SETAC MultiBrief
Aug. 20, 2015

US boosts efforts to prevent Lake Erie algae blooms
The Detroit News
The U.S. Agriculture Department is awarding $5 million to help farmers stop harmful algae blooms from forming and expanding in Lake Erie. The funding, provided through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program, will help farmers in Michigan, Ohio and Indiana take steps to help prevent phosphorus and nitrogen runoff into the Western Lake Erie Basin. This announcement comes two weeks after Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Lansing, sent a letter to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack asking him to boost efforts to address these blooms and help improve water quality in the watershed.More

Inspiring outdoor stewards
slcGreen Blog
Salt Lake City was selected as one of the first 50 cities to participate in a nationwide movement to inspire and encourage young people to experience the outdoors. U.S. Department of the Interior Secretary Sally Jewell joined Mayor Ralph Becker, Vice President and General Manager of American Express Salt Lake City Victor Ingalls, and President and CEO of the YMCA of Northern Utah Rich West to announce grants totaling $258,653 to organizations throughout Utah, including the Utah Conservation Corps, Grand Staircase Escalante Partners, River Restoration Adventures for Tomorrow and American Conservation Experience. More

Study: Fracking in the Delaware River Basin would threaten health of 45,000
Climate Progress
Encompassing the longest free-flowing river in the eastern United States, the Delaware River Basin also happens to sit partially on top of the Marcellus Shale, the second largest gas field in the world. To date, a moratorium put in place by the Delaware River Basin Commission has kept gas companies out of the Delaware River Basin — but environmental groups worry that without a permanent ban, the basin could be opened to fracking at a moment's notice. More

Editorial: Spill into river shows EPA still has vital role
Las Cruces Sun-News
It's outrageous that crews working for the federal Environmental Protection Agency carelessly unleashed three million gallons of toxic sludge from an abandoned mine in Colorado. EPA officials, led by Administrator Gina McCarthy, must keep their promises to effectively repair the damage done by the hazardous spill and to fairly compensate landowners and others affected by it.More

Leaders back drinking water act
The Blade
A bill President Barack Obama signed into law will further assist with efforts to fend off western Lake Erie algae in 2016, U.S. Rep. Bob Latta, R-Bowling Green, and Ohio's two U.S. senators said in a conference call. Called the Drinking Water Protection Act, the bill compels the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to report to Congress with a strategic plan for addressing harmful algal blooms within 90 days.More

CWRU study: Road salt causes odd growth spurts, early mortality in NE Ohio frogs
The corrosive properties of road salt are apparent all around us, illustrated by the number of rusty automobiles rumbling by with noisy and leaky exhaust systems. Less is known, however, about the harm caused by road salt to the environment and the vulnerable and delicate wildlife that inhabits our surroundings.More

Methane-eating microbes may mitigate arctic emissions
Scientific American
The Arctic is warming twice as fast as the rest of the planet, on average. And as permafrost becomes, well, not so perma, microbes are warming up, feasting on organic compounds in the thawed soil. The microbes then belch methane — a potent greenhouse gas. Meaning that the warming Arctic could become a big source of carbon pollution. More

The problem with (self-regulated) environmental assessments
As capital investment in B.C.'s natural resource sector grows, the role of environmental assessments has become critical to a project's viability. A negative assessment can mean the death of a development worth billions. But with the feds now promoting a self-regulating, self-reporting model of assessment, many worry that the environment — and the public interest — is being compromised for the sake of the almighty dollar. More