October 12, 2002

Inside this issue!

1. National Water Monitoring Day is October 18
2. Public Notices: Corps of Engineers
3. Public Meetings: TDEC Water Quality Assessment Meetings
4. Take Action!: Energy Bill Negotiations Over Hydropower
5. Take Action!: Ballot Initiative on Water Quality Penalties
6. Job Announcement: Citizen Action, Executive Director
7. Job Announcement: Sierra Club, Central Appalachia Resource Person
8. "Consider The Source - A Pocket Guide to Protecting Your Drinking Water"
9. Study Shows Freight and Passenger Rail Cost Benefits-Public Hearings Set
10. Heinz Center Issues Landmark Report on State of the Nation's Ecosystems
11. Study Shows America's Best Farmland Falling Fastest To Development
12. EPA releases Water Infrastructure Gap Analysis
13. EPA Reports 2000 National Water Quality Inventory
14. See what's new in EnviroMapper for WATER Version 2.0!
15. Aquifers-not just an environmental concern


1. National Water Monitoring Day is October 18

Administrator Christie Whitman recently encouraged everyone to participate in local water quality monitoring activities during National Water Monitoring Day on Oct. 18 to celebrate the 30th Anniversary of the Clean Water Act.

Stay Current with Events on EPA's Year of Clean Water website. Log on to www.epa.gov/water/yearofcleanwater to learn what the nation is doing in honor of the 30th Anniversary of the Clean Water Act.


2. PUBLIC NOTICES-Corps of Engineers

The following is a list of Public Notices that the Nashville District has issued for work in waters of the United States. The notices listed are for applications currently under review. All work is proposed unless otherwise noted. For information purposes, we will leave a notice on our web page for approximately 30 days past the notice close comment period, after which it will be removed from this list. If you wish to obtain a copy of a particular notice, you can contact our office at (615) 369-7500 or by mail and we will be happy to forward it to you. Be sure to include the Public Notice Number with your request.
U.S.Army Engineer District, Nashville
Corps of Engineers
Attention: Regulatory Branch
3701 Bell Road
Nashville, Tennessee 37214

02-69 - Expires 11/02/2002, Hales Bar Marina, Proposed Commercial Marina Expansion, Tennessee River
Mile 431.1L, Nickajack Lake, Marion County, TN

02-56 - Expires 10/30/2002, Casa di Lago Homeowners Association, Proposed Excavation, Riprap Bank Stabilization, and 10-Slip Community Dock, Tennessee River Mile 602.5L, Fort Loudoun Lake, Loudon County, TN

02-64 - Expires 10/27/2002, Mr. L.V. Wyatt Jr., Proposed Riprap Bank Stabilization, Tennessee River Mile 168.2L and Extending Downstream and into Stewmans Creek Mile 0.5R, Kentucky Lake, Decatur County, TN

02-63 - Expires 10/25/2002, Marathon Ashland Petroleum LLC, Proposed Clamshell Dredging, Cumberland River Mile 187.2R, Davidson County, TN


3. PUBLIC MEETINGS-TDEC Water Quality Assessment Meetings
Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation is using a watershed approach to address water quality. In order to provide an opportunity for the public to become involved, the approach includes at least two public meetings in each watershed in each five-year cycle. Meeting dates for Group 5 Water Quality Assessment Meetings have been set:

*Lower Cumberland (Nashville Area): October 1, 2002, West End Community Church - Ministry Center, Nashville 6:00pm
*Lower Cumberland (Lake Barkley): October 10, 2002, Stewart County Public Library 102 Natcor, Dover 7:00pm
*Obion/SF Obion/Mississippi: October 24, 2002, Room 238 University Center UT-Martin 5:00pm
*Nolichucky: November 12, 2002, Ruritan Club Building Limestone Ruritan Road, Limestone 7:00pm
*Sequatchie/Guntersville: November 18, 2002, Sequatchie Valley Electric Co-Op, 1055-A Rankin Avenue North (Hwy 127), Dunlap 6:30pm
*Upper/Lower French Broad Pigeon: TBA

For more information, please contact: David Duhl, Watershed Coordinator, Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation Watershed Management Section (615)532-0438 or [email protected]


4. TAKE ACTION-Energy Bill Negotiations Over Hydropower

Please urge your Representative to reject the Senate hydropower language in the conference on H.R. 4, the Energy Policy Act of 2002. The legislative battle over a national energy bill has been long, but we're near the finish line. The congressional negotiators are determined to send a bill to the President by Congress' scheduled adjournment on October 11, meaning all issues will be ironed out in the next two weeks.

