DNREC issues order requiring Homalite to stop unsafe storage practices of extremely hazardous chemical
ANCHORAGE, Alaska – As survivors of Alaska’s 2013 Spring Floods continue the process of rebuilding their lives and property, there is an issue many could face: “substantial damage,” as defined by the National Flood Insurance Program.
It’s common to think substantially damaged merely describes a structure that has sustained a large amount of damage by a flood or any other source such as fire, tornado or earthquake.Language English
Real-time Monitoring Pays Off for Tracking Nitrate Pulse in Mississippi River Basin to the Gulf of Mexico
Cutting edge optical sensor technology is being used in the Mississippi River basin to more accurately track the nitrate pulse from small streams, large tributaries and ultimately to the Gulf of Mexico.
Excessive springtime nitrate runoff from agricultural land and other sources in the Mississippi drainage eventually flows into the Mississippi River. Downstream, this excess nitrate contributes to the Gulf of Mexico hypoxic zone, an area with low oxygen known commonly as the "dead zone." NOAA-supported researchers reported that the summer 2013 dead zone covered about 5,840 square miles, an area the size of Connecticut.
These optical sensors measure and transmit nitrate data every 15 minutes to 3 hours and are located at the mouth of the Mississippi River near Baton Rouge, LA, and at several large tributaries to the Mississippi River—including the Missouri River at Hermann, MO; Ohio River at Olmsted, IL; Ohio, Illinois River at Florence, IL; and Iowa River at Wapello, IA – to track how nitrate concentrations from different areas of the watershed pulse in response to rainfall and seasons.This graph shows the pulsing of the nitrate concentration of the Misssissippi River at Baton Rouge, LA, along with the streamflow at the same point, from November 2011 to August 2013.
About 622 million pounds of nitrogen were transported in May and June of 2013 at the Mississippi River Baton Rouge station, said Brian Pellerin, USGS research hydrologist. "This is roughly equivalent to the amount of fertilizer nitrogen applied annually to about 4 million acres of corn."
Nitrate sensors in Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Nebraska, Kansas, Wisconsin, Missouri, and Arkansas provide new insights for researchers into the storage and transport of nitrate from headwaters to the Gulf of Mexico.
"Real-time information will improve our ability to measure the effectiveness of management actions by allowing us to track the movement and quantity of nitrate delivered from small streams all the way to the Gulf Coast," said Lori Caramanian, the Department of the Interior’s Deputy Assistant Secretary for Water and Science. "These sensors will give us an unprecedented level of precision in tracing the origins of excessive nitrate, and will be a valuable tool in tracking progress toward the goal of reducing the size of the dead zone."
Real-time nitrate monitoring in Iowa is being used by drinking water utilities to determine when to switch on nitrate-removal systems or when to mix water with multiple sources that have lower concentrations. Both actions result in higher costs for drinking water. "Real-time nitrate concentrations in the Raccoon River at Van Meter, Iowa, peaked at 20.7 milligrams per liter in May 2013. This is more than double the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s maximum contaminant level for drinking water," said Kevin Richards, Director of the USGS Iowa Water Science Center.
The USGS, in cooperation with numerous local, state, and other federal agencies, currently operates over 52 real-time nitrate sensors across the Nation, of which 36 are in the Mississippi River Basin. These data are available at USGS Water-Quality Watch. Real-time nitrate monitoring is supported by the USGS National Stream Quality Accounting Network, Cooperative Water Program, and the National Water-Quality Assessment Program.
The USGS also continuously monitors water levels and streamflows at thousands of the nation's streams on a real-time basis. These data are available at USGS Current Streamflow Conditions.
DNREC Fish and Wildlife announces Sportsmen Against Hunger deer donation coolers ready for 2013-2014 season
Print, online versions of new hunting maps for state wildlife areas available now for 2013-2014 seasons
Send your best summer and fall shots of anglers to the Division of Fish and Wildlife’s Fishing Photo Contest
LINCROFT, N.J. -- Disaster assistance to New Jersey survivors of Superstorm Sandy by the numbers as of August 19:
Total Federal Assistance: $5.5 billionLanguage English
AURORA, IL—For many affected by the severe weather and flooding of this past spring in Illinois, recovery is well underway or complete. But others will need additional support to recover. When needs exceed federal resources, voluntary agencies step up to the plate. These nonprofit, faith and community based organizations arrive before FEMA does and remain long after FEMA’s mission ends.Language English
Plans for remapping parts of the East Coast where Hurricane Sandy altered seafloors and shorelines, destroyed buildings, and disrupted millions of lives last year are being announced today by three federal agencies. This remapping plan comes one day after the Administration's Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force progress report.
