Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Frac Mining

If you haven't seen Split Estate yet on the Green or other channel which covers gas mining mostly in Colorado, I suggest you tune in the next time it is shown. This documentary is a real eye opener as to the health risks associated with this new method of horizontal drilling and fracting of the rock to release the trapped natural gas. Essentially during the fracting process, a million or more gallons of water are pumped down the well shaft along with a mixture of sand and other chemicals which the companies are not required to disclose. During this documentary an environmental researcher who apparently is able to break down some of the chemical composition of these drilling/fracting fluids lists some of the many chemical compounds. Of course this fracting fluid is pumped back out of the wells prior to beginning gas recovery and then must be disposed of. These pits are an environmental nightmare. A significant number of producing wells have blown out, and are burned creating hazardous air pollution. People are getting sick, people are having to move out and their property values have plummeted. In some cases people have simply abandoned ther dream homes and family lands. Methane gas has been seen bubbling up in local streams to the point where they can be ignited with a match. This new type of mining is growing leaps and bounds and is touted as the worlds solution to the energy crises. In reality, the firms mining this gas a take no responsibility for the environmental damage or the health problems which are occurring and if fact on this documentary seen as claiming the fluids are drinkable and completely safe.

Frac mining requires huge amounts of water and a special type of very fine essentially round sand particles. To support all the new gas mining operations, the search for more deposits of this fine sand are underway. A new sand mine is being planned in Izard County, a North Arkansas Ozark Region which has been noted for its pristine waters and many forests teaming with wildlife. This region is a huge recreational area providing world class trout fishing, deer, turkey, bear and other hunting opportunities. Canoeing and other water sports on our many streams and rivers is big business in this area. Another silica mine which has been in existence for a very long time at Guion in Izard County is planning on increasing its sand mining production 700%. And, other sand processing plants are in the works. Do we want our region destroyed by uncontrolled mining in our area? Are we willing to suffer the health consequences when frac mining moves into our area. Do we trust the new mining companies to tell the whole story when it comes to all the hazards to our air and water from these processes? Who will replace our ground water when the aquifers are pumped dry? Who will clean up our streams and rivers when they dump their waste water into our creeks? If you think ADEQ has the resources to oversee what is going on you are terribly mistaken. ADEQ has only 17 people committed to investigate and monitor all the mining, water and waste disposal sites in the entire State.

It is absolutely critical that our citizens become involved and learn the potential risks to our environment, Ozark way of life and our health. These energy companies don't give a damn about your welfare. Think they do? Please watch this video and come to your own conclusions as to whether this is what you want in your region and whether you believe you can trust these energy related companies!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Public Meeting Scheduled on Proposed Frac Sand Plant - Monday Oct 5, Calico Rock

Friends of the Rivers and folks in the Izard County area,

Over the past few weeks it has become clear that a number of "frac" sand mining and sand processing operations have plans to develop in Izard County. The need for sand for gas drilling, especially in the Fayetteville shale, is driving this development. This particular company is planning a large open quarry mine and already has a stormwater permit for 240 acres in a 1000 acre area they own with a multimillion dollar plant proposed. Unimen, the sand plant that has been in Guion for years has filed for permits to expand. At least one other plant has filed for permits.

People involved with Friends of Mill and Piney Creeks (FMCPC)have been leading an effort, with our partnership to understand and grasp the significance of this development and how it will affect our watershed and the streams in their area which flow into the White River from Piney Creek. The City of Calico Rock is considering drilling 3 wells for this company.

The White River Current, the Calico Rock newspaper, is sponsoring this event and it was front page news.

I wanted to share this release from FMCPC and ask that you share with those you think would be interested. We will be updating our web site and blog on this as we're able to get a handle on more solid information. This meeting should be crucial in that regard.

Gene Dunaway
Board Member
Friends of the North Fork and White Rivers

Public Meeting Scheduled on Proposed Frac Sand Plant

Monday, October 5, 6:00pm

Calico Rock Music Hall, Calico Rock, Arkansas

Evergreen Processing will share information about the project and be available to answer questions, as well as respond to any concerns and comments from the community.

Please attend if you are interested in learning details about the project.

