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#MOwater News: Radium found in West Lake, two huge oil spills, and coal ash rules

Posted in: News- Dec 23, 2014 No Comments

Radium: Some West Lake samples exceed federal guidelines
St. Louis

A long-awaited report on groundwater beneath the radioactively contaminated West Lake Landfill says radium levels in some samples are above federal guidelines but that it’s difficult to pinpoint the source. Read the USGS report here. And earlier this week, The St. Louis County Council said there is “growing consensus” that the radioactively contaminated West Lake Landfill in Bridgeton “presents an active danger to the community,” and it’s putting new pressure on federal regulators to take action.

Parking Lots: Downtown renovation part of Big Urbie stormwater grant

The parking lot reconstruction project is a Big Urbie grant-funded project to demonstrate ways of managing stormwater that reduce the amount of runoff and pollution that reaches streams. Once complete, the project will include pervious pavement, rain gardens and a bioswale that allow rainwater to soak into the ground and be used and naturally filtered by soil, plants and trees.

Levee Request: Congressman urges president to go ahead with project, despite opposition

Jason Smith urged the president to “resist any requests” to use an EPA veto. He said the people of Southeast Missouri have spent 60 years waiting for the floodway project and “do not appreciate being held hostage by a radical environmentalist agenda.” Smith’s letter was sent Wednesday, one day after community leaders said the project would cause greater flooding concerns in Cairo, Ill., and other predominantly black communities in the region, the Southeast Missourian reported.

Sewer Expansion: Lake area governments to decide whether expansion is worth it
Lake of the Ozarks

A proposed expansion of the Normac Sewer District would result in cost savings for current sewer customers, according to a project engineer. But the project is now in the hands of the Camden County Commission, which will decide whether it is worth moving forward.

Flood Heroes: Ten state troopers receive medals for April 2013 rescues
Willow Springs

At 8:10 a.m., Johnson and Philpott responded to a call for an elderly couple trapped in the mobile home near Highway A at County Road 409 in southwest Douglas County near Smallett. Water from South Spring Creek was entering the home and quickly rising. What happened next is incredible.

Water Upgrades: Town’s water and sewer system plans moving forward

Mayor Dennis Parks said if the bond issue is approved, the city would repay the money with funds generated through a water and sewer rate increase implemented in October. The increase brought the total combined monthly rate for water and sewer usage in the city up $26.67 from $44.90 per household to $71.57 per household.


Coal Ash Rules: Setback for environmental groups, buoy for industry

On Friday, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency