Flooding in Missouri towns as Mississippi River tops its banks
Obama: Climate change threatens shipping routes
The Mississippi River at St. Louis has already topped 40 feet — more than 10 feet above its flood stage. The river is expected to crest Tuesday.
And more rain is forecast for Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma and Arkansas over the next several days, CNN meteorologist Indra Petersons said. While the St. Louis area may not get the heaviest rain, its location — where the Missouri River dumps into the Mississippi River — makes it vulnerable to rainwater rushing downstream from tributaries.
In the St. Louis area, murky brown water covered roads and crept all the way to the doors of houses.
He subtly makes the case to adapt rivers and ports to climate change.
Iowa group sues EPA over health of rivers, Gulf The agency must limit fertilizer runoff into the Mississippi River, the lawsuit says.
President Obama said Tuesday that federal investments in waterway maintenance will be vital as drought fueled by climate change creates problems for barges bringing goods out of the Midwest.
Obama, during a meeting of the President’s Export Council, noted recent problems moving goods when last year’s major drought lowered water levels in the Mississippi River.
“Recently we had the challenge of … getting goods from the Midwest down the Mississippi when the water started going down,” Obama said.
He said the upcoming White House budget proposal would seek to address maintenance needs.
“And if in fact temperatures are warming — I know this is not our climate change meeting — but I think we can anticipate that we may end up having some challenges in terms of managing our waterways well, whether or not we can continue to use barges to move a lot of product out of the American heartland to ports around the world, that is going to depend on our infrastructure,” Obama said.
“So we are going to, in our budget, continue to push Congress to see if we can essentially deal with deferred maintenance,” he added in emphasizing the importance of waterway and port infrastructure.
The president touched on climate change very briefly during wide-ranging remarks about U.S. export and trade policy.
Via The Hill H/T Marcacci Communications Environment News Roundup
"The Iowa Environmental Council and a raft of other nonprofit groups have sued the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, contending the agency and the state of Iowa haven’t done enough to keep nitrogen and phosphorus out of the Mississippi River.
The pollution not only fouls Iowa’s waterways, but also contributes to a largely lifeless “dead zone” roughly the size of Massachusetts each summer in the Gulf of Mexico, one of the nation’s prized shrimping areas.
The groups contend in a lawsuit announced Wednesday that the EPA is required to set numerical limits on the pollutants under the federal Clean Water Act. Both elements occur naturally and are key ingredients in fertilizer for crops, yards and golf courses. They also come from sewage-treatment plants.
The pollutants carried by the Mississippi River causes algae blooms that deplete oxygen levels in the water as the algae die.
The lawsuit, filed Tuesday in New Orleans, is in response to a decision by the EPA last year to reject the environmental group’s 2008 petition seeking to force it to set the standards. In its response, the EPA acknowledges the pollution is a serious environmental issue but says it has relied largely on states to take action. Iowa and other states, in turn, have said they were waiting for the EPA to set firm guidelines before acting.”
Des Moines Register
Report: Mississippi River second-most toxic in U.S.
"In category after category, the Mississippi finishes in the top three for dangerous contaminants discharged into it and coming out of it. The Mississippi is number two nationwide for total toxic discharges,
- with 12,339,749 pounds of dangerous material in 2010, the last year with data available;
- it finishes top two again for total number of cancer-causing discharges (180,339 pounds);
- it slips to the three slot for total number of toxicants discharged that are linked to developmental issues (74,021 pounds);
- and the Mississippi jumps back into second position for total number of toxicants discharged that are linked with reproductive issues (70,656 pounds).”
Read the rest, including a link to the report, at RFT.