Contact: Office of Communications – USDA Department of Agriculture – July 7, 2016

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced that USDA is awarding $44.6 million through its Wetland Reserve Enhancement Partnership to support 10 wetland enhancement projects on private and tribal agricultural lands in 12 States. Recipients for each project are providing more than $4.3 million in matching funds, bringing the total investment to approximately $49 million. In total, the projects will help to protect, restore or enhance 15,000 wetland acres in critical watersheds across the United States. For full story, click here.

Newsroom America – June 30, 2016

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency located and removed two underground storage tanks at the former Smith Lake Trading Post in McKinley County, New Mex. last month. The thousand-gallon tanks may have been buried for over 70 years. The trading post burned down in 1995 and was abandoned. The Navajo Nation EPA identified this site as one of many abandoned gas stations throughout the reservation. The two underground storage tanks at the site are thought to have been taken out of service in 1981. At that time, the tanks were not checked to see if petroleum product remained. This work is part of EPA’s ongoing efforts to identify and remove abandoned underground storage tanks that have the potential to contaminate groundwater throughout the Navajo Nation. For full story, click here.

By Maggie  – Fox NBC News  – June 28, 2016  – Video

More than 5,000 water systems across the country are violating rules meant to keep lead out of drinking water, advocates said Tuesday. While the case in Flint, Michigan has dominated headlines, cities and towns across the U.S. are in similar danger, the Natural Resources Defense Council found in a report. For full story and to view video, click here.

By Douglas Fischer – Environmental Health News – July 1, 2016

Summertime in the mother of all election years, and the reading needs to be easy. No political tomes from us this year. The front pages and websites in our noisy media world have more than enough. So let's get far from Brexit analysis and presidential politics. Head west. Start your environmentally themed summer reading this year with a Western. For full story and a list of summer reading, click here.

By Yessenia Funes – Colorlines.com – June 30, 2016

In a new open letter, a group of 11 Gulf Coast environmental justice activists are demanding "respect and solidarity" from national "Big Green" organizations that they accuse of exploiting their local disasters for financial gain and treating poor people of color as "poster children for environmental injustice." The activists, who hail from EJ groups including 350 Louisiana, Houstonians Against Tar Sands and Radical Arts & Healing Collective, published the letter on a New Orleans website June 27 and sent it to Colorlines yesterday. While the statement does not name any groups or funders, "Big Green" is a term critics use to describe the largest environmental organizations in the United States, including the Natural Resources Defense Council, Greenpeace and the Sierra Club. For full story, click here.