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  • 06 Sep 2016 11:36 AM | Jody Arthur (Administrator)

    On August 6, 2016, the National Association of Manufacturers petitioned the United States Supreme Court for a writ of certiorari -- an order for the lower court to deliver its records in a case so that they may be reviewed by the higher court. At issue is whether the judgment of the Sixth Circuit that it, not the district courts, has jurisdiction to decide challenges on the “waters if the United States” rule (“WOTUS Rule”). 

    The petition can be found here:

  • 10 May 2016 1:46 PM | Jody Arthur (Administrator)

    ST. LOUIS, April 26, 2016 –The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced the availability of $2 million to help farmers install edge-of-field stations that monitor water quality as it leaves their fields, providing data to evaluate the success of various conservation efforts. The funding is available to farmers located across key watersheds in nine states and is part of USDA’s ongoing commitment to measure the effectiveness of a wide range of conservation initiatives.

    “Testing the quality of water as it leaves a field helps farmers and USDA understand which conservation practices work best at preventing sediment and nutrient runoff. Verifiable data gives farmers, USDA and other partners information needed to make targeted conservation investments to improve water quality for everyone,” said USDA’s Deputy Under Secretary for Natural Resources and Environment Ann Mills....

    For the full article, please go here:

  • 08 Feb 2016 9:27 AM | Jody Arthur (Administrator)

    A great article in the New York Times featuring Indiana farmers and illustrating the benefits of cover cropping for both producers and the environment. Read it here!


  • 09 Oct 2015 4:21 PM | Jody Arthur (Administrator)

    Source: Reuters

    On Friday, October 9, the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals issued an order temporarily blocking the implementation of a federal water rule across the country. This rule, commonly call the "Clean Water Rule" or the "Waters of the U.S. Rule" was finalized by the U.S. EPA and Army Corps of Engineers in May and is intended to clarify which water bodies are covered by the Clean Water Act. You can read more about the decision and the continued political opposition to the rule here

  • 04 Sep 2015 12:17 PM | Jody Arthur (Administrator)
    Source: The FlyerGroup

    Conservation-minded farmers in the School Branch watershed near Indianapolis, Ind. are participating in an unprecedented monitoring collaboration with federal, state, local, and academic entities to show lawmakers and the public the environmental benefits of conservation practices.

    Read more about it here!

  • 03 Sep 2015 11:23 AM | Jody Arthur (Administrator)

    From PhysOrg

    A University of Wyoming professor has made a discovery that answers a nearly 100-year-old question about water movement, with implications for agriculture, hydrology, climate science and other fields.

    Read more at:

  • 31 Aug 2015 9:09 AM | Jody Arthur (Administrator)

    From the Associated Press: 

    A federal judge in North Dakota on Thursday blocked a new Obama administration rule that would give the federal government jurisdiction over some smaller waterways just hours before it was set to go into effect.

    See entire article

  • 30 Jul 2015 1:20 PM | Jody Arthur (Administrator)

    Reprinted from USGS release.

    A new USGS online tool provides graphical summaries of nutrients and sediment levels in rivers and streams across the Nation.

    The online tool can be used to compare recent water-quality conditions to long-term conditions (1993-2014), download water-quality datasets (streamflow, concentrations, and loads), and evaluate nutrient loading to coastal areas and large tributaries throughout the Mississippi River Basin.

    Graphical summaries of nutrients and sediment are available for 106 river and stream sites monitored as part of the USGS National Water-Quality Network for Rivers and Streams."Clean water is essential for public water supplies, fisheries, and recreation. It's vital to our health and economy,” said William Werkheiser, USGS associate director for water. “This annual release of water quality information in graphical form will provide resource managers with timely information on the quality of water in our rivers and streams and how it is changing over time.”

    This tool was developed by the USGS National Water-Quality Assessment Program, which conducts regional and national assessments of the nation’s water quality to provide an understanding of water-quality conditions, whether conditions are getting better or worse over time, and how natural processes and human activities affect those conditions.

  • 17 Jul 2015 9:55 AM | Jody Arthur (Administrator)

    Re-posted with permission from Northeast-Midwest Institute.  For more information, contact Mark Gorman, Policy Analyst.

    A 60-page ruling issued last Monday (July 6) by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit in American Farm Bureau Federation, et al., v. EPA has implications beyond the Chesapeake Bay watershed to which it applies. The case stems from the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA's) 2010 Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Load (or TMDL) requirement that states meet nutrient runoff reduction goals from agricultural and other sources by certain dates. That TMDL and a resulting 2011 lawsuit by the American Farm Bureau Federation, National Association of Home Builders and seven other co-appellants have drawn national attention, as groups on both sides of the issue saw the potential for the EPA to utilize a similar regulatory approach to water pollution elsewhere across the country. The EPA TMDL specifically calls for reductions of 25% in nitrogen, 24% in phosphorus, and 20% in sediment loading to the Bay by 2025.

    A three-judge Third Circuit panel found that the TMDL process appropriately created a flexible framework designed to meet pollution targets on a large watershed scale. The Court struck down each of the appellants' claims, importantly ruling that the TMDL did not usurp states' rights, or dictate local zoning and land use.

    In the near-term the appellants may decide to seek an en banc review of the Third Circuit decision or to petition the U.S. Supreme Court to consider the case. Beyond those actions, the ruling would appear to strengthen the Des Moines Water Works' position in the water utility's lawsuit against upstream tile drainage districts over nitrogen pollution from non-point agricultural sources in Iowa's Raccoon River. The ruling could also provide an impetus for additional lawsuits against producers, landowners and other parties over non-point agricultural runoff into surface waters.

    You can find a fuller discussion of this decision on the Northeast-Midwest Institute’s Mississippi River Basin Blog

  • 10 Jul 2015 9:20 AM | Jody Arthur (Administrator)

    House Enrolled Act 1185, which bans the sale or production of products containing plastic microbeads and takes effect in July 2015. Read more about this emerging water quality problem and Indiana's efforts to eliminate it in this article in the Sandusky Register. 

    More about the law can be found in the April 30, 2015 press release announcing its passage. 

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