EJToday: Top Headlines
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"ST. LOUIS, Mo. -- In a legal settlement with the United States and an environmental foundation, The Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District has agreed to make extensive improvements to its sewer systems and treatment plants, at an estimated cost of $4.7 billion over 23 years.
The improvements are intended to eliminate illegal overflows of untreated raw sewage and to reduce pollution levels in urban rivers and streams.
"Chicago's first round of testing for a toxic metal called hexavalent chromium found that levels in local drinking water are more than 11 times higher than a health standard California adopted last month.
"The Environmental Protection Agency should order companies such as Schlumberger Ltd. and Halliburton Co. to disclose the hydraulic fracturing chemicals used in U.S. oil and gas drilling, advocacy groups said."
"A federal appeals court [Tuesday] struck down a challenge filed by the Florida Department of Agriculture and several chemical companies and upheld a clean water settlement between the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and conservation groups."
The good news is that the Gulf of Mexico dead zone, expected to be bigger this year because of high runoff and the BP spill, did not set a record for size. The bad news is that oxygen levels in the dead zone that did develop this year are extremely low.
"It is the nation's first public health goal for hexavalent chromium, made infamous in 'Erin Brockovich.' The goal isn't an enforceable standard but will help develop one, an official says."
"Rising sea waters may threaten U.S. coastal cities later this century, while the Midwest and East Coast are at high risk for intense storms, and the West could see compromised water supplies."
"A giant underwater 'dead zone'in the Chesapeake Bay is growing at an alarming rate because of unusually high nutrient pollution levels this year, according to Virginia and Maryland officials. They said the expanding area of oxygen-starved water is on track to become the bay’s largest ever."
"A government report released Tuesday says states are underreporting violations of federal drinking-water standards, preventing the Environmental Protection Agency from enforcing rules aimed at protecting public health."
"Documents and interviews reveal that one Pa. water utility has already leased its watershed to gas drillers — and many others are being courted."
"The latest draft of guidelines for hydraulic fracturing in New York could open the door to drilling within 1,000 feet of aging underground tunnels that carry water to New York City -- a far cry from the seven-mile buffer once sought by city officials."
"The Republican-controlled House passed a bill Wednesday that would sharply curtail the federal government's role in protecting waters from pollution by barring the Environmental Protection Agency from overruling state decisions on water quality."
"A one-of-a-kind pod of about 200 'resident' eastern Pacific grey whales, which spends every summer feeding near Vancouver Island while the 20,000 other members of the species continue their epic annual migration between Mexico and Alaska, could hold the key to the evolutionary history of the majestic mammal -- and to its future in the age of climate change -- according to a new study."