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The Horinko Group's Newsletter: Sustainabulletin

August 2013 — In this month's bulletin...

leafTHG Hosts Environmental Speaker Series Luncheon

Conference on Medical Geology & Symposium

Contaminated Sediments – How Do We Strike the Proper Balance?

The Horinko Group's April 2012 Salon



September 20, 2013 | 12:00 – 1:30pm EDT | Washington, DC | RSVP

The Horinko Group is pleased to announce the next installment in its Environmental Speaker Series featuring U.S. EPA’s Tom Murray, Chief of the Prevention Analysis Branch in the Pollution Prevention Division of the Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics 

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Tom Murray

On September 20 at THG’s Offices in the West End, Mr. Murray will share insights over an impressive 40-year career at EPA and will discuss a growing success story known as E3 – Economy, Energy, and Environment.  E3 is a coordinated federal and local technical assistance initiative helping communities, manufacturers, and manufacturing supply chains adapt and thrive in today's green economy.  E3 and E3's Green Suppliers Network are working together to strengthen manufacturing in the United States.  Joining forces with the local community, E3 provides manufacturers with customized, hands-on assessments of production processes to reduce energy consumption, minimize their carbon footprint, prevent pollution, increase productivity, and drive innovation.

THG hosts periodic luncheon discussions on timely environmental issues by thought leaders on all sides of the political and policy debate.  The format will feature a brief period of networking, half an hour of informative remarks, and a lively question & answer session.

To RSVP, please contact Sean McGinnis at

For a list of past luncheon speakers, visit


EAST ALTON – The National Great Rivers Research and Education Center (NGRREC) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Mississippi River Commission (MRC) while aboard the Motor Vessel MISSISSIPPI August 15. The MOU designates NGRREC as a lead research partner responsible for helping shape policies established by the MRC. 

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Major General John Peabody and Lewis and Clark President Dale Chapman discuss the partnership between NGRREC and the Mississippi River Commission on board the Motor Vessel MISSISSIPPI on Aug. 15. Photo by S. Paige Allen, L&C Photographer

The MRC is headquartered in Vicksburg, Miss. and provides water resources engineering direction and policy advice to the White House, Congress and the U.S. Army concerning the Mississippi River drainage basin, which covers 41 percent of the U.S. and parts of two Canadian provinces, by overseeing the planning and reporting on the improvements on the Mississippi River.

Major General John Peabody, president of the Mississippi River Commission and commander of the Mississippi Valley Division of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and Dale Chapman, president of Lewis and Clark Community College and board chair of NGRREC, both hailed the MOU as a significant moment for all parties involved.

To read this article in its entirety, visit


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Source: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

(E&E News) The House's version of a major water policy bill is slated to be marked up when Congress returns from recess in September, Transportation and Infrastructure Chairman Bill Shuster (R-Pa.) announced recently.  Shuster had originally hoped to mark up his bill before Congress left town but was widely believed to be waiting for guaranteed floor time before moving the measure.  The schedule announced has received the support of House leadership, the committee said in a release.

The chairman has long promised a reform-heavy measure, and to emphasize that he has added the word to the bill's title, making it the "Water Resources Reform and Development Act" (WRRDA).

To read this article in its entirety, visit


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Source: Associated Press

(Bloomberg BNA) On August 1, President Obama signed an executive order on chemical security that aims to streamline information sharing, modernize regulations, and establish a federal working group to improve coordination between various governmental entities.

The main goals of the order (Executive Order No. 13,650) are improving coordination with state and local partners on risk management and emergency planning for chemical emergencies, enhancing information sharing among federal agencies, the modernization of various chemical security regulations, and stakeholder outreach to develop industry best practices.  The order calls for the formation of a working group, co-chaired by the Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Homeland Security, and the Department of Labor, that will provide a status update within 270 days of the order.

To read this article in its entirety, visit


Cargill shipping barge; Source: Star Tribune

Source: U.S. EPA

(U.S. EPA) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) updated its RE-Powering Mapping and Screening Tool, which will now provide preliminary screening results for renewable energy potential at 66,000, up from 24,000, contaminated lands, landfills, and mine sites across the country.  The RE-Powering America’s Land Initiative, started by EPA in 2008, encourages development of renewable energy on potentially contaminated land, landfills and mine sites when it is aligned with the community’s vision for the site.

“We see responsible renewable energy development on contaminated lands and landfills as a win-win-win for the nation, local communities, and the environment,” said Mathy Stanislaus, assistant administrator for the Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response.  “In President Obama’s Climate Action Plan, the administration set a goal to double renewable electricity generation by 2020.  By identifying the renewable energy potential of contaminated sites across the country, these screening results are a good step toward meeting national renewable energy goals in order to address climate change, while also cleaning up and revitalizing contaminated lands in our communities.”

To read the full press release, visit


Flood Mitigation Strategy

Resources for the Future recently released a discussion paper entitled, Floodplain Conservation as a Flood Mitigation Strategy examining one particular example of floodplain conservation for flood damage reduction along the Meramec River in St. Louis County, Missouri.  The research compares the costs of conservation investments to the flood damages avoided by retaining the floodplain land as open space.  It also models the value of additional aesthetic and recreational benefits as part of the economic analysis.

