Clean Waters – Lions 103 CS Sat, 18 Sep 2021 12:29:49 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Clean Waters – Lions 103 CS 32 32 No, stemming the Golden Gate won’t save the Bay Area from rising waters Sat, 18 Sep 2021 11:03:37 +0000 As climate-accentuated storms continue to hit the Gulf and Atlantic coasts, causing historic and all too often fatal flooding, it is imperative that the Bay Area take note and begin planning for the dangers that the climate change will bring California’s coastal communities. The Bay Area is unlikely to face epic hurricanes like Ida or Sandy, but we will face storms that will push huge amounts of seawater ashore. This will produce dangerous flooding throughout the bay which will only be exacerbated in the coming years by rising sea levels.

Recently, it was suggested that we study the construction of a storm barrier across the Golden Gate. In concept, this huge device would be lifted before storms to prevent high water from entering the bay.

At first glance, this seems an attractive solution, as we can focus our flood protection efforts and expenses on a small part of the shoreline, instead of protection tailored to the needs of each of our waterfront communities around the bay. .

Unfortunately, a Golden Gate barrier would only be an expensive temporary fix that would cause irreversible damage to the bay.

In the future, we will still have to rework our entire shoreline to achieve flood protection. As the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change recently described, sea level rise will accelerate in the coming decades. To cope with these rising seas and storm surges, by mid-century we will need to raise the barrier frequently – on the order of every month with the highest tides, and not just every few years. due to storms. This would begin to transform the San Francisco Bay from a vibrant estuary to a managed pond, generating major environmental impacts.

The bay’s ecosystem would suffer from gentle tides, accumulated sewage discharges, and massive algal blooms that would kill fish and wildlife. The wetlands that protect many of our shores would be destroyed without tidal currents, thus increasing flood damage (this is already evident in the Oosterschelde estuary in the Netherlands, where more than a third of intertidal habitat has been lost since the commissioning of a storm barrier in 1986).

Wetlands also improve water quality by filtering the waters of the bay. Their loss would exacerbate pollution and endanger protected species of fish, birds and mammals found in San Francisco Bay, such as the California Ridgway’s Rail, salt marsh mouse, and rainbow trout.

In the next century, the predicted rise in sea level would require the barrier to remain in place almost full time to provide flood protection, turning the Golden Gate into a dam. This would exacerbate the difficult problems mentioned above. Shipping in and out of the bay would only be possible by developing massive locks. The water exchanges between the bay and the ocean, which are essential to support fish and wildlife, dilute sewage, and carry water from rivers to the sea, would be eliminated. These ecological changes would cause further damage upstream in our local rivers and in the delta.

As the sea continued to rise, the dam would have to be raised, and a vital part of the region’s economy and quality of life would depend on an ever-growing collection of pumps, pipes and locks maintained in perfect working order. These complex structures would create an increased risk of flooding by rivers during heavy rain storms or by the sea due to a malfunction of a barrier.

The obvious response to this increased risk of flooding will be to raise dikes around the edge of the bay – precisely the action that the barrier was designed to prevent in the first place. And because the barrier would have damaged the wetlands that protect against erosion, the dikes would now withstand the full force of the waves and would have to be even larger.

A much smarter solution is for communities to bear the expense of planning to remodel their shorelines to accommodate the ocean’s rise over time. By optimizing solutions now, we will minimize the total cost over time. These solutions should include the continued restoration of wetlands which can provide protection against flooding, the construction of dikes and dikes where they are needed, and possible acquisition and change of use for low lying areas particularly. vulnerable. New infrastructure should be designed to adapt to the tides and storm surges of the future, and to meet the needs of all communities in a fair and equitable manner.

Projects are already being implemented around the bay to adapt to the rise in sea level, and these efforts will be all the more effective as the communities become more and more involved in their future. littoral. Regional success will be enhanced by the sharing of innovative approaches, technical expertise and coordinated awareness to attract federal resources (objectives of the Bay Adapt program).

By redesigning our shores, we can maintain for future generations the great benefits that our functional estuary offers us today, including flood protection, potable water, thriving maritime commerce, wildlife habitat, access to nature for urban communities and world-class recreation and tourism.

The Bay Area can be a coastal city that shows how to adapt and thrive in the face of climate change. Or we can be held captive in a deteriorating 20th century landscape behind a dam trying to hold back the ocean.

It is not a difficult choice.

Andrew Gunther is a member of the San Francisco Bay Area Water Quality Control Board and the Bay Conservation and Development Commission. Jeremy Lowe is a scientist in the Resilient Landscapes Program at the San Francisco Estuary Institute.

