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Funding cuts, EPA cleanups and the toxins left behind
Monday, 14 July 2014 13:31

By Ariel Wittenberg – South Coast Today – July 13, 2014 

Trout caught in Torch Lake, Mich., are not safe to eat. Groundwater in Baldwin, Fla., is not safe to drink. Six acres of land in Bridgewater, Mass., are not safe to live on. All three locations were once among the most dangerous toxic waste sites in the country and became part of the Environmental Protection Agency's Superfund cleanup program. All three are now considered clean by the EPA, though toxins remain. The EPA is responsible for protecting human health at 1,700 hazardous waste sites across the country through the Superfund program. These sites contain chemicals that can cause a range of serious illnesses, from cancer to birth defects to neurological disorders. As is the case at Torch Lake, Baldwin and Bridgewater, an EPA "cleanup" does not mean all toxins are gone. Toxic materials, in many cases, are physically or financially impossible to eliminate. Instead, many Superfund cleanups end with restrictions on how a site can be used because the toxins left behind still pose a danger to human health. For full story, click here.

House Holds Hearing on Proposed Waters of the United States Rule - July 9, 2014
Wednesday, 09 July 2014 00:00

By Josh Abel – Association of California Water Agencies – July 9, 2014

The House Science, Space, and Technology Committee held a hearing to examine the impacts of EPA’s proposed “Definition of the ‘Waters of United States’ Under the Clean Water Act” rule on July 9th. The full Committee hearing, entitled “Navigating the Clean Water Act: Is Water Wet?”, provided members the opportunity to ask EPA Deputy Administrator Robert Perciasepe questions about the rule. The Honorable Perciasepe was the only witness at the hearing and members grilled him about specific issues in their districts. For full story, click here.

World's Hottest May Is Now May 2014: NOAA
Monday, 07 July 2014 00:02

By Terrell Johnson and John Erdman – The Weather Channel – June 23, 2014

Last month was the hottest May in more than 130 years of recorded weather history, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced Monday in its monthly state of the climate report, as May 2014 surpassed the previous record high for the month set in 2010. The world's combined land and ocean temperature for May was 1.33°F above the 20th century average of 58.6°F, NOAA reported, adding that four of the five warmest Mays have occurred in the past five years. In the report, NOAA separates out temperature records for the world's land and ocean areas. On land last month, the world saw its fourth-hottest May on record with a global surface temperature 2.03°F above the 20th century average. The oceans saw their hottest May on record, with a temperature 1.06°F above the 20th century average. For full story, click here.

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.

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