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The Horinko Group Newsletter: Issue 5, May 2012

Headlines

Don't Miss This — Biofuel Production: Dissecting the Water-Energy-Land Nexus The Horinko Group Water Division
May 17, 2012 | 1:30 – 3:00 PM EDT | Free Registration
THG’s Water Division will host the third installment in its 2012 free webinar series on May 17 at 1:30pm Eastern to examine the implications of biofuel production on our nation’s land, water, and energy supplies.

Hear insights and explore factual data from a range of experts on these pressing issues.

Featured Panel

  • Dr. Noel Gollehon, Senior Economist, Natural Resources Conservation Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture (Moderator)
  • Elizabeth Erdmann, Assistant Director, Natural Resources and Environment, U.S. Government Accountability Office
  • Dr. May Wu, Environmental Scientist, Center for Transportation Research, Energy System Division, Argonne National Laboratory
  • Ronald Pate, Principal Member of Technical Staff, Earth Systems Analysis & Energy Technologies and Systems Solutions, Sandia National Laboratories

Register for this free webinar today at http://bit.ly/THGMay2012Webinar.

USDA Advances Water Quality Conservation Across the U.S.
United States Department of AgricultureAgriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced the launch of a new National Water Quality Initiative committed to improving one to seven impaired watersheds in every U.S. state and territory.  The Initiative is part of the Obama Administration's White House Rural Council, which is working in partnership with farmers, ranchers and forest owners to improve conservation of working lands in rural America.  The 157 selected watersheds were identified with assistance from state agencies, key partners, and USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) State Technical Committees.  

NRCS will make available at least $33 million in financial assistance to farmers, ranchers and forest landowners this year to implement conservation practices to help provide cleaner water for their neighbors and communities.

All eligible applications must be submitted by June 15, 2012 in order to be considered for this fiscal year's funding opportunity. However, NRCS accepts applications for financial assistance on a continuous basis throughout the year.

Read the full press release at http://1.usa.gov/NWQIrelease.

Flood Insurance Debate Resumes as Deadline Nears
An image of a flooded community.(Reuters) Federal officials are putting fresh pressure on Congress to take action on the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), whose authorization expires at the end of this month (May 31st), one day before hurricane season begins.

The NFIP has been a political football in Washington for years, particularly because of the unsustainable debt load it took on in the wake of Hurricane Katrina in 2005.  There is a broad push to reform the program and put it on a sound financial footing, but competing visions on that reform (including whether to forgive the program’s debts) have stalled legislation.

For now the program remains in business with repeated short-term extensions, though in 2010 it was allowed to lapse for a few weeks.  The Federal Emergency Management Agency is warning of serious consequences if that happens again.

Read the full article at http://reut.rs/J28nGg.

EPA Releases Draft Permitting Guidance for Use of Diesel Fuel in Hydraulic Fracturing
Environmental Protection AgencyThe U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has released draft underground injection control (UIC) program permitting guidance for class II wells that use diesel fuels during hydraulic fracturing activities. The EPA developed the draft guidance to clarify how companies can comply with a law passed by Congress in 2005, which exempted hydraulic fracturing operations from the requirement to obtain a UIC permit, except in cases where diesel fuel is used as a fracturing fluid.

Read the full press release at http://1.usa.gov/EPAuic.

Resources for the Future Releases Water Governance Report
Resources for the FutureResources for the Future (RFF) has released a new report on water governance entitled Managing Water: Governance Innovations to Enhance Coordination. The issue brief was authored by Lynn Scarlett, Co-Director of RFF's Center for the Management of Ecological Wealth and details how communities, both urban and rural, across the United States face water challenges related to water supply, flows, and quality, aging infrastructure, degraded watersheds and habitats, and declining wildlife populations.

Resources for the Future is an independent, nonpartisan think tank that, through its social science research, enables policymakers and stakeholders to make better, more informed decisions about energy, environmental, natural resource, and public health issues. Located in Washington, DC, its research scope comprises programs in nations around the world.

To download a PDF copy of the report, visit http://bit.ly/RFFWaterMay2012.

Addressing the Middle East Water Crisis — One Rain Drop at a Time
Interview with Brendan McGinnis, Founding Member, Water Resources Action Project
By Ed Saltzberg, Managing Director, Security and Sustainability Forum (SSF).

Reliable and accessible safe water is a central challenge to the quality of life in the Middle East. As the water crisis worsens due to populations growth and climate change, rainwater collection and a conservation ethic offers a partial solution to the loss of millions of cubic meters of water in arid urban and rural areas.

Brendan McGinnis, Founding Member of the Water Resources Action Project (WRAP) describes the group’s recent efforts to install rainwater collection systems and implement a parallel educational program in underprivileged schools of East Jerusalem. 

