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Small craft advisory lifted

Small craft advisory lifted

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. - The Army Corps of Engineers has lifted the small craft advisory on the Arkansas River.

Before setting out in a pleasure craft, always check flow conditions.  Corps officials urge boaters to always use caution on the river.  Wear a life jacket, and never operate a boat while intoxicated.  Give commercial towboats an extra wide berth for safety's sake.  They are heavier than freight trains and not nearly as maneuverable as pleasure boats.  It can take a towboat more than a half mile to stop.

Advisories are issued when flows reach 70,000 cubic feet per second.  Currents become swifter and stronger, and large debris is carried downstream. 

For daily river information, visit the Corps' Little Rock District Web site at www.swl.usace.army.mil and click the water management button.

Forestry Commission warns of fire danger

Forestry Commission warns of fire danger

LITTLE ROCK, ARK. – Arkansas Forestry Commission crews have suppressed 26 wildfires that burned 490 acres  across the state on Thursday.

High winds of 15 to 30 MPH today…with gusts to 40 MPH in parts of the state coupled with lowering relative humidity between 25 to 35 percent will create elevated fire danger today.

Outside burning is not recommended under these condition. Searcy County is currently under a burn ban.

For details concerning the location or status of fires in all Arkansas counties, homeowners may call the AFC Dispatch Center at 1-501-332-2000.


Should the warm temperatures and gusty wind continue, there are a few things to remember:

Corps to host workshops discussing changes in park operations

Corps to host workshops discussing changes in park operations

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – The Army Corps of Engineers, Little Rock District is hosting five public workshops in February to discuss proposed changes in operations at 29 of its parks because of budget cuts.

Although there will be no group presentations, the public is invited to drop by any time during the workshops and talk one on one with Corps representatives about the proposed recreational changes, provide input and learn more about volunteer and potential partnership opportunities. Written comments will also be accepted at the workshops. 

The Corps is looking for partners willing to take over operations and maintenance duties at affected facilities to help keep them from closing.

For individuals interested in the proposed recreational changes at Clearwater Lake, the workshop will be held from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., Feb. 9, at the Clearwater Project Office adjacent to Clearwater Dam in Piedmont, Mo.

Tight budget prompts changes in Corps park operations; public workshops slated

Tight budget prompts changes in Corps park operations; public workshops slated
  

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Tight budgets are requiring the Little Rock District of the Army Corps of Engineers to propose changes at several of its parks, including closing some less efficient facilities. 

A series of public workshops to discuss these proposals and solicit public input is being scheduled for February at Piedmont, Mo., and at Mountain Home, Heber Springs, Russellville and Ozark, Ark.  The workshop times, dates and locations will be announced when they are finalized.

Environmental and controlled burns planned

Environmental and controlled burns planned

 

PINE BLUFF ARSENAL, Ark. – The local community should not be alarmed if they see large plumes of smoke coming from Pine Bluff Arsenal beginning Jan. 9 through Feb. 29.

The Nature Conservancy’s Arkansas field office and the Arsenal’s Fire and Emergency Services will both be conducting multiple prescribed and controlled burns during this time.  These burns serve as an environmental benefit, not only to reduce wildfire risk by removing fuel levels and loading from the forest floor, but also act as timber stand and wildlife habitat improvements.

The planning of controlled burns includes safety plans, smoke management plans, and fire intensity levels to include flame heights and flame speeds. All controlled burns will be conducted by specially-trained and equipped crews skilled at fire management operations.

Hearing to address hazardous waste regulations

Hearing to address hazardous waste regulations

The Arkansas Pollution Control and Ecology Commission (APC&EC) will hold a public hearing at North Little Rock January 9, 2012, to receive public comments on proposed revisions to Commission Regulation 30 (Remedial Action Trust Fund/Hazardous Substances Site Priority List). The hearing will begin at 2:00 p.m. in the Commission Room at the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) headquarters building, 5301 Northshore Drive, North Little Rock.

SWEPCO settles Turk plant suit

SWEPCO settles Turk plant suit

Deal retires Texas plant, funds land conservation

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) -- Southwestern Electric Power Company (SWEPCO), Audubon and Sierra Club today announced a legal settlement bringing to an end a four-year public battle over the construction of the Turk coal-fired power plant in Southwest Arkansas.

The settlement, focused on offsetting the new Turk plant's total emissions, requires SWEPCO to install 400 megawatts of clean energy, and further accelerates the region’s transition away from coal. Sierra Club and Audubon will continue to work with AEP in seeking other emissions reductions within the AEP system companies.

“While we’d prefer that the Turk plant not be built, today’s settlement brings some very good news for Arkansas, which would not have been possible without years of citizen opposition to dirty coal plants,” said Glen Hooks, with Sierra Club.