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Tayloe Murphy, an environmental champion from Virginia, dies | People and society Fri, 17 Sep 2021 21:44:00 +0000

William Tayloe Murphy, Jr., a leading figure in Virginia’s environmental protection efforts who spearheaded the passage of many historic environmental laws, died on September 15. He was 88 years old.

Murphy – widely known simply as Tayloe – was a lawyer who represented a district in his native Northern Neck from 1982 to 2000, during which time he worked on nearly every major environmental law that was passed.

Tayloe Murphy of Virginia, a passionate conservationist for the Chesapeake Bay State and Region, speaks at a 2019 meeting of the Chesapeake Bay Commission.

Among the laws he championed were the Water Quality Improvement Act, which required that 10% of any state surplus be used for the benefit of water quality; the Chesapeake Bay Preservation Act, which increased oversight of land use decisions in areas near the bay; and restrictions on oil drilling in the bay.

Murphy then served as Secretary of Natural Resources in Gov. Mark Warner’s administration, where he initiated action to require nutrient discharge limits to be incorporated into wastewater permits and worked to increase significantly. spending on drinking water programs.

“Virginia has lost a silent giant to Tayloe Murphy,” Virginia Governor Ralph Northam said. “Our waters are cleaner today thanks to the Chesapeake Bay Preservation Act, the Water Quality Improvement Fund and all [of] his work in the legislature and as secretary of natural resources.

For Murphy, Bay’s problems were close to home. He lived on a farm overlooking the Potomac River and soon after being elected to the General Assembly he was appointed a member of the Chesapeake Bay Commission, an advisory committee made up of lawmakers from Virginia, Maryland and Pennsylvania.

While on the commission, he was involved in issues such as the management of striped bass in the 1980s and blue crabs in the 1990s. He successfully led the commission’s efforts to enact a ban on phosphate detergents in Virginia.

Murphy had a soft voice, known to wear bow ties and frequently described as a quintessential Southern gentleman. He promoted civility among his colleagues and colleagues, denounced the rise of partisanship and stressed the importance of trying to listen to opponents on issues.

“He always said in a negotiation that you can go a lot further with sweet than with acid,” said Ann Swanson, executive director of the Bay Commission. “He would often say how important it is to be nice because it’s very difficult for your enemy to confront you if you’ve been nice.”

It produced results. Murphy helped expand the regulation of large poultry farms and pass a law restricting the use of toxic chemicals in paints from boats that had contaminated parts of the James River. His work is seen as the foundation of the state’s water and land protection efforts.

“Although the embodiment of the Gentleman of Virginia, Tayloe was not child’s play,” said Roy Hoagland, former vice president of environmental protection and restoration at the Chesapeake Bay Foundation. “A passionate lawyer and astute negotiator, Tayloe could stand up to the most vocal opponents. Humble, intelligent, gracious, gentle, kind … he brought out the best in his friends and enemies. There will never be another like him. ”

Murphy was known both for his passion and in-depth knowledge of the issues he worked on and for his lengthy descriptions of those issues to others. A newspaper article described him as “rarely good for a sound clip”. But he used this to his advantage.

During Murphy’s presentation at an awards ceremony in 2018, Joseph Maroon, who served as director of the State Department of Conservation and Recreation under Murphy in the Warner administration, recalled that the governor had once said, “Tayloe would come and bombard me with details that I wasn’t familiar with, and I would say OK, go ahead and do it.”

Everything he stood for did not lead to success. As concerns grew in the 1990s about the adverse effects of growth and development on the bay’s water quality, he spent five years drafting legislation that would increase slate’s role in management. growth, only to see it quickly killed.

But his desire to tackle difficult problems was motivated by a guiding principle – the doctrine of public trust at common law, according to which the underwater lands, the water above them and the living resources they contain are held by the state in trust for the benefit of everyone.

“The state is the custodian of these resources and has a fiduciary responsibility to protect them from degradation,” he once said. “Allowing special interest groups to damage our water resources – whether they are real estate developers, a wastewater treatment plant or any other contributor to pollution – is to deny the right.” to a resource peculiar to others who should be protected. When elected officials and states finally take their stewardship role seriously, the Bay will prosper again. “

Murphy has also served on numerous boards of directors, including those of Preservation Virginia, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, and the Northern Neck Historical Society.

He is survived by one daughter, Anne Carter Braxton Murphy Brumley, and four grandchildren. Hélène, his wife of 63 years, died in 2019.

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EPA Cancels Trump-Era Clean Water Guidelines Regarding Maui Decision (2) Fri, 17 Sep 2021 03:05:53 +0000

The EPA is repealing fast-track guidelines clarifying the Trump-era Clean Water Act requirements for indirect water pollution, according to a memorandum from the agency posted online Thursday.

The non-binding guidelines came in January, after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Maui County v. Hawai’i Wildlife Fund in April 2020 that the Clean Water Act permit requirements extend to indirect pollution which is the “functional equivalent” of a direct discharge.

