Following is a summary of key federal disaster aid programs that can be made available as needed and warranted under President Obama's disaster declaration issued for the State of Montana.
Assistance for State and Affected Local Governments Can Include as Required:Language English
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced that federal disaster aid has been made available to the State of Montana to supplement state and local recovery efforts in the area affected by ice jams and flooding during the period of March 1-16, 2014.Language English
Scientists studying produced waters and their geochemical and environmental impacts have a powerful new tool in the newly released USGS Produced Waters Geochemical Database. This database is publicly available to all scientists and interested members of the public.
Produced waters are those volumes of water that are typically recovered during oil and gas exploration, development, or production. This database is an update of the 2002 USGS Produced Waters Database, adding more than 100,000 new samples with greater spatial coverage and from both conventional and unconventional oil and gas development.
“This update of the database – with significantly more samples, types of analyses, and data from unconventional oil and gas wells – will be a tremendous tool for a number of stakeholders,” said USGS scientist Madalyn Blondes, who led the development of the database. “Industry can use the database to examine water quality for prospective plays and to plan for waste-water injection and recycling. Farmers can look up local produced water quality for possible remediation and reuse. Local and national resource managers and economists will have new data to aid in tracking the composition of trace elements and quantifying strategic mineral commodities.”
The USGS Produced Waters Geochemical Database has data on a comprehensive list of chemicals, including major elements, trace elements, isotopes, and time-series data. In addition, where available, each sample is identified according to what kind of well it was produced from, the properties of the rock formation it originated from, and the physical properties of the water in the sample.
The kind of well the sample originated from is important, as different well types involve different production methods and rock formations. The USGS Produced Waters Geochemical Database lists seven different well types: conventional oil and gas, shale gas, tight oil, tight gas, coal bed methane, geothermal, and groundwater.
The database is designed to be dynamic and easily updated with new data or corrections as needed. It is made up of 25 smaller databases, publications, and reports.
The Produced Waters project, as part of the USGS Energy Resources Program (ERP) examines the characterization, use, and impact of waters associated with oil and gas production.
The USGS Produced Waters Geochemical Database can be accessed here. To learn more about USGS produced waters and other energy research, please visit the USGS Energy Website, sign up for our Newsletter, or follow us on Twitter.
Screen shot of a mobile mapping service integrating USGS topographic data; hiking and biking trails south of Golden, Colo. (larger image)
Are you a developer, firm, or organization using mobile or web applications to enable your users? The USGS has publicly available geospatial services and data to help you!
The USGS’ National Geospatial Technical Operations Center (NGTOC) will be hosting a 30 minute Webinar on “Using The National Map services to enable your web and mobile mapping efforts” on the 30th of April at 9am Mountain Time.
This webinar will feature a brief overview of services, data, and products that are publicly available, a quick overview on how SingleTracks.com (http://www.singletracks.com/) a leading private firm is leveraging this public data to benefit their users, and a Question & Answer session with a USGS developer to help you get the most out of the national geospatial services.
“This is the first webinar from NGTOC to bring developers and users together for some demonstrations and starting some dialog”, said Brian Fox, the NGTOC Systems Development Branch Chief. “Using this webinar format, we can simultaneously improve the awareness of USGS geospatial services and develop a better understanding of what users and developers need to make our data and services more available and usable.”
To access the webinar, you’ll need to activate Adobe WebEx and call into the toll free conference number 855-547-8255 and use the security code: 33220038. The webinar will display through WebEx. Direct link: http://bit.ly/OhNDx5 or browse the selections for that date and time. The WebEx and audio bridge will be live 15 prior to the start time.
To ensure that you have the appropriate players installed for this WebEx enabled Webinar: https://usgs.webex.com/usgs/systemdiagnosis.php
A simultaneous closed caption option will be available at: http://recapd.com/w-a5791c. The session will also be recorded and posted to the webinar website shortly after conclusion.
To find out more about this webinar conference, go to: http://ngtoc.usgs.gov/webinars.html
Asociados locales, estatales y federales están trabajando de cerca e individualmente con los sobrevivientes del deslizamiento de tierra SR530 mientras continúan la recuperación en Washington
BOTHELL, Wash. – Asociados locales, estatales y federales continúan trabajando en persona con los sobrevivientes del deslizamiento de tierra de la carretera estatal 530 en Washington para asegurar que todos ellos reciban la asistencia por desastre para la cual ellos pudieran calificar.Language English
WASHINGTON — Today, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is announcing $112 million in funding available through two Hazard Mitigation Assistance (HMA) grant programs: Flood Mitigation Assistance (FMA) and Pre-Disaster Mitigation (PDM). These two grant programs assist state, local, tribal, and territorial governments in strengthening our nation’s ability to reduce the potential cost of natural disasters to communities and their citizens.Language English
CHICAGO – Spring in the Midwest brings the potential for severe weather, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is encouraging everyone to take steps now to ensure your family is prepared. Don’t forget to consider the safety of your finances before a severe storm threatensyour area.
