missouri

What Does a Tribal Liaison Do in Region 7?

By Heather Duncan, Region 7 Tribal Liaison

The relationship between a federal employee and a Tribal representative is based on the same tenets as any other: respect, trust, and lots of honest communication. A large collection of history, policy, and case law defines the relationship between the federal government and Tribal governments. Because each Tribe’s interests and concerns are unique, I have no typical days – and that’s one of my favorite things about my job.

Tribal flags logoSince November 2014, I’ve been serving in a temporary position filling a vacancy in our Region 7 Office of Tribal Affairs. As part of these duties, I serve as a liaison between EPA and five of the nine Tribal nations in our Region. I also negotiate and manage several financial agreements with our Tribal partners.

To an outsider looking in, my day may look calm, spent sitting in a meeting room or in front of a computer. Behind the scenes, most of my day as a liaison is spent translating. I translate the opportunities, needs, and requirements of the federal government into actionable goals and tasks for the Tribes to consider. Likewise, I work to understand and translate the needs and priorities of the Tribes to create better opportunities and policies at EPA.

Outside of my Agency work, I do not have a background or experience with Tribal governments or cultures. I grew up an Iowa farm girl in an agricultural community inherently skeptical of the federal government. Neighbors may disagree with one another but are quick to unite to improve their community’s resilience. At home, handshakes are binding agreements and individuals are judged by their honesty and ability to follow through on their commitments. Growing up in an agricultural community has been excellent training for my experiences in our Office of Tribal Affairs. In many ways, working with the Tribes feels like home.

In my role as a Tribal liaison, it’s important to recognize the cultural and economic influences in scientific conversations and to share those insights as EPA discusses new policies and programs.

I have about two months left in my temporary assignment. In those remaining days, my desire is to do the right thing – one day at a time.

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

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Are you hungry? I think Missouri is.

By Jim Callier

I grew up in Missouri, and Missouri was always known as the “Show Me State”. You know, show me the money, show me the goods, etc. Well, times may be a changing. This time I see Missouri stepping out front and not waiting for the “show”.

You may be wondering; what’s up with this title about Missouri being hungry? No, it’s got nothing to do with sports teams, even though they did better this past year. It has to do with food. “How is that you say?” Let me tell you and I’ll keep it brief.

First, food manufacturing is the #1 economic sector in Missouri, employing nearly 40,000 workers, according to the 2012 “Missouri Economic Indicator Brief: Manufacturing Industries” (compiled by the Missouri Economic and Research and Information Center). Food also represents the #3 export from Missouri with sales more than $1.5 billion in 2012.

Now, let me tell you more about why I say “Missouri is hungry”. On February 19, 2014, I attended a meeting in Columbia, Missouri, hosted by the U. S. Department of Agriculture. At this meeting, representatives from at least 11 different federal, state, local, and non-governmental entities agreed to the “Food Production” would be the focus for Missouri’s E3 program. Here food production has the scope from “farm to table.”

MOE3

Missouri’s E3 team deliberates the E3 opportunities in a Food Production effort.

You say, “What’s E3? And why is this important?” Just read below for a description of E3.

E3 (Economy, Energy and the Environment) is a national initiative that promoting sustainable manufacturing and economic growth throughout the United States. E3 brings together federal agencies, states and local communities for a broad discussion on how to connect respective programs to deliver responsive, coordinated manufacturing solutions The E3 Framework facilitates collaboration among groups with common interests and a common agenda. Because the E3 initiative brings together interests on people, planet and profits it is at the core a collaborative SUSTAINBILITY effort.

E3 is a federal technical assistance framework helping communities, manufacturers and manufacturing supply chains adapt and thrive in today’s economy. EPA, five other federal agencies and their state/local partners pooled their resources to support communities across the country reduce pollution and energy use while increasing profits and creating new job opportunities. See http://www2.epa.gov/e3 for more information on the national program.

I’m excited about this. The profit margin in food production is thin. With the support of E3, the food production sector should not only be economically sustainable, but also be able to grow. Both rural and metropolitan areas in Missouri should benefit.

Stay tuned and follow this blog for updates on E3 in Missouri. Thanks, and have a nice day.

