Defend the Clean Water Act | The Nation

After the Clean Water Act was passed in 1972, Americans saw a dramatic decline in the pollution of our waterways. But that progress has been eroded. Policies adopted following Supreme Court decisions in 2001 and 2006 undermined the Clean Water Act by creating uncertainty about which waterways were covered. Since then, the EPA has failed to prosecute hundreds of polluters who benefit from the confusion, and countless streams, ponds and wetlands are currently threatened, potentially affecting the drinking water of more than 117 million Americans.

Defend the Clean Water Act | The Nation.

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The Charleston Gazette | Lab official admits faking coal water quality reports

A Raleigh County man pleaded guilty Thursday to repeatedly faking compliant water quality standards for coal companies, in a case that raises questions about the self-reporting system state and federal regulators use as a central tool to judge if the mining industry is following pollution limits. – See more at: http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20141009/GZ01/141009217/1419#sthash.gUWvR9Lu.dpuf
A Raleigh County man pleaded guilty Thursday to repeatedly faking compliant water quality standards for coal companies, in a case that raises questions about the self-reporting system state and federal regulators use as a central tool to judge if the mining industry is following pollution limits. – See more at: http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20141009/GZ01/141009217/1419#sthash.gUWvR9Lu.dpuf

Environmental activists in Appalachia have long suspected that water samples from mountaintop removal mines are sometimes tampered with, but now someone has been caught at it. IMO, this kind of thing is a natural consequence of letting the extractive industry buy politicians…or lab techs or anybody else.

I hope this case strengthens the campaign in Tennessee and other states  to keep regulatory authority for coal mining (primacy) with the federal Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement, and not the states.

“A Raleigh County man pleaded guilty Thursday to repeatedly faking compliant water quality standards for coal companies, in a case that raises questions about the self-reporting system state and federal regulators use as a central tool to judge if the mining industry is following pollution limits.”

The Charleston Gazette | Lab official admits faking coal water quality reports.

Court Upholds Grand Canyon Uranium Mining Ban | Earthjustice

Phoenix, AZ — Arizona’s Havasupai Tribe and a coalition of conservation groups are praising Judge David Campbell’s decision today to uphold the U.S. Department of the Interior’s 20-year ban on new uranium mining claims across one million acres of public lands adjacent to Grand Canyon. The court ruled that the decision complied with federal environmental laws and that it was not too large, as plaintiffs had argued. At stake is protecting the aquifers and streams that feed the Colorado River and Grand Canyon from toxic uranium mining waste and depletion.

Court Upholds Grand Canyon Uranium Mining Ban | Earthjustice.

USGS Study: Pharmaceuticals from Treated Municipal Wastewater Can Contaminate Shallow Groundwater Following Release to Streams

 “Water level measurements obtained during this study clearly show that stream levels drive daily trends in groundwater levels. Combined with the detection of pharmaceuticals in groundwater collected several meters away from the stream, these results demonstrate that addition of wastewater to this stream results in unintentional, directed transport of pharmaceuticals into shallow groundwater,” said Paul Bradley, the study’s lead author.

USGS Release: Pharmaceuticals from Treated Municipal Wastewater Can Contaminate Shallow Groundwater Following Release to Streams (9/22/2014 10:00:00 AM).

USGS: Endocrine Disruption May Make Fish More Prone to Disease (9/8/2014 7:57:38 AM)

Exposure to endocrine-disrupting chemicals can affect the reproductive system and cause the development of characteristics of the opposite sex, such as eggs in the testes of male fish. Wild- caught fish affected by endocrine-disrupting chemicals have been found in locations across the county.  Estrogenic endocrine-disrupting chemicals are derived from a variety of sources from natural estrogens to synthetic pharmaceuticals and agrochemicals that enter the waterways.

USGS Release: Endocrine Disruption May Make Fish More Prone to Disease (9/8/2014 7:57:38 AM).

Clever Trout Match Chimpanzees in a Cognitive Challenge | Science | WIRED

As demonstrated in a series of experiments published today in Current Biology, coral trout not only solicit the help of moray eels when they hunt, but also pick their hunting partners wisely. They know when they need help, and quickly learn which eels best provide it. It’s a seemingly simple yet surprisingly sophisticated cognitive trick.

“Prior to our study, chimpanzees an humans were the only species known to possess both of these abilities,” said zoologist Alex Vail of England’s University of Cambridge. “I think the evidence is mounting that fish have more going on in their heads in terms of cognition than they have been given credit for.”

Clever Trout Match Chimpanzees in a Cognitive Challenge | Science | WIRED.

Groundbreaking Study: Water Demand Impacts Fracking Worldwide

On World Water Day, the World Resources Institute (WRI) has released a study that maps for the first time the water resources available to support fracking in the world’s largest shale exploration areas. The study, “Global Shale Gas Development: Water Availability and Business Risk,” found that 40 percent of countries with the largest shale energy resources could suffer from water stress: competing demands on their renewable water supply that could make it problematic to use that water for fracking.

Groundbreaking Study: Water Demand Impacts Fracking Worldwide.