“Don’t hinder your recovery if disaster strikes. Take the time now to ensure criticaldocuments are safely stored, valuables are adequately insured, and potential spending needs are planned for,” said Andrew Velasquez III, regional administrator, FEMA Region V.Language English
WASHINGTON. — Mercury has been discovered in fish in some of the most remote national park lakes and streams in the western United States and Alaska. Mercury levels in some fish exceeded U.S. Environmental Protection Agency health thresholds for potential impacts to fish, birds, and humans.
The information about mercury, and its appearance in protected areas considered to be relatively pristine and removed from environmental contaminants, is in a recently published scientific report from the U.S. Geological Survey and National Park Service.
The study of mercury in fish is the first of its kind to incorporate information from remote places at 21 national parks in 10 western states, including Alaska. Western parks were selected for this study because of the significant role that atmospheric mercury deposition plays in remote places, and the lack of broad-scale assessments on mercury in fish in remote areas of the west.
Mercury concentrations in fish sampled from these parks were generally low, but were elevated in some instances. This study examines total mercury in fish, of which 95 percent is in the form of methylmercury, the most dangerous form to human and wildlife health.
Mercury is harmful to human and wildlife health, and is among the most widespread contaminants in the world. It is distributed at a global scale from natural sources, such as volcanic eruptions and from human sources such as burning fossil fuels in power plants. Mercury is distributed at local or regional scales as a result of current and historic mining activities. These human activities have increased levels of atmospheric mercury at least three fold during the past 150 years.
“Although fish mercury concentrations were elevated in some sites, the majority of fish across the region had concentrations that were below most benchmarks associated with impaired health of fish, wildlife, and humans. However, the range of concentrations measured suggest that complex processes are involved in driving mercury accumulation in these environments and further research is needed to better understand these processes, and assess risk,” said USGS ecologist Collin Eagles-Smith, the lead author of the publication.
Between 2008 and 2012, NPS resource managers collected more than 1,400 fish from 86 lakes and rivers, and USGS scientists measured mercury concentrations in fish muscle tissue. Sixteen fish species were sampled, with a focus on commonly consumed sport fish found across the study area such as brook, rainbow, cutthroat, and lake trout. Smaller prey fish consumed by birds and wildlife were also sampled.
Scientists compared fish mercury concentrations among sites within an individual park, as well as from one park to other parks, and identified areas with elevated mercury levels. They also compared the mercury concentrations in the fish to a range of health benchmarks including human health guidelines established by the EPA for fish consumption, and wildlife risk thresholds that indicate the potential for toxicity and impairment in fish and fish-eating birds.
The authors found that mercury levels varied greatly, from park to park and among sites within each park. In most parks, mercury concentrations in fish were moderate to low in comparison with similar fish species from other locations in the Western states. Mercury concentrations were below EPA’s fish tissue criterion for safe human consumption in 96 percent of the sport fish sampled.
The average concentration of mercury in sport fish from two sites in two Alaskan parks exceeded EPA’s human health criterion. Mercury levels in individual fish at some parks from other states including California, Colorado, Washington, and Wyoming also exceeded the human health criterion.
Neither the USGS nor the NPS regulate environmental health guidelines. The NPS is coordinating with state officials in the 10 study states regarding potential fish consumption advisories. State fish consumption guidelines consider both the risks associated with mercury exposure and the benefits of fish consumption, such as improved cardiac health from increased omega-3 fatty acid consumption or potential reduced intake of unhealthy fats due to food substitutions. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, exposure to high levels of mercury in humans may cause damage to the brain, kidneys, and the developing fetus. Pregnant women and young children are particularly sensitive to the effects of mercury.
Mercury at elevated levels can also impact wildlife. High mercury concentrations in birds, mammals, and fish can result in reduced foraging efficiency, survival, and reproductive success. Mercury concentrations in fish exceeded the most conservative fish toxicity benchmark at 15 percent of all sites, and levels exceeded the most sensitive health benchmark for fish-eating birds at 52 percent of all sites.