Jim Callier is Chief of the Resource Conservation and Pollution Prevention Section at EPA in Kansas City and has thirty years of experience working at EPA, primarily in Region 7. Jim has both working and management experience in many of EPA’s programs including hazardous and solid waste, brownfields, and pollution prevention. He is a graduate of the University of Missouri at Rolla with a B.S. Degree in Geological Engineering and is a Registered Professional Geologist in the State of Missouri.

 

 

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

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Ozark Gems

By Tegan Vaughn

Are you still deciding whether or not to take a trip before the summer is over? There is no need to spend a lot or travel far to have a fabulous weekend getaway. I highly recommend exploring the Ozarks.

I grew up in the heart of the Ozarks, on a tributary to the Jacks Fork River.  To some folks, when I say I grew up in the Ozarks, their minds automatically go to party boats and Branson. Well, the places my mind wanders to when I think of home are the lush, green hills; the cool, clear streams; and the shade of towering Oaks. To me, an adventure in the Ozarks is worth 10 visits to any amusement park. Let me tell you about a few gems.

 

Photo Courtesy of Missouri State Parks

Photo Courtesy of Missouri State Parks

Speaking of adventure parks, the Ozarks has one carved by nature.  Johnson’s Shut-ins State Park is located in Reynolds County on the East Fork of the Black River. Water rushes over igneous rock that’s been smoothed by tumbling pebbles over the eons.  The Missouri State Park websites tempts potential travelers to come “shoot through Mother Nature’s hydraulics.” But not to worry, I can tell you from experience that it’s relatively safe.

 

Photo Courtesy of Missouri State Parks

Photo Courtesy of Missouri State Parks

Next on the list, and nearby to Johnson’s Shut-ins, is Elephant Rocks State Park. Here you’ll find large, reddish-pink granite boulders that resemble Dumbo. This park has a main trail that includes Braille for the visually impaired and many other places to explore if you want to get off the beaten path.

 

grandgulf

Photo Courtesy of Missouri State Parks

Grand Gulf State Park–Sometimes referred to as a “little Grand Canyon,” Grand Gulf is a mile long collapsed dolomite cave near Thayer, Missouri. The “walls” are more than 130 feet tall. Visitors at the top have quite the dramatic view.  When it rains, water drains into a cave at one end of Grand Gulf and ends up in Mammoth Springs, headwaters of Arkansas’ Spring River. http://www.mostateparks.com/park/grand-gulf-state-park

alleyspring

Photo Courtesy of the National Park Service

 Alley Spring – This charming three story mill was built in 1894 to utilize the free water power of Alley spring to turn wheat to flour. The water is an incredible blue green and emerges from deep in the earth with an average daily flow of 81 million gallons. Water from the spring flows to the Jacks Fork River.

 

roundspring

Photo is courtesy of www.current-river.com

Round Spring – This beautiful spring reminds me of a cenote. It is a brilliant turquoise blue. Every day, about 26 million gallons of water comes up from the earth (55 feet down from the surface of the pool), then flows under a natural bridge and out to the current river. Near the spring is Round Spring cave.  This cave is home to a bat maternity colony and beautiful cave formations. The cave is gated, but in the past, cave tours have been available in the summer months.

 

 

Photo Courtesy of www.ruralmissouri.org

Photo Courtesy of www.ruralmissouri.org

Rocky Falls – This dramatic destination is located near Eminence and Winona, Missouri.  The 40 ft. falls are made up of rhyolite, a reddish-purple igneous rock. Rocky Creek cuts its way through the rock and creates a rippling, merry cascade that falls down to a great swimming hole.

There is nothing like visiting the breathtaking places right in our back yard. Their beauty reminds me of why we at the EPA and our Federal, State, and local partners work hard to protect and preserve these treasures. I live in Kansas City now, but my heart will always live in the Ozark hills.

Tegan Vaughn has worked at EPA Region 7 for three years in the Policy and Management Division. She graduated from UMKC with a BA in Environmental Studies and Minors in Geography and Sustainability. She currently resides in Olathe, KS.

