By Mark Schleifstein – Times-Picayune – April 8, 2015

A federal appeals court Tuesday (April 7) ordered a New Orleans federal judge to reconsider his ruling that the Environmental Protection Agency must decide whether more stringent rules are needed to curb the flow of fertilizer and other nutrient pollutants into the Mississippi River to stem the size of a low-oxygen "dead zone" that forms along Louisiana's coast each spring. For full story, click here.

By Gina McCarthy and Jo-Ellen Darcy – EPA Connect – April 6, 2015

Water is the lifeblood of healthy people and healthy economies. We have a duty to protect it. That’s why EPA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers are finalizing a Clean Water Rule later this spring to protect critical streams and wetlands that are currently vulnerable to pollution and destruction. On April 3 we sent the draft rule to the Office of Management and Budget for interagency review. Since it’s not final yet, we can’t speak to every detail. But the spirit of this rule boils down to three facts: First, people depend on clean water: one in three Americans get their drinking water from streams currently lacking clear protection. Second, our economy depends on clean water: manufacturing, farming, ranching, tourism, recreation, and other major economic sectors need clean water to function and flourish. Third, our cherished way of life depends on clean water: healthy ecosystems support precious wildlife habitat and pristine places to hunt, fish, boat, and swim. For full blog post, click here. – March 25, 2015

Water-borne algal blooms from farm fertilizer runoff can destroy aquatic life and clog rivers and lakes, but scientists will report today that they are working on a way to clean up these environmental scourges and turn them into useful products. The algae could serve as a feedstock for biofuels, and the feedstock leftovers could be recycled back into farm soil nutrients. For full story, click here.

By Carey Gillam – Reuters – March 27, 2015.

An environmental activist group has filed a legal petition with the U.S. Department of Agriculture seeking new rules that would enhance job protection for government scientists whose research questions the safety of farm chemicals. The action filed on Thursday by the Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility, an advocacy group for local, state and federal researchers, came less than a week after a World Health Organization group found the active ingredient in Roundup, the world's best selling weed killer, is "probably carcinogenic to humans." Roundup is made by Monsanto Co. The petition to the USDA presses the agency to adopt policies to prevent "political suppression or alteration of studies and to lay out clear procedures for investigating allegations of scientific misconduct." For full story, click here.


By Qing Zhang – Great Lakes Echo – March 30, 2015

The Michigan Clean Water Corps (MiCorps) will announce the winners of a new round of grants for volunteer stream monitoring projects by June. Three grants worth a total of $50,000 are available to survey aquatic macroinvertebrates and to inventory where railroads cross streams. “This year we received 10 applications for the stream grants. I expect about five or six of them will be funded,” said Paul Steen, the program manager for the network of volunteer monitoring projects. For full story, click here.