water

Two-year delay to WOTUS applicability date finalized after the Supreme Court ruled that challenges belong in federal district courts

U.S. Supreme Court building

On January 22, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously ruled that any challenges to the Waters of the United States (WOTUS) Rule must be filed in federal district courts, not federal courts of appeals. While the Supreme Court’s ruling would have permitted enforcement of the WOTUS Rule in 37 states, the EPA and USACE finalized a rule on January 31 that creates a new applicability date for the WOTUS rule two years from now.

Senate passes bipartisan ocean monitoring and research act

Ocean Core Sampling

On January 8, the Senate unanimously passed Senator Roger Wicker’s (R-MS) Coordinated Ocean Monitoring and Research Act (S.1425). The bipartisan bill revises and reauthorizes the Integrated Coastal and Ocean Observation System (ICOOS) Act of 2009, which established the Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS) to consolidate and coordinate the efforts of hundreds of federal, state, and local observing programs through fiscal year (FY) 2021. In addition to reauthorizing the ICOOS Act, S.1425 promotes best practices regarding data sharing for public use, investment in autonomous unmanned underwater and surface ocean research vehicles, closing gaps in high frequency radar, and assisting Coast Guard search and rescue operations.

Water as One Resource

This course provides an overview of how groundwater and surface water interact, what the implications of these interactions on water resources are, and how water can be more effectively managed if an understanding of these interactions is incorporated.

The course presenters are Ken Bradbury from the Wisconsin Geological and Natural History Survey, William A. Alley from the National Groundwater Association, and Thomas Harter from the University of California, Davis.

Techniques for Developing High Resolution LNAPL Conceptual Site Models

This course is intended for geologists involved in Light Non-Aqueous Phase Liquid (LNAPL) assessment and remediation. This course provides information on the development of high resolution conceptual site models that can be used to guarantee the project goals are met. The class will cover advantages of a high resolution LNAPL Conceptual Site Model (LCSM); design and implementation of a high resolution investigation field program; case studies and end uses of a high resolution LCSM.

The course presenter is Roger Lamb.

Making Produced Water More Productive

Geoscience is essential to our understanding and management of produced water, an inevitable byproduct of oil and gas development. This course provides a scientific and regulatory background of produced water, how it is commonly disposed, what opportunities exist for the re-use of produced water, and what the environmental and regulatory challenges for re-using produced waters are.

The course presenters are Kyle Murray from the Oklahoma Geological Survey, Jeri Sullivan Graham from the Los Alamos National Laboratory, and Holly Pearen from the Environmental Defense Fund.

Desalination as a Source of Fresh Water

Fresh water is an increasingly scarce resource in an increasingly populous and water-intensive world. Maintaining an adequate supply of fresh water both nationally and globally will be one of the largest challenges of the 21st century. Desalination of salty water, from both the ocean and the ground, represents a huge potential source of fresh water. The development of this resource requires a combination of geoscience, engineering, waste management, policy, and community outreach and participation.

Converting Membrane Interface Probe Sensor Results into VOC NAPL Distribution Information

This course will focus on how to use Membrane Interface Probe sensor results in combination with soil and groundwater analytical results to map the distribution of volatile organic chemical non aqueous phase liquids. This course covers guidelines for using direct sensing tools such as the MIHPT system, best practices for collecting and analyzing soil and groundwater samples, and gives examples from case studies on how to combine direct sensing data with analytical results to estimate NAPL distribution.

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