Some of the issues of concern are:

  • The proposal to use 850,000 gallons of water per day (what will this do to wells in the area and to the aquifer?)
  • Excess water from processing will be discharged into Bailey and Pearogue Creeks which feed into Mill and Piney Creeks and then into the White River. What impact will this have on these waterways?
  • Noise and lights from a 20 hour per day operation
  • Air quality issue (frac sand is silica sand and in Wisconsin there are major concerns about safety regarding mining of this sand)
  • Impact on our roads – 40-60 trucks of sand per day will be shipped from the plant. Impact on traffic and wear-and-tear on the roads themselves
Quarry mines usually become big holes in the ground. Large scale quarry mining could change the entire character of our area. The Quorum Court should take action immediately to slow this process down until they can determine exactly what is going to happen and assure there is no risk to our water and property.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Ozark Aquifer Declining - Conference Sep 17 Springfield Mo.

Here's an article on an event this week to examine, in part, the results of a $500,000 study on the decline in the Ozark Aquifer. "Shaping Our Water Future: Working to Ensure Adequate, Quality Water Supplies" is the focus of the Thursday-Friday event at the Doubletree Hotel in Springfield.

The study found that even with no additional pumping, the water table will continue to decline through 2030.

Here is a link to the article.

Toxic Waters - NY Times Series on Failure to Enforce Clean Water Act

Here is a link to the home page of a series the New York Times is doing on the lack of enforcement of the Clean Water Act.


Included is an interactive that will allow you to quickly find violators in your area.



Friday, August 7, 2009

AWAG Hires New Staff!

The Arkansas Watershed Advisory Group assists interested
citizens and organizations by promoting local voluntary approaches
to watershed management and conservation.

I am very pleased that ADEQ is reviving AWAG. AWAG has been a partnership between state and federal water related agencies and budding watershed protection groups. They have been instrumental in helping Friends get going, but the loss of Ellen McNulty had left the future of this effort in doubt. They have produced some excellent conferences as well.

If you've delved into Arkansas water regulation, you know it is an inpenetrable maze of agencies and regulations. Without the personal committment of leaders from these agencies, it would be impossible for citizens to understand where to start.

Kate has been keeping the effort alive for the last year. Sarah has been a passionate, self motivated and knowledgable advocate for water protection and a tremendous partner with Friends. We look forward to working with them both.

Thanks go to Teresa Marks for her efforts in keeping this alive.

AWAG also has an excellent web site. http://www.awag.org/

Here's the announcement letter.

August 6, 2009
Dear AWAG members,

I am writing you today to inform you of some exciting and new changes at ADEQ and for
AWAG. ADEQ has hired new staff to work with citizens, watershed groups, state and federal agencies, and fellow environmental groups. Our staff consists of: Sarah R. DeVries, as the Environmental Program Coordinator and Ecologist Kate Finefield. Some of you may have already been acquainted with them in their previous endeavors. In addition, the AWAG staff also works closely with Arkansas Project WET coordinators, Philip Osborne and Barbara Miller.

Kate joined the AWAG team in August of 2008, leaving a field ecologist position with the
Arkansas Department of Natural Heritage. Kate received her B.S. in Biology from the
University of Arkansas at Little Rock in May 2007. She has worked with various agencies
including the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission, Audubon Arkansas, and the University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service’s 4-H Center. Kate’s past experience includes assisting with control burns, wetland education, watershed mapping, and a variety of environmental education activities. You may have received email updates and/or AWAG newsletters from Kate over the last few months.

Our newest team member is Sarah R. DeVries. Mrs. DeVries has worked the last four years as the Source Water Protection Technician for the Arkansas Rural Water Association and has served as an AWAG member during that time. Sarah worked with communities to create and implement source water protection plans. She involved the public, agriculture and civic groups to work together to minimize non-point source pollution on a sub-watershed scale. In addition,
Sarah has worked for the Arkansas Department of Health as a Pollution Control Inspector, an Engineer Aide for the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection, an Alternative Energy Store, a seasonal Park Interpreter for Arkansas State Parks, and a myriad of environmental education jobs.

We are pleased to have these two dedicated and well-qualified individuals to join ADEQ and to work with our veteran staff Philip Osborne and Barbara Miller. Please feel free to contact Sarah DeVries at devries@adeq.state.ar.us or Kate Finefield at nefield@adeq.state.ar.us..

