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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Wildfires Increasingly Threaten Drinking Water

Wildfires Increasingly Threaten Drinking Water

As climate change lengthens wildfire season, government officials are being faced with a growing threat: ash and fire debris contaminating public drinking water supplies. As the Colorado Sun explained, “Forests, grasslands and other areas that supply drinking water to hundreds of millions of people are increasingly vulnerable to fire due in large part to hotter, […]

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EPA’s Regulatory Leniency Allows Cities to Continue Raw Sewage Overflows

EPA’s Regulatory Leniency Allows Cities to Continue Raw Sewage Overflows

The New York Times reported over the weekend that the “Environmental Protection Agency has made it easier for cities to keep dumping raw sewage into rivers by letting them delay or otherwise change federally imposed fixes to their sewer systems.”  

Why This Matters:  The Obama Administration started the practice of giving cities a break on sewage overflows but according to officials from the prior administration, the bar was higher — a city had to demonstrate a hardship event like a natural disaster in order to get leniency.

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Trump Administration Finalizes Rule Severely Limiting Clean Water Act

Trump Administration Finalizes Rule Severely Limiting Clean Water Act

The Trump Administration on Thursday made official a controversial rule to drastically limit the application of the Clean Water Act, finalizing its proposal that has been uniformly criticized by environmental groups and the agency’s own science advisors because it will lead to the contamination of groundwater, many intermittent water bodies, and drinking water supplies and the elimination of many wetlands. 

Why This Matters: They call it the “The Navigable Waters Protection Rule” but nothing could be further from the truth because now pollution can enter big waterways and the ocean from smaller ones and from wetlands that are no longer protected.  More pesticides, more PFAS, more chemicals, more waste — and we won’t know it because these discharges and wetlands destruction will all be “perfectly” legal.

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