 

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

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Get Out and See the Spring Wildflowers (or Nature’s Filters)

Every mid-winter, I become impatient with winter’s cold, and dreary grays.   I find myself wondering if the world around me is ever going to be warm, lively, and colorful again.  And every spring, as the days grow longer and warmer, my faith is restored, as I see little signs of life popping out of the leaf litter in my yard and native metro woodlands.  In a matter of weeks, the grays, browns, and faded golds of the winter forest floor transform into a carpet of green, white, gold, blue, and purple.  The spring ephemeral wildflowers arrive, and the forest takes on a moist, rich scent and texture.

Busse Forest Nature Preserve

Busse Forest Nature Preserve, a National Natural Landmark in Cook County, IL. (NPS.gov)

Growing up with the Cook County, Chicago forest preserves as one of my family’s most significant recreation destinations, I learned in our annual search for Jack-in-the-Pulpits, to appreciate how this time of delightful delicacy and color, is short-lived, as these forest wildflowers take advantage of the sunlight that temporarily reaches the forest floor, during the time between the end of winter, and the leafing out of the shrub and tree layers above them.

 

Jack-in-the-Pulpits (NPS.gov)

Jack-in-the-Pulpits (NPS.gov)

These flowers must complete their lifecycles in a matter of weeks, growing, blooming, being pollinated, and setting seed before the dense shade of summer arrives.  It is because their opportunity to thrive is so short, that these plants grow in great numbers, with several adaptations for attracting pollinators: bright colors, enticing scents, and nectar guides on their petals.  Some even have petals which serve as landing platforms for flying insects.

Spring ephemerals are perennials that sprout mostly from underground bulbs and corms, which they have stored with starch during their previous growing season.  They grow close to the ground because there is no competition at this growth level, and this low profile reduces damage from cold winds.  Because the weather in the early spring is still too cold for most flying insects, ants and small ground beetles pollinate most of these plants and disseminate their seeds.

The natural intricacies and beauty of this time in the woods are more than enough to provide a rationale for conservation and restoration, but recent research by the Leopold Center at Iowa State University tells us that these forest floor communities play a big role in water quality as well.  A recent press release from the center tells how certain species of the forest floor are high performers when it comes to capturing and storing nutrients, along with their companion native trees and shrubs.   Together, their root and shoot biomass act as giant natural sponges and filters.   Iowa State has a couple of nice write ups with more information and can be found at:

The weather this year has been unusual but normally I’d suggest you look for the earliest spring ephemerals between late March and early April, especially on moist south-facing slopes warmed by the sun, and on moist bottomlands next to streams.  Later in a normal spring, look for new blooms on rich, moist, well-drained east and north-facing slopes.  Some of the most common spring ephemerals you will see in our region are, Spring Beauty, Dog Tooth Violet, Toothwort, Dutchman’s Breeches, Virginia Bluebell, Wild Sweet William, May Apple, Wake Robin, Bellwort, Bloodroot, Jack-in-the-Pulpit, Putty Root Orchid, and False Rue Anemone.  They will be interspersed with longer lived spring bloomers, like Wild Ginger, Wild Geranium, Jacob’s Ladder, Virginia Waterleaf, Solomon’s Seal, False Solomon’s Seal, and several ferns.

This spring, wander our metro region’s woodland wildlands with a guidebook and marvel at our ephemeral spring beauty.  You can search for carpets of color in the Fort Leavenworth bottomland forests, Swope Park, Burr Oak Woods Conservation Area,  Isley Park Woods Natural Area, Maple Woods Natural Area, the Blue River bottomlands, and Hidden Valley Natural Area.

Roberta Vogel-Leutung is a city girl with rural Iowa and Kansas roots who grew up on the southwest side of Chicago in a family of 13. There, she frequently took refuge at the top of her family’s three story Weeping Willow Tree, and explored the Cook County Forest Preserves with her family, her Boy Scout brothers, and her St. Albert’s Girl Scout Troop.  She’s a big fan of local nature, and works on Urban Waters partnership projects, and various community engagement and sustainability initiatives, from her seat in ENSV where she has been a contractor or employee since 1988.

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

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Which One of These States is not Like the Other?

