My Facebook pages

Robert Montgomery

Why We Fish

Fish, Frogs, and Fireflies

Pippa's Canine Corner 

 

 

Loading..
Loading..
(adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({});
Loading..
Loading..
(adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({});
Loading..
Loading..
(adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({});
Loading..
Loading..
(adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({});
Get Updates! and Search
No RSS feeds have been linked to this section.

 

 

 

 

Entries in EPA (52)

Friday
Feb022018

More Ethanol To Be Added to Fuel Supply In 2018

More ethanol will be added to the nation's gasoline supply in 2018, which means potentially more headaches for anglers and others who own boats.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), announced the increase in December, after originally proposing a slight decrease.

“In August, EPA originally proposed a slight lowering of the overall ethanol mandate. However, bowing to pressure from the ethanol backers, the agency actually notched the mandate higher,” said BoatUS Government Affairs Manager David Kennedy.

“We think the EPA’s decision unfairly supports the ethanol industry over protecting consumers, recreational boaters, and the environment. If ethanol is as good for America’s fuel supply as Big Ethanol would like you to believe, then why do we have a law that forces more ethanol each year into the market? The RFS (Renewable Fuel Standard) no longer works for Americans.”

Signed into law in 2005, the RFS requires an increasing amount of biofuels, such as corn, to be blended into the gasoline supply. In 2018, the amount will increase 0.05 percent to 19.29 billion gallons.

The law was written with the assumption that the nation would continue to use more fuel each year. That has not been the case. To keep up with the mandate, EPA started allowing E15 (15 percent ethanol) in 2010.

But only fuels containing up to 10 percent (E10) are approved for use in recreational boats. And as more ethanol is forced into the nation's gasoline supply, it will become ever more difficult for boat owners to find fuel that is safe for them to use. Additionally, the chances of misfueling will increase.

In 2014, the ethanol-free gasoline supply was 8 billion gallons. By 2016, it was reduced to 200 million. Already more than 90 percent of fuel contains 10 percent ethanol, with 15 percent becoming more prevalent, even though federal law prohibits its use in marine engines, ATVs, motorcycles, lawnmowers and cars made before 2001.

Many of the problems caused by ethanol are due to "phase separation," which can turn fuel stored in a boat's gas tank into a corrosive, unusable mixture. Half of those who responded to a  BoatUS survey said they have had to replace or repair a boat engine or fuel system parts because of suspected ethanol-related damage. Average cost for repairs was $1,000.

“Ethanol has been demonstrated to cause harm to many gasoline engines at the present 10 percent ethanol level, especially legacy outboard motors, decreases fuel efficiency, increases fuel costs for consumers, and has questionable environmental benefits,” said Kennedy. “BoatUS will continue to fight on behalf of America’s recreational boaters to fix the RFS.”

Wednesday
Dec272017

Welfare of Resource Is What's Most Important

Remember the mayor in the movie “Jaws”? He didn’t care about the reality. He cared about the perception, even though people were dying.

Some in the fishing community are that way too, I think, based on my experience writing about issues that they don’t want to deal with.

Awhile back, I posted a piece about “dead zones” degrading our waters and how, unlike climate change, we can do something about the problem.  And, not surprisingly, someone complained, saying that the Gulf of Mexico “ain’t dead by a long shot, calling it so is a misrepresentation of the facts or just piss poor reporting on science.”

The only problem with that assessment is that I did NOT say the Gulf of Mexico is dead. I simply pointed out that a dead zone occurs there annually because of nutrient overload flowing down the Mississippi River.

Additionally, the “dead” area is not oxygen depleted from top to bottom, and I did not say that it is. The problem exists mostly in subsurface waters.

In 2013, I wrote a piece about how dolphins, turtles, and some species of fish are likely casualties of the Deep Horizon oil spill. I added, “No one is suggesting that the coastal states aren't open for tourism business or that the fishing isn't good, but some species still are being harmed.”

Nevertheless, I received comments from angry anglers who disputed the science and accused me of harming the sport fishing economy of Louisiana by writing about such things.

Years ago, I also was criticized by communities and chambers of commerce for reporting on Largemouth Bass Virus (LMBV) outbreaks at major impoundments.

For me, the bottom line is the welfare of resource, and, if there’s a problem, I want it solved or at least dealt with in a way that minimizes the damage done. I don’t know the motivation of those who don’t want to deal with the reality, but I have my suspicions.

Like the mayor of Amity, communities dependent on recreational fishing for economic prosperity don’t want to acknowledge events that discourage tourism--- and don’t want anyone else to either.

Understanding what’s going on with anglers who criticize exposure of fisheries-related problems is a little more mysterious. But I suspect that it relates to the intense political divide in this country between the Left and the Right. Yes, I realize that not all anglers are conservative, but the majority are. And they bristle at the idea of anything “environmental,” which conjures up visions of Big Government intrusions by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and on behalf of the Endangered Species Act (ESA).

Yes, we needed EPA, ESA, and the Clean Water Act for better stewardship of our wildlife, land, air, and waters. But over time, they’ve all been abused by environmentalists and bureaucrats to further political agendas and infringe on personal freedoms and property rights.

As an angler who prefers less intrusive government, I understand that. But as an ardent conservationist who knows the importance of science-based management of our natural resources, I’m not going to reject everything “environmental” because I don’t like what the word connotes. 

Wednesday
Jul262017

IWL Announces Clean Water Challenge to Monitor More Stream Sites

Healthy streams and rivers are vital to healthy communities. Yet most Americans do not know whether their local streams are safe for swimming, fishing, or as sources of drinking water. There is a critical need for up-to-date information about water quality at the local level. The Izaak Walton League launched a national Clean Water Challenge today to mobilize and train volunteers to monitor 100,000 more stream sites for pollution by 2022.

