By Lloyd G. Carter
Around 100 Yurok and Hoopa Indians living near the Trinity River in Northern California protested Wednesday (Aug. 21) outside a federal courtroom in Fresno where federal judge Lawrence O'Neill must decide whether to risk a repeat of a massive 2002 fish kill on the Klamath River.
Following a complaint filed by the gigantic Westlands Water District, O'Neill issued a temporary restraining order blocking a Department of Interior plan to use Trinity River water stored behind dams to help salmon reach their spawning grounds without being infected by a fatal parasite called Ich, which wiped out at least 34,000 salmon on the Klamath River. The Bureau of Reclamation and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (both Interior Department agencies) announced Aug. 5 they would use up to 109,000 acre-feet of stored water to reduce the risk of an Ich outbreak similar to that which happened in September of 2011. Releases of cold water were set to begin Aug. 13READ MORE »
By Patrick Porgans & Lloyd G. Carter
WASHINGTON — Today (March 26), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency released the results of the first comprehensive survey looking at the health of thousands of stream and river miles across the country, finding that more than half – 55 percent – are in poor condition for aquatic life.
“The health of our Nation’s rivers, lakes, bays and coastal waters depends on the vast network of streams where they begin, and this new science shows that America’s streams and rivers are under significant pressure,” said Office of Water Acting Assistant Administrator Nancy Stoner. “We must continue to invest in protecting and restoring our nation’s streams and rivers as they are vital sources of our drinking water, provide many recreational opportunities, and play a critical role in the economy.”
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For a depressing look at how we are mistreating the nation's endangered aquifers, take a look at this article from Pro Publica, journalism in the public interest:
EPA Honors Calif., Nev., Ariz. Universities for Pledge to Significantly Reduce Food Waste and conserve waterSubmitted by Lloyd Carter on Thu, 11/15/2012 - 13:57.
SAN FRANCISCO – In celebration today (November 15, 2012) of America Recycles Day 2012, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announces the participation of 18 California, Nevada, and Arizona universities in EPA’s national Food Recovery Challenge. An event is being hosted by the University of California, Berkeley, one of the first participants to join the Food Recovery Challenge.
The Food Recovery Challenge is a voluntary program that aims to limit the 34 million tons of food wasted nationwide annually by reducing unnecessary consumption and increasing donations to charity and composting. By participating, these schools, with a combined 460,000 student enrollment, pledge to reduce food waste by five percent in one year.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency released an Action Plan today (Aug. 27, 2012) that proposes seven measures for improving water quality, restoring aquatic habitat, and improving the management of the San Francisco Bay Delta Estuary. The release of the Action Plan follows the agency’s analysis concluding that existing federal and state water quality programs are not adequately safeguarding the ecosystem. “California’s economic security depends on a healthy Bay Delta,” said Jared Blumenfeld, EPA’s Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest. “By upholding the goals of the Clean Water Act, we can ensure that our water is fit for drinking, farming, recreation, and for fish and wildlife.”
The Action Plan responds to findings and recommendations made following EPA’s Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in 2011 that sought public input on the effectiveness of existing federal and state water quality protection programs. The Action Plan prioritizes the following seven actions to be pursued in partnership with the State Water Resources Control Board, the Regional Water Boards for the Central Valley and San Francisco Bay, the California Department of Pesticide Regulation, and numerous other state and federal agencies:
• By 2013, propose a standard to curb selenium discharges from cities, farms, and oil refineries; READ MORE »
On Thursday night Jon Stewart's The Daily Show on the Comedy Channel aired a segment about the selenium-poisoning of Idaho rivers by the J.R. Simplot mining and agribusiness goliath. The EPA was blistered for endorsing a report by the Simplot company which wants to increase selenium limits in creeks and streams that receive mining wastes, even though it's already causing two-headed trout and other fish deformities. Unmentioned in the Daily Show segment was the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which released a scathing review of the flawed Simplot report, mentioned favorably in a New York Times story, but refused to let its top selenium scientist speak to the Daily Show. You can watch the Daily Show segment here: http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/thu-june-14-2012/a-simple-plot READ MORE »
EPA Finalizes California’s List of Polluted Waters
Trends Include 170% Increase In Toxicity Listings Since 2006
SAN FRANCISCO— More of California’s waterways are impaired than previously known, according to a list of polluted waterways submitted by the state to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and finalized by the agency today. Increased water monitoring data shows the number of rivers, streams and lakes in California exhibiting overall toxicity have increased 170 percent from 2006 to 2010. California has some of the most magnificent rivers, lakes and coastal waters in the country. However, of its 3.0 million acres of lakes, bays, wetlands and estuaries, 1.6 million acres are not meeting water quality goals, and 1.4 million acres still need a pollution clean-up plan, known as a Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL). READ MORE »
SAN FRANCISCO – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is adding two new sites to the Superfund National Priorities List in California. The abandoned mine sites are located in San Benito and Siskiyou Counties.
Earlier this year, EPA proposed to add Northern California’s Blue Ledge mine site and Central California’s New Idria mercury mine site to the Superfund National Priorities List because of the toxic pollutants discharged by both to California’s waterways. With today’s action, these two sites are now finalized on the Superfund NPL. Superfund is the federal program that investigates and cleans up the most complex, uncontrolled or abandoned hazardous waste sites in the country.