Monday, February 27, 2017

How to locate pipelines: National Pipeline Mapping System

"Whether they are emergency responders, city planners, pipeline operators, homeowners, students or just curious neighbors, it’s important for community members to know where pipelines are located so they can be avoided or found, serviced and monitored.
The U.S. Department of Transportation offers an excellent resource for learning more about local pipelines. The National Pipeline Mapping System’s (NPMS) Public Map Viewer includes interactive maps showing the locations of hazardous liquid and gas transmission pipelines, and Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) plants nationwide. Interested individuals also can access information about related pipeline incidents going back to 2002..."
Pipelines

Thursday, February 23, 2017

January 19, 2017 EPA Snapshot

"You have reached the help page for the January 19, 2017 Web Snapshot. This is not the current EPA website. To navigate to the current EPA website, please go to www.epa.gov

What is included in the Web Snapshot?

The Web Snapshot consists of static content, such as webpages and reports in Portable Document Format (PDF), as that content appeared on EPA's website as of January 19, 2017.

What is not included in the Web Snapshot?

There are technical limitations to what could be included in the Web Snapshot. For example, many of the links contained on EPA's website are to databases that are updated with new information on a regular basis. These databases are not part of the static content that comprises the Web Snapshot. Links in the Web Snapshot to dynamic databases will take you to the current version of the database. Searches there will yield the latest data, rather than the data that would have been returned for a search conducted on January 19, 2017. Alerts should appear when you are leaving the Web Snapshot and linking to a dynamic database..."
EPA (Jan. 17, 2017)

The European Union: Questions and Answers

"The European Union (EU) is a political and economic partnership that represents a unique form of cooperation among sovereign countries. The EU is the latest stage in a process of integration begun after World War II, initially by six Western European countries, to foster interdependence and make another war in Europe unthinkable. The EU currently consists of 28 member states, including most of the countries of Central and Eastern Europe, and has helped to promote peace, stability, and economic prosperity throughout the European continent.

The EU has been built through a series of binding treaties. Over the years, EU member states have sought to harmonize laws and adopt common policies on an increasing number of economic, social, and political issues. EU member states share a customs union; a single market in which capital, goods, services, and people move freely; a common trade policy; and a common agricultural policy. Nineteen EU member states use a common currency (the euro), and 22 member states participate in the Schengen area of free movement in which internal border controls have been eliminated.."
European Union

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Fact Sheet: Executive Order: Border Security and Immigration Enforcement Improvements

"Federal immigration law both imposes the responsibility and provides the means for the federal government, in cooperation with the states, to secure the nation's borders. The purpose of this order is to direct executive departments and agencies to deploy all lawful means to secure the nation's southern border with Mexico, to prevent further illegal immigration into the United States, and to repatriate illegal aliens swiftly, consistently, and humanely.
This includes, among other provisions, establishing operational control of the border, establishing and controlling a physical barrier, detaining illegal aliens at or near the border, ending the practice of “catch and release,” and returning aliens to the territory from which they came pending formal proceedings.
This order also directs the Secretary of Homeland Security to hire an additional 5,000 border agents and to empower state and local law enforcement to support federal enforcement of immigration law, to the maximum extent permitted by law, and to ensure that prosecution guidelines place a high priority on crimes having a nexus to our southern border.

Authorities

This executive order and its implementation is grounded in authorities vested in the President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, including the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1101 et seq.) (INA), the Secure Fence Act of 2006 (Public Law 109 367) (Secure Fence Act), and the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 (Public Law 104 208 Div. C) (IIRIRA), in furtherance of the safety and territorial integrity of the United States as well as responsibilities to ensure that the nation's immigration laws are faithfully executed...."
Border security

Fact Sheet: Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States

"Interior enforcement of our nation's immigration laws is critically important to the national security and public safety of the United States. Aliens who illegally enter the United States and those who overstay or otherwise violate the terms of their visas have violated our nation’s laws and can pose a threat to national security and public safety. This is particularly true for aliens who engage in criminal conduct in the United States. We are charged with faithfully executing the laws of the United States and we will not exempt classes or categories of removable aliens from potential enforcement. The Executive Order No. 13768 entitled “Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States” directs our Department and agencies to enforce the law, and we will do so professionally and humanely.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will make use of all available systems and resources to enforce the law. DHS will also ensure that aliens ordered removed from the United States are promptly removed. The victims of crimes committed by removable aliens and the families of victims will also receive support from the Department.

