Category Archives: Non-Virginia

Stream Restoration Workshop Series to be held Apr.-Sept. 2015 by North Carolina State University

From April through September 2015, North Carolina State University’s Stream Restoration Program will hold a series of workshops covering a wide range of topics related to streams and their restoration, including channel morphology and design, vegetation, aquatic insects, hydraulics, pollution, and ecology.  Continuing-education credits are available for professional engineers, land surveyors, landscape architects and foresters.

The workshop schedule is as follows:
Apr. 1-3, Asheville: RC 101: Stream Morphology & Assessment.
May 6-8, Asheville: RC 201: Natural Channel Design Principles.
May 12-14, Raleigh, Goldsboro, and Beaufort: RC 522: Coastal Plain Tour & Evaluation.
Jun. 1-2, Banner Elk: RC 131: Assessment & Identification of Riparian Vegetation.
Jul. 8-10, Raleigh: RC 302: Hydraulic Modeling for Stream Restoration.
Sep. 15-17, Asheville: RC 161: Taxonomy & Pollution Ecology of Aquatic Insects.

For more information, click on the individual links above or go to http://www.ncsu.edu/srp/rivercourse.html; or contact Cathy Smith at (919) 515-6780 or cathy_smith@ncsu.edu.

Information for this post was provided by the Virginia Water Monitoring Council (VWMC).  More information about the VWMC is available online at http://www.vwmc.vwrrc.vt.edu/.

Oil-train Derailment on February 16, 2015, along Kanawha River in Mount Carbon, West Va.: Summary, Information Sources, and News Accounts

On February 16, 2015, 27 cars in a 109-car (two locomotives and 107 tanker cars), CSX oil-transport train derailed along the Kanawha River near Mount Carbon, West Virginia.  The train was carrying oil from the Bakken shale area of North Dakota to Yorktown, Va.  According to a Feb. 18, news release from the U.S. Coast Guard, 27 cars derailed, 19 cars were involved in fires, and no cars entered the Kanawha (although early news reports indicated that one tanker car had fallen into the river).  Much of the oil ignited immediately (and was still burning as of Feb. 18), but some was suspected of reaching the ground or a nearby tributary to the Kanawha.  Accordingly, responders placed containment booms and began monitoring along the Kanawha and the tributary.

The Coast Guard’s February 18 news release reported that a “unified command” had been established to respond to the incident, consisting of the Coast Guard, the U.S. Department of Transportation, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, CSX, the West Virginia departments of Environmental Protection and Military Affairs & Public Safety, the National Guard, and local agencies.

Ongoing Sources of Information
U.S. Coast Guard News Releases, online at http://www.uscgnews.com/go/doctype/4007/117415/News-Releases

CSX Corporation News Releases, online at http://www.csx.com/index.cfm/media/press-releases/

West Virginia Governor’s Office news releases, online at http://www.governor.wv.gov/media/pressreleases/Pages/default.aspx

National Transportation Safety Board “Investigations” Web page, https://www.ntsb.gov/investigations/index.html (no information had been posted on this incident as of 2/19/15, but this will be the place to find that information if and when NTSB begins an investigation).

News accounts and news releases since 2/16/15
(listed from most recent to oldest)

Train wreck raises specter of Richmond evacuations, Style Weekly [Richmond, Va.], 2/17/15.

Unified Command established for West Virginia Train Derailment; Response continues, U.S. Coast Guard News Release, 2/18/15

NTSB Gathering Information on CSX Crude Oil Train Derailment in West Virginia, National Transportation Safety Board News Release, 2/17/15

Spilled Oil Keeps Flames Burning After a Train Derailment in West Virginia, New York Times, 2/17/15

Once again, a crude oil train derails, burns on its way to Yorktown terminal, Richmond Times-Dispatch, 2/17/15

West Virginia train derailment sends oil tanker into river, Associated Press, as published by Washington Post, 2/16/15

Crude oil train derails in Fayette County, WV, Charleston [West Va.] Daily Mail, 2/16/15.

2014 Had Highest Average Global Temperature in Modern Record, According to NASA and NOAA Analyses Announced in January 2015

On January 16, 2015, NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) announced that separate analyses by scientists at the two agencies determined that 2014 had the highest average global temperature since 1880, the period of instrumental record.  The result means that the 10 warmest years in that historical record have occurred since 1998.  Both agencies based their analyses on measurements from about 6,300 weather stations, ship- and buoy-based observations of sea surface temperatures, and temperature measurements from Antarctic research stations to estimate the global average temperature difference from a baseline period of 1951 to 1980.  According to NASA’s news release, “[s]ince 1880, Earth’s average surface temperature has warmed by about 1.4 degrees Fahrenheit (0.8 degrees Celsius), a trend that is largely driven by the increase in carbon dioxide and other human emissions into the planet’s atmosphere.  The majority of that warming has occurred in the past three decades.”

The data set of 2014 surface temperature measurements is available online http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/.  NASA’s Web site for earth science is http://www.nasa.gov/earthrightnow/#.VMpnEi7jVMU.  NOAA’s Web site is http://www.noaa.gov/.