A controversial section on regulation of hydropower dams is in the middle of the remaining energy debate. The Senate version of the bill favors the hydropower industry by sidestepping environmental protections and saddling natural resource agencies with redundant procedural hurdles, while the House version is a compromise hammered out by conservation organizations and representatives of the hydropower industry. Both add additional procedures to an already complex regulatory process, but the House does so without harming the environment.

If your Representative is on the energy conference committee, please ask her or him to reject the Senate hydropower language in the conference on the Energy Policy Act of 2002.

Take action to help save America's Rivers, and sign up to hear about the most pressing river news and actions. Visit http://www.americanrivers.org/takeaction/


5. TAKE ACTION-Ballot Initiative on Water Quality Penalties

Since 1997, the City of Knoxville has successfully used penalties and the threat of penalties up to $5000 to protect water quality. State law allowed cities the ability to charge fees for stormwater and to increase penalties for water quality violations up to $5000 per day. Some cities have been hindered by the fact that the State constitution still sets $50 as a maximum. This issue may be resolved in the November election.

Question 2 on the ballot may determine whether or not other cities will have the ability to protect water quality with the threat of stiff penalities for illegal discharges or inadequate sediment controls.

This email is not intended to influence your vote either way. It is simply intended to provide information to those who may be interested in this important topic. Please read the attached word document or visit the following web site for details. http://www.voteyesonq2.com/


6. Job Announcement: Citizen Action, Executive Director

Tennessee Citizen Action seeks qualified applicants for the position of Executive Director. TCA is a multi-issue progressive public-interest organization that focuses on economic justice at the state level. The organization's main issue areas include campaign finance reform, managed care consumer protections, environmental justice, and workplace health and safety. The organization's campaigns rely on coalition building, grassroots lobbying, direct action organizing, and media.

Position Description:
The Executive Director of Tennessee Citizen Action (TNCA) is a full timestaff person and principal administrative officer for Tennessee's consumer watchdog organization. The Executive Director's primary responsibility is to coordinate the programs and development of TNCA. The Executive Director is accountable to the Board of Directors and is responsible for implementing a strategic plan; conducting grassroots lobbying; organizing; coalition building with Tennessee's consumer, labor, environmental and civil justice communities; and budget development and fund-raising.

Specific Responsibilities:
· Implementation of TNCA's strategic plan, policies and procedures.
· Regular communication with Board of Directors and committees.
· Legislative advocacy; direct lobbying; grassroots lobbying targeting legislators in their home districts.
· Media work, including message development and service as organizational spokesperson.
· Grassroots organizing, including coalition-building & communications.
· Fund-raising, including working with the Board to develop and implement a fundraising plan, grant preparation, foundation relationships, and major donor program coordination.
· Budget planning and management.
· Recruitment, hiring and supervision of staff and volunteers.
· Ensuring compliance with state and federal laws and regulations.

Requirements:
· Successful experience in labor or community organizing and management of organizational operations.
· Excellent writing, research and presentation skills.
· Vision to implement five-year strategic plan and confidence to seize the to build a statewide organization.
· Ability to manage several tasks simultaneously.
· Computer skills including database management, internet research, and electronic communications.
· Experience carrying out legislative and media campaigns is preferred.
· Knowledge of campaign finance reform, managed care, environmental justice, and workplace health and safety issues is preferred.

Salary is commensurate with experience; health benefits included.

Tennessee Citizen Action is Tennessee's consumer watchdog organization. We are fighting to empower working people in their struggle to achieve affordable, quality health care; clean air and water; safe and healthy workplaces; a responsive civil justice system; and a democracy in which the public's interests come first. Through research, education, and action we work with coalition partners to create a grassroots movement for reform around these issues in Tennessee.

To apply, please submit a cover letter and resume by November 1, 2002.
Send to: TNCA Search Committee; 1103 Chapel Avenue, Suite 201, Nashville, TN 37206 or
email to [email protected] Or fax to 615-226-1656.


7. Job Announcement: Sierra Club, Central Appalachia Resource Person

Sierra Club, the oldest national environmental advocacy organization in the US, seeks a Resource Person to link Sierra Club activists and resources to support local grassroots organizations in their struggles to confront environmental injustices in their communities throughout Central Appalachia (portions of KY/OH/PA/TN/VA & all of W.VA).

