"The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday gave the green light to two class-action lawsuits filed by residents of Flint, Michigan who are pursing civil rights claims against local and state officials over lead contamination in the city’s water supply."
"A legal battle over the storage of more than 3 million tons of coal ash in Virginia is headed to a federal appeals court in a case closely watched by environmentalists and energy companies."
Decades after the nation’s capital began its historic cleanup, sanitary sewage still occasionally swamps the Potomac River. Are sewage systems also dumping human waste and other pollutants into waterways near you? This week’s TipSheet has the background on the problem of combined sewage overflow, as well as resources for finding out what’s happening near you.
"Texas has a dirty secret. Its industries are routinely violating environmental laws by dumping excess chemicals and human waste into its rivers and bays, often without consequence."
"Schemes that favour coal companies in Appalachia have left a national shortfall experts said was ‘one of the biggest public failures that has gone under the radar’."
"Three required scientific reviews for federally regulated air pollutants are on hold due to EPA delays and Administrator Scott Pruitt’s November shake-up of the external air quality science board that advises the agency."
"A newly appointed environmental justice adviser to the Environmental Protection Agency is criticizing an agency proposal to roll back regulations governing coal ash ponds, saying doing so would hurt disadvantaged communities."
"The World Health Organisation (WHO) has announced a review into the potential risks of plastic in drinking water after a new analysis of some of the world’s most popular bottled water brands found that more than 90% contained tiny pieces of plastic."
While environmental themes were less prominent at the Sundance Film Festival this year, our correspondent JoAnn Valenti unearthed ecological messages from documentaries that explore the emergence of climate change refugees in the face of sea level rise, the escape from modernity into wilderness and the confrontation of environmental threats by young innovators.
Coal ash can contaminate surface and ground water with toxic heavy metals. But as this week’s TipSheet reports, Trump deregulation aims to loosen EPA rules on its disposal. That may mean a big local pollution story. If journalists can find the data, that is. The latest on the new rules, plus resources for coverage.