Source: NASA, NOAA Find 2014 Warmest Year in Modern Record, NASA News Release, 1/16/15.

High-volume Hydraulic Fracturing for Shale Gas to be Banned in New York State following Department of Health Report Released Dec. 17, 2014

On December 17, 2014, the New York State Department of Health (DOH) announced that it was recommending that the state not allow high-volume hydraulic fracturing (also called “fracking”) for natural gas in shale formations.  The DOH had been asked in 2012 by state Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Joe Martens to review of a draft environmental impact statement for high-volume hydraulic fracturing in the Empire State.  After receiving the DOH report, DEC Commissioner Martens stated that he intends to issue a findings statement that would prohibit the practice in New York State at this time.

Source: New York State Department of Health Completes Review of High-volume Hydraulic Fracturing; Acting DOH Commissioner Zucker Recommends Activity Should Not Move Forward in New York State; DEC Commissioner Martens Will Issue a Findings Statement Early Next Year to Prohibit High-Volume Hydraulic Fracturing, New York State Department of Health News Release, 12/17/14.

A Water Conference Sampler from around the United States and Canada – 12/24/14 Edition; updated 3/5/15

Here are some water  and water-related meetings in the United States, Canada, and Mexico in coming months.  This list is updated as the Virginia Water Resources Research Center learns of new events and a new version is re-posted quarterly.  If you would like an event added, please send basic information (date, location, event title, event organizer, Web site, and contact information) to water@vt.edu with subject line: For Water Central Editor.  This post is for non-Virginia events; for water meetings and other events in the Old Dominion, please see the Virginia Water Resources Research Center’s online Quick Guide to Virginia Water Events.

Some of this information was provided by the Virginia Water Monitoring Council (VWMC).  For more information on the VWMC, please visit http://www.vwmc.vwrrc.vt.edu/.

Mar. 15-17, 2015, Chapel Hill, N.C.: Nexus 2015: Water, Food, Climate and Energy Conference. Organized by the University of North Carolina (UNC) Water Institute.  More information: http://nexus.unc.edu/.

Mar. 15-18, 2015, Portland, Ore.: Sustainable Water Management Conference.  Organized by the American Water Works Association.  More information: http://www.awwa.org/conferences-education/conferences/sustainable-water-management.aspx.

Mar. 16-18, 2015, San Antonio, Tex.: NGWA Groundwater Summit 2015.  Organized by the National Groundwater Association (NGWA).  More information: http://www.groundwatersummit.org/; (800) 551-7379 or ngwa@ngwa.org.

Mar. 18-19, 2015, Raleigh, N.C.: Annual Conference of the Water Resources Research Institute of the University of North Carolina.  More information: http://www.ncsu.edu/wrri/code/events/annualconference.htm.

Mar. 19, 2015, Lincoln, Neb.: High Plains Aquifer: Sustainability for Food Production and Water Supply.  Annual symposium of the Nebraska Water Center.  More information: http://watercenter.unl.edu/Symposium2015/index.asp; (402) 472-3305; pliedle@nebraska.edu.

Mar. 20, 2015, Lincoln, Neb.: Annual Nebraska Water Law Conference.  Organized by the Nebraska Water Center and the University of Nebraska  College of Law.  More information: http://watercenter.unl.edu/WaterLawConf2015/index.asp; (402) 472-3305; waterinfo@unl.edu.

Mar. 30-Apr. 1, 2015, Los Angeles, Calif.: Water for Urban Areas: Managing Risks and Building Resiliency.  Spring specialty conference by the American Water Resources Association (AWRA).  More information: http://www.awra.org/meetings/LosAngeles2015/; or contact AWRA (headquartered in Middleburg, Va.) at (540) 687-8390 or info@awra.org.

Mar. 30-Apr. 2, 2015, Austin, Tex.: National Hurricane Conference.  More information: http://hurricanemeeting.com/.

Mar. 30-Apr. 2, 2015, North Charleston, S.C.: Coastal Geotools.  Biennial conference on geospatial tools, technology, and information for managers of coastal resources.  Organized by the Association of State Floodplain Managers (http://www.floods.org/).  More information: http://coastalgeotools.org/; info@coastalgeotools.org.

April through September 2015: Workshops by North Carolina State University Stream Restoration Program.  For more information click on the individual links below or go to http://www.ncsu.edu/srp/rivercourse.html; or contact Cathy Smith at (919) 515-6780 or cathy_smith@ncsu.edu.
Apr. 1-3, Asheville: RC 101: Stream Morphology & Assessment.
May 6-8, Asheville: RC 201: Natural Channel Design Principles.
May 12-14, Raleigh, Goldsboro, and Beaufort: RC 522: Coastal Plain Tour & Evaluation.
Jun. 1-2, Banner Elk: RC 131: Assessment & Identification of Riparian Vegetation.
Jul. 8-10, Raleigh: RC 302: Hydraulic Modeling for Stream Restoration.
Sep. 15-17, Asheville: RC 161: Taxonomy & Pollution Ecology of Aquatic Insects.

