian influenza page