wild animals


This is such a cool idea. I do not know which plants take in the most carbon. Probably young tree saplings. So they would not be good to use because their uptake slows down as they age. Maybe switch grass? Anyway this is about the concept and the New Mexico experiment to attempt it.

http://www.boulderweekly.com/article-13275-your-next-roadside-attraction-carbon-storage.html

Thursday, August 28,2014

Your next roadside attraction: Carbon storage

By Marianne Lavell

As you watch the miles roll by on family road trips this summer, look just behind the guard rails to see what some scientists believe is a significant untapped resource in the battle against climate change.

Roadside soils and vegetation on federal lands and along U.S. highways are already capturing nearly 2 percent of total U.S. transportation carbon emissions

The land alongside the 4 million miles of U.S. public roadways, already being maintained by federal, stat, and local governments, could be planted with vegetation that helps transfer carbon from the atmosphere into the soil, say scientists. Road banks and berms, in other words, could be managed as valuable “banks” for carbon sequestration.

“We’re talking millions of acres,” says biologist Rob Ament, of the Western Transportation Institute at Montana State University, who led a recent study to gauge carbon storage potential on just a fraction of that real estate — roadsides on federal lands.

Shrubs, grasses and other plants already along roads in U.S. National Parks, wildlife refuges and other public lands currently are capturing about 7 million metric tons of carbon each year, Ament said in a report on his findings at this month’s North American Congress for Conservation Biology. That’s equivalent to the annual carbon emissions of 5 million cars — without any effort made to optimize the mix of plantings and soil management practices for carbon storage.

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Go there and read. More next week.

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Normally I do not run purely local environmental articles, but this is pretty cool. I hope this actually happens.

 

http://www.sj-r.com/article/20141119/NEWS/141119436/-1/json

 

Study urges better use of Sangamon River

  • By Tim Landis
    Business Editor
    Posted Nov. 19, 2014 @ 10:00 pm

The Sangamon River is a major untapped resource for tourism, recreation and Abraham Lincoln history in the region.

A just-completed state study of an 85-mile section from Petersburg to Decatur also concluded the river is in need of a major image upgrade, including acknowledgement of the role it played in the life of Lincoln, improved boat access, bike and hiking trails, more public facilities, scenic driving routes, conservation incentives, and stepped-up efforts to reduce fly dumping.

Public presentation of the report — “Lincoln Heritage Water Trail” — at a policy breakfast of the Citizens Club of Springfield on Friday is timed to the 50th anniversary in 2015 of the Lincoln Heritage Canoe Trail.

Gov. Otto Kerner approved creation of the original 65-mile river trail in 1965

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Go there and read. More next week.

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But had I read this article before dealing with the problem in my basement I would have known to go straight for the water sources and not messed around with the other stuff I put outside on the porch or on the compost pile. But getting rid of that stuff did not hurt. I mean pancake mix that is two years old. Plant dubris that is months old and could act as food for the midges. So the energy saved in this case is MINE and that is important too.

http://www.ces.ncsu.edu/depts/ent/notes/Urban/midges.htm

Residential, Structural and Community Pest Logo

NCSU logo - click for NCSU home page

http://entomology.ncsu.edu/

 

 

BIOLOGY AND CONTROL OF NON-BITING AQUATIC MIDGES

By: Charles Apperson, Michael Waldvogel and Stephen Bambara, Extension Entomology

Insect Note – ENT/rsc-15

Non-biting midge flies or chironomids commonly occur in inland and coastal natural and man-made bodies of water. These midges are commonly known as “blind mosquitoes” because they are mosquito-like but do not bite. Midges are also called “fuzzy bills” because of the male’s bushy antennae. These aquatic insects are tolerant of a wide range of environmental conditions. Chironomid midges are found in swift moving streams, deep slow moving rivers, stagnant ditches, and in lakes and ponds that are rich in decomposing organic matter. The presence of certain chironomid midges is often used as an indicator of water quality.Bodies of water in urban and suburban areas are subjected to intensive human use through residential, recreational and agricultural activities. Through runoff, these ponds and lakes often become exceedingly rich in nutrients. Consequently, the variety of organisms in such habitats is usually low with just a few pollution tolerant species developing large populations. Some species of chironomid midges that are tolerant of low dissolved oxygen conditions often are a major component of the bottom invertebrate organisms of urban and suburban lakes, ponds and storm water retention ponds.
BENEFICIAL ASPECTS
Most species of chironomid midges are highly desirable organisms in aquatic habitats. Midges are an important food source for fish and predatory aquatic insects. Larvae “clean” the aquatic environment by consuming and recycling organic debris

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Go there and read. Got the little bastards. More next week.