Apr. 13-15, 2015, Washington, D.C.: National Environmental Policy Forum.  Organized by the National Association of Clean Water Agencies, Water Environment Federation, and Water Environment Research Foundation.  More information: http://www.nacwa.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=7&Itemid=4.

Apr. 15, 2015, Rapid City, S.D.: 2015 Western South Dakota Hydrology Meeting.  This year’s theme is “Reliability, Vulnerability, and Resiliency.”  Organized by the U.S. Geological Survey’s South Dakota Water Science Center and several partners.  More information: http://sd.water.usgs.gov/WSDconf/; Janet Carter, (605) 394-3215 or jmcarter@usgs.gov.

Apr. 19-21, 2015, Newport, R.I.: Northeast Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies Annual Conference.  More information:  http://www.neafwa.org/.

Apr. 20-22, 2015, Washington, D.C.: National Symposium on Market Transformation.  Organized by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy.  More information: http://www.aceee.org/conferences/2015/mt.

Apr. 29-30, 2015, Philadelphia, Penn.: Wet Weather Consent Decree Workshop.  Organized by the National Association of Clean Water Agencies.  More information: http://www.nacwa.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=2140&Itemid=610.

May 6, 2015, State College, Penn.:  2015 Pennsylvania Groundwater Symposium.  This year’s theme is “An Unconventional Look at PA Groundwater.”  Organized by Penn State Extension and the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection.  More information: http://www.cvent.com/events/pennsylvania-groundwater-symposium/event-summary-7f0179d905604e529c082002cc0f4522.aspx.

May 17-21, 2015, Austin, Tex.: World Environmental and Water Resources Congress.  Organized by the American Society of Civil Engineers.  More information: http://www.ewricongress.org; (800) 548-2723.

May 19-20, 2015, Harrisburg, Penn:: Annual conference of the Choose Clean Water Coalition (a group of some 200 organizations in the Chesapeake Bay watershed; based in Annapolis, Md.).  More information: http://choosecleanwater.org/our-conference/may-19-20-2015/; (443) 759-3407; info@choosecleanwater.org.

Jun. 15-17, 2015, New Orleans, La.: Climate Change Adaptation.  Summer specialty conference by the American Water Resources Association (AWRA).  More information: http://www.awra.org/meetings/NewOrleans2015/; or contact AWRA (headquartered in Middleburg, Va.) at (540) 687-8390 or info@awra.org.

Jun. 16-18, 2015, Las Vegas, Nev.: Water is Not for Gambling: Utilizing Science to Reduce Uncertainty.  Annual conference of the Universities Council on Water Resources (UCOWR), the National Institutes for Water Resources (NIWR), and the Consortium of Universities for the Advancement of Hydrologic Science, Inc. (CUAHSI).  More information: http://ucowr.org/conferences/2015-conference; or contact UCOWR at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, (618) 536-7571 or ucowr@siu.edu.

Aug. 5-7, 2015, Wenatachee, Wash.: Watershed Management Conference.  Organized by the American Society of Civil Engineers.  More information: http://watershedmanagementconference.org; (800) 548-2723.

Sep. 24-26, 2015, National Conservation Training Center, Shepherdstown, W. Va.: Chesapeake Watershed Forum.  Organized by the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay.  More information: https://allianceforthebay.org/our-work/engaging-local-communities/chesapeake-watershed-forum/; (804) 775-0951 (Virginia office) or contact@allianceforthebay.org.

Nov. 16-19, 2015, Denver, Colorado: 2015 American Water Resources Association (AWRA) Annual Conference.  More information: http://www.awra.org/index.html.

Groundwater Use and Depletion in Major Food-Producing Areas are Focus of “60 Minutes” Story in November 2014

On November 16, 2014, CBS News’ “60 Minutes” program aired “Depleting the Water,” a 13 min./55 sec. segment on groundwater use and depletion in major agricultural areas around the world, including California.  The segment highlights the use of an experimental NASA program called GRACE (Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment), which uses two satellites to detect changes in gravitational pull on the satellites resulting from groundwater-level changes on earth.  The segment’s video, transcript, and additional information are available online at http://www.cbsnews.com/news/depleting-the-water/.

Hydraulic Fracturing for Gas and Oil was on the Ballot in Eight Localities in November 2014 Election

On November 5, 2014, three localities in California, four in Ohio, and one in Texas were the latest to consider proposed local limits on the practice of hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” to recover natural gas or oil from rock formations.  In California, voters in the counties of Mendocino and San Benito voted to ban fracking, while voters in Santa Barbara County voted against a fracking prohibition.  In Ohio, voters in the city of Youngstown and the towns of Gates Mill and Kent voted against fracking prohibitions, while voters in the city of Athens approved a fracking ban.  In Texas, voters in the city of Denton approved a fracking ban.  The votes took place in the context of differences among the areas in local and state economic situations, state laws, shale-bearing geologic formations, other natural resources (including water), and levels of current and past fracking activity.

Source: Split Decision by Voters on Local Fracking Bans, New York Times, 11/5/14.