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Water: Water Headlines

December 18, 2012

1) EPA Issues Memo Clarifying Permit Requirements for "Good Samaritans" at Orphan Mine Sites
2) EPA Releases National Water Program 2012 Strategy: Response to Climate Change
3) Success Spotlight: Muddy and McKinney Creeks in Wyoming


1) EPA Issues Memo Clarifying Permit Requirements for "Good Samaritans" at Orphan Mine Sites
On December 12, 2012, EPA issued a memorandum to its regional offices that encourages cleanup activities at hard rock abandoned mine sites. The memorandum is intended to reduce the perceived Clean Water Act legal vulnerability faced by "Good Samaritans" who want to clean up their communities. There are hundreds of thousands of abandoned mine sites across the nation and many pose serious health, safety, and environmental hazards. Many community organizations have been looking at opportunities to clean up these sites and EPA's memorandum clarifies that these "Good Samaritans," or non-liable parties, who volunteer to clean up these abandoned sites are generally not responsible for obtaining a permit under the Clean Water Act both during and following a successful cleanup. Click here for more information.

2) EPA Releases National Water Program 2012 Strategy: Response to Climate Change
EPA has released the "National Water Program 2012 Strategy: Response to Climate Change," which describes how EPA's water-related programs plan to address the impacts of climate change and provides long-term visions, goals and strategic actions for the management of sustainable water resources for future generations. The strategy, which builds upon EPA's first climate change and water strategy released in 2008, focuses on five key areas: infrastructure, watersheds and wetlands, coastal and ocean waters, water quality, and working with Tribes. It emphasizes working collaboratively with partners and stakeholders, developing information and tools, incorporating adaptation into core programs, and managing risks of impacts including from extreme weather events. The 2012 strategy also includes goals and strategic actions for EPA in 10 geographic climate regions. For more information, please visit http://www.epa.gov/water/climatechange.

3) Success Spotlight: Muddy and McKinney Creeks in Wyoming
EPA's Clean Water Act Section 319 Program provides funding for restoration of nonpoint source-impaired water bodies. This week's success spotlight shines on Muddy and McKinney Creeks in Wyoming. The Muddy Creek watershed contains highly erodible soils, and historically, livestock grazing practices have contributed to increasing erosion and excess sedimentation in the two creeks. As a result, in 1996, the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality added a portion of each creek to the state's list of impaired waters for habitat degradation. A diverse group of more than 30 stakeholders coordinated on best management practices, such as upland water development, cross fencing, revegetation, road improvements, prescribed burning, brush management, and improved grazing management. Water quality has improved, prompting the state to remove both segments from the its 2012 list of impaired waters. Click here for more information.

 


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