Environment & Weather
Grassley supports Branstad’s request for federal disaster assistance PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Environment & Weather
Written by Grassley Press   
Monday, 29 April 2013 14:34

Monday, April 29, 2013

 WASHINGTON – Senator Chuck Grassley has asked the President to grant the request made by Governor Terry Branstad for a declaration of a major disaster in response to damaging winds, heavy rains, thunderstorms, freezing rain, and ice and snow this month.

In a letter of request sent Friday, Grassley said, “The Governor determined that this incident is of such severity and magnitude that effective response is beyond the capabilities of the State and affected local governments to handle effectively and federal assistance is needed.”

Severe weather on April 9, 10, and 11 caused significant damage to utility lines, poles, and vegetation.  The Iowa counties with the most severe damage are Dickinson, Lyon, O’Brien, Osceola, and Sioux.

Here is the text of Grassley’s letter to the President Barack Obama:

 

April 26, 2013

 

The Honorable Barack Obama

President of the United States of America

The White House

1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW

Washington, DC 20500

 

Dear Mr. President:

I respectfully ask that you grant the request made by Iowa Governor Terry Branstad for a declaration of a major disaster for the State of Iowa as a result of severe weather that produced damaging winds, heavy rains, thunderstorms, freezing rain, along with ice and snow beginning on April 9, 2013, and ending on April 11, 2013.  This weather caused significant damages to utility lines, poles, and vegetation.  The counties with the most severe damage are Dickinson, Lyon, O’Brien, Osceola, and Sioux.

The Governor determined that this incident is of such severity and magnitude that effective response is beyond the capabilities of the State and affected local governments to handle effectively and federal assistance is needed.

Thank you for your prompt consideration of this request.

Sincerely,

Charles E. Grassley

United States Senators

 
Gov. Branstad requests Presidential Disaster Declaration for public assistance for five Iowa counties PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Environment & Weather
Written by Office of the Governor of Iowa   
Monday, 29 April 2013 14:00

(DES MOINES) - Today, Gov. Terry E. Branstad signed a letter to be delivered to President Obama requesting a Presidential Disaster Declaration for five Iowa counties. The five counties in the request are Dickinson, Lyon, O’Brien, Osceola and Sioux.

The Governor is making the request for Public Assistance Program funding in response to severe weather between April 9 and 11, 2013. The severe weather produced damaging winds, heavy rains, thunderstorms, freezing rain, ice and snow that caused damage to utility lines, poles, trees and vegetation.

A joint federal, state and local preliminary damage assessment of the five counties found the severe weather caused an estimated $6 million of damage that could be eligible under the Public Assistance Program. Public Assistance funds may be used to rebuild damaged infrastructure that may include roads, bridges, culverts and other public facilities, or to cover costs of emergency work during and debris removal after storms.

The Governor’s letter to President Obama, including the damage estimates, is available at www.homelandsecurity.iowa.gov.

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Members of Asian Carp Regional Coordinating Committee release Asian carp in North America distribution maps PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Environment & Weather
Written by Sarah Gross   
Monday, 29 April 2013 13:34
CHICAGO – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) and U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) today, April 26, released "Asian Carp Distribution in North America," which displays current data on the presence of bighead carp and silver carp at all life stages, as well as black carp and grass carp occurrences, in the Mississippi River, Ohio River and Great Lakes. The maps can be found at: http://www.asiancarp.us/problem.htm.

"The intent of this succinct, graphical documentation of locations of Asian carp individual captures, as well as areas with established populations, is to be a ‘living resource’ for ACRCC partners, decision makers and the public to access specific, timely information," said USACE Fish Biologist and eDNA Program Manager Kelly Baerwaldt.

Data were compiled through responses to an Asian Carp Questionnaire that was distributed to biologists at federal, state, academic, private-consulting and non-governmental organizations; the ACRCC Mon! itoring and Response Work Group, which include data since 2009 in detail for the Chicago Area Waterway System and a majority of the Illinois Waterway; and the USGS’s Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database.

"The ACRCC continues to take the threat of Asian carp as very real and to conduct intensive monitoring to help determine the threat of this invasive fish," said Baerwaldt.

Zero Asian carp were captured or observed above the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal electric barriers in the last two years after hundreds of interagency monitoring trips, including 192 hours of electrofishing and nearly 82 miles of traditional netting, which resulted in the capture of nearly 100,000 fish of other species.

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The GREAT MARCH FOR CLIMATE ACTION PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Environment & Weather
Written by Ed Fallon   
Monday, 29 April 2013 07:49
-- stepping forward for our Planet, our Future --


Dear Friends,

Setting up a 3,000 mile march involves a lot more than drawing a bright-colored line across a map of the US. We are fortune to have Courtney Kain on board to coordinate this mammoth task. Courtney's background includes a four-year stint with the Army National Guard, managing logistics for several thousand troops at Camp Dodge in Johnston, Iowa.

"We'd go on training marches through a variety of terrains, often for a week or two, camping in a lot of different places under some pretty adverse circumstances," said Courtney. "There was a lot of integration between planning the route and planning our equipment needs. Of course, we carried 60-pound packs on our backs and had our guns. Honestly, I'm looking forward to not having to deal with hauling either of those on the Climate March!"

Like any big event, much of Courtney's work with the National Guard involved tedious behind-the-scenes labor. "Often, we'd be out on the base at o'dark thirty, sometimes in sub-zero weather, doing vehicle maintenance and what not. We not only had to issue equipment but keep tabs on it as well. Marching boots were probably the most important piece of equipment. I remember a lovely set of massive blisters during my early days with the Guard."

Courtney appreciates all the folks in communities across the country who are stepping forward to help with on-the-ground challenges in setting up the route. "We can do a lot from our headquarters here in Des Moines, especially with the help of the Internet," said Courtney. "But there's no way we can figure out all the details without our supporters' eyes and ears helping to identify the best routes and campsites in communities we'll march through."

Our plan is to release the full description of the March route sometime next month. In the meantime, we need your help, not just working with Courtney on setting up the route, but helping pay for all the costs involved. To that end . . .

If you haven't already, please become a March Starter. Donate between 1 cent and 33-1/3 cents per mile - between $30 and $1,000 - to help Courtney finish this task at a pace that would impress the US Army. Click here for details, and thanks to all who have stepped forward so far.

 
American Lung Association State of the Air Report Released PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Environment & Weather
Written by Micki Sandquist   
Thursday, 25 April 2013 07:38

The American Lung Association’s annual “State of the Air 2013” report finds that air quality nationwide continues the long-term trend to much healthier air. The strongest progress came in lower levels of year-round particle pollution across much of the nation.

State of the Air 2013” is the Lung Association’s 14th annual, national air quality “report card.” It uses the most recent air pollution data, compiled by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for the two most widespread types of pollution - ozone (smog) and particle pollution (PM 2.5, also known as soot). The report grades counties and ranks cities and counties based on their scores for ozone, year-round particle pollution and short-term particle pollution levels.

Visit the State of the Air Iowa Report to see how your community ranks and to learn how to protect yourself and your family from air pollution.

 
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