Snowpack Declining; EPA’s Air Quality Standards Restrictions
Due to warmer temperatures last month, snowpack in the Cascades and Sierra Nevada have further declined. USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service Hydrologist Cara McCarthy says nearly one-third of SNOTEL sites in the Cascades and Sierra Nevada are reporting the lowest snowpack ever measured and -- for the first time -- some snow sites were snow-free on March 1. McCarthy says these areas can expect reduced summer streamflow. Drought conditions continue in California, Nevada and Utah, as well as in some areas of Arizona, New Mexico, Washington, Oregon and Colorado. Snowmelt accounts for the majority of seasonal water supply in Western states.
Farm Bureau believes an EPA proposal to place further restrictions on air quality standards would damage agriculture and rural communities if implemented. Tightening already strict ozone standards would impose significant cost to farmers and ranchers without a guaranteed benefit to the public, according to AFBF’s formal comments submitted to the EPA.