Tag Archive for 'contaminated water'

Texas agency: Gas driller didn’t contaminate water

Photo retrieved from: i.ehow.co.uk

“Texas regulators determined Tuesday the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency was wrong when it concluded a gas driller had contaminated domestic water wells in North Texas.

“The unanimous decision by the Railroad Commission of Texas marked the latest battle between state agencies and the EPA in a long, drawn out war that has evolved from disputes over environmental issues into a fierce debate about states’ rights. The Railroad Commission blasted the EPA, accusing it of shoddy testing methods and jumping to conclusions.

“”I see this as sort of a cavalier attempt by the federal government to reach its arms into our state’s jurisdictions,” said Commissioner Michael Williams, who is resigning his post on April 2 to run for U.S. Senate as a Republican.

“The government, he told the Associated Press, wants to “adversely affect the domestic energy industry.”

“The commission’s decision means Range Resources can continue its natural gas operations in Parker County, just west of Dallas, and is not obligated by the state to provide the impacted families with clean water.”

Read more: SF Chronicle

Japan radiation fears heighten as tainted water discovered in wake of nuclear plant damage

Photo retrieved from: NYDailyNews.com

“Traces of radioactive iodine were found in Tokyo‘s tap water, heightening concerns about leaks from one of Japan damaged nuclear plant, officials said Saturday.

“Tests of spinach and milk from farms near the blighted Fukushima Dai-ichi complex also detected radiation over government safety limits.

“Government ministry officials said the tainted water was found in tap water in Tokyo and five other prefectures but did not exceed accepted safety levels.

“The food came from producers up to 65 miles from the crippled plant, suggesting the area of contamination could be far wider than initially thought.”

read more: NY Daily News

Regulation Is Lax for Water From Gas Wells

“The American landscape is dotted with hundreds of thousands of new wells and drilling rigs, as the country scrambles to tap into this century’s gold rush — for natural gas.

“The gas has always been there, of course, trapped deep underground in countless tiny bubbles, like frozen spills of seltzer water between thin layers of shale rock. But drilling companies have only in recent years developed techniques to unlock the enormous reserves, thought to be enough to supply the country with gas for heating buildings, generating electricity and powering vehicles for up to a hundred years.

“So energy companies are clamoring to drill. And they are getting rare support from their usual sparring partners. Environmentalists say using natural gas will help slow climate change because it burns more cleanly than coal and oil. Lawmakers hail the gas as a source of jobs. They also see it as a way to wean the United States from its dependency on other countries for oil.”

Read more: New York Times

Polarized hearing brings drilling debate to the Delaware River Basin

Photo: N/A, License: N/A“Natural gas drilling in the Delaware River Basin will either save or devastate a region whose fate is in the hands of the interstate commission that regulates water quality there, according to the polarized testimony given by representatives of both sides of the drilling debate during hearings at Honesdale High School on Tuesday.

“About 90 people spoke at an afternoon session attended by more than 300 people. It was one of four hearings held by the Delaware River Basin Commission in Honesdale and Liberty, N.Y. on Tuesday about proposed natural gas drilling regulations that would apply to the 13,539-square-mile watershed where drilling has largely been on hold while the commission develops its rules.

“The basin contains most of Wayne, Pike and Monroe counties as well as slivers of Lackawanna and Luzerne.

“If adopted, the regulations will complement rules in place or being developed by state environmental agencies – a necessary overlap because “the Delaware River Basin is a special place,” commission Executive Director Carol R. Collier said before the hearing: it provides drinking water to more than 15 million people and contains waterways whose exceptional value demands extra protection.”

Read more: The Times Tribune

EPA to set limits on chemicals in drinking water

Photo retrieved from: wingate.govoffice.com

“The Environmental Protection Agency will set a limit on the amount of the chemical perchlorate, as well as other “toxic contaminants,” in drinking water, it announced Wednesday.

“The national regulation on perchlorate will reverse a 2008 decision made by President George W. Bush’s administration, the agency said in a statement. It comes after EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson ordered agency scientists to review “the emerging science of perchlorate.”

“”There’s going to be a lot of scrutiny of the standard because, again, we are looking at but one of several precursors that can affect iodine uptake in the thyroid,” Jackson told CNN’s Chief Medical correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta. “It’s the first time we’ve ever regulated a chemical not because of what it does directly to you, but because it has an impact on iodine uptake that might affect your child down the road.”"

