Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The struggle for the solar future subject of program Saturday afternoon at Nightbird Books on Dickson Street.

Please click on image to ENLARGE view of poster.

Solar Power Struggle
Professor Richard Hutchinson of Louisiana Tech University in Ruston will speak on "The Struggle for the Solar Future" at 2 p.m. on Saturday, May 2, at Nightbird Books on Dickson Street in Fayetteville, Arkansas.
An inquiry into environmental change and the obstacles and opportunities in the path of the renewable energy transition.
Sponsored by OMNI Center for Peace, Justice, and Ecology.

ADEQ's weak-kneed response to polluters not good enough

ADEQ Study: Drilling Fluid Disposal Done Improperly by Many
By Arkansas Business Staff - 4/20/2009 4:21:00 PM

The Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality Monday announced that a recent study it conducted determined that fluids used in natural gas drilling have been "improperly applied by landfarms operating in the state, thus endangering the environment."

Drilling fluids are used in the fracturing process that breaks apart shale, allowing trapped natural gas to seep out. The practice is used in the Fayetteville Shale Play in north-central Arkansas.

Of 11 sites studied, all had improperly discharged the fluids, according to a department release. The department has taken actions against the 11 sites and has sought to revoke permits for two sites. The discharges resulted in improper runoff and chloride concentrations in soil that were abnormally high. The department began the study in November, after halting consideration for new landfarm permits.

"With the increase in the number of landfarms and applications for landfarms due to expanded drilling activity in the state, concerns about the resulting environmental impact warranted a closer look at these operations," Marks said.

The study supports new enforcement standards, including that routine soil and water sampling be conducted in front of an ADEQ inspector and fencing be erected around all on-site ponds.

Scientists in the department's environmental preservation and water divisions prepared the report and visited the 11 landfarms between November and January.

During several visits, inspectors discovered chloride concentrations downstream and other contaminants in higher concentration downstream than were present upstream. Four facilities also had chloride levels in fluids above the acceptable limit - 3,000 milligrams per liter.

Copyright © 2009, Arkansas Business Limited Partnership. All Rights Reserved.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Brown thrashers among the many species to be seen on World Peace Wetland Prairie during Sunday's Earth Day celebration

Please click on image to Enlarge view of one of the many species of birds feeding and picking nesting sites on World Peace Wetland Prairie on April 17, 2009. The elusive brown thrasher is often able to slip into the thickets before a camera can capture its image. But the attraction of scattered brush piles and the excitement of mating season can make them a bit careless.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Students, residents of Fayetteville meeting to unify environmental efforts

Subject Attention UofA RSOs and Fellow Fayettevillians
What: An All-School, All-RSO Meeting!
When: Wednesday, April 15th @ 5:30 p.m.
Where: In Memorial Hall Inside the Landscape Architecture Studios (Come in the Main Entrance and its behind the glass partition).
Why: To Organize and Focus the Efforts of All of the Like-Minded, Hard-Working RSOs on Campus
In conjunction with Maggie Bailey of the NWA Audubon Society, Campus Sustainability Coordinator Nick Brown, members of the Fayetteville City Government, and many others, we are in the process of coordinating the efforts of all environmentally, culturally, and community-focused RSOs to help streamline projects and allow for inter-group collaboration on projects of all size and relevance.
We are striving to create this 'campus coalition' because often times our groups just aren't large enough on their own to tackle some of the lofty goals we often set for ourselves. This way, students from CSES, Hort Club, ASLA, SIFE, etc. can intermingle and help out on projects they wouldn't otherwise know about, without feeling bad for being unable to help out their department's group.
Some of you may know that have already had one meeting regarding this subject, but many of you were unable to attend. If you were not at the last meeting, here is a short summary of what was discussed:
1) A Mullins Creek (Town Branch on the UA campus) Cleanup/Redevelopment: Nick Brown discussed the need for student help in cleaning this stream of waste, invasive species, etc. Earth Day, April 22, will be the first such opportunity and we will be finalizing plans for this at the upcoming meeting.
2) We spent time discussing the benefits that the Obama's new Victory Garden at the White House can have on our community. If ever there was a time to stress urban/community agriculture, this is it!
2) Maggie Bailey of NWA Audubon brought up the need for broader goals that these projects can fit into. Her primary goal at this point is raising awareness regarding CO2 emissions and some of the rediculous Power Plant activities courtesy of SWEPCO. We will be looking at formulating some tangible, sweeping missions/goals for this 'campus coalition' at our next meeting.
3) We also spent time focusing on providing an index of RSOs, within which we could list each group's goals, projects, members, etc. to encourage both new membership and inter-RSO collaboration. We need all of you to attend our upcoming meeting for this to work!
And finally, if you plan on attending our upcoming meeting, please RSVP to me via email NLT Monday evening, April 13. If you have any questions, please email me and I'll be glad to help!
We need your help, could you use ours?
Billy Fleming
Student ASLA President - Arkansas Chapter

Friday, April 10, 2009

Earth Day celebration on April 19, 2009, at World Peace Wetland Prairie

Please click on image to ENLARGE to read details of the poster.

Bird-watchers welcome every day from dawn to dusk!