Sarah Clem
ADEQ Branch Manager
Ph: (501)682-0660
E- mail: clem@adeq.state.ar.us

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Planning Session for Central Arkansas Water Forum - Aug 11

Dear Friends,

Please join us on Tuesday, August 11th at 4pm at Lilly's Dim Sum meeting room in Little Rock to share your thoughts and advice on how a public forum on Water in Central Arkansas might be able to support your efforts as a leader on water issues as well as help encourage better water policy from state leaders.

The Nature Conservancy, Audubon Arkansas and the Arkansas Public Policy Panel are collaborating on a project to build awareness of critical water issues across Arkansas in anticipation of a new state water plan.

The purpose of our meeting August 11th is to plan a public forum on water with you and other Central Arkansas leaders to be held in Conway later this summer/fall. We need your input on how we can be most helpful in supporting the ongoing work and issues in Central Arkansas.
We want to make sure that our efforts are complementary and helpful to yours. We want this effort to inform and advance new state policy to better manage our water resources, but also help advance some of your goals. Arkansas faces a variety of enormous challenges to providing enough clean water for people and wildlife, a sustainable water future. We are holding similar meetings in other parts of the state as well.

Planning Session for Central Arkansas Water Forum
Tuesday, August 11, 4pm
Lilly's Dim Sum meeting room
11121 N Rodney Parham Rd # 34B
We will have refreshments and expect the meeting to last no more than 2 hours.

Lilly's is just West of I-430 at the Rodney Parham exit, in the Market Place Shopping Center. Here's a link to google maps where you can also get directions. Lilly's phone number is (501) 716-2700‎.

TNC, Audubon Arkansas and the Panel, will be holding a number of forums around the state over the course of the next nine months to:
  • educate people about water issues in their region and across the state;
  • listen and learn from participants so we can define concerns, questions, and water policy goals of citizens;
  • recruit people to participate in a follow up in-depth workshop on water issues
  • facing Arkansas; and
  • develop a core group of leaders interested in working with us on state water policy issues.
Please join us August 11th to help us plan a water forum for Central Arkansas.
Please RSVP to Bill Kopsky at bill@ARPanel.org, or 501-376-7913 x 12, or call if you have any questions or comments.
We hope to see you on August 11th and to learn more about your work. Thank you.
- Bill Kopsky, Arkansas Public Policy Panel
- Tim Snell, The Nature Conservancy
- Ken Smith, Audubon Arkansas
PS: Please let us know if there are others who you think should be invited to this early planning meeting. Thanks!!
Bill Kopsky
Executive Director
The Arkansas Public Policy Panel
1308 West Second Street
Little Rock, AR 72201
501-376-7913 x 12
fax: 374-3935
The Panel is a 501(c)(3) putting the PUBLIC back in Arkansas public policy since 1963.
Organize to win.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Nutrient Concentrations Remained Stable in Many Streams from 1993 to 2003

The U.S. Geological Survey National Water-Quality Assessment program conducted national- and regional-scale trend assessments (1993 to 2003) of nutrient concentrations and loads in streams and how these trends corresponded to changes in streamflow and nutrient sources, such as fertilizer applications, animal manure, population, and atmospheric deposition. Phosphorus and nitrogen concentrations remained relatively stable in about half of the streams assessed nationwide from 1993 to 2003; however, the pattern did vary in some regions, including increases in phosphorus concentrations in more than half of the streams assessed in the Mississippi/Atchafalaya River Basin. Linking trends in stream nutrient levels to changes in nutrient sources will enhance our understanding of the effectiveness of land management actions.

Regional-scale assessments of examined trends in nutrient and suspended-sediment concentrations and loads in the Upper Mississippi, Ohio, Red, and Great Lakes River Basin, Missouri River Basin, Lower Mississippi, Arkansas-White-Red, and Texas-Gulf River Basin, and the Pacific Northwest River Basin.

For more information on how nutrients vary over time in streams assessed across the Nation, contact:
Lori Sprague (lsprague@usgs.gov).