The Environmental Protection Agency finalized the guidance just over a month after their proposal in the final weeks of the Trump administration.

The agency is rescinding the guidelines because the “functional equivalent” provision violates the Clean Water Act and is inconsistent with the Maui ruling, Radhika Fox, EPA’s deputy water administrator, said Wednesday.

The guidelines were also rescinded because they “were released without proper deliberation within the EPA or with our federal partners,” Fox said.

The EPA’s Office of Water is evaluating what it will do next, she said.

“In the meantime, the Supreme Court ruling provides guiding principles regarding when a discharge to groundwater is jurisdictional under the Clean Water Act,” Fox said.

Lawyers react

The EPA’s decision was expected, but now the scope of federal jurisdiction over the dredging and infill permit programs and the agency’s National Pollutant Release System is unclear, said David Buente, a lawyer with Sidley Austin LLP who represents clients in the industry.

“I think the Biden administration’s EPA with new political leaders was expected to want to put their own stamp on the central issue of the scope of jurisdiction of the Clean Water Act,” said Buente.

The American Farm Bureau Federation, which supported the directions of the Trump era, called the EPA’s decision surprising.

“I thought the Maui guidelines were fairly uncontroversial,” said Travis Cushman, senior public policy attorney at the federation.

The guidelines of the Trump era made it clear that a rejection must occur, and that reflects the language of the Clean Water Act, he said.

“What worries me, they felt the need to rescind these statements,” Cushman said. “In the past at AFBF we had to sue the EPA twice when they tried to force farmers to get permits when there was no landfill. Hope that doesn’t mean they’re going back to the bad old days.

Environmentalists applauded the action.

“We are grateful to Biden’s EPA for restoring key protections to ensure polluters do not inject their pollution underground to bypass Clean Water Act guarantees for our lakes, rivers and oceans,” said Brett Hartl, director of government affairs at the Center for Biodiversity. “The science is clear that groundwater and surface water are intertwined, and now the EPA can move forward in ensuring that our waters are protected as the law has always envisioned. “

Argument rejected

The court rejected the Trump administration’s argument that pollution discharges that flow into groundwater are exempt from the Clean Water Act permit requirements.

The EPA said in its final guidelines that permits would likely only be needed in very limited circumstances if the pollution indirectly reaches federal waters.

Regulators should consider both the concentration of indirect pollution and the design of the facility from which it originates when deciding whether a permit is required, the document said.

“A discharge via groundwater that reaches US water in the same or nearly the same chemical composition and the same concentration may look more like a direct discharge to jurisdictional water,” the final guide states.

“Functional equivalent” test

The Supreme Court opinion, authored by Justice Stephen Breyer, establishes a multifactorial test to determine whether indirect pollution is the “functional equivalent” of direct discharge.

The test emphasizes the time and distance it takes for pollution to travel from a discrete source to a federal waterway, and lists several other factors, including the extent to which the pollution is diluted or chemically altered and the amount that makes it up to a federal waterway.

The EPA’s draft guidance added another factor: whether a facility was actually designed to discharge or minimize pollution. For the latter category, “it may be less likely” that a permit is required, according to the guidelines.

Some industry attorneys have complained that the guidelines do nothing to clarify licensing requirements in light of the Maui decision. An analysis by law firm Locke Lord LLP, for example, said it “has not provided any real guidance for authorizing writers or applicants.”

But at least some groups have welcomed the EPA’s attempt to clarify licensing requirements in Maui’s wake. A coalition of farm groups represented by the American Farm Bureau Federation filed comments in January saying they generally supported the EPA’s interpretation and had recommendations to strengthen it.

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Q&A: Interview with Tess Gillham, Senior Design Director, Water Thu, 16 Sep 2021 21:12:42 +0000

At Jacobs, we think differently about the future as today’s challenges demand innovative approaches to create a more connected and sustainable world. With a staunch commitment to the spaces we inhabit, both globally and environmentally, we continually re-energize our efforts to be responsible stewards of the natural world, while providing forward-thinking sustainable solutions for our customers.

We get to know the members of our water team who are solving the world’s most pressing water resilience and sustainability challenges to shape the water industry of tomorrow.

Principal Design Manager for Water Tess Gillham shares her thoughts on her role at Jacobs, what sparked her interest in a career in water and why she is excited about the future of water in New Zealand.

Tell us a bit about yourself and what you do at Jacobs.

I have 20 years of experience as a water engineer in New Zealand. I’m responsible for design at Jacobs, working on the country’s three waters – wastewater, stormwater, and potable water. I always joke that a design manager does the tasks that no one else wants to do. In summary, my role is to work alongside clients to understand issues, define the scope of potential projects, feasibility assessments, develop business cases, lead the design process (concept, preliminary and final design ) with the contribution of other specialists, technical reviews to ensure the design is robust and the preparation of contractual documents, including technical specifications.

