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About David Peterson

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So far David Peterson has created 2 blog entries.
10 12, 2018

Beautiful Buffalo River Action Committee (BBRAC) Meeting (11/13/18)

By |2019-06-03T12:09:04-05:00December 10th, 2018|Categories: Pack & Paddle, Winter 2018|

At a recent BBRAC meeting in Little Rock, several agencies reported some action. The Health Department reported on a small survey of septic systems in Newton County, and the Geology Department has stunning new relief maps of the watershed. But the most important meeting announcements were by Mark Faust, the new Superintendent of the Buffalo National River, and Billy Justus of the Little Rock office of the United States Geological Survey (USGS). Faust announced a “Buffalo River Science Symposium” scheduled for April 23-24 at the Durand Center in Harrison. The idea is to present as much science pertaining to the Buffalo River watershed as possible. This could be an opportunity to exchange ideas with researchers and regulators like the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality and the Big Creek Research Extension Team and the many citizen advocacy groups like the Buffalo River Watershed Alliance, Ozark Society, etc. Justus made a presentation about microbial source testing on Mill Creek, which is notorious for years of pollution from non-functioning sewage treatment at Dog Patch, and also from cattle farms in the Crooked Creek drainage, which none-the-less contributes to Mill Creek because of karst. They are differentiating between poultry, humans and cattle, but not hogs [...]

8 03, 2018

Nutrient Trading in Arkansas – Good or Bad Idea?

By |2018-08-06T12:47:55-05:00March 8th, 2018|Categories: Pack & Paddle, Spring 2018|Tags: |

Anna Weeks of the Arkansas Public Policy Panel recently set up a meeting between several environmental groups and Alan Gates, the lawyer from Little Rock who wrote the current Arkansas nutrient trading law, and who now represents the 4 cities in Northwest Arkansas which hope to establish nutrient trading in the Illinois River watershed.  The basic idea is this.  Suppose that a watershed has a goal of meeting nutrient limits, say total maximum daily loads (TMDL) of total phosphorous (TP).  There are two primary sources: point sources (wastewater facilities, industry, etc.) and nonpoint sources (agriculture, urban/suburban runoff).  If a point source finds that it is much more expensive to reduce their discharge of TP than the cost from non-point sources, then the point source can pay the nonpoint source to reduce TP discharges, and take credit for the reduction. It’s a win for the watershed. TP levels are reduced and everyone gains financially. The Illinois River watershed has had a long history of excessive poultry litter application, causing very high TP loads and massive algae blooms in Oklahoma streams and lakes.  This problem culminated in 1992 when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Arkansas must abide by a stringent Oklahoma TP limit, [...]