For more information on how nutrients and sediment vary over time in selected major river basins, contact:
David Lorenz (lorenz@usgs.gov) — Upper Mississippi, Ohio, Red, and Great Lakes River Basin
Lori Sprague (lsprague@usgs.gov) — Missouri River Basin
Richard Rebich (rarebich@usgs.gov) — Lower Mississippi, Arkansas-White-Red, and Texas-Gulf River Basin
Daniel Wise (dawise@usgs.gov) — Pacific Northwest River Basin

Monday, June 22, 2009

Ozark Mountain Regional Public Water Authority Sets Meetings June 30/July 1

June 30 at Gaston Visitor Center and July 1 at Diamond City Community Center. I personally support the general idea of a regional water authority taking water from large reservoirs and providing public drinking water for counties. A far better alternative than damming more streams. Friends has not taken a public position on this, pending more information.

NWAnews.com :: Northwest Arkansas Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

Water authority lowers amount asked from lake

Posted on Tuesday, June 16, 2009

URL: http://www.nwanews.com/adg/News/262121/

The Ozark Mountain Regional Public Water Authority will ask to pull less water from Bull Shoals Lake to serve 22 water systems in rural Northwest Arkansas.

Tim Mays, the authority's project engineer, said Monday that the Ozark Mountain group promised the Army Corps of Engineers that it will reduce its water storage request from 12 million gallons a day to 4 million-6 million gallons per day.

"If we get 4 million gallons, the amount we're asking for is about the thickness of a sheet of paper spread across the whole lake," said Mays, who works for Engineering Services Inc. in Springdale.

The Corps of Engineers has scheduled two public workshops regarding the Ozark Mountain Regional Public Water Authority's plan to pull drinking water from Bull Shoals Lake and send it to areas of Boone, Newton, Searcy and Marion counties.

Those meetings are June 30 at the James A. Gaston Visitor Center at the Bull Shoals-White River State Park near Bull Shoals and July 1 at the Diamond City Community Center, 232 Grand Ave. Both meetings start at 6 p.m.

Corps spokesman P.J. Spaul said those meetings will help "dispel rumors" about how much water the Ozark Mountain group is seeking.

In an interview, Spaul said there are no rumors about how much water the group wants yet, but the Corps doesn't intend to wait for them to start.

During the 1990s, rumors "ran wild" after the Community Water System serving 65,000 people in four counties near Greers Ferry Lake sought additional water from the lake.

"When we talk about dispelling rumors, that's why," Spaul said. "There were fears that it was going to drain the lake. They were flying, but you aren't talking about drastic changes in lake levels. It's relatively small."

The Ozark Mountain authority has received about $7 million in federal and state grants to support its $65 million project that would deliver drinking water to 22 water systems with homes and businesses in areas around the Buffalo National River and north to Bull Shoals, Mays said.

Those 22 systems serve about 22,000 people in the four counties and want $32 million to build a water treatment plant and water intake structure west of Diamond City. There would also be 115 miles of water transmission lines to deliver water to the 22 associations.

The $7 million raised so far isn't enough to start the project and the goal is to seek about $40 million in federal stimulus money later this year, Mays said.

There is federal funding for a $4.5 million part of the project that's considered the "criticalneeds phase," focused on bringing drinking water to the three authority members that deal with high amounts of radium in their groundwater wells.

There's too much radium in the groundwater pulled from water wells by Mount Sherman Waterworks in Newton County, and by the SDM and South Mountain water associations in Searcy County, said Lance Jones, an engineer supervisor for the Arkansas Department of Health. Two of those systems would hook up to Marshall city water; Mount Sherman would connect to Jasper's supply, Mays said.

Leaders of rural water systems in the four counties have been encouraged by the state Health Department for years to rely less on groundwater wells and to seek out surface water supplies. For instance, water systems in Newton County met in 2004 to talk about ways to bring drinking water from Beaver Lake and about the possibility of building a 104-acre lake on the Illinois Bayou in northern Pope County.

They decided the best option would be attaching water pipes to highway bridges that go over the Buffalo National River and to extend those lines from Bull Shoals Lake, the state's biggest lake.

Friday, June 12, 2009



The State Marketing Board for Recyclables will meet at Batesville June 24, 2009, at 9:00 a.m. in the Ramada Inn Conference Room, 1325 N. St. Louis.

Items on the agenda include presentations on recycling efforts in the White River Regional Solid Waste Management District and on solar-powered trash compactors, and a discussion concerning efforts to encourage the use of used roofing shingles to produce asphalt for road paving.

