Retrieved from: Scientific American
“The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 10, has ordered two gas stations to close their underground injection wells to protect drinking water on the Yakama Indian Reservation in Washington.
Da Stor at Lillie’s Corner gas station, in Wapato, operates two underground injection wells. Cougar Den gas station in White Swan operates one underground injection well.
The injection wells dispose of untreated fluids collected through open drains on the stations’ fueling pads. The wells may contain contaminants such as benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, xylenes, cadmium, chromium, and lead that could endanger underground drinking water sources.
Groundwater is the primary source of drinking water for the communities of Wapato and White Swan.”
Read more: Kimatv
Retrieved from: NY Times
“Laura Garcia was halfway through the breakfast dishes when the spigot went dry. The small white tank beneath the sink that purified her undrinkable water had run out. Still, as annoying as that was, it was an improvement over the days before Ms. Garcia got her water filter, when she had to do her dishes using water from five-gallon containers she bought at a local store.
“Ms. Garcia’s well water, like that of her neighbors, is laced with excessivenitrates, a pollutant associated with agriculture, septic systems and some soils. Five years ago, this small community of 49 homes near the southern end of the Central Valley took its place on California’s priority list of places in need of clean tap water.
“Today the community is still stuck on that list, with no federal help in sight.
“Monson’s situation has parallels in places around the country, large and small, seeking federal funds under theSafe Drinking Water Act. The Environmental Protection Agency distributes these funds to state agencies that are supposed to identify problems and underwrite solutions. By the E.P.A.’s calculations, no state has been as inept in distributing the money as California.”
Read more: NY Times
Retrieved from: The Guardian
“The availability of safe drinking water, particularly in Bangladesh’s hard to reach areas, is expected to worsen as the country experiences the effects of climate change, experts say.
“According to a study by the World Bank’s water and sanitation programme, about 28 million Bangladeshis, or just over 20% of the population, are living in harsh conditions in the “hard-to-reach areas” that make up a quarter of the country’s landmass. The study found that char – land that emerges from riverbeds as a result of the deposit of sediments – is among the most inaccessible, along with hilly areas, coastal regions and haors – bowl-shaped wetland areas in north-east Bangladesh.
“People living in hard-to-reach areas are often vulnerable to natural calamities like flooding, riverbank erosion and siltation,” said Rokeya Ahmed, a water and sanitation specialist at the World Bank. “As a result of climate change, salinity in Bangladesh’s coastal areas has increased [a great deal], causing a lack of sweet water. Women in coastal and haor areas need to go miles to collect a pitcher of safe drinking water.”
Read more: The Guardian
Retrieved from: NBC
“A truck carrying drill cuttings from a fracking site set off a radiation alarm at a landfill in Pennsylvania. Emitting gamma radiation ten times higher than the permitted level, the waste was rejected by the landfill.
“After the alarm went off, the MAX Environmental Technologies truck was immediately quarantined and sent back to the Marcellus Shale fracking site it had come from in Greene County, Va. The 159-acre Pennsylvania landfill site accepts residual and hazardous waste, but the cuttings were too radioactive for the site to safely dispose.
“Environmentalists remain concerned about the effects of the radiation produced by hydraulic fracturing sites. The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) this year began analyzing wastewater from fracking sites and testing waste products for radioactivity. The investigation is ongoing.”
If the DEP study could somehow keep political influences from altering the science, and later its interpretation, the study could end up being significantly more instrumental in capturing the true impact of fracking on surronding water bodies and relaying that information to the public.
Read more: RT
Retrieved from: Clean water action
“Yesterday’s letter to the Environmental Protection Agency’s Acting Administrator Bob Perciasepe from over two dozen Republican Senators urges EPA to perpetuate the stalemate which is leaving drinking water sources without Clean Water Act protection.
“We hope this letter has the opposite effect, which is to remind the Administration that we can’t face today’s clean water challenges with this kind of vulnerability affecting so many of our precious water resources. The science is behind this. Despite this letter’s claims, the intent of the Clean Water Act is behind this.
“And if that’s not enough, consider this:
- The water bodies left vulnerable to pollution and destruction serve the drinking water sources for over 117 million people in the United States.
- Just last month, EPA released a report on the condition of our nation’s rivers and streams which found that 55% of them are unhealthy for aquatic life.”
Read more: Clean water action
“It is a little-known and poignant fact that some of the silver and chemicals to produce the films that made Hollywood the global center of the movie industry were extracted from the Owens Valley and environs. As if it weren’t enough that Los Angeles drained water from the Eastern Sierra to expand into the San Fernando Valley, its major industry and part of the reason for the city’s growth were also being supported through mining in the same region, an ecological double jeopardy. Los Angeles artist Lauren Bon and her Metabolic Studio are using this set of entwined histories to make visible the effects of the historic resource extraction on both the Owens Valley and the city to the south.