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Well that makes sense because humans are driving themselves to extinction.

http://www.eenews.net/stories/1059995434

ENDANGERED SPECIES:

FWS finalizes ‘landmark’ lesser prairie chicken protections from drilling

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has finalized a voluntary agreement designed to protect the lesser prairie chicken and its dwindling habitat from oil and gas drilling activity as the deadline approaches for the service to decide whether to list the colorful bird as threatened.

FWS and the Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (WAFWA) announced late Friday that they had signed the formal agreement, called the Range-wide Oil and Gas Candidate Conservation Agreement With Assurances.

Landowners and companies that enroll in the Candidate Conservation Agreement With Assurances (CCAA) through WAFWA agree to take steps to protect lesser prairie chicken habitat and to pay a mitigation fee if their actions harm the bird’s habitat. In exchange, the service agrees not to impose any further restrictions or mandates on the participants if the bird is listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act.

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Go there and read. More next week.

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I know this area is where the mantra – Government is BAD was born. Mainly because of integration and the regulation of tobacco (not to mention the moonshiners). This attack on all things paid for by taxes has continued unabated for the last 60 years. But really, 2 major rivers have suffer significant contamination in the past month and nothing has been done? Nothing. West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and now North Carolina and Virginia, and no legislation has been proposed. We do not even have testing to find out what these contaminates really are. And in the second case no studies into MGHM to say even what the chemical does. Really?

http://news.yahoo.com/nc-river-turns-gray-sludge-coal-ash-spill-024204513.html

NC river turns to gray sludge after coal ash spill

Associated Press

ON THE DAN RIVER, N.C. (AP) — Canoe guide Brian Williams dipped his paddle downstream from where thousands of tons of coal ash has been spewing for days into the Dan River, turning the wooden blade flat to bring up a lump of gray sludge.

On the riverbank, hundreds of workers at a Duke Energy power plant in North Carolina scrambled to plug a hole in a pipe at the bottom of a 27-acre pond where the toxic ash was stored.

Since the leak was first discovered by a security guard Sunday afternoon, Duke estimates up to 82,000 tons of ash mixed with 27 million gallons of contaminated water has spilled into the river. Officials at the nation’s largest electricity provider say they cannot provide a timetable for when the leak will be fully contained, though the flow has lessened significantly as the pond has emptied.

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And earlier this was West Virginia.

Federal grand jury investigates West Virginia chemical spill

By Drew Griffin. David Fitzpatrick and Patricia DiCarlo CNN

(CNN) — A federal grand jury investigation has been launched into the West Virginia chemical spill that left 300,000 people unable to use their water supply, CNN learned Tuesday.

Sources familiar with the grand jury’s activities tell CNN that subpoenas have been issued requiring testimony for what one federal official confirms is a criminal investigation.

Meanwhile, an independent water test conducted at CNN’s request has found trace levels of the chemical 4-methylcyclohexane methanol, or MCHM, remain in both untreated river water and tap water from two homes in Charleston.

The results by TestAmerica found the chemical is within the safe level of 1 part per million set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; whether that level is safe is disputed

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Go there and read. More next week.

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No Frackers will go to jail if they violate WHAT LAWS? IDNR might as well give away the state of Illinois to being totally trashed. Where will the Fracking start? In our State Parks?

Day 49   1/2/13

Topic:  Fines penalties, suspensions and revocations

For regulations to work, levied fines must exceed the financial benefit a company gains by violating the rules. None of the rulemaking sanctions meet this criterion. This results in the other 150 pages of rules being essentially meaningless because they will be ignored.   The draft rule sanctions place the Hydraulic Fracturing Regulatory Act (HFRA)  on the road to failure before the first permit is issued.

Examples:

  1. Section 1-100(b) of the law specifies misdemeanor and felony criminal charges for a number of violations of the law.  Yet there are NO criminal charges in the rules
  2. In Section 1-60(a)1-6 of the law, there are six (6) grounds for suspension or revocation of a permit.  These are re-listed with a 7th in section 245.1100 of the rules.  But the very next  section of the Rules–245.1110–reduces the grounds for an immediate permit suspension to one: “an emergency condition posing a significant hazard to the public health, aquatic life, wildlife or the environment.” This is the most stringent requirement of the seven grounds listed in section 245.1100.  Why bother to list seven possible grounds for permit suspension or revocation in section 245.1100 if you then require the Department to identify the most stringent criteria for an immediate suspension.
  3. Section 1-60(b) of the law requires a much lower standard of proof to suspend, revoke or deny a permit than the rules (245.1110).  Under the law, the Department need only serve notice of its action (to suspend, revoke or deny), including a statement of the reasons for the action.
  4. In the law, if a well operator’s permit has been suspended, the burden of proof is on well operator to prove that the identified problem is “no significant threat to public health, aquatic life, wildlife, or the environment” [Section 1-60(d)].  In the rules, this phrase becomes something IDNR must prove before ordering a permit suspension [Rule Section 245.1100(b)3A].
  5. Sections 1-100 and 1-101 of the law have some stiff penalties that accrue on a daily basis until the reason for the fine is corrected.  These fines can go as high as $50,000 per violation and up to $10,000 per day.  These are replaced by fines so trivial ($50-$2500) that it will cost the IDNR more to impose and collect a fine than the dollar value of the fine itself.

