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Lead in Drinking Water: Post-Flint Media Coverage and Policy Changes in the Northeast-Midwest Region

This report, Lead in Drinking Water: Post-Flint Media Coverage and Policy Changes in the Northeast-Midwest Region, released by the Northeast-Midwest Institute presents a comprehensive analysis of post-Flint statewide laws and regulations enacted in the NEMW states to improve water quality, as well as testing, reporting, and notification of lead results, and replacement of infrastructure.

The report catalogs the severity of the lead crisis in the Northeast and Midwest jurisdictions by using a novel, yet established methodology of reviewing news media coverage as a proxy for the severity of drinking water issues related to lead contamination. A review of news articles published in the years 2015, 2016, and 2017 found that the lead contamination problem is geographically spread across the region, but most concentrated in a few states such as Michigan, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Wisconsin, and Ohio.

The report also found that media coverage of the lead contamination issue was most intense in mid-2016, when the problem was high on the public agenda, but that the coverage quickly receded in visibility, with little to no media coverage of the lead problem in 2017, even though the seriousness of the crisis is just as bad today as before.

News release here.

Green Infrastructure Municipal Toolkit

The Green Infrastructure Municipal Toolkit is a one-stop online resource useful to any community in New Jersey, whether new to the opportunities green infrastructure presents or already implementing GI and seeking more specific expert guidance. The toolkit includes detailed information and a variety of tools that cities and towns can use to plan, implement, and sustain green infrastructure in public- and private-sector development projects.

2017-2018 Survey of Farm Operators and Owners in the New Jersey Central Region of the Delaware River Watershed

This report, Survey of Farm Operators and Owners in the New Jersey Central Region of the Delaware River Watershed, summarizes findings from a 2017-2018 survey of farm operators and owners in Warren, Sussex and Hunterdon Counties of New Jersey, within the Central region of the Delaware River Watershed.

The survey project was motivated by a number of questions, including:

  1. Are farm operators/owners taking advantage of opportunities to develop conservation plans and stewardship plans with government agencies and non-profit groups?
  2. Are farm operators/owners employing conservation farming practices, such as installing filter strips and sowing cover crops? If so, why, and if not, why not?
  3. Are farm operators/owners participating in conservation programs with government agencies or non-profit groups? If so, why, and if not, why not?
  4. Are farm operators/owners generally satisfied with their experience participating in conservation programs, and what kind of impact are these programs having?
  5. How much do farm operators/owners know about threats to water quality in the Delaware River Watershed? And how much do farm operators/owners know about efforts to
    improve water quality in the region through the Delaware River Watershed Initiative?
  6. Overall, what are the major factors that farm operators/owners take into account when making farm management decisions?

Each of these research questions was explored through one or more survey questions, the findings from which are detailed in this report. On the survey, all questions asked respondents to comment on farm characteristics and practices in 2017, unless otherwise noted.

Procurement Toolkit for Cities and Utilities

This Free Procurement Toolkit for Cities helps city and utility officials make critical early stage procurement decisions, including which “big city” procurement tool is most relevant and how to apply it to build resilience. The toolkit focuses on ways cities and utilities can use current procurement systems to enable better outcomes.

The procurement toolkit was piloted by seven U.S. cities: Anchorage (AK), El Paso (TX), Camden County MUA (NJ), Gary (IN), Norfolk (VA), Imperial Beach (CA) and Providence (RI).

With the generous support of the Kresge Foundationre:focus partners and The Atlas Marketplace brought together a cohort of seven cities with eight private sector implementing partner organizations to apply three innovative “big city” procurement tools to tackle major infrastructure challenges in smaller cities.

Accounting for Trees in Stormwater Models

This paper, Accounting for Trees in Stormwater Models, is intended to help the stormwater engineering community more easily account for trees in runoff and pollutant load calculations so that they can more readily incorporate them into their stormwater management strategies.

Funded by the US Forest Service, the paper was developed with input from experts in stormwater engineering and urban forestry.  This paper further augments a robust collection of resources the Center for Watershed Protection completed in 2017 on “Making Urban Trees Count”, which includes a comprehensive literature review and research-based tools for crediting trees in stormwater and water quality management programs.

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