The USGS, NOAA, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers are using emergency supplemental funds provided by Congress to survey coastal waters and shorelines, acquiring data that will update East Coast land maps and nautical charts.
Using ships, aircraft, and satellites, the agencies will measure water depths, look for submerged debris, and record altered shorelines in high priority areas from South Carolina to Maine, as stipulated by Congress in the Disaster Relief Appropriations Act of 2013. The areas to be remapped will be based on their relative dangers to navigation, effects from the storm, and discussions with state and local officials as well as the maritime industry.
"Our approach is to map once, then use the data for many purposes," said NOAA Rear Admiral Gerd Glang, director of NOAA’s Office of Coast Survey. "Under the Ocean and Coastal Mapping Integration Act, NOAA and its federal partners are taking a 'whole ocean' approach to get as much useful information as possible from every dollar invested to help states build more resilient coastlines."
Preliminary U.S. damage estimates are near $50 billion, making Sandy the second-costliest cyclone to hit the United States since 1900. There were at least 147 direct deaths recorded across the Atlantic basin due to Sandy, with 72 of these fatalities occurring in the mid-Atlantic and northeastern United States. This is the greatest number of U.S. direct fatalities related to a tropical cyclone outside of the southern states since Hurricane Agnes in 1972.
"The human deaths and the powerful landscape-altering destruction caused by Hurricane Sandy are a stark reminder that our nation must become more resilient to coastal hazards," said Kevin Gallagher, associate director for Core Science Systems at USGS. "Sandy's most fundamental lesson is that storm vulnerability is a direct consequence of the elevation of coastal communities in relation to storm waves. Communities will benefit greatly from the higher resolution and accuracy of new elevation information to better prepare for storm impacts, develop response strategies, and design resilient and cost-efficient post-storm redevelopment."
The USGS will collect very high-resolution elevation data to support scientific studies related to the hurricane recovery and rebuilding activities, watershed planning and resource management. USGS will collect data in coastal and inland areas depending on their hurricane damages and the age and quality of existing data. The elevation data will become part of a new initiative, called the 3D Elevation Program, to systematically acquire improved, high-resolution elevation data across the United States.
The data acquired by the three agencies, much of which will be stored at NOAA's National Geophysical Data Center, and through NOAA's Digital Coast, will be open to local, state, and federal agencies as well as academia and the general public. The information can be applied to updating nautical charts, removing marine debris, replenishing beaches, making repairs, and planning for future storms and coastal resilience.
The three federal agencies are collaborating for greater topographic and hydrographic coverage and to promote efficiency. Earlier this year, a NOAA navigation response team surveyed the waters around Liberty Island and Ellis Island in New York harbor, measuring water depths and searching for debris that could cause a danger to navigation. Also, NOAA Ship Thomas Jefferson began surveying the approaches to the Delaware Bay in June.
NOAA plans to contract with commercial firms for additional hydrographic survey projects and high resolution topographic and bathymetric elevation data and imagery in the region.
The Army Corps of Engineers and its Joint Airborne Lidar Bathymetry Technical Center of Expertise are covering particular project areas in Massachusetts, Virginia, and New Jersey. They will coordinate operations, research, and development in airborne lidar bathymetry and complementary technologies for USACE, NOAA, and the U.S. Navy.
WILLISTON, Vt. – As the Federal Emergency Management Agency marks more than two years in Vermont assisting disaster survivors, its staff are working to help fight hunger in the state as well.
The fifth annual Feds Feed Families campaign is a national project of federal employees who help collect food and non-perishable items for those in need, and this year FEMA employees in Vermont are helping to replenish the shelves of the Vermont Foodbank.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has authorized the use of federal funds to help with firefighting costs for the Government Flats Fire Complex, burning in Wasco County, Oregon.
FEMA Region X Administrator Kenneth D. Murphy approved the state’s request for a federal Fire Management Assistance Grant (FMAG) on August 18, 2013 at 9:17 PM EDT.Language English
ANCHORAGE, Alaska – Yukon River 2013 flood survivors who had disaster-related damages have until midnight Aug. 26, 2013, to register with the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
“Registering with FEMA is essential, even if survivors have already registered with the State,” said State Coordinating Officer Bryan Fisher.Language English