By Jeffery Robichaud

Last year, accompanied by much fanfare (both positive and negative) the University of Missouri bid farewell to the Big 12 and moved to the SEC.  I won’t weigh in on the move with one exception.   In keeping with the geographical thread of this blog, I have never seen a map on which Missouri is considered to be in the Southeast part of the United States (the SE in the SEC).  In fact there was a day, back at the beginning of our country, when Missouri was considered the West.  Depending on which side of the Missouri River you lived, you found yourself either in “Barren Country covered with Efflorescent Salt” or “Very Fruitful Country” as depicted in a pre-Lewis and Clark map.

So now Missouri is the only one of our four states with a University not found in a “Big” conference (take that SEC!).  Just because they don’t belong to a “big” conference doesn’t mean they don’t have big data.  In fact we’ve worked with several organizations in Missouri that serve as great resources for those in the geospatial business.  Three such exist at the University of Missouri.

  •  MSDIS (pronounced Miz – Diz) is the Missouri Spatial Data Information Service, a spatial data retrieval and archival system at the University of Missouri.  They have a ton of cool data ranging from normal stuff like roads and waterways to cool stuff like locations of sinkholes and zebra mussels.  

   

  • Our friends over at MORAP, the Missouri Resource Assessment Partnership, focus on coordinated approaches to projects with funding from multiple shared sources to minimize costs.  Holly Mehl, from EPA Region 7, has highlighted some of our joint work with MORAP here and here

 

  •  Last but not least, another site we frequently visit is CARES, the Center for Applied Research and Environmental Systems.  CARES focuses on understanding human and natural systems through integration of social and natural sciences in a GIS setting, including such projects as the Community Issues Management mapper. 

So that concludes our round robin of some of the GIS sites found in our four States, which we started during bowl season and finished before March Madness.  You can check out our previous posts on Nebraska, Iowa, and Kansas, and be sure to share with us your favorite GIS sites from KS, IA, NE, and MO (or elsewhere for that matter).  What is your go-to site for data?

Jeffery Robichaud is a second generation EPA scientist who has worked for the Agency since 1998. He currently serves as Deputy Director of EPA Region 7′s Environmental Services Division.  In full disclosure, he lives in Missouri and will probably end up sending one kid to MU and one kid to KU.  Here he is with his Tiger fan at the last Border Showdown at Arrowhead Stadium (which Mizzou won handily).

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

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After Tragedy, Joplin, MO Rebuilds with ENERGY STAR Certified Homes

By: Ramona Schwartz

In May 2011, a deadly tornado ripped through the community of Joplin, Missouri, tragically killing 161 people and destroying a third of the city. Thousands of structures were destroyed or damaged, including many homes. Over a year later, the community is still rebuilding. But the people of Joplin have the true American spirit and are determined to rebuild and to rebuild better.

This rebuilding effort includes a project called Building Joplin. Building Joplin is an initiative by natural gas distributor Missouri Gas Energy. Under this initiative, we are working with local home builders, contractors, and major manufacturers to rebuild Joplin’s homes to be ENERGY STAR certified. ENERGY STAR certified homes are more efficient than most other homes, saving owners money on their utility bills, which is something residents of Joplin can really benefit from.

We are committed to training builders and sub-contractors on the best practices contained within ENERGY STAR’s requirements with the goal of rebuilding a more energy efficient and sustainable community. Our first home is under construction and will be completed in early April 2013. We believe that the Building Joplin project will grow public awareness about the importance of energy efficiency in Joplin and beyond.

One of my favorite movie quotes is, “If you build it, they will come.” This quote embodies the spirit behind the Building Joplin project. We believe that once the community sees and lives in ENERGY STAR certified homes, they will understand the efficiency, comfort and durability benefits of these homes, and they’ll want all of Joplin’s homes to be ENERGY STAR homes. For more information on ENERGY STAR certified homes, click here.

About the Author: Ramona Schwartz is a contractor working in support of Missouri Gas Energy’s Building Joplin project. She is very passionate about helping people in need and saving energy.

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

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Moving the Arch

By Casey J. McLaughlin

Remotely sensed data is a popular background for many maps today, but it isn’t all just a pretty picture.  Images produced by satellite or airplane get processed and circulated at a very fast pace – everyone wants the latest and greatest.  Speed often means ortho-rectification isn’t a high priority.  Wikipedia gives a simple write up of the process:

An orthophoto, orthophotograph or orthoimage is an aerial photograph geometrically corrected (“orthorectified”) such that the scale is uniform: the photo has the same lack of distortion as a map. Unlike an uncorrected aerial photograph, an orthophotograph can be used to measure true distances, because it is an accurate representation of the Earth’s surface, having been adjusted for topographic relief,[1] lens distortion, and camera tilt.