The board advises and assists the ADEQ on finding and maintaining markets for recyclable materials collected in Arkansas.

Monday, May 4, 2009

AGFC Posts Didymo Warnings at Launch Ramps

Some of you may have already seen a new AGFC notice at ramps warning about Didymo (popular name... rock snot) with instructions how to clean boats and equipment. This caution has been recommended as a first step approach to reducing transmission to other water bodies.

If you're not familiar with this invasive alga found in our rivers, here's a web site in New Zealand where they've had lots of experience. http://www.biosecurity.govt.nz/pests-diseases/plants/didymo/

Latest from Jeff Williams, Trout Biologist, AGFC Mountain Home in response to an email thanking him and AGFC for taking this responsible action.

Thanks Gene. Yes, we are hoping to generate awareness and encourage folks to clean their equipment before moving between waters. Although most of our trout waters already have Didymo, we hope these efforts will help prevent the spread to waters not currently affected. I also have some smaller posters that we are going to distribute to local bait/fly shops, outfitters, etc.

As far as treatments to eliminate Didymo from the river, there is still no viable option. I was at a meeting last week of trout managers in the southeast and Didymo was a topic of discussion. One of the biologists from Virginia gave a presentation on a method to semi-quantify Didymo coverage that I think we will try to adopt here in AR. This will basically allow us to monitor coverage over time and might allow us to examine relationships between Didymo and certain water quality parameters as well as the trout populations.

The high flows definitely knocked the Didymo back some, but it's not gone for good. Please let me know if you have any additional questions/comments. take care.


Tuesday, April 21, 2009



A study conducted by the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) found that fluids used in natural gas production have been improperly applied by landfarms operating in the state, thus endangering the environment.
The study findings were released in a report Monday. The report indicated that existing practices had, in many cases, caused environmental harm. Particularly, all 11 sites that land applied fluids at some point had improperly discharged the fluids so as to cause runoff into the waters of the state. Also, chloride concentrations in soil used for land application were abnormally high.
ADEQ Director Teresa Marks ordered the department’s study in November 2008 because of repeated permit violations at some of the sites. At that time, Marks also halted consideration of any new landfarm permit applications until the study was completed.
“With the increase in the number of landfarms and applications for landfarms due to expanded drilling activity in the state, concerns about the resulting environmental impact warranted a closer look at these operations,” Marks said.
ADEQ has taken enforcement actions against all 11 landfarms studied and has sought to revoke permits at two of the sites. Additional enforcement actions are pending and other revocations could be forthcoming.

Landfarm report, Page 2

The study supports changes to all existing or new landfarm permits. The changes include requirements that routine soil and water sampling be conducted at specified locations in the presence of an ADEQ inspector and that fencing be erected around all on-site ponds.
“The results of the study have caused us to put additional measures in place to ensure that these facilities are complying with the terms of their permits and are not causing harm to the soils and waters of the state,” Marks said. “We recognize that there is a waste stream created by the drilling practices that must be dealt with, but we want to make sure it is dealt with in a way that will not cause harm to the environment.”
Scientists in ADEQ’s environmental preservation and water divisions prepared the report. ADEQ employees visited the 11 landfarms between November and January.
On many site visits, the department discovered downstream concentrations of chlorides and total dissolved solids that were higher than those taken upstream.
While landfarm permits prohibit land application of any fluid with chloride levels higher than 3,000 milligrams-per-liter, four facilities held fluids with levels over the permitted maximum.
Soil at eight of the sites contained chloride amounts that exceeded permitted limitations.
The study found that the high chloride content at some sites might irrevocably damage the soils there.
In addition, the study found at nine sites concentrations of total petroleum hydrocarbons (TPH) in amounts that suggested that application of oil-based drilling fluids had taken place. ADEQ permits strictly prohibit such application.
The full report is available on the department’s Web site, www.adeq.state.ar.us. A link to the report is located in the “Hot Topics” section on ADEQ’s home page.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

"Sustainable Stormwater Management Practices" Webinar

Webinars are an easy, free way to learn at home. Context Sensitive Solutions has very good ones every month or so. The next is about stormwater management. Note it's Eastern Time - you can't log in after it starts.

