Mid-Atlantic (DC DE MD PA VA WV)

EWG Database Helps Public, Journos Find Drinking Water Threats

While EPA and local utilities make much data available online, the Environmental Working Group has compiled a tap water database that is much easier to use. It gathers data from the states as well as from EPA, and compiles city-by-city rankings of the best and worst drinking water quality. It also explains the health significance of contaminants and lists contaminants not regulated by EPA.

CDC, EPA Respond to SEJ Complaints about Press Office Obstacles

After the SEJ and the Society of Professional Journalists complained January 20, 2014, about federal agency press office stonewalling in the face of the Charleston, WV, drinking water disaster, the agencies responded. Read the text of their replies here.

February 4, 2014

Senate EPW Hearing: “Examination of the Safety & Security of Drinking Water Supplies Following the Central WV Drinking Water Crisis"

The Senate Environment & Public Works committee's Subcommittee on Water and Wildlife is holding a hearing on the recent water disaster in West Virginia. The event will be webcast beginning at 10:00 a.m. ET, and should be archived for viewing afterwards. 

"Tests Said to Find Formaldehyde in West Virginia Tap Water"

"Tests on the water supply in Charleston, W. Va., a week after a chemical spill tainted the city’s water system turned up traces of formaldehyde, suggesting that 'there’s a lot more we don’t know' about the consequences of the spill, an environmental expert told a state legislative committee on Wednesday."

Source: NY Times, 01/30/2014

Drinking Water Crisis Reveals Knowledge Gaps

You read about the 300,000 West Virginians who don't know if they are drinking safe water — and ask "Could it happen here?" The answer is "You betcha!" Environmental journalists have many tools for discovering drinking-water disasters-waiting-to-happen in their own bailiwicks.

SEJ, SPJ Urge EPA, CDC to End Press Office Obstacles in Public Health Crises

Reporters scrambling to inform the 300,000 citizens of Charleston, West Virginia, about why they could not drink their tap water, what health threats it presented, and who was responsible faced a stone wall from most of the responsible government agencies in the early days of the crisis.

Thousands of Leaks Found in DC's Aging System of Natural Gas Pipes

"Researchers who conducted a street-by-street survey of the District [of Columbia] found nearly 6,000 natural gas leaks from the city’s aging pipe system, including 12 in manholes where methane had collected to potentially explosive levels, according to a study published Thursday."

Source: Wash Post, 01/16/2014

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