Authorities

The executive order and its implementation is grounded in authorities vested in the President by the Constitution and laws of the United States of America, including  authority of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) (8 U.S.C. 1101 et seq.) and implements responsibilities to ensure that the nation’s immigration laws are faithfully executed...."
Public safety in interior of the United States

Q&A: DHS Implementation of the Executive Order on Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States

"On February 20, 2017, Secretary John Kelly signed a memorandum implementing the president’s Executive Order No. 13768 entitled “Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States,” issued on January 25, 2017. This document is designed to answer some frequently asked questions about how the Department will operationally implement the guidance provided by the president’s order.

Q1: Under what authority is DHS implementing this executive order?

A1: This executive order is being implemented under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), 8 U.S.C. 1101 et seq., and other immigration laws.

Q2: How is ICE conducting interior enforcement operations based on this executive order?

A2: Effective immediately, ICE will direct its personnel as well as its state and local partners through the 287(g) program to apply the enforcement priorities stated in Executive Order No. 13768. 
To that end, within 180 days, ICE will carry out a number of actions to implement the enforcement priorities stated in the executive order. Some of those actions include, but are not limited to, conducting targeted enforcement operations and allocating resources to work in jurisdictions with violent crime tied to gang activities...."
Public safety in interior of United states

Q&A: DHS Implementation of the Executive Order on Border Security and Immigration Enforcement

"On February 20, 2017, Secretary John Kelly signed a memorandum implementing the president’s Executive Order entitled “Border Security and Immigration Enforcement Improvements,” issued on January 25, 2017. This document is designed to answer some frequently asked questions about how the Department will operationally implement the guidance provided by the president’s order.

Q1. What is CBP currently doing as part of the construction of the wall?

A1. CBP is taking immediate action in response to the president’s executive order. We have identified locations near El Paso, Texas, Tucson, Arizona, and El Centro, California, where we will build a wall in areas where the fence or old brittle landing-mat fencing are no longer effective.
The Border Patrol is also in the midst of an operational assessment, which will identify priority areas where CBP can build a wall or similar physical barrier on the border where it currently does not exist...."
DHS and border security

Secretary Kelly Issues Implementation Memoranda on Border Security and Interior Enforcement Executive Orders

"Today, Secretary John Kelly issued two memoranda to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) workforce providing further direction to implement the recent executive orders on border security and enforcement of the immigration laws.

In accordance with the Department’s commitment to be transparent with the American people, and to more effectively implement policies and practices that serve the national interest and protect the homeland, consolidated information regarding DHS operations in relation to the executive orders is available at www.dhs.gov/executive-orders-protecting-homeland..."
DHS Border security

Honey: A Sweet Topic with New Data this Spring

"Every day, National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) statisticians work hard to produce timely, accurate and useful statistics to U.S agriculture. In addition to producing hundreds of reports each year on crops, livestock and economic indicators for the agriculture industry, NASS collects and reports annual data for honey bee colonies. Historically, we’ve only surveyed operations or farms with five or more colonies, but in 2015 we expanded the survey to cover operations of all sizes. As a statistician who is also a beekeeper, I am pleased to provide valuable information about honey as a public service and decision-making tool.
The annual honey report publishes the maximum number of honey producing colonies, honey yield, value of honey production, and honey price by color class and marketing channel. In addition to bee and honey surveys, the Census of Agriculture, which is collected every five years, publishes number of operations, number of colonies, pounds of honey produced and value produced. NASS has data on honey production dating back to 1986. Current honey and honey bee data is available on the NASS website..."Honey production

Five States Account for 25 Percent of All Reported ATV-Related Deaths in the United States

"Taking a four wheeler out for a spin is a recreational activity that many riding enthusiasts participate in all year long. Yet, riding an all-terrain vehicle (ATV) continues to be a dangerous and deadly activity when certain safety precautions are not followed. Deaths and injuries resulting from ATV incidents have ticked down in recent years, although the stats are still deeply concerning to CPSC. There are about 650 deaths and 100,000 injuries every year involving ATVs, according to our 2015 ATV Annual Report.
As of December 31, 2015, CPSC staff received reports of 14,129 ATV-related fatalities occurring between 1982 and 2015, with 340 ATV-related fatalities occurring in 2015, 547 occurring in 2014, and 581 occurring in 2013. Reporting for the years 2013 through 2015 is ongoing and these numbers are expected to increase in future reports.
Taking a closer look at where ATV-related deaths take place, five states combined account for 3,208 deaths or 25 percent of all reported ATV-related deaths in the United States for the years 1982 through 2012.*..."ATV

