Monday, 13 October 2014 00:00
By Louis Sahagun – Los Angeles Times – October 4, 2014
Biologists strode along the cracked, dry mud surrounding this evaporating north Los Angeles County lake last week, pausing periodically to pick up an emaciated turtle and wash alkaline dust off its head and carapace. "A lot of these animals are severely ill and starving," said Tim Hovey, a state Department of Fish and Wildlife biologist, as he gestured toward a group of turtles bobbing in the murky water offshore. After three years of drought, this natural 2-mile-long lake, about 15 miles west of Lancaster, has become a smelly, alkaline death trap for one of the largest populations of state-protected Western pond turtles in Southern California. For full story, click here.
Monday, 06 October 2014 13:20
By Amena H. Saiyid – Bloomberg Bureau of National Affairs – October 1, 2014
The Environmental Protection Agency is aiming to issue by May 2015 drinking water health advisories for cyanobacteria, the harmful forms of blue-green algae that contaminated water supplies in Toledo, Ohio, and resulted in a weekend-long ban in early August, an agency official said Sept. 29. The agency is working on health advisories for microcystin L-R and cylindrospermopsin, with plans to have them out before the season of the harmful algal blooms begins next year, Betsy Southerland, director of the EPA Office of Science and Technology with the Office of Water, told participants at a Clean Water Act policy developments discussion in New Orleans. All three forms of cyanobacteria, or harmful algae blooms, release toxics. In particular, freshwater cyanobacterial blooms that produce highly potent cyanotoxins are known as cyanobacterial HABs (cyanoHABs). These species are capable of producing compounds that are hepatotoxic (affect the liver), neurotoxic (affect the nervous system) and acutely dermatotoxic (affect the skin), according to EPA. For full story, click here.