Reminder: Webinar - Thursday, April 16, 2009, 2 pm EST

"Sustainable Stormwater Management Practices"

ContextSensitiveSolutions.org and the Federal Highway Administration are pleased to present a free webinar on April 16, 2009, from 2:00 - 3:30 PM EST. Wendi Goldsmith, President of the Bioengineering Group, Inc., and Clark Wilson, Urban Designer at the EPA Office of Smart Growth, will discuss the importance of sustainable stormwater management practices, along with innovative strategies for natural onsite stormwater storage and treatment. Sustainable stormwater management seeks to eliminate, where possible, the negative impacts of construction activities that disturb the natural hydrologic cycle resulting in elimination or reduction in the permeability of soils, increased "flashy" runoff and general water quality degradation.

Link to Join the Meeting:
On the login page, enter as a guest by typing your full name and clicking the "Enter Room" button. Please login to the conference at least 10 minutes prior to the start time to secure your space.

Phone Number to Join the Audio Portion of the Conference:
Password: 4033692

Prior to the meeting, please make sure that you have the necessary Flash Player plug-in installed on your computer. To test your machine, click this link, which should also provide links to the software: http://admin.acrobat.com/common/help/en/support/meeting_test.htm

For a short tutorial on how to participate in a web conference, please visit: https://admin.na3.acrobat.com/_a55098539/wctparticipate. If you are unable to access this link, you may need to install Flash Player (see directions above).

For more information, please contact Aurash Khawarzad at aurash@pps.org. We regret that we are not able to provide professional development credits for this event.

Stay Tuned...
Our next webinar will present "A Guide to Building CSS Knowledge and Skills for Successful Project Delivery," on Thursday, May 14, 2009, from 2:00 - 3:30 PM EST. Leigh Lane and Lisa Murphy of The Louis Berger Group, Inc. will provide background and resources to interested transportation agencies assigned the role of developing or improving an educational program to integrate CSS principles into project development and delivery processes.

The following webinar in the CSS series will be on "Complete Streets and Context Sensitive Solutions," scheduled for Thursday, June 11, 2009, from 2:00 - 3:30 PM EST. Barbara McCann, Executive Director of McCann Consulting, and Hannah Twaddell, Senior Transportation Planner at the Renaissance Planning Group, will be presenting.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Vigilance Needed To Protect Water, Wildlife Conference Highlights Need To Restore Measures

Vigilance Needed To Protect Water, Wildlife Conference Highlights Need To Restore Measures
Last updated Wednesday, March 11, 2009 4:18 PM CDT in Outdoors
By Scott Branyan

A group of wildlife conservationists met in Little Rock Saturday to discuss wetlands conservation and to support efforts to restore the Clean Water Act protections impacted by two recent U.S. Supreme Court decisions in 2001 and 2006.

The event, called "Hunter Angler Water for Wildlife Summit," was sponsored by a long list of groups that are working together to support congressional action known as the Clean Water Restoration Act.

Jim Murphy and Jan Goldman-Carter of the National Wildlife Federation gave presentations explaining how the court cases and resulting Environmental Protection Agency and Army Corps of Engineers decisions have lessened Clean Water Act protections.

In short, narrow interpretations by both agencies have left non-navigable tributaries and their adjacent wetlands classified as geographically "isolated" waters and without Clean Water Act protection.

Both said the Clean Water Restoration Act would restore regulatory protections using long-standing decisions.

Also speaking was Scott Yaich with Ducks Unlimited who said his organization had estimated the loss of U.S. wetlands since the 1950s to be around 17 million acres. That includes 7 million acres lost in Arkansas.

Another 20 million acres nationally stand to be affected under the EPA and Army Corps of Engineers decisions. Most affected are the Prairie Potholes of North and South Dakota, which produces most of the ducks coming into Arkansas, the Great Lakes, the Mid-Atlantic Coast and the Lower Mississippi Valley.

Steve Filapek, Arkansas Stream Team coordinator and assistant chief of fisheries with the Arkansas Game & Fish Commission, said Arkansas has 90,000 miles of streams. Of those, 70,000 miles could be classified as perennial or intermittent and are hence without protection under the recent decisions.

The number one pollutant of Arkansas water is sediment. An indicator of how big the sediment problem can be is the rare Arkansas darter. Filipek said a one-tenth of an inch of sediment over the darter eggs can result in greater than 50 percent mortality to the eggs.

