By Timothy Cama– The Hill – April 6, 2015

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on Monday sent to the White House its controversial regulation to redefine the extent of its authority over water pollution control. EPA head Gina McCarthy said the final version of the rule reflects some changes the agency made to the regulation that had been cast as a massive land grab by Republicans, agricultural interests and others. While the administration is mostly keeping quiet about the final version of the rule, McCarthy outlined some points Monday in a blog post with Jo-Ellen Darcy, who oversees the Army Corps of Engineers, which is developing the rule with the EPA. “In the final rule, people will see that we made changes based on those comments, consistent with the law and the science,” they wrote. “We’ve worked hard to reach a final version that works for everyone — while protecting clean water.”For full story, click here.

By Kevin Mathews – Environmental News Network – April 5, 2015

President Barack Obama has seemingly spent a lot of his second term trying to cement his reputation as one of the United States’s most environmentally conscious leaders. However, his most recent decision to approve controversial oil and gas drilling in the Arctic is certain to lose him favor within the environmental community. How can he preach about the consequences of global warming and carbon emissions and simultaneously give corporations permission to drill in a vulnerable region for decades to come? For full story, click here.

By Blaise Ekechukwu and Jafar Soltan, P. Eng – Online – December 5, 2014

In an attempt to proffer a solution to the global high demand for energy, energy production has been increased with the introduction of hydraulic fracturing for accessing low-permeability, organicrich shale formations and tight gas sands, with the resultant increase in natural gas production. These benefits of hydraulic fracturing have led to exemption of flow-back fluids from regulatory bodies in the U.S. and mandates within the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) and the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA). Hydraulic fracturing, a non-conventional method of drilling, is believed to have negative effects on source water. This article addresses the purported impacts of hydraulic fracturing processes on source water, the mechanism of the contamination of source water, the possible solutions to these negative impacts of hydraulic fracturing, and the need for further investigation and scientific research on the behavior of hydraulic fracturing fluids with the aim of identifying potential risks to source water. For full story, click here.

 

 

By Tiffany Stecker – E&E reporter – April 2, 2015

It's been a tough time for the world's most popular herbicide. Two weeks ago, the World Health Organization's cancer research arm designated glyphosate as a "probable" carcinogen. It was immediately labeled a clear danger by opponents of large-scale industrial agriculture, and concurrently brushed off by Monsanto Co. and technology-focused scientific organizations. Glyphosate is better known by its Monsanto-given name, Roundup. It was registered for use in 1974 and is today used on more than 700 different crops. Today, it is an accessible herbicide worldwide that is widely considered to be less toxic than many alternatives. For full story, click here.

By Gina McCarthy and Jo-Ellen Darcy – EPA Connect – April 6, 2015

Water is the lifeblood of healthy people and healthy economies. We have a duty to protect it. That’s why EPA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers are finalizing a Clean Water Rule later this spring to protect critical streams and wetlands that are currently vulnerable to pollution and destruction. On April 3 we sent the draft rule to the Office of Management and Budget for interagency review. Since it’s not final yet, we can’t speak to every detail. But the spirit of this rule boils down to three facts: First, people depend on clean water: one in three Americans get their drinking water from streams currently lacking clear protection. Second, our economy depends on clean water: manufacturing, farming, ranching, tourism, recreation, and other major economic sectors need clean water to function and flourish. Third, our cherished way of life depends on clean water: healthy ecosystems support precious wildlife habitat and pristine places to hunt, fish, boat, and swim. For full blog post, click here.