Formed in 2009, WRAP is a volunteer, non-profit organization, seeking to improve public health to underserved communities in the Middle East through water stewardship.  Make a difference at www.wrapdc.org

Upcoming Events

June 2012 Environmental Luncheon Speaker Announced
June 20, 2012 | 12:00 – 1:30 PM EDT | Washington, DChttps://vimeo.com/42107642
The Horinko Group is pleased to announce the next installment in its Environmental Speaker Series Luncheons, taking place on June 20 from 12:00-1:30pm at the firm’s offices in the West End of Washington, DC. 

Featured Luncheon Speaker, Betsy Southerland, Director of U.S. EPA’s Office of Science and Technology, will discuss lessons learned from her years running the Superfund program and trending issues around water, science, and technology.

To RSVP to attend or to inquire about sponsorship opportunities, please contact Isaac Chapman at ichapman@thehorinkogroup.org.

Water Infrastructure Summit — Building a 21st Century Smart Water InfrastructureWater Innovation Alliance
May 18, 2012 | Washington, DC | Registration
The Water Innovation Alliance will be hosting a one-day summit to discuss new ideas and concepts on how to address the challenges of a rapidly aging U.S. water infrastructure.  The Water Infrastructure Summit will be held on May 18, 2012 in Washington D.C.  

For more information and to register please visit here:  www.waterinnovations.org/WIS/.

May is American Wetlands Month!
May 2012 | Nationwide | Related EventsNational Wetlands Month
This May will mark the 22nd anniversary of American Wetlands Month, a time when EPA and its partners celebrate the vital importance of wetlands to the Nation's ecological, economic, and social health.  It is also a great opportunity to discover and teach others about the important role that wetlands play in our environment and the significant benefits they provide — improved water quality, increased water storage and supply, reduced flood and storm surge risk, and critical habitat for plants, fish, and wildlife.  

For additional information about the 2012 observances visit this EPA link at http://1.usa.gov/EPA22ndWetlandsMonth

Coming to St. Louis — River Network River Rally 2013
May 17 – 20, 2013 | St. Louis, MO | Save the Date
River Network
Mark your calendars to meet your water resource colleagues and fellow river enthusiasts next summer in St. Louis (May 17-20, 2013) for River Rally 2013.  

More than 750 NGO, agency and business leaders convened in Portland on May 4-7 for River Rally 2012.  If you weren't able to participate, you can get a sense of the content rich gathering by checking out event related links posted at http://www.rivernetwork.org/programs/river-rally.    

In The Spotlight

What are the Chances for BP RESTORE Act Passage?
This month’s In the Spotlight provides our clients, partners, and friends an insider account of the BP RESTORE Act amendment to the Surface Transportation Bill now in conference committee, authored by contributor Tim Richardson, a Washington, DC-based public affairs consultant.  Mr. Richardson has spent 23 years working in Exxon Valdez restoration and provides unique insight into the restoration opportunities from the BP spill settlement that could benefit fish, wildlife, and people dependent upon a healthy Gulf of Mexico ecosystem for decades to come.

To read this special edition of “In the Spotlight,” visit http://bit.ly/THGMaySpotlight

Featured Column

Excerpt From:No Matter The Cost — Yields Aren’t The Only Thing That Matters When It Comes To Growing Food
Coach Mark Smallwood By: ‘Coach’ Mark Smallwood, Executive Director, The Rodale Institute
It is estimated that by 2050 the global population will have grown 40 percent. These projected 9 billion people provide the urgency for Big Ag’s bigger, faster, better push. Companies that stand to profit from a chaotic rush to growing more food faster in the short term are doing so at the expense of the very earth, air and water on which our food depends. Synthetic fertilizers have allowed us to ignore our degraded soils, toxic pesticides have poisoned our water, and human and environmental health has suffered.

There are farmers, ranchers, citizens and families growing an organic future that will nourish and sustain generations to come. A future built upon rich, healthy soil and into which we can sink our roots. But they’ve been and continue to be denigrated for their choices. Early-on, the trend was to attack the quality of organically grown food—bug–eaten lettuce and scabby apples. In just 20 years, the criticism was the polar opposite–that organic food was gourmet and only for the rich.

To read the remainder of the featured column, visit http://bit.ly/THGMayColumn.

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The Horinko Group is an environmental consulting firm operating at the intersection of science, policy, and communication. The Horinko Group has become a leader in designing and applying innovative solutions to address our nation’s most pressing environmental challenges. We bring together disparate groups of stakeholders and facilitate the collaboration critical to ensure efforts are cost-effective and sustainable.

For the latest updates on the environmental issues you care about, visit us online at www.thgadvisors.org.

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