Revisions Needed:  Return to the standards of the law with regard to fines, penalties and revocations.

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510 E. Washington St. Suite 309
Bloomington, IL 61701
United States

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Go there and comment. We are done with this.
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Just take a look at all the gaping holes the other extraction industry have left in Illinois. Their are parts of Illinois that look like the 10,000 lakes area in Minnesota that used to be valuable farmland. This will be no different.

Day 46  12/30/13

Topic:  Topsoil Replacement Requirements

Comment:

Sections 1-70(b)2 and 1-95(c) of the Hydraulic Fracturing Regulatory Act state that stripped topsoil is to be replaced with similar soil and the site returned to its pre-drilling condition.

Section 1-95(c) of the Act specifically states: “The operator shall restore any lands used by the operator other than the well site and production facility to a condition as closely approximating the pre-drilling conditions that existed before the land was disturbed for any stage of site preparation activities, drilling, and high volume horizontal hydraulic fracturing operations.”

When drilling is anticipated to be completed in less than a year, Section 245.410(d) of the Rules stipulates that the topsoil is to stockpiled and stabilized to prevent erosion.  However, “In the event it is anticipated that the final reclamation shall take place in excess of one year from drilling the well, the topsoil may be disposed of in any lawful manner provided the permittee reclaims the site with topsoil of similar characteristics of the topsoil removed.”

What is missing, and needed, in this section of the Rules is the stipulation that the replacement topsoil will be not only similar in characteristics of the topsoil removed, but also match the removed topsoil in VOLUME.   In fact, there is no place in the rules that requires measurement of the topsoil removed or measurement of the replacement topsoil.  Without such a requirement, it would be easy for an unscrupulous operator to replace the topsoil with smaller quantities than were originally removed.

Revisions Needed:  When final reclamation is anticipated to exceed one year and topsoil is removed from the site, Section 245.410(d) must require measuring the volume of the removed topsoil and stipulate that the replacement topsoil will match both the quality AND quantity of the removed topsoil.

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510 E. Washington St. Suite 309
Bloomington, IL 61701
United States

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Go there and comment. More tomorrow.

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I participated in an emergency enactment of a possible New Madrid  quake in which St. Louis suffered major damage. This event was held in St. John Hospital’s parking lot. I was a volunteer person, who was pressed into service as gurney “pusher and puller” having no medical skills. The drill went like this. A helicopter would fly in (there were ten supplied by the Missouri and Illinois Guard) and the survivors where lifted off the helicopter on hand carried stretchers laid on the ground in a triage area. There were three treatment areas in the parking lot, one for broken bones treatable without surgery, one for moderate puncture wounds, and one for moderate trauma of many types. So I did the helicopter deal for a while which was pretty hard work. After about 10 helicopters I was pretty beat, so they put me on gurney duty which was a LOT easier. So what couldn’t be treated in the short term areas were put on gurneys (it helped if the survivors where a little ambulatory) and pushed/pulled them into the hospital to either the emergency room which got those not needing immediate surgery and the immediate surgery ones were taken to surgery on the third floor and another floor (4) which had been converted to surgical suits. The buses with refugees started arriving at noon. They did not have enough volunteers to be refugees so to simulate the scenario each seat on the bus was filled with individual supplies (personal hygiene, blankets, clothes if needed, food packets etc.)  and then the bus was driven to the State Fair Grounds where tents were being erected. This went on until 5 o’clock. I was told by one of the coordinators that he thought the activity would have gone on for at least 4 or 5 days nonstop. In this scenario there was only mild damage to Springfield and Litchfield but pretty much everything in southern Illinois and St. Louis/South Central Missouri was destroyed.

