One Alarming Thing: Plastic Particles Found In Rainwater

It’s raining plastic!  A recent study of the chemical composition of rain in the Boulder to Denver corridor and in the mountains of Colorado that was conducted by a scientist at the U.S. Geological Survey produced some surprising and disturbing results — 90 percent of the samples collected contained plastics, mostly fibers and blue in color.  We’ve all now seen the terrible pictures of plastic trash on beaches and piling up in landfills.  But to date, there have been very few studies examining microplastics in rain.  It was only by luck that the researcher even decided to look at rain samples under a microscope to see them, as opposed to just testing their chemical makeup.  But that accident revealed that plastic is even more ubiquitous than previously thought.

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EPA Rule Unjustly Trumps State Clean Water Act Authority To Protect Rivers and Drinking Water

EPA Rule Unjustly Trumps State Clean Water Act Authority To Protect Rivers and Drinking Water

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) yesterday issued another rule dealing a blow to 40 years of settled law on the authority of states and tribes under the Clean Water Act to block fossil fuel projects such as natural gas pipelines and coal terminals that could pollute state waterways.

Why This Matters:  The EPA is turning the Clean Water Act on its head and undercutting states and tribes that are protecting the clean water and the health of their citizens.

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NY Denies Water Permit to Build Pipeline for Gas, Wants to Build Transmission Line Instead

NY Denies Water Permit to Build Pipeline for Gas, Wants to Build Transmission Line Instead

New York state environmental regulators denied for a third time a permit for a pipeline that would transport fracked natural gas from Pennsylvania to New York City and Long Island for two reasons: water quality in the Long Island Sound and fidelity to the state’s new law that requires the New York to transition its power sector to net-zero emissions by 2040 and reduce overall greenhouse gas emissions by 85 percent from 1990 levels by 2050. 

Why This Matters:  This is how the stimulus funding from the federal government should work — it must be used to build cleaner and more efficient new infrastructure that decreases our dependence on fossil fuels.

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Dam Failures a Risk Across the Country Due to Climate Change

Dam Failures a Risk Across the Country Due to Climate Change

The Edenville Dam failure in Michigan causing thousands to evacuate puts a spotlight on a problem that the American Society of Civil Engineers highlighted in 2017 when it gave our country a “D” for dam safety (yep – that’s it’s grade) but this grade has not significantly improved in the last 20 years.

Why This Matters:  When we think about the security risks to our nation, we need to start counting infrastructure failure due to climate change as one of the most troubling.

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