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The Army Corps of Engineers last week released an environmental impact assessment for the nation’s largest climate adaptation plan to date, which would help to restore the Louisiana coastline using money paid by BP as part of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill settlement.
Why This Matters: The Louisiana coastline is sinking at an alarming rate — a football field an hour.
New Orleans city officials, according to BuzzFeed News, buried a 2017 city Inspector General Report that showed that they had failed to test for lead in the water and they claimed that the City’s water was safe even though they were unable to locate the city’s many lead pipes — both of which they are required to do under the federal Safe Drinking Water Act. And last week, water samples from 27 schools in Virginia Beach, Virginia were found to have levels of lead higher than industry safety recommendations.
Why This Matters: Lead exposure is extremely bad for children. According to the World Health Organization, children are “particularly vulnerable” to lead poisoning. Experts say that young children absorb 4-5 times more of the lead they ingest than adults, and high levels of lead in the bloodstream can adversely affect the development of their nervous systems and brains.
On Wednesday, New Orleans got a preview of coming disasters. Severe thunderstorms that dumped between 6 and 7 inches of rain on the city in just 3 hours prompted tornado warnings and inundated the downtown area with water, causing transportation snarls and even forcing City Hall to close. Just as government forecasters announced that they expect 2019 to break annual flood records nationwide, the first real storm threat of the season “Barry” is lurking in the Gulf of Mexico setting its sights on the Louisiana coast (possibly New Orleans) but it is still not clear where it will make landfall.
What’s Mardi Gras without the beads? They are the symbol of the event — a “must have” if you are there for the celebration. Last year, Huffington Post reports that almost 1,200 tons of trash were collected after the Mardi Gras parade — and much of it was in the form of plastic beads — indeed, in 2017 workers cleaned out 93,000 pounds of beads from storm drains in historic downtown New Orleans.
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