Geospatial data can be a little more complicated than just having a latitude and longitude.  We model the earth in two-dimensional space (the globe is an imperfect sphere) and we’re still relying on planar map views (flat) even on our screens of choice.  Geospatial data should, therefore, contain good information about how that locational data (e.g. latitude and longitude) is collected and stored.  I’ve commented previously on the challenges of managing spatial data (datums, cell vs gps, projections, field data) and now I present, “The Case of the Moving Arch.”

A few summers ago we visited the Gateway Arch in St. Louis, Missouri.  After dipping my foot into the Mississippi, we ran around on the grounds of the park.  It’s a great monument although I confess I didn’t take the long and cramped ride to the top.  After my stroll through memory lane, I got back to thinking about imagery and plotted a reference point.  The graphic below shows a few years as seen using Google Earth’s historical imagery catalogue – as far as I can tell GE is still the best place for doing this exercise.

Nostalgia and the joy of Google Earth aside, notice how the arch “moves” in the images!  In both the 2011 images the Arch run south into the 2011 portion of my label.  August might have fewer letters than September or November, but the Arch is clearly running off the picture well to the left/east of the image!

Are you amazed yet?  I would hope not but thought I would check.  I saw the impact of this image distortion when I was reviewing some images with an inspector plotting some of his photographs onto a map using aerial imagery (the photos were geotagged with a lat/lon).   For this particular facility there were several images taken from a catwalk.  He placed the image location point onto a map (not Google in this case, FYI) and the location was definitely not on the cross-walk (more like walking on air).  Eventually, we found a satisfactory picture for the report but I’m left wondering if I had taken a photograph and not geotagged it in the field, which image could I use for adding an accurate latitude/longitude?

Normal-color kite aerial photograph of the upland study forest, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, May 2000. Oblique view toward the south shows a fully developed forest canopy. Kansas Geological Survey Current Research in Earth Sciences, Bulletin 248, Part 1

Perhaps I’m getting into geography minutia, but there is more and more finer resolution imagery available than ever before.  Satellites and planes and kites (yes, kites) are acquiring imagery faster and finer (gigapixels!) and this trend will only continue.  In the movie “Enemy of the State” Will Smith’s character (Robert Dean) is tracked in real-time by satellite (drone maybe, but satellite?!?).  If we envision using remotely sensed imagery with such detail (seeing a dime on the street is another example) then knowing the distortion and resulting precision/accuracy seems rather important.

Casey McLaughlin is a first generation Geospatial Enthusiast who has worked with EPA since 2003 as a contractor and now as the Regional GIS Lead. He currently holds the rank of #1 GISer in EPA Region 7′s Environmental Services Division.

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

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The Story of One Cave, and the Bats who Live There

By Vanessa Madden

Myotis sodalis (Indiana Bat)

The year is 1722, French explorer Philipp Renault, guided by Osage Indian legends, emerges from the mist on the Meramec River. Just as the Osage had told him, a large opening could be seen in the bluff above. A cave of gold was waiting to be discovered………. But, as is often the case when French explorers read too much into Osage legends, the promise of gold was never realized. However, the caves along the Meramec River do contain one of nature’s greatest treasures, bats. I doubt the bats made much of an impression on Renault. But at the time, the numerous passageways of this 4.6 mile cavern system undoubtedly provided plentiful wintering and roosting habitat for native bats. Today we know that Missouri caves are home to 14 species of bats (learn about Missouri bats), three of which are federally endangered (Indiana Bat, Gray Bat, and The Ozark Big-Eared). Unfortunately, the cave was not to be left alone. Saltpeter was discovered. Saltpeter was an important resource at the time because it was a key ingredient in gunpowder. What followed was 144 years of mining saltpeter out of the cave, which ended when Confederate troops destroyed a Union gunpowder plant operating inside the cave itself. My guess is that blowing up large amounts of gunpowder was a bit annoying to the bats. Things quieted down a bit after the civil war. The cave was sometimes used by local residents for summer parties and dances. However, people are curious. Word spread of the beautiful features inside the cave. So, in the 1930’s, the cave was opened to the public. Today, tours are conducted year around.

