KTVZ.com – August 18, 2015

The U.S. Geological Survey found insecticides known as neonicotinoids in a little more than half of both urban and agricultural streams sampled across the nation and Puerto Rico, according to a study by the agency This study, conducted from 2011 to 2014, represents the first national-scale investigation of the environmental occurrence of neonicotinoid insecticides in agricultural and urban settings. The research spanned 24 states and Puerto Rico and was completed as part of ongoing USGS investigations of pesticide and other contaminant levels in streams. published Tuesday in Environmental Chemistry. For full story, click here.

By Laura Orlando –  In These Times –  July 24, 2015

The Great Lakes—Superior, Michigan, Huron, Erie, and Ontario—are magnificent inland seas that were once as clear as rainwater. Now each is polluted, but Lake Erie, the smallest, by volume, is in the most trouble. Its western basin is heavily industrialized, but the lake’s greatest threat is from the massive influx of organic material from fertilizer runoff, and the urine and feces from large concentrations of animals in factory farms. These nutrients don’t belong in the lake’s aquatic ecosystem. They kill fish by snatching up oxygen as organic material decays and cause toxic algae blooms. If unchecked, excess nutrients can change the ecosystem so much that the lake no longer supports aquatic life. For full story, click here.

By Annie Snider – E&E Publishing, LLC – August 5, 2015  

The biggest threat to the Obama administration's ambitious water rule may come not from industry foes or states challenging what they call a federal power grab, but from greens suing under one of the country's foremost environmental laws, legal experts say. Internal Army documents first reported by Greenwire last week show the Army Corps of Engineers' on-the-ground experts had major concerns about the final U.S. EPA-Army Waters of the U.S. rule, particularly about limits to Clean Water Act protections that were added toward the end of the process (Greenwire, June 27). For full story, click here.

Contact: Paul Rhynard – USDA – August 5, 2015

For the first time in its 110-year history, the Forest Service, part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, is spending more than 50 percent of its budget to suppress the nation's wildfires. A new report released today by the Forest Service estimates that within a decade, the agency will spend more than two-thirds of its budget to battle ever-increasing fires, while mission-critical programs that can help prevent fires in the first place such as forest restoration and watershed and landscape management will continue to suffer. Meanwhile, the report notes, these catastrophic blazes are projected to burn twice as many acres by 2050. For full news release, click here.

By Gerry Everding – PHYS.org – June 30,015

As floodwaters surge along major rivers in the midwestern United States, a new study from Washington University in St. Louis suggests federal agencies are underestimating historic 100-year flood levels on these rivers by as much as five feet, a miscalculation that has serious implications for future flood risks, flood insurance and business development in an expanding floodplain. For full story, click here.