Threats to America’s water quality include polluted runoff from farm fields, parking lots, industrial sites, and yards. It flows unchecked and untreated into our streams and rivers. It carries animal waste, bacteria, cancer-causing chemicals, and countless other pollutants.

Yet we have very limited information about water quality at the local level. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) , 80% of streams  are not adequately monitored for pollution. And that’s only part of the problem. Of the fraction of streams that are monitored, EPA reports that more than half do not meet basic safety standards.

The nation’s water quality problems are  solvable. The Izaak Walton League is empowering Americans to collect water quality information where they live. With training and support from the League, volunteers can collect reliable information about water quality in local streams, which is the critical first step in protecting and improving the nation’s waters.

The Izaak Walton League is a national leader in volunteer stream monitoring. In 1969, it launched Save Our Streams (SOS), a program that gives volunteers simple tools to reliably assess the health of streams in their communities. SOS is a nationally recognized model for community-based water quality monitoring, and the League has engaged thousands of volunteers in this effort.

Every American has the right to clean water. Monitoring local streams is critical to finding and fixing water quality problems. To learn more about the Clean Water Challenge, visit the League’s website.

Wednesday
Mar082017

Pollution Is Not Good, But Neither was Obama Clean Water Rule

Capt. Steve Chaconas with Potomac River bass

President Trump recently signed an Executive Order to roll back Obama's  2015 "clean water rule," which greatly expanded federal authority over public and private waters. Below is my 2014 analysis of the proposal, before it was enacted by executive fiat.

 *     *     *     *

We all live downstream.

Thus, pollution poses an exponential threat to our waters and our fisheries. And in a perfect world, no one would pollute.

But we don’t live in a perfect world.

As a consequence, we pollute, sometimes unintentionally and sometimes flagrantly. Along the Potomac River, signs once warned that just touching the water could be hazardous to human health. Ohio’s Cuyahoga River was so polluted that it caught fire. And Lake Erie was known as a “dead sea.” The list of waters degraded and almost destroyed by pollution is a long and shameful one.

We, however, also have learned to clean up after ourselves, prompted by the federal Clean Water Act of1972. Erie now is one of the nation’s most productive fisheries. The Potomac is nationally known for its bass fishing. And the Cuyahoga, a river once devoid of fish, now is home to 44 species. The list of waters enhanced and restored is a long and hopeful one, and we arguably do more to protect our aquatic resources than any other country in the world.

That doesn’t mean that we’ve done as much as we can or should do to minimize pollution. But neither are we living in a time when rivers are catching on fire and as much needs to be done or even can be done, for that matter.

But that doesn’t keep some from trying, especially those who believe that more big government is the solution to our imperfections. That’s why the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) wants to expand the definition of ‘waters of the United States’ to include water on private property.

Additionally, under new proposals, jurisdiction would extend to streams regardless of their size or how frequently they flow, as well as to ditches, gullies, and just about any low spot where moisture collects on a seasonal basis.

And that’s why the move is being heartily endorsed by environmental groups, who argue that court rulings have weakened the CWA.

“It’s taking the way the Clean Water Act works back, so that it works the way water works in the real world,” said Bob Wendelgass of Clean Water Action.

But just how far do you allow the federal government to intrude on the rights of private property owners? Those rights are a cornerstone of who we are as a nation and why so many from all over the world want to live here.

“The EPA’s draft water rule is a massive power grab of private property across the U.S,” said U.S. Rep. Lamar Smith from Texas. “This could be the largest expansion of EPA regulatory authority ever.

“If the draft rule is approved, it would allow the EPA to regulate virtually every body of water in the United States, including private and public lakes, ponds, and streams.”

While I understand and even sympathize with the environmental side of this argument, I do not support such an expansion of power using regulations written by anonymous, unelected bureaucrats. Such decisions should be left up to Congress, which represents the people.

Additionally, many who want to impose ever more strict environmental regulations upon industries, agriculture, municipalities, and now private property owners do so with unrealistic expectations. In their never-ending quest for perfection, they want to reduce pollution limits to levels that can’t even be measured.

“These folks live in la-la land,” one water quality expert told me. “If you attack these things (regulations) as unrealistic, you are evil.

“What I’d really like to see is for them to sustain themselves on their own little happy ¼-acre subdivision lot. I’d be willing to bet every single one of them has a nice, cozy temperature-controlled house, pantry full of food, a sink with a spigot full of safe drinking water and a shower and toilet that take away all that nasty that they just can’t think about, much less live with, while they point fingers at everyone else.”

So . . . would I like to see an end to all pollution?  Absolutely. After all, we all live downstream.

But I believe that’s an unrealistic expectation, considering our prevalence and dominance as a species on this planet. Let’s keep trying to reduce our pollution footprint, but let’s do so with consent of the governed and with realistic standards, not those imposed by anonymous bureaucrats who live in “la-la land.”

Friday
Jun242016

Look Before You Pump Fuel for Your Marine Engine; Tell EPA More Ethanol Is a Bad Idea

 

Ethanol is a type of alcohol that is frequently used as an additive to gasoline. Unfortunately, it has quickly become a major risk to our nation’s economy and way of life.

Higher concentrations of ethanol in fuel can cause serious mechanical problems in boat and car engines. The added ethanol causes the engines to run at much higher temperatures which increases wear and shortens life. Higher ethanol gas is particularly damaging to small two-stroke engines. In many engines, high ethanol fuels can damage seals and gaskets which increases the possibility of fire and serious engine damage.

Now, the government is pushing for even more ethanol in fuels. E-15, a gasoline blend that is 15% ethanol, is so destructive that insurance carriers will not cover claims and vehicle manufacturers will void warranties for engine damage due to it’s use.

Tell the Environmental Protection Agency that more ethanol is a mistake.