Monday, February 20, 2017

A Close Look at the Decline of Homeownership

"The homeownership rate—the percentage of households that own rather than rent the homes that they live in—has fallen sharply since mid-2005. In fact, in the second quarter of 2016 the homeownership rate fell to 62.9 percent, its lowest level since 1965. In this blog post, we look at underlying demographic trends to gain a deeper understanding of the large increase in the homeownership rate from 1995 to 2005 and the subsequent large decline. Although there is reason to believe that the homeownership rate may begin to rise again in the not-too-distant future, it is unlikely to fully recover to its previous peak levels. This is a disconcerting finding for those who view homeownership as an integral part of the American Dream and a key component of income security during retirement. 

An estimate of the homeownership rate is published each quarter by the U.S. Census Bureau, based on a sample of housing units..."
Homeownership

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Membership of the 115th Congress: A Profile

"This report presents a profile of the membership of the 115th Congress (2017-2018) as of January 4, 2017. Statistical information is included on selected characteristics of Members, including data on party affiliation, average age, occupation, education, length of congressional service, religious affiliation, gender, ethnicity, foreign births, and military service.

In the House of Representatives, there are 241 Republicans (including 1 Delegate and the Resident Commissioner of Puerto Rico), 197 Democrats (including 4 Delegates), and 3 vacant seats. The Senate has 52 Republicans, 46 Democrats, and 2 Independents, who both caucus with the Democrats..." 
115th Congress Membership

President Trump: Putting Coal Country Back to Work

"Today, President Donald J. Trump signed House Joint Resolution 38 to stop the costly Stream Protection Rule from further harming coal workers and the communities that depend on them. H.J.Res. 38 blocks an overly burdensome regulation that threatened the coal industry with millions of dollars in compliance costs, reduced coal production, and fewer jobs.
Since 2009, the coal industry has declined, leaving workers and communities without a lifeline. Over 36,000 jobs have been lost without any relief in sight. From 2009 to 2015, American coal production has declined by over 177,000,000 tons, and over 600 coal mines have closed. H.J.Res. 38 will give coal country relief from these harmful regulations created under the Obama Administration..."
Coal industry

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Cybersecurity: Actions Needed to Strengthen U.S. Capabilities

"GAO has consistently identified shortcomings in the federal government’s approach to ensuring the security of federal information systems and cyber critical infrastructure as well as its approach to protecting the privacy of personally identifiable information (PII). While previous administrations and agencies have acted to improve the protections over federal and critical infrastructure information and information systems, the federal government needs to take the following actions to strengthen U.S. cybersecurity

• Effectively implement risk-based entity-wide information security programs consistently over time. Among other things, agencies need to (1) implement sustainable processes for securely configuring operating systems, applications, workstations, servers, and network devices; (2) patch vulnerable systems and replace unsupported software; (3) develop comprehensive security test and evaluation procedures and conduct examinations on a regular and recurring basis; and (4) strengthen oversight of contractors providing IT services.

• Improve its cyber incident detection, response, and mitigation capabilities. The Department of Homeland Security needs to expand the capabilities and support wider adoption of its government-wide intrusion detection and prevention system. In addition, the federal government needs to improve cyber incident response practices, update guidance on reporting data breaches, and develop consistent responses to breaches of PII.

• Expand its cyber workforce planning and training efforts. The federal government needs to (1) enhance efforts for recruiting and retaining a qualified cybersecurity workforce and (2) improve cybersecurity workforce planning activities..."
Cybersecurity

Projected Costs of U.S. Nuclear Forces, 2017 to 2026

"Nuclear weapons have been a cornerstone of U.S. national security since they were developed during World War II. In the Cold War, nuclear forces were central to U.S. defense policy, resulting in the buildup of a large arsenal. Since that time, nuclear forces have figured less prominently than conventional forces, and the United States has not built any new nuclear weapons or delivery systems for many years....

If carried out, the plans for nuclear forces delineated in the Department of Defense’s (DoD’s) and the Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) budget requests for fiscal year 2017 would cost a total of $400 billion over the 2017– 2026 period, CBO estimates—an average of $40 billion a year. (In this analysis, “costs” refers to budget authority, the amount that would need to be appropriated to implement the plans.) The current 10-year total is 15 percent higher than CBO’s most recent previous estimate of the 10-year costs of nuclear forces, $348 billion over the 2015–2024 period..."
U.S. Nuclear forces