#drinking water
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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Nestlé Allowed to Tap Michigan Groundwater to Bottle for Profit, While Residents’ Bills Rise

Nestlé Allowed to Tap Michigan Groundwater to Bottle for Profit, While Residents’ Bills Rise

by Zoey Shipley and Monica Medina As many Michigan citizens pay exorbitant prices for drinking water, Nestlé Corporation will continue to extract 400 gallons of water per minute (a 60% increase over its original permit) from a well in western Michigan for which they pay only $200 a year.  Last week, an administrative judge overruled […]

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World Water Day Focuses on Climate Change

World Water Day Focuses on Climate Change

Yesterday was World Water Day and the focus this year was on the interconnectedness of water and climate change. As 2020 was set to be a critical year for climate action (though the coronavirus outbreak could change that), it’s timely to bring attention to how a warming planet affects the world’s water supplies and exacerbates […]

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DoD Admits It Will Take Decades To Clean PFAS From Water Supplies

DoD Admits It Will Take Decades To Clean PFAS From Water Supplies

Last week the Defense Department (DoD) reported that 250 more installations had tested positive for PFAS contamination, and now they admit that it will take 30 years at least to test each site for PFAS, identify how the chemical has spread and then complete the cleanup. 

Why This Matters:  Many states are imposing limits well below the EPA’s 70 parts per trillion (ppt) guidance, but the DoD will only clean up drinking water that is above the EPA recommended level.

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New DoD Study Shows that 250 More Military Installations Have PFAS Contamination

New DoD Study Shows that 250 More Military Installations Have PFAS Contamination

DoD’s PFAS Task Force issued a report in which it admitted that the number of military installations that could be contaminated with the “forever chemicals” is far greater than they previously thought — the number jumped from 401 to 651.

Why This Matters:  DoD is continuing to document its failures and is not acting with enough urgency to address the toxic contamination at its installations, large and small across the country.

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As Many as 100 Million Americans Likely Have PFAS in their Drinking Water

As Many as 100 Million Americans Likely Have PFAS in their Drinking Water

The Environmental Working Group (EWG) updated its database and interactive map on where toxic fluorinated chemicals or “PFAS” have been detected based on the latest state and federal data and the numbers are alarming.  Nationwide, PFAS contamination is now found at 1,361 locations in 49 states — and in a variety of sources including community water systems, groundwater sources, military bases, airports, and industrial sites. According to EWG’s analysis of unreleased EPA data, “more than 100 million Americans may have PFAS in their drinking water.”

Why This Matters:  Think twice before you drink water from a tap in much of the country.  Almost one-third of Americans may be drinking water with PFAS in it.  The EPA does not regulate this “forever” chemical that never breaks down once released into the environment, and that builds up in our blood and organs.

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Oceans of Water for Drinking?

Oceans of Water for Drinking?

With less than 1% of the water on Earth safe and available for human consumption, we are rapidly approaching a global water crisis — today, one out of every three people does not have access to safe drinking water and by 2050, given climate change, that number is expected to be one out of two people.  Desalinisation of ocean water is increasingly being looked at as an option for countries in the Middle East like Saudi Arabia and Israel, but only because they are able to afford the expensive and energy-intensive process.

Why This Matters:  At current prices, even wealthy countries like Saudi Arabia cannot afford to keep increasing the amount of water it puts through the desalinization process — given the increasing demand for drinking water, cheaper alternatives to the current process are desperately needed.

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EPA Proposes New Rules for Getting Lead Out of Drinking Water – More Slowly

EPA Proposes New Rules for Getting Lead Out of Drinking Water – More Slowly

The Trump administration — after years of promising and more than 9 years of work by EPA — finally issued a proposed rule on lead in drinking water that does not require the removal of the estimated 6 million or more lead service lines that remain underground throughout the nation, and in fact, it doubles the amount of time allotted to replace lead pipes in water systems that contain high levels of lead.

Why This Matters:  They may try to put lipstick on this pig (sorry for the old pun), and it could have been worse, but when the Trump Administration brags that they put this rule in place, the question should be why did they not do more? This proposed rule is hardly sufficient to deal with the scope and the harm caused by lead in drinking water in this nation. 

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7.5 Million Californians Affected by Toxic Chemicals in Drinking Water

7.5 Million Californians Affected by Toxic Chemicals in Drinking Water

A recent study by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) found that 74 community water systems in California, which serve 7.5 million people, were contaminated with toxic fluorinated chemicals known as PFAS between 2013 and 2019. Why This Matters: The chemical companies that have made these chemicals for use in their products (like DuPont and 3M) largely pass along the cleanup costs of water sources onto municipalities and taxpayers.

 

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PFAS Found in Drinking Water at 90 More Army Installations

Yesterday, the Department of Defense Task Force looking into the problem, found that the drinking water at an additional 90 current and former Army and Army National Guard installations nationwide is contaminated with the toxic fluorinated chemicals called PFAS, according to the Environmental Working Group (EWG), which obtained the information via a Freedom of Information […]

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Newark Fast Tracks Lead Pipe Replacement

Newark Fast Tracks Lead Pipe Replacement

We wrote the other week about Newark’s ongoing water crisis and the city’s plan to distribute bottled water to residents after water filters that were previously made available to the public lacked the ability to filter out lead. Now New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy and Newark Mayor Ras Baraka announced a new $120 million plan yesterday to fast-track […]

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Newark Offers Bottled Water to Address Water Crisis, Residents Grow Weary

Newark Offers Bottled Water to Address Water Crisis, Residents Grow Weary

After it was determined that the 40,000 filters Newark city officials gave out to residents to address the ongoing water crisis weren’t actually filtering out lead, the city decided to begin distributing bottled water. In a startling echo of Flint, residents of Newark have been kept in the dark about the safety of their drinking […]

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