Corynorhinus townsendii ingens (Ozark Big Ear) Wikipedia

Mankind’s use of the cave over the last 300 years has greatly affected the ability of bats to use the cave as habitat. Many of the original entrances and passageways were sealed off, in an attempt to keep trespassers out of the cave. Year around tours have driven the bats into quieter caves nearby. Perhaps the most unexpected threat to the cave ecosystem was the discovery that groundwater contamination at a nearby hazardous waste site was impacting the cave’s air and water quality.

Myotis Auriculus (Gray Bat)

Ironically, all of the historical causes of declining bat populations pale in comparison to the potential affect of a little fungus known as G. destructans or “white-nose syndrome.” Just as its name implies, this fungus has destroyed over 5 million bats in North America, and it is spreading. The human story of this cave is one of adventurers, outlaws, and entrepreneurs. Nature’s story, however, is one of encroachment and loss. Much has been written about the value of bats to mankind. For example, they consume vast quantities of insects (600/hour according to University of Missouri researchers) and pollinate plants. Perhaps more importantly, they have an intrinsic value that we all can recognize. Now, with native bats facing perhaps their greatest challenge yet, we must do all that we can to protect these diminutive creatures. Venessa Madden is a Midwestern girl who grew up playing in creeks and pastures.  Exploring nature motivated her to become an ecologist. She has been with EPA for 14 years, and currently works as an ecological risk assessor.  She is a past winner of EPA’s prestigious James W. Ackerman Award for Ecological Risk Assessment, and conducted a first ever Baseline Ecological Risk Assessment which included evaluating an inhalation pathway for bats.

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

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Abandoned Coal Mines

By Jeffery Robichaud

A fair portion of our GIS mapping activities in Region 7 are related to cleanup of contamination from historic lead mining activities, several of which we hope to share in future blog posts. But mining in Missouri was not always lead.  In fact, Missouri has a rich coal mining history and lays claim to being the first state west of the Mississippi River to commercially produce coal.  In Missouri, hundreds of mostly small, family-owned mines operated into the middle part of last century.

Unfortunately abandoned underground coal mines can pose significant safety concerns, possibly causing damage to homes and infrastructure especially if folks aren’t aware of their presence.  Additionally, even though mining isn’t active, abandoned mines can also still produce methane  from vents, fissures, or boreholes.  If you have ever visited the Museum of Science and Industry  in Chicago and taken the Coal Mine tour, you know how dangerous methane can be if it builds up.  EPA has worked with industry and states to develop the Coalbed Methane Outreach Program (CMOP) a voluntary program whose goal is to reduce methane emissions from coal mining activities including abandoned mines, and whose:

…mission is to promote the profitable recovery and use of coal mine methane (CMM), a greenhouse gas more than 20 times as potent as carbon dioxide. By working cooperatively with coal companies and related industries, CMOP helps to address barriers to using CMM instead of emitting it to the atmosphere. In turn, these actions mitigate climate change, improve mine safety and productivity, and generate revenues and cost savings.

You can find out more about CMOP by visiting EPA’s website, and can view slides from 2012 US Coal Mine Methane Conference as well.

So as you contemplate whether you might find coal in your stocking this season, consider giving a gift to the State of Missouri if you have an old map that was passed down through your family like the one shown below.  The State has, for the last several years, been collecting donated maps and scanning them into the department’s archive as well as sending electronic versions to the Office of Surface Mining in Pennsylvania for inclusion in the National Mine Map Repository. You can see their pitch for your maps by watching the youtube video below (even though the video says 2011, I’m sure they would still be happy to receive a map from you).

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Jeffery Robichaud is a second generation EPA scientist who has worked for the Agency since 1998. He currently serves as Deputy Director of EPA Region 7′s Environmental Services Division.  He took his boys on the Coal Mine tour at MSI this Spring roughly thirty years after he visited with his brother.   It is quite possible that he may receive coal in his stocking at the end of December.

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

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