Requires 3 yrs community grassroots organizing experience or BA/BS Degree; knowledge of environmental justice issues in Central Appalachia; excellent verbal and written communication skills; Cross cultural organizing experience; computer proficiency (MS Office); ability to work with volunteers; and ability to travel.

Location of position: Southern WV.

Excellent benefits. Annual salary: $31,000.

Send resume and cover letter postmarked by Friday, October 18, 2002, to:
Sierra Club Appalachian Office
1447 Peachtree St. NE, Suite 305
Atlanta, GA 30309
or Fax to 404-876-5260.

Sierra Club is an EOE committed to a diverse workforce.
www.sierraclub.org/jobs


8. "Consider The Source: A Pocket Guide to Protecting Your Drinking Water"

Third in a series of outreach and assistance publications, this Pocket Guide includes a discussion of the Clean Water Act and Safe Drinking Water Act regulatory and voluntary resources, tools, management measures, and finances sources available to States, local governments, and consumers. The guide also provides information on the integration efforts of the Underground Injection Control program with the Source Water Protection program.
For further information contact Kevin McCormack at 202-564-3890 or Sherri Umansky at 202-564-4639.


9. Study Shows Freight and Passenger Rail Cost Benefits-Public Hearings Set

A study just released says freight and passenger service from Bristol to Memphis could be cost beneficial for shippers and competitive with travel on Interstate I-81 and I-40 through Tennessee. The study, done at the direction of the Tennessee Department of Transportation's Division of Public Transportation, Rail and Water, was to determine the feasibility of a major east-west freight rail and passenger corridor. The study was presented to the Rail System Plan Advisory Committee late last week prompting the group to set public hearings to be held across the state in mid-November.

"Public input is critical as we decide on which type of rail plan makes sense for Tennessee. Over the next ten years our interstate highway system will become so overburdened we estimate that in order to keep up with traffic demands on I-40 alone over a billion dollars will need to be spent. The state's railroad system might carry some of the freight rapidly depleting our interstate highway system capacity and do it in a very cost-effective way," said Ben Smith, Director of TDOT's Public Transportation, Rail and Water Division.

The public hearings will be held from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. in the following locations:
Memphis, November 12, Meeting Room C, Memphis/Shelby County Public Library
Nashville, November 13, Metro Nashville Howard Office Building Auditorium
Knoxville, November 14, Small Assembly Room, City/County Building
The public is invited and encouraged to attend.


10. Heinz Center Issues Landmark Report on State of the Nation's Ecosystems

WASHINGTON, D.C.- A new environmental study identifies major gaps in what is known about the nation's lands, waters, and living resources and proposes periodic reporting of key indicators that will inform and influence policy discussions for generations to come.

The highly anticipated report by The H. John Heinz III Center for Science, Economics and the Environment is a succinct and comprehensive-yet unbiased and scientifically sound-examination of the current state of the nation's lands, waters, and living resources. An unprecedented collaboration among nearly 150 experts from government, business, environmental organizations, and academia, the study identifies indicators and reports the best available data on conditions and trends. The State of the Nation's Ecosystems: Measuring the Lands, Waters, and Living Resources of the United States presents a compelling argument for reporting environmental indicators, much as key data are reported to help gauge the state of the national economy.

The report provides indicators for the nation as a whole and for its coasts and oceans, forests, farmlands, fresh waters, grasslands and shrublands, and urban and suburban areas. For each of these systems, the study reports on ten key characteristics of ecosystems that should be tracked over time, and, where the data are available, it describes current conditions and trends.

The ten categories, characterized by about 100 indicators in all, are
* Ecosystem extent - Gains or losses in the area covered by a particular ecosystem
* Fragmentation and landscape pattern - Size, shape, proximity and other patterns of how ecosystems are arranged on the landscape
* Building blocks of life - Amounts and concentrations of key chemicals (nitrogen, phosphorous, carbon, and oxygen) that play vital roles in ecosystems
* Contaminants - The extent of chemical contamination, as well as the frequency with which contaminant levels exceed regulatory standards and advisory guidelines
* Physical conditions - The condition of important physical characteristics of a particular ecosystem, such as coastal erosion or the depth to groundwater
* Plants and animals - The presence and condition of native and non-native species of plants and animals
* Biological communities - The condition of groups of plants and animals that form the "biological neighborhood" for other species
* Plant growth and productivity - The amount of plant growth, which reflects the amount of energy entering an ecosystem and available to all organisms
* Production of food and fiber and use of water - Quantities of goods produced by ecosystems, such as crops, livestock, timber, fish, and water
* Recreation and other services - Activities like swimming, hiking, biking, and hunting, and other services, including plant pollination and flood reduction

"The report brings together in one place indicator data produced by a wide array of excellent but independent environmental monitoring efforts run by both government and private organizations," Clark noted. "These data reveal a rich, complex, and often surprising picture of the state of our nation's ecosystems. Equally important, however, the report shows where that picture is incomplete: nearly half the indicators lack sufficient data."

