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Oceans of trouble for U.S. taxpayers
Monday, 10 March 2014 15:21

By Beth Daley – New England Center for Investigative Reporting – March 9, 2014

Over and over again, the Atlantic has taken aim at 48 Oceanside Drive. Almost four decades ago, it slammed the house clear off its foundation. Thirteen years later, seawater poured through the roof during a nor’easter. So often has the sea catapulted grapefruit-sized rocks through the vacation home’s windows that a former owner installed bulletproof-glass. At least nine times the property has sustained significant flood damage from coastal storms. And each time, the federal government helped owners rebuild with National Flood Insurance Program payouts. It has subsidized insurance premiums at the property and in 2005, granted one owner $40,000 to elevate the home. Now, the current owner of the $1.2 million vacation house is applying for what construction experts say could be $80,000 or more from the federal government to raise the house again. For full story, click here.

Is coal ash safe to use on roads? Some experts are not so sure
Monday, 10 March 2014 15:12

By Karen Uhlenhuth – Midwest Energy News – March 10, 2014

Coal ash, the residue from burning coal to generate electricity, is abundant, and cheap. Often free for the taking, in fact. And it’s one way that at least some Midwestern communities provide traction on snowy and icy roads. But what’s left behind in the nearby water and soil when this byproduct from coal-fired power plants is spread on roads? For full story, click here.

Washington DC – Reforming the Corps of Engineers
Monday, 10 March 2014 15:07

Coastal News Today – March 2 , 2014

The US Army Corps of Engineers was established in 1779 when nature was seen as the enemy, and–despite the percolation of new ideas through the rest of our society–it has stayed the course in its war against nature ever since. “This nation has a large and powerful adversary,” the Corps explained in one of its early promotional films. “We are fighting Mother Nature… It’s a battle we have to fight day by day, year by year; the health of our economy depends on victory.” As with all wars on nature, this one has gone badly from the start. For full story, click here.

EPA settlements restore wetlands across Southeast
Wednesday, 05 March 2014 00:00

News-press.com – March 4, 2014

Over the past fiscal year ending Sept. 30, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 4 has cited 23 entities throughout the Southeast for depositing dredged and/or fill material into wetlands or other waters of the United States in violation of Section 404 of the Clean Water Act. Such unauthorized discharges threaten water quality and damage habitats, an EPA news release said.  As part of the settlements, parties in Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee will spend an estimated $1.7 million on restoration and monitoring activities. For full story, click here.

Fertilizer Limits Sought Near Lake Erie to Fight Spread of Algae
Monday, 03 March 2014 14:41

By Michael Wines – The New York Times – February 26, 2014

A United States-Canadian agency called on Wednesday for swift and sweeping limits on the use of fertilizer around Lake Erie to reduce the amount of phosphorus entering the water and creating a vast blanket of algae each summer, threatening fisheries, tourism and even drinking water. In a report on the algae problem, the agency, the International Joint Commission, said that fertilizer swept by rains from farms and lawns was a major source of phosphorus in the lake. It recommended that crop insurance be tied to farmers’ adoption of practices that limit fertilizer runoff,  and that Ontario, Ohio and Pennsylvania ban most sales of phosphorus-based lawn fertilizers. For full story, click here.

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