Read more: CNN

Pharmaceutical Waste Seeping into Environment

U.S. Geological Survey hydrologic technicians collect a stream sample from Hallocks Mill Brook downstream of the outfall of one of the wastewater treatment plants investigated. Credit: U.S. Geological Survey.

U.S. Geological Survey hydrologic technicians collect a stream sample from Hallocks Mill Brook downstream of the outfall of one of the wastewater treatment plants investigated. Credit: U.S. Geological Survey.

“Muscle relaxants, opioids, and other pharmaceuticals are leaking into the environment at two wastewater plants in New York, a new study has revealed.

“Water entering the streams from two wastewater treatment plants that are supposed to break down pharmaceutical manufacturing waste had concentrations of pharmaceuticals between 10 to 1,000 times higher than water released into the environment from 24 other plants across the nation that do not receive pharmaceutical waste, according to the study, which is detailed in the June 4 edition of the journal Environmental Science and Technology.

“I don’t think anyone ever thought we’d see these concentrations in streams,” said study author Patrick Phillips of the U.S. Geological Survey.

“The study is the first in the United States to assess the environmental impact of wastewater treatment plants that process waste from drug manufacturing facilities. Pharmaceuticals were found at drinking water reservoirs as far as 20 miles (30 kilometers) downstream of one of the treatment plants that receives at least 20 percent of its waste from pharmaceutical manufacturers.”

read more: LiveScience

China-India Water Shortage Means Coca-Cola Joins Intel in Fight

“A fight breaks out as student Vikas Dagar jostles with dozens of men, women and children to fill buckets from a truck that brings water twice a week to the village of Jharoda Kalan on the outskirts of New Delhi.

“Three thousand kilometers (1,900 miles) away, near Xi’an in central China, power-plant worker Zhou Jie stands on the mostly dry bed of the Wei River, remembering when he used to fish there before pollution made the catch inedible.

“Dagar and Zhou show the daily struggle with tainted or inadequate water in India and China, a growing shortage that the World Bank says will hamper growth in the world’s fastest- growing major economies. It also is pitting water-intensive businesses such as Intel Corp.’s China unit and bottling plants of Coca-Cola Co.against growing urban use and the 1.6 billion people in China and India who rely on farming for a living.

“Water will become the next big power, not only in China but the whole world,” Li Haifeng, vice president at sewage- treatment company Beijing Enterprises Water Group Ltd., said in a telephone interview. “Wars may start over the scarcity of water.”

read more: Bloomberg

Growing concern in the water: Alarmed by latest research, the Obama administration is conducting a broad review of toxic weed killer atrazine that could lead to tighter restrictions

Atrazine spraying

“Despite growing health concerns about atrazine, an agricultural weed killer sprayed on farm fields across the Midwest, most drinking water is tested for the chemical only four times a year — so rarely that worrisome spikes of the chemical often go undetected.

“Atrazine has been banned in Europe because it contaminates groundwater, but it remains widely used in the U.S., where the EPA endorsed its continued use as recently as 2003. Federal records show the review was heavily influenced by industry and relied on studies financed by Syngenta, a Swiss-based company that manufactures most of the atrazine sprayed in the U.S.”

read more: Chicago Tribune

Interactive Map: California: Compliance With Water Quality Laws

“CCKA recognized World Water Day through the release of its new, statewide, online interactive map tracking industry’s compliance with water quality laws. This tool maps all dischargers throughout the state issued mandatory minimum penalties (MMPs) since 2000. The state levies MMPs for “serious” and “multiple chronic” water quality law violations.

“The map, sorted by Regional Water Board, allows users to click on specific facilities to learn more about their violation records. The map also highlights facilities that have not received MMPs in recent years. Violations related to sewage releases, industrial wastes, and contaminated groundwater most frequently caused the issuance of MMPs statewide.

“The MMP Map complements CCKA’s enforcement efforts to improve the level, prioritization, and transparency of California’s water law enforcement activities. Additional public enforcement reports are available on the State Water Board’s website.”

read more: resource shelf

U.N. report: Let’s turn foul water from mass killer into global treasure

The Ganges is one of India's sacred rivers, but concern over pollution along the river's entire course is growing.

“Contaminated and polluted water now kills more people than all forms of violence including wars, according to a United Nations report released Monday that calls for turning unsanitary wastewater into an environmentally safe economic resource.

“As a result, “it is essential that wastewater management is considered as part of integrated, ecosystem-based management that operates across sectors and borders, freshwater and marine.”

read more: CNN