Participants in the study included representatives of industry and environmental organizations, elected and appointed leaders from local, state and federal government, and scholars. Nine federal agencies and thirteen corporations and foundations funded the project, which was commissioned by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. It calls for annual updates and a revised edition every five years.

The State of the Nation's Ecosystems is published by Cambridge University
Press and is also available in full at www.heinzctr.org/ecosystems


11. Study Shows America's Best Farmland Falling Fastest To Development
This study ranks Tennessee 8th in the nation for farmland lost to development, with an average loss of 25,000 acres per year and climbing. The Tennessee map shows prime at risk farmland concentrated in middle and west Tennessee and along the upper Cumberland Plateau.

The bulldozer threatens our nation's food production. Eighty six percent of America's fruits and vegetables and 63 percent of dairy products are grown on farmland that is increasingly at risk from sprawling development, according to a new study by American Farmland Trust.

Farming on the Edge: Sprawling Development Threatens America's Best Farmland finds that between 1992 and 1997, the U.S. paved over more than 6 million acres of farmland, an areaapproximately equal to the size of Maryland. "The problem is getting worse," said American Farmland Trust President Ralph Grossi. "America developed twice as much farmland in the 1990's as it did in the 1980's. The scary part is that we're losing our high quality farmland-the land best suited for growing food-the fastest. It just doesn't make sense, and it's unnecessary."

The study finds that Americans' wasteful use of land rather than economic growth is causing the problem. From 1982-1997, the U.S. population grew by 17 percent, while urbanized land grew by 47 percent. Over the past 20 years, the acreage per person for new housing almost doubled, and since 1994, 10-plus acre housing lots have accounted for 55 percent of the land developed.

The study includes national and state maps of farmland in the path of development as well as a ranking of the top 20 states by acreage of prime farmland lost to development. Texas is losing the most high quality land, followed by Ohio, North Carolina, Georgia and Illinois.

"Every state is losing some of its best farm and ranchland," Grossi said, "along with the agricultural economy, wildlife habitat and water recharge that the land supports. At this rate, working lands we treasure in some of the nation's renowned agricultural areas-like Texas' Rio Grande Valley, New York's Hudson Valley and Virginia's Shenandoah Valley-could disappear."

In September, 32 states were allocated a total of $50 million in federal Farmland Protection Program spending from the 2002 Farm Bill, but that fell short of covering the $254 million in requests. The
Farmland Protection Program leverages the commitment of states and communities by providing matching dollars. As of January, more than 5,000 farmers were waiting for funding from state and local farmland protection programs to permanently protect their land. "State and local farmland protection programs are doing a great job, but there is so much more to be done," Grossi said. "And we know which actions will make a difference. We must increase funding for agricultural conservation easements at all levels of government. We must target conservation funds to our best, most threatened agricultural areas. We must support effective planning and smart growth to steer development away from our best farmland. It's our responsibility to safeguard this irreplaceable resource for future generations."

The Farming on the Edge study, along with maps identifying threatened farmland in all states, is available on American Farmland Trust's Web site, http://www.farmland.org.


12. EPA releases Water Infrastructure Gap Analysis
During the Water Environment Federation's 75th Annual Conference in Chicago, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Christie Whitman today called for a national forum early next year that will bring together prominent experts and stakeholders so that they can have the opportunity to discuss innovative approaches on how to best meet infrastructure challenges. EPA today released the "Clean Water and Drinking Water Infrastructure Gap Analysis" on the estimated funding needs of our nation's water pipes and plants. "This report looks at infrastructure in the broad sense - everything it takes to deliver clean, safe water to America's homes and businesses and then remove and treat the waste water that results," said Whitman. "From the simplest pipe to the most complex treatment system, we looked at the entire picture."

Assuming no growth in revenues, the total need for clean water -- in both capital and operations and maintenance -- exceeds $270 billion over 20 years. For drinking water, the gap approaches $265 billion for the same period. The size of the gap can be reduced substantially if a real growth in revenues is projected over the same period. Assuming a three percent annual real growth in revenues, for example, the gap shrinks by nearly 90 percent on the clean water side and by about 80 percent on the drinking water side.

