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20 November 2014

Update: American Farm Bureau Federation et al. v. EPA Oral Arguments

American Farm Bureau Federation, et al. v. EPA, Case 13-4079 oral arguments were held Tuesday (see previous post) and early indications suggest the Farm Bureau is fighting an uphill battle as it attempts to block the EPA from implementing a Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) program for Chesepeake Bay. The program calls for a 25% percent cut in nitrogen, 24% cut in phosphorus, and 20% reduction in sediment loads by …


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16 November 2014

American Farm Bureau Federation vs. EPA: Oral Arguments Scheduled for Tuesday

American Farm Bureau Federation, et al. v. EPA, Case 13-4079 oral arguments are scheduled for Tuesday, November 18, 2014 at U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit in Philadelphia. The American Farm Bureau Federation (Farm Bureau) is suing the Environmental Protection Agency over its authority to regulate farm runoff. The issue has gained attention following this summer’s “do not drink” advisory affecting over 500,000 residents in the Toledo, Ohio …


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17 August 2014

Soil Connections: Drought, Dust and Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria

An unfortunate sequence of events involving drought, depleted water resources, wastewater management, antibiotic resistant bacteria (ABR) and dust storms may pose a real health risk in desert states – and, perhaps, beyond. Briefly, here’s the sequence of steps, beginning with drought and ending with a respiratory infection: 1. Arid states can’t grow everything they want with what little rainfall they get – so they irrigate. 2. Limited fresh water used …


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19 July 2012

Introducing the European Geoscience Union – Soil Systems Science Division

The European Geoscience Union, a leader in the free dissemination of scientific research, has rolled out its Soil Systems Science Division (SSSD). The SSSD has a blog newsletter with some fine articles and beautiful images about soils and surface geology of Europe. When Editor Jessica Drake (Soilduck) kindly invited me to write a short “why I do soil science” biographical piece, I jumped at the chance. Being that I’m American, …


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12 September 2011

Lake Erie Algae Bloom

This September 3, 2011 MODIS image of Lake Erie reveals a bright green algae plume concentrated in the western basin. The western basin of the lake is the shallowest part and receives discharge from the Maumee River, the largest river watershed in the Great Lakes with 6,354 square miles (16,460 square km) of land drainage. Land use in the watershed is about 85 percent agricultural and growers typically use a …


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16 May 2011

MODIS Reveals Major Sources of Sediment

It’s mud season in the Midwest and the MODerate Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) 250m true color band beautifully displays the tell-tale sediment plumes entering western Lake Erie (left). Updates of Great Lakes MODIS imagery are available here MODIS is a multi-band imaging instrument mounted on two Earth-orbiting satellites, the Terra, and the Aqua, both part of the NASA-led international Earth Observing System. Between the two of them, the entire Earth is …


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19 January 2011

Barnegat Bay Restoration Plan Addresses Nuke Cooling System and Soil Compaction

Barnegat Bay and Oyster Creek Generating Station. Photo by Andrew Bossi CC. Last month, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie unveiled a plan to improve the ecologic health of Barnegat Bay, which includes coastal areas of Orange County. According to “The goal is to restore, protect and enhance Barnegat Bay, which has been suffering,” said (Department of Environmental Protection) Commissioner Martin. “We are dealing with problems that have been long …


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26 March 2009

Put Livestock Back Out to Pasture

Grazing livestock would enhance soil fertility, raise healthier animals, and improve public health. “…an estimated 70 percent of all U.S. antibiotics and related drugs are given to animals that are not sick. This overuse of antibiotics contributes to the development of antibiotic resistant bacteria, with the result that antibiotics we commonly use are becoming less effective in fighting human illnesses, including some life-threatening infections.” – Union of Concerned Scientists In …


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