 

Day 31 of the IDNR Comment Period

Our server will be down for routine maintenance tomorrow so we are sending the comment for tomorrow (Sunday)–a little early.  You won’t want to miss commenting on this one:

Topic: The risk of large scale environmental disasters

Section 1-53 of the regulatory bill requires that fracking operations be conducted in a “manner that will protect the public health and safety and prevent pollution.”  And yet, the rules do not address the risk of large-scale and widespread environmental disasters that can occur as a result of fracking in the Wabash Valley and New Madrid Earthquake Zones or in the Illinois 100-year floodplain.

The New Madrid Earthquake zone has been known to historically cause “major” earthquakes of over 7 on the Richter magnitude scale.  The Illinois Emergency Management Agency itself identifies these areas with its most severe earthquake zone ratings of “Destructive” and “Ruinous.” An earthquake of these magnitudes, compounded with fracking and injection wells spread throughout the affected zone is quite literally, a recipe for disaster.

Furthermore earthquakes of these magnitudes can easily damage fracking wells, open air pits, pipelines, injection wells – causing toxic and radioactive fracking fluids to pour out into the ground and contaminate the soil and groundwater sources of hundreds of thousands of Illinoisans. Even Ohio Governor, John Kasich, a fracking advocate, has issued an executive order requiring operators to conduct seismic studies before the state will issue well permits.

Similarly, allowing any sort of fracking operations to occur within the Illinois 100 year floodplain zone is also asking for disaster. The environmental devastation caused by the recent floods in Colorado is a case in point. Inundated oil pads, flooded wells, overturned tanks, and ruptured lines were just a few of problems experienced in Colorado as a result of wide-scale flooding. A damaged oil tank dumped 5,250 gallons of oil into the South Platte River south of Milliken, Colorado on 9/18/13 during the flood.   The South Platte River, extends to Nebraska and then filters into the Ogallala Aquifer which serves much of the middle of the country.

Open-air pits—which the Rules allow—are particularly vulnerable in a flood. When open-air pits fill with water, there is nothing covering the surface to prevent the fracking wastewater from spilling out of the pit and into the floodwaters, exposing every living thing downstream to the chemicals, brine, radioactivity, etc. that was in the pit.

  • Solution:
    • Avoid fracking in active seismic zones and flood plains.

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510 E. Washington St. Suite 309
Bloomington, IL 61701
United States

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Go there and comment. More soon.

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Run little doggies, run for the hills, but if you are a fish you are pretty much dead.

 

Today (Saturday, 11/30/13) is Day 16 of the IDNR Comment Period on Fracking.  Thanks for hanging in there with us even on this holiday weekend!

Day 16  USED 11/30/13

Topic:  Definition of “Aquatic Life” is too narrow

  • Click the button: Subpart A: General Provisions
  • In the “Section” dropdown box, click:  245.110 Definitions
  • Submit your comment/s (below)
  • Click “Submit”

Section 245.110 Section 245.110 of the Proposed Hydraulic Fracturing Regulatory Act administrative rules, states: “Aquatic life” means all fish, reptiles, amphibians, crayfish, and mussels.

Problems with this section:

  1. This definition is too narrow and does not include many other species that may be important to an aquatic ecosystem.  Aquatic life cannot be understood apart from the larger aquatic ecosystem which sustains it.
  2. Freshwater ecosystems (limnology) not only include fauna, but also flora (plants), micro/macro invertebrates, oxygen levels and algae, for example.

Why these are problems:

  1. Exclusively focusing on a limited definition of “aquatic life” unnecessarily narrows the impact to the larger ecosystem that sustains it.
  2. By the time a fish kill occurs pollution caused by fracking will have reached a critical stage, causing havoc across the larger ecosystem.
  3. It neglects the biological criteria for the protection of aquatic life.

Revisions Needed:

  1. The definition of “aquatic life” must be broadened to include “aquatic ecosystems”.
  2. Specific scientific standards must be developed to include:  a) Biological standards, b) High quality water resources, c) Modified or limited water resources, and d) Stressor identification.

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510 E. Washington St. Suite 309
Bloomington, IL 61701
United States

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Go there and comment. More tomorrow/

 

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Will Chevron have wells in Illinois? Probably not.  They are to busy illegally fracking their wells off of California’s shoreline. But chatting them up can’t hurt.

Day 1 on 11/15/13

Topic: Who can and can’t testify and public hearings when fracking permits are requested. 

 

Go to:   http://www.dnr.illinois.gov/OilandGas/Pages/OnlineCommentSubmittalForm.aspx

Radio Button: Subpart B: Registration and Permitting Procedures (245.200-245.270)

 

Comment: Because air and water travel freely, IDNR should not limit comments during public hearings to individuals living within 1500 feet of wells.  Toxins can travel far beyond 1500 feet via air and water.  Therefore, any person, regardless of where they live, should be allowed to testify.

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Go there and comment. More today.

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