To view the full report, visit


Alton(Source: NOAA)

Source: NOAA

(IEMA) Twenty years ago, communities along the Mississippi River and many other rivers in the Midwest were dealing with the historic, months-long Great Flood of 1993. Despite heroic efforts by local officials and legions of volunteers, dozens of levees were breached, damaging or destroying thousands of homes, businesses and public properties.

Today, rising waterways still present a flood risk for many communities along rivers.  But flood mitigation efforts in the past 20 years by the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) have helped remove 3,928 structures from flood-prone areas.  This action has saved communities from flood-fighting and public safety expenses while helping residents avoid the heartbreak and costs of repeated flood loss.

To read this article in its entirety, visit



The U.S. Geological Survey’s (USGS) National Water-Quality Assessment Program recently published a report detailing the findings of their national assessment of the ecological health of streams.  The assessment has been ongoing for a number of years and investigates stream health from 1993-2005.  The report includes an ecological primer to provide the foundational understanding of factors affecting biological health.  It then delves into the biological condition assessments of streams in 51 river basins across the U.S. and concludes with a number of case studies on factors influencing the health of various streams.

To view the full USGS report, visit


MEDGEO2013 Conference on Medical Geology & Symposium on Advances in Geospatial Technologies for Health
August 25-29, 2013|Arlington, VA| Registration

MEDGEO2013 Conference

MEDGEO2013 marks the 5th International conference on Medical Geology and is organized by the Geology and Health Division of the Geological Society of America and the International Medical Geology Association.  The conference includes the 2nd Symposium on Advances in Geospatial Technologies for Health and the technical program includes topics describing research on the relationships between health and environmental influences like radioactivity, hydraulic fracturing, medical mineralogy, arsenic and others.  Participants and presenters will include geoscientists, environmentalists, and biomedical/public health researchers from dozens of countries.

For additional information, visit

World Water Week
September 1-6, 2013 | Stockholm, Sweden | Registration

World Water Week, organized by the Stockholm World Water WeekInternationalWaterInstitute, takes place annually in Stockholm, convening over 200 organizations from around the world to present findings at scientific workshops and participate in seminars and side events.  The theme of this year’s event is Water Cooperation—Building Partnerships.

For additional information, visit

WateReuse Symposium
September 15-18, 2013 | Denver, CO | Registration

WateReuse SymposiumThe 28th annual WateReuse Symposium is presented by the WateReuse Association and cosponsored by the Water Environment Federation and the American Water Works Association.  The conference will present the latest innovations in water reuse and will include technical presentations and panel discussions on industrial reuse, water quality, produced water, direct potable reuse, decentralized reuse, desalination, sustainability, and more.

For additional information, visit

Community-Based Public-Private Partnerships for Urban Stormwater Retrofits
September 26, 2013 | Annapolis, MD | AnnouncementGrowing Sustainable Communities Conference

The U.S. EPA in partnership with Maryland Environmental Service and Maryland Department of the Environment will be hosting a day-long introductory training and best practices presentation on establishing innovative public-private partnerships for affordable green stormwater management and community revitalization in local jurisdictions.

For additional information, visit

SER2013 World Conference on Ecological Restoration
October 6-11, 2013 | Madison, WI | Registration

SER2013 World ConferenceThe Society for Ecological Restoration will be hosting the 5th annual World Conference on Ecological Restoration entitled Reflections on the Past, Directions for the Future.  The conference will bring together delegates from around the world interested in the science and practice of ecological restoration as it relates to natural resource management, climate change responses, biodiversity conservation, local and indigenous communities, environmental policy and sustainable livelihoods.

For additional information, visit


Brownfields in California – 2013 Outlook

By: Maureen Gorsen, Partner, Alston & Bird LLP
The status of brownfields redevelopment in California in 2013 wavers between dismal and moribund.

Brownfields in California – 2013 Outlook

Source: CA DTSC

With the dissolution by Governor Brown of the redevelopment agencies in early 2012, California lost one of its strongest tools to clean up viable properties, including the liability relief they offered to new owners. 

Furthermore, California’s budget crisis of the past five years has dried up any public funding for brownfields cleanup.  The recession and unemployment are lingering longer and deeper in California than the rest of the country, and the recent tax increase voters approved will mostly accrue to schools and education.  With the exception of Silicon Valley and the Bay Area, real estate values make most brownfields redevelopment infeasible.

To make matters worse... 

To read the remainder of In the Spotlight, visit


Contaminated Sediments – How Do We Strike the Proper Balance? (EXCERPT)

Richard Fox

Richard Fox
Vice President/Principal Scientist, Natural Resource Technology, Inc.

Excerpt from: Contaminated Sediments – How Do We Strike the Proper Balance?

By: Richard Fox, Vice President/Principal Scientist, Natural Resource Technology, Inc.

Contaminated sediment projects represent some of our country’s largest environmental sites in terms of size, complexity, and cost due to several factors including:

- Transport of contaminants during and after discharge to the water body;

- Persistence of hydrophobic contaminants (i.e., those that do not dissolve in water);

- Transfer of contaminants through the food chain; and,

- A high degree of uncertainty as to how contaminants move through the food chain.

USEPA and state environmental agencies (Agencies) are increasingly focused on reducing potential risk through remediating contaminated sediment sites around the country.  Large programs such as USEPA Great Lakes National Program Office’s (GLNPO) Great Lakes Legacy Act (GLLA) are dedicated to addressing contaminated sediments.  Although the GLLA is focused on specific sites in the Great Lakes, the issue of contaminated sediments is nationwide.