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In odd twist, industry agrees to ban "microbeads"
Monday, 07 July 2014 00:02

CBS News – June 19, 2014

Environmentalists in Illinois expected a battle royal over their call for a statewide ban on "microbeads" -- tiny bits of plastic used in personal care products such as facial scrubs and toothpaste that are flowing by the billions into the Great Lakes and other waterways. Discovered only recently, they're showing up inside fish that are caught for human consumption, scientists say. But instead of resisting, leading companies quickly collaborated on a ban that was enacted by the state legislature this spring. And with similar measures now pending in at least three other large states and in Congress, the extinction of microbeads is taking shape as one of the unlikeliest events in the politics of nature: A low-stress compromise by interest groups that are often at each other's throats. For full story, click here.

Experts foresee shortages as the nation's freshwater supply dwindles
Monday, 07 July 2014 00:02

By Robert Holly – Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting – June 23,2014

A federal survey of water managers revealed that – even under normal conditions – nearly every U.S. state will experience freshwater shortages sometime within the next decade. That could mean economic disaster for the farmers and agriculture producers who depend on water for irrigation, as the process of carrying water to dry areas consumes more water than anything else each year, according to researchers. For full story, click here.

Republican U.S. senators take aim at EPA proposed water rules
Monday, 30 June 2014 12:50

By Jim Hendricks – Albany Herald – June 23, 2014

Georgia’s U.S. senators, Saxby Chambliss of Moultrie and Johnny Isakson of Marietta, have joined with 28 other Republican lawmakers to introduce legislation that would prevent the federal Environmental Protection Agency from expanding its authority over “nearly all private and state water in the United States.” The Protecting Water and Property Rights Act of 2014 would prevent the EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers from finalizing their rule proposed in March that the senators say would significantly expand federal authority under the Clean Water Act. For full story, click here.

Report warns world's oceans at point of collapse
Monday, 30 June 2014 12:50

World Bulletin – June 24, 2014

A new report by a group of former world leaders, including ex-prime minister Paul Martin, says fixing our oceans will require unpopular, expensive changes. 64 per cent of the ocean surface isn’t under the control and protection of a national government and The Global Ocean Commission has put forward a report on the declining health of the planet’s high seas. The commission is a combination of public and private sector figures, including former heads of state and ministers as well as business people, supported by scientific and economic advisors working on ways to reverse the degradation of the ocean and address the failures of high seas governance. For full story, click here.

GAO Report Released on Freshwater Supply Concerns & Uncertainties
Monday, 30 June 2014 12:49

Contact: Anne-Marie Fennell – GAO – May 22, 2014  

Key issues related to freshwater availability and use, such as concerns about population growth straining water supplies, lack of information on water availability and use, and trends in types of water use, remain largely unchanged since 2003, according to state water managers, experts, and literature. A recently released GAO report looks at the impacts of climate change and extreme weather events, including droughts and floods, on water resources, and the effect of the energy sector on water quantity and quality. According to state water managers, experts, and literature reviewed by GAO, freshwater shortages are expected to continue into the future. In particular, 40 of 50 state water managers expect shortages in some parts of their states under average conditions in the next 10 years. However, uncertainty stemming from factors such as patterns of economic growth and land use change is likely to complicate future state water managers' planning efforts. To access the report and learn more, click here.

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