ASLO joins aquatic societies in urging Biden Administration to reinstate a science-based definition of Waters of the United States

Policy

ASLO joins aquatic societies in urging Biden Administration to reinstate a science-based definition of Waters of the United States

The Association for the Sciences of Limnology and Oceanography has joined the Consortium of Aquatic Science Societies (CASS) in sending a letter to the Biden Administration urging a return to a science-based definition of Waters of the United States (WOTUS). In 2018, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Army Corps of Engineers issued a new rule significantly narrowing the types of waters receiving federal Clean Water Act protections. The …

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Supreme Court questions role of groundwater connectivity in point source pollution

By Maha Joana Cziesielski On November 6th the Supreme Court of the United States held a hearing for the case County of Maui v. Hawaii Wildlife Fund. The arguments pertained to the question on whether the Clean Water Act requires a permit for the discharge of pollutants when the pollutant has traveled from a point source and through groundwater into navigable waters (see Cziesielski, 2019 for a summary of the …

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An Overview of the upcoming Supreme Court case: County of Maui v. Hawaii Wildlife Fund

By Maha Joana Cziesielski   The County of Maui is being taken to the Supreme Court by a number of advocacy groups, led by the Hawaii Wildlife Fund, after a study showed that wastewater from the Lahaina Wastewater Reclamation Facility injected into groundwater could be traced into the Pacific ocean. The Clean Water Act prohibits the discharge of pollutants from a point source into navigable waters, unless an authorized National Pollutant Discharge …

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Policy Alert: EPA Proposes New Rules to Implement Clean Water Act’s State Water Quality Certification Program

By Brittany Schieler Quick overview: The EPA proposed changes to implementation of Section 401 of the Clean Water Act (Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OW-2019-0405) which will significantly restrict a state or tribe’s authority in certifying infrastructure projects that will impact its waters and watershed habitat.  On August 8th the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed changes to implementation of Section 401 of the Clean Water Act (CWA), which were officially entered into the Federal Register on August 22, 2019 (Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OW-2019-0405). Section 401 requires state (or tribal) water quality certification for federal permits on infrastructure projects that, “may …

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A Taste of Capitol Hill Ocean Week 2019

By Brittany Schieler One of the reasons I came to D.C. after graduation was to step out of the research bubble and get some first-hand exposure to how science and data are used to solve problems and shape policy. I felt this was important to my career because no matter how narrow and focused our science question is, science is never done in a vacuum. How and what we do …

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Student Meets Capitol Hill: A Case for Policy Training in Graduate Education

By Brittany Schieler Thesis proposal? Check. A carefully crafted list of courses? Check. Peer-reviewed articles and conference attendance? Check, check. I had hit all of the important educational and professional benchmarks typically required in a science Ph.D. program. But what about a visit to my congressman’s office on Capitol Hill? Preparation of a “one-pager” and a clear list of my “asks”? This was some of the unique training I received …

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ASLO comments on proposal to increase nutrient loads to Lake Baikal

ASLO has written to the Ministry of Natural Resources and Ecology of Russian Federation in response to ASLO member concern over proposed changes to regulations surrounding discharge into Lake Baikal (see The Moscow Times story for further information). The full text of the letter from ASLO President Mike Pace is below.  April 3, 2019 Dear Minister Kobylkin Dmitry Nikolaevich: I am writing to you in my capacity as President of the Association …

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ASLO Comments on NSF GEO Committee Report

In Fall 2014, the Advisory Committee for the NSF Geosciences Directorate (AC-GEO) released an important report: “Dynamic Earth: GEO Priorities and Frontiers 2015-2020”. The report identifies geoscience imperatives in research, including investments in “basic water cycle research to foster a better understanding of water as a primary agent for transporting mass and energy throughout the Earth.”  ASLO was invited to comment. The Association for the Sciences of Limnology and Oceanography (ASLO) has …

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CASS Letter on Waters of the United States

We are writing today on behalf of CASS (the Consortium of Aquatic Scientific Societies), a group of scientific societies including the American Fisheries Society, the Association for the Sciences of Limnology and Oceanography, the Phycological Society of America, the Society for Freshwater Science, and the Society of Wetland Scientists. Our societies founded CASS in recognition of the integration among all aquatic systems. While water, and the scientists who study it, …

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