South Carolina Sees Marginal Improvement in Latest Drought Monitor
South Carolina’s latest drought monitor report showed some improvement in the state’s dry conditions, with the overall percentage of the state showing no dry conditions moving from 34 1/2 % to almost 40%. The area of the state reporting abnormally dry conditions has gone from 65% to 60%, and the area reporting moderate drought conditions has improved from just shy of 30% to 25 ¾%. However, even with some improvement in the numbers the dry conditions have shifted away from the coast to the Midlands, and eastern upstate.
North Carolina’s Abnormally Dry Conditions Shift
In the latest drought monitor released by USDA, North Carolina’s dry conditions improved slightly, with just shy of 60% of the state now drought free, up from just under 57% last week. 40% of the state remains in abnormally dry conditions, down from 43 % in the last report, and the area of the state reporting moderate drought conditions remains virtually the same at 6 ¼%, down slightly from 6 2/3% in the previous report. However, the area of abnormally dry conditions has shifted all the way to the coast in Carteret County, to Nash County in the north, and Union County in the west, and most of Columbus County to the south.
McCarthy Grilled During Confirmation Hearing
President Obama’s nominee for EPA Administrator says the agency has some bridge-building work to do with the ag community after a tumultuous few years of regulatory battles. McCarthy’s call for EPA reconciliation with ag was more than a passing one…
“I know just how hard the farming community protects their resources and I want to make sure that I have an opportunity to change the relationship between that community and EPA.”
A far cry from the strained relationship under former EPA Chief Lisa Jackson – who routinely argued with ag over proposed dust, water, pesticide and other rules ag sees as costly and burdensome. But McCarthy’s own EPA Air and Radiation office has itself been criticized for a lack of transparency, cherry-picking scientific data, manipulating cost-benefit numbers and making backroom deals.
McCarthy was asked about EPA’s recent sharing of animal feeding operations’ personal information with animal activist groups…
“I know that there is great concern that the information went out. I understand that concern and I would do everything I can to make sure that those errors are not repeated.”
McCarthy committed – for now – only to try to get the released personal data back – a call EPA’s already made.