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:
Editor's Note: This two-part series first ran on this website in August of 2011. It is being repeated by request. READ MORE »
Patricia Schifferle responds to selenium polluters on San Joaquin River.
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.
"President Obama promised to slow the rise of the oceans and to heal the planet," Mitt Romney mockingly said in accepting the GOP's presidential nomination in Tampa. The crowd laughed.
I wonder if they're laughing now?
(Thanks to Bob Boyle)
Is fracking safe? Can natural gas deposits be tapped into without harming local groundwater? Below are links to two thoughful articles from the Quench website. Check them out.
Fishing and Conservation Groups Win First Round to Curb Selenium Discharges into SF Bay Delta EstuarySubmitted by Lloyd Carter on Mon, 09/03/2012 - 14:55.
Fishing and conservation groups have won the first round in their attempt to get state and federal officials to follow water quality laws and comply with the Clean Water Act. For years West side Irrigators have been dumping their selenium pollution into the San Joaquin River and SF Bay Delta Estuary without required pollution control permits.
On Friday August 31, 2012, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District if California ruled this selenium-polluted ground water being discharged into the sloughs, San Joaquin River and San Francisco Bay Delta Estuary is subject to the pollution control provisions of the Clean Water Act. Background: Since 1996 San Luis Delta Mendota Water Authority and USBR have been allowed to discharge Selenium into the sloughs, San Joaquin River and Delta in excess of Clean Water Act water quality protection standards without required permits. Recently in 2010 Western San Joaquin Valley growers sought and obtained another approximate decade long extension. The dischargers argued they do not need to comply with the Clean Water Act pollution control measures because they are exempted under an irrigated return flow provision.
Benzene occurs infrequently in California public supply wells and comes predominantly from naturally occurring petroleum deposits deep in the ground, according to a study by the U.S. Geological Survey. Spills associated with underground fuel storage and above ground distribution systems have long been considered the main source of benzene in groundwater. This unique study finds that contamination most often occurs in older, brackish, groundwater located near naturally occurring deep underground oil and gas deposits.
As part of a statewide study assessing groundwater quality, scientists analyzed untreated groundwater from wells, not treated tap water. Groundwater used for public supply is typically treated by water providers to ensure compliance with water quality standards. “This study illustrates the value of letting scientific facts speak for themselves when dealing with critical issues such as the frequency and potential sources of groundwater contamination,” said USGS Director Marcia McNutt. READ MORE »
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 »