Crooked Creek, one of the best smallmouth streams in the state, is an intermittent stream which has had sediment issues from gravel mining.

Congress will have the opportunity this year to provide a legislative fix with a goal of restoring 35 years of Clean Water Act protection to our streams and wetland areas. Goldman-Carter recommended that people contact Arkansas' congressional delegation and urge them to support the Clean Water Restoration Act.

The act would return to the use of long-standing regulatory definitions, remove the word "navigable" from the definition of protected waters, and restore regulatory protections to headwater areas.

In the US Department of Agriculture's "Soils and Men" yearbook for 1938, F. R. Kenny and W. L. McAtee wrote, "Among the assets of mankind, wildlife receives its true appraisal only in advanced stages of civilization, when owning to the heedless destruction of earlier times, it has been seriously if not irreparably reduced. ..."

"If we had sufficient foresight we would preserve in due proportion nature's wealth-creating centers of every kind, but lacking it we are wasters. Experience at last brings regret, and we would re-create what we have destroyed. We see that it has values that we can ill afford to lose, not only in a material sense but for beauty as well."

"When at length we do realize what nature's bounties mean to us we should act promptly positively, and persistently in maintaining and restoring them."

Scott Branyan writes a blog and colimnist for the Morning News in Northwest Arkansas and is a fly fishing guide on the White River tailwater trout streams.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

2nd Annual Environmental Conference Mar 27 Joplin

La Quinta Inn ♦ Joplin, Missouri March 27, 2009

"We can store it, treat it and deliver it, but we can't manufacture it - Water Planning for a Critical Resource"

The 2nd Annual Environmental Conference will address state water plans in Arkansas, Kansas, Oklahoma and Missouri.

Representatives from each state will present a status report
on their respective state water plans. Global warning's effect on reservoirs will also be discussed.

The Conference is co-sponsored by the Watershed Committee of the Ozarks, Tri-State Water Resource Coalition and Environmental Task Force of Jasper and Newton Counties.

Information and registration form can be obtained at www.envtaskforce.com or from Bob Nichols at bnichols66@sbcglobal.net or (417) 673-7151.

Friday, January 30, 2009

National Water Quality Inventory Report Now Available On-line

Note: Only 16% of US streams have been assessed and 44% of them are considered impaired.

National Water Quality Inventory Report Now Available On-line

This report, available at http://www.epa.gov/owow/305b/2004report/, summarizes water quality assessments submitted by the states to EPA under section 305(b) of the Clean Water Act. The report finds that the states assessed 16 percent of the nation?s 3.5 million river and stream miles, 39 percent of its 41.7 million acres of lakes, ponds and reservoirs, and 29 percent of its 87,791 estuary square miles. Forty-four percent of assessed river and stream miles, 64 percent of assessed lake acres, and 30 percent of assessed estuary square miles were found to be impaired for one or more of the uses designated for them by the states. Leading causes of impairment included pathogens, mercury, nutrients, and organic enrichment/low dissolved oxygen. Top sources of impairment included atmospheric deposition, agriculture, hydrologic modifications, and unknown or unspecified sources. This report is a companion to electronically-submitted state water quality information available on EPA?s Web site, known as ATTAINS, at
http://www.epa.gov/waters/ir. In addition to viewing the national summary and information by state at this Web site, users can click down to the individual waterbody level to find out more about water quality conditions.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Free Used Tire Disposal at Solid Waste Sites

ADEQ awards more than $1 million in waste tire grants

The Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality awarded grants of more than $1 million this month to support tire disposal and recycling operations throughout the state.

The grants are given quarterly to the state's regional solid waste management districts to fund waste tire collection, transportation, recycling or disposal.

For the first quarter of 2009, ADEQ awarded $1,011,850.

ADEQ's grant awards are calculated based on population of each district and by the number of tires a district received the previous year.

Arkansas residents may dispose of up to four tires per month free of charge at waste tire collection sites within their region. The 125 sites in Arkansas are operated by regional solid waste management districts.

The ADEQ grants are funded by a $2-per-tire fee on automobile and light truck tires sold in the state. An additional $3-per-tire fee is assessed for large truck tires.

In addition to the tire management grants, ADEQ often awards money from its waste tire grant fund to pay for clean up of illegal tire disposal sites or support capital improvement projects.