“The snow-fed waters that flow down the Eastern Sierra and into the Owens Valley once watered its substantial agriculture before terminating in Owens Lake. After William Mulholland opened the Los Angeles Aqueduct in 1913 to capture and transport those waters to the Los Angeles metropolitan area, the valley’s agriculture became unsustainable and the 108-square-mile lake began to dry up. By 1924, Owens Lake no longer held water year-round. In 2006, Los Angeles was forced by a dust-mitigation lawsuit to begin re-watering 60 miles of the river, with the result that approximately 27 square miles of the lakebed are now flooded, a ghost of the lake that was.”
Read more: KCET
Photo retrieved from: worldcrunch.com
“Gap, Brooks Brothers and other fashion brands are dumping toxic wastewater in Indonesia waterways, Greenpeace says.
In its latest report, Toxic Threads: Polluting Paradise, Greenpeace investigates the PT Gistex factory, located near Bandung in West Java, with 60 percent of production located in the Citarum River watershed. The facility does polyester weaving and wet processing for several fashion brands, Greenpeace says. The nonprofit collected samples of wastewater discharged from the PT Gistex facility and found toxic chemicals — including nonylphenol (NP), nonylphenol ethoxylate (NPE) and tributyl phosphate (TBP) — being pumped in the Citarum.
NPs and NPEs are highly toxic to aquatic organisms, the EPA says. Once released into the water system, NPEs degrade to NP, which is bioaccumulative and can act as a hormone disruptor, according to the agency. TBP is also toxic to aquatic life.
Brooks Brothers has acknowledged a business relationship with parts of PT Gistex Group, the report says. Greenpeace says is has urged the company to sign on to its Detox Fashion campaign and eliminate hazardous chemicals from its supply chains and products.”
Read more: Environmental Leader
Photo retrieved from: www.ipsnews.net
“Mexico plans to expand shale gas exploration this year, but it could run into a shortage of water, which is essential to hydraulic fracturing or fracking, the method used to capture natural gas from shale rocks.
“In Mexico there isn’t enough water. Where are they going to get it to extract shale gas?” Professor Miriam Grunstein at the Centre for Research and Teaching in Economics (CIDE) remarked in an interview with IPS.
She is opposed to the involvement of PEMEX, Mexico’s state-run oil company, in fracking, and recommends that it instead focus on higher priority sectors.
In 2012, a lengthy drought especially affected a large part of central and northern Mexico, with a heavy impact on agriculture and livestock, and on living conditions in dozens of rural villages.
And the forecast for this year is not much different.
Since 2011, PEMEX has drilled at least six wells for shale gas in the northern states of Nuevo León and Coahuila. And it is preparing for further exploration in the southeastern state of Veracruz, at a cost of 245 million dollars over the space of 18 months, in conjunction with the Mexican Petroleum Institute (IMP), a state institution.
To obtain shale gas, high pressure is applied in order to pump vast quantities of chemical sludge into layers of shale rock located deep in the earth. This results in the fracturing of the shale and the release of natural gas trapped in the rocks.”
Read more: IPS
Retrieved from: The Sierra Web
“Agriculture Under Secretary for Rural Development Dallas Tonsager announced today that U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the Indian Health Service (IHS) and the Department of Interior (DOI), to continue to work together to reduce by 50 percent the number of tribal homes lacking access to safe water and basic sanitation by 2015. The announcement was made during the 2013 Tribal Utility Summit in Nashville, Tenn. The United South & Eastern Tribes, EPA, IHS, and USDA are co-hosting a workshop titled “The Sustainable Management of Rural and Small Water/Wastewater Systems” during the summit.
“Access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation are vital to maintaining public health. It is a basic human need,” said Tonsager. “However, approximately 12 percent of all American Indian and Alaska Native homes do not have safe water or sanitation facilities. All of the parties to this MOU share a common goal of assisting tribes in improving quality of life by providing modern, reliable and affordable water and waste infrastructure through sustainable practices. We will continue to work together to meet that goal.”
“Today’s MOU announcement renews efforts by federal agencies to address the lack of access to safe drinking water and adequate wastewater service in Indian country, fulfilling commitments the United States made in support of the United Nations Millennium Development Goal on access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation at the World Summit on Sustainable Development in 2000.”
Read more: USDA
Photo retrieved from: www.globaltoronto.com
“At least 2,800 dead pigs have been fished from a Shanghai river since Friday, but authorities insist that tap water in the city is still safe to drink.
State news agency Xinhua said labels tagged to the pigs’ ears indicated they came from the upper waters of the Huangpu River, which flows through the center of Shanghai and is a source of the city’s drinking water.
It’s not clear why the pigs had been dumped in the river, though local media reported earlier this month that a disease had killed thousands of pigs in a village south of Shanghai.
“We will continue to trace the source, investigate the cause, co-operate with neighboring areas and take measures to stop the dumping of pigs into rivers,” the Shanghai Municipal Agricultural Commission said in a statement posted on their website on Monday.
As of Sunday, water quality on the Songjiang section of the river, where most of the pigs were found, remained normal and the incident has had “no significant effect on tap water supply,” the commission added.”
Read more: CNN