Week Ahead: Groundwater Group Hears EPA’s Superfund Plans

The National Ground Water Association, Ecological Society of America, and other groups are taking advantage of August’s legislative lull in Washington to hold large-scale environment and energy events during the week of Aug. 7.

The Ground Water Association’s Tuesday-Wednesday meeting in Arlington, Va., will feature a speech from James Woolford, director of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Superfund Remediation and Technology Innovation. Woolford is expected to discuss Superfund sites’ remediation programs that protect groundwater by balancing regulation, science, and technology.

Another speaker will be Maureen Sullivan, the deputy assistant secretary of defense for environment, safety, and occupational health. Sullivan is expected to discuss new ways that federal agencies can work with others to address groundwater treatment.

One example Sullivan may cite is a Navy-California state government partnership to treat and manage groundwater that yielded roughly $60 million in savings. David Schultz will cover the meeting.

In Other News

Food and agricultural research: The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine will hold a meeting and town hall on Tuesday and Wednesday in Washington in connection with a study that would identify research with high potential for scientific breakthrough in agriculture. Scheduled speakers include Pamela Starke-Reed of the Agriculture Department’s Agricultural Research Service. Tiffany Stecker will cover.

Chemical dispersants: The academies also will hold a Monday-Tuesday meeting on how chemical dispersants can be used in treating oil spills. Dispersants are sprayed on oil slicks to break down oil into droplets that more readily mix with water.

Communicating science: The Ecological Society of America’s annual meeting in Portland, Ore., which runs Sunday through Friday, focuses on training and connecting ecologists who seek to engage the public about climate change or other research. It will offer special sessions on case studies of successful engagement approaches. Rep. Suzanne Bonamici (D-Ore.) will speak on Monday.

Cap and trade webinar: The Center for Climate and Energy Solutions will hold a Thursday webinar on the California Legislature’s recent decision to extend the state’s greenhouse gas cap-and-trade program through 2030. Scheduled speakers include Aimee Barnes, a senior adviser to California Gov. Jerry Brown, and Katie Sullivan, managing director of the International Emissions Trading Association. Carolyn Whetzel will monitor.

Sage grouse review: An Interior Department review of land-use conservation plans for the greater sage grouse may be made public during the week. The greater sage grouse is protected by federal, state, and local land-use plans to keep it from being listed as threatened or endangered. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke in early June ordered a review of federal policy on protecting it, specifically in regard to coordination with states. The review was scheduled to be completed in the first week of August. Alan Kovski will track.

Climate and coasts: Germany’s Hamburg University of Applied Sciences, the International Climate Change Information Programme, and the Universite du Quebec a Montreal will hold a Thursday-Friday symposium in Montreal on how coastal areas can cope with the threat of climate change.