What sparked your interest in a career in water and engineering?

You could say I fell into engineering – there was no planning because I didn’t really know what the engineers were doing. I am dyslexic and found in school that math, science and arts subjects were much easier than English-based subjects. My dad suggested engineering, and I thought that sounded good. It also appeared that at the time there were very few females; I like to be a little different from others.

I applied to the University of Auckland Engineering School and got accepted. Throughout my studies, I favored papers over water, so entering the water industry seemed like a step ahead.

What’s your favorite part of your role?

I like to improve people’s lives and improve the environment. In the water business, we are always trying to improve water quality, provide clean water, reduce flooding and a myriad of other things.

Tell us about an exciting project you have worked on or are working on.

I have had the opportunity to work on many exciting projects over the years. More recently it has been exciting to be involved in the Central Interceptor project for Watercare. This is an amazing project with amazing people involved and it is the biggest sewage project in New Zealand When completed, the new sewage tunnel will help reduce wet weather overflows by up to 80 %. The water quality improvements from the Central Interceptor project will be fantastic for all Aucklanders.

What are some of the key considerations that will help create a more resilient and sustainable Three Waters sector in New Zealand?

There are a lot of key considerations – I could go on forever! One of my favorites right now is building in the right place. Land subject to coastal erosion, sea level rise, flooding and the like is not always suitable for infrastructure construction or other development. This only creates problems for future generations. We should ask ourselves if we really need the infrastructure before we build it. Is there any other solution rather than just installing another pipe? In urban areas, I personally think we could do more water reuse; this has the dual effect of reducing water demand while helping to minimize downstream flooding. We must also speed up the protection of our waterways.

What excites you about the future of water in New Zealand?

The proposed tri-waters reform excites me the most right now … If it comes to fruition, I see so many opportunities. The reform will offer the possibility of genuinely improving New Zealand’s water infrastructure for future generations.

If you’re not in the office, what would we likely find you doing?

Currently, I am trying to train for my next adventure race in November. This involves work in the gym, cycling and running. Ideally I would mountain bike and trail, but it’s a bit tough during lockdowns in New Zealand so I have to do road running and cycling. I’m also trying to teach my son to drive – together we spend a few hours each week practicing driving in Auckland. I spend time watching kids’ sports – my daughter does track and field (pole vault and run) and my son plays rugby.

What do you love most about being a part of Jacobs?

The Jacobs Water team is the best – it’s a great team to be a part of. I also love how globally connected Jacobs is. I like that New Zealand and Australia are combined; we have technical forums that cover both countries. Since working at Jacobs I have found it easy to access international experts.

Join the #OurJacobs team

What motivates you motivates us as we work to build a better world – together. At Jacobs, every day is an opportunity to make the world better, more connected, more sustainable.

We are always looking for dynamic and committed people to join our team. Bring your passion, ingenuity and vision. Let’s take a look at the impact we can create.

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Mote Marine expands research on red tide in Sarasota County Wed, 15 Sep 2021 09:45:16 +0000

Clams and prawns have found new homes at Mote Marine Aquaculture Research Park. In large reservoirs, they are the test subjects for the lab’s latest red tide research.

The experiment aims to use technology to remove excess nutrients while preserving the environment. The water runs through the entire system, located on a large trailer, and is virtually cleaned of excess nutrients within minutes.

Initiative researchers are now testing a patented Prescott Clean Water technology called Ozonix, first used in oil and gas fields to treat contaminated frack water.

Crimson Tide:Researchers are testing new clay process to kill red blood cells

And:No more seabirds sickened by red tide impacts in Sarasota and manatee counties

Ozonix works by saturating contaminated water with ozone, a natural and man-made product that is found in Earth’s upper atmosphere. Then converts ozone into a component with oxidative potential, which has the ability to oxidize a wide range of pollutants, including the algae that produce the red tide.

“You can selectively reduce individual nutrients, phosphates and nitrogen, all in real time,” said Steve McKenzie, senior technician at Prescott Clean Water. “It’s similar to the chlorinator, but we don’t have chlorine. We have no chemicals other than oxygen in the air and electricity. That’s it.”

Ozonix clean water technology on a portable trailer.

Mote tested the effectiveness of ozone technology in destroying red blood cells as well as the potential side impacts on animals.

Previously:The red tide subsides on all 16 beaches in Sarasota County

At the Red Tide Mitigation and Technology Development Facility, Mote has at least a dozen control tanks, some filled with red tide, others with shrimp and shellfish. Researchers are monitoring the impact of ozone on creatures.