For fiscal year 2003, the Administration has already proposed the largest combined request for the state drinking water and clean water revolving loan funds in history -- $2.1 billion. Whitman said that meeting the challenge will require the harnessing of the power of the public and private sectors both for financing and for the development of new technologies and innovations.

For a copy of the "Gap Analysis" log on http://www.epa.gov/owm/featinfo.htm


13. EPA Reports 2000 National Water Quality Inventory

EPA today released its biennial national summary of water quality, based on water monitoring findings reported by the states, territories, jurisdictions and Tribes in 2000 under Section 305(b) of the Clean Water Act. The information in this report applies only to the waters that were assessed for one or more of the uses, such as swimming, fishing, and fish consumption, designated for them by the states.

States assessed 19% of the nation=s 3.7 million total stream miles, 43% of its 40.6 million acres of lakes, ponds and reservoirs, and 36% of its 87,300 estuary square miles for this report. EPA reports that 39% of assessed stream miles, 45% of assessed lake acres, and 51% of assessed estuary square miles in the nation were found to be impaired for one or more uses.

EPA found that the percentage of assessed stream and estuary waters found to be impaired has increased somewhat from the last report in 1998, although that difference is more likely due to changes in assessment approaches than actual water quality changes. Many states are choosing to use higher quality data than in the past in making their assessments, discarding older or less quality-assured data. They are also moving toward more comprehensive examination of fish tissue and issuing statewide advisories limiting the consumption of certain species of fish. Mercury, which originates from air transport from power generating facilities and incinerators, mining, natural rock weathering, and other sources, was cited in approximately 2,240 of the nation=s 2,800 fish consumption advisories reported in 2000 and is reported as a leading cause of impairment in U.S. lakes and estuaries.

Of the nearly 700,000 of assessed stream miles, 39% or 269,258 stream miles were found to be impaired for one or more uses. Pathogens (such as fecal bacteria) and siltation were cited as leading causes of impairment in assessed stream miles. Major sources of these and other stressors in assessed streams include runoff from agricultural land and hydrologic modifications such as dam building, dredging, and channel straightening.

In the nation's 17.3 million assessed lake acres, 45% or 7.7 million acres were found to be impaired for one or more uses. Nutrients, metals (primarily mercury) and siltation were the top three causes of impairment in assessed lake acres. Major sources of these and other stressors in assessed lakes include runoff from agricultural land, hydrologic modifications, and runoff from urban areas and storm sewer discharges.

About 31,000 square miles of estuaries were assessed by the states, and of these, 51%, or 15,676 square miles, were found to be impaired for one or more uses. Metals (primarily mercury), pesticides, and oxygen-demanding substances were reported as the top three causes of impairment in assessed estuary square miles. Major sources of these and other stressors in assessed estuaries include municipal sewage treatment plants, runoff from urban areas and storm sewer discharges, and industrial discharges.

EPA is working to improve identification and cleanup of impaired waters through the Clean Water Act Section 303(d) program. This program calls for participation of the public in the identification of impaired waters and in the development of pollution [email protected] used to restore the health of those waters. EPA is also developing a national monitoring strategy to improve water quality assessment and reporting and ensure that state water quality findings are comprehensive and comparable among states and over time. Under the Clean Water Act, states have primary responsibility for water quality monitoring.

This 2000 National Water Quality Inventory is the 13th in a series published since 1975. New EPA guidance issued in November 2001 calls for future reports to include information on impaired waters as reported by the states under Section 303(d) of the Clean Water Act.

The National Water Quality Inventory: 2000 Report is available on the web at www.epa.gov/305b/2000report


14. See what's new in EnviroMapper for WATER Version 2.0!

EnviroMapper Version 2.0 has a new, improved interface and provides access to an expanded list of information sources, including water program information (Assessed Waters, Beaches, Sewage No Discharge Zones, Nutrient Stations, and Water Quality Stations). Additional data layers have been included. The data layers are, Congressional Districts, Watersheds, Federal Lands, Tribal Lands, and Ecoregions. For more information, please visit http://www.epa.gov/waters/enviromapper/v2new.html.


15. Aquifers-not just an environmental concern

Aquifers: environmental concern, economic necessity John Manuel examines the measures some areas have taken to conserve their aquifers and finds, beneath the surface, that preserving aquifers is not just an environmental concern -- it's also an economic necessity. [GO]

http://www.amrivers.org/feature/hiddenreservoirs.htm

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