Mercury threatens natural resources, including wildlife, which the NPS is mandated to protect. “This is a wake-up call,” said NPS ecologist Colleen Flanagan Pritz, a co-author of the report. “We need to see fewer contaminants in park ecosystems, especially contaminants like mercury where concentrations in fish challenge the very mission of the national parks to leave wild life unimpaired for future generations."
Funding for this study was provided by the NPS Air Resources Division, USGS Contaminants Biology Program within the Environmental Health Mission Area, the Ecosystems Mission Area to the USGS Forest and Rangeland Ecosystem Science Center, and with in-kind contributions from participating parks.
More information is available in the USGS Top Story "Mercury Finds a Way—Even into the Pristine National Parks."
LEETOWN, W.Va. — Great Lakes fish in the salmon family that rely on the fish “alewife” as part of their diet face a major obstacle in restoring naturally reproducing populations, according to new U.S. Geological Survey research published in the journal Fish and Shellfish Immunology.
For more than a decade researchers have been trying to unravel the mystery of why Lake Trout and other salmonids that consume alewife produce spawn that die young. Although researchers have recognized the connection between thiamine and the death of the young fish for a decade, the new study provides an additional clue; fish that survive the initial impact of thiamine deficiency are experiencing changes in immune function that resemble those occurring in humans with inflammatory diseases.
Early Mortality Syndrome, or EMS, results in embryonic mortality in salmon, steelhead trout, brown trout, lake trout, and Chinook salmon. The symptoms of EMS include loss of equilibrium, swimming in a spiral pattern, lethargy, hyper-excitability, hemorrhage and death, which occurs between hatching and first feeding.
“Vitamin B1, or Thiamine, is an essential nutrient that animals must obtain through their diet,” said Chris Ottinger, a USGS immunologist and lead author of the study. “We found that alewives, one of the main diets of many Great Lakes fish, contains an enzyme called “thiaminase” that destroys the thiamine in fish that consume them. The lack of B1 leads to Early Mortality Syndrome as well as the newly reported immune dysfunctions that may be perpetuating infectious diseases in this fish community.”
Alewives were introduced to the Great Lakes as food fish for the species such as lake trout and the introduced Pacific salmon.
“There is some debate as to whether the thiaminase that is obtained through the consumption of the alewives is coming directly from the fish or from bacteria associated with the fish,” said Ottinger. “Either way the fish that eats the alewives becomes thiamine deficient through the destruction of the thiamine they obtain in their diet resulting in EMS as well the immune dysfunctions we have demonstrated.”
Thiamine is essential for energy production in cells, normal nerve function and also is an antioxidant. Other dysfunctions associated with Great Lakes salmonids consumption of alewives include changes in behavior and reduced ability to capture prey.
"In vitro immune function in thiamine-replete and-depleted lake trout (Salvelinus namaycush)" is available online in the journal Fish & Shellfish Immunology by C. A. Ottinger, D. C. Honeyfield, C. L. Densmorea, and L. R. Iwanowicz.
WASHINGTON - The U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is pleased to announce that the application period for the 2014 Individual and Community Preparedness Awards is now open.
The awards highlight innovative local practices and achievements by recognizing individuals and organizations that have made outstanding contributions toward making their communities safer, stronger, better prepared, and more resilient.Language English
ARLINGTON, Wash. – As the search operation continues, the area where specialized canine search teams and Urban Search and Rescue (US&R) Task Forces are seeking to recover SR530 Slide fatalities grows smaller. Considering the progress that has been accomplished, officials have made the decision to release California Task Force 7 (CA-TF7) as early as Monday, April 14, 2014. Washington Task Force 1 and search canines will remain onsite on the eastern side of the slide as the search continues.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 disaster declaration issued for the State of Tennessee.
Assistance for State and Affected Local Governments Can Include as Required:Language English
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 Tennessee to supplement state and local recovery efforts in the area affected by a severe winter storm during the period of March 2-4, 2014.Language English
FEMA Awards $121,323 Grant to City of Scandia: Hazard Mitigation Grant Program funds will be used to construct tornado safe rooms
CHICAGO – The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has released $121,323 in Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) funds to the city of Scandia Minn., for the construction of two safe rooms at Oakhill Neighborhood Cottages in Washington County.Language English
FEMA Awards $80,795 to Stearns County: Hazard Mitigation Grant Program funds will be used to construct a tornado safe room
CHICAGO – The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has released $80,795 in Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) funds to Stearns County Minn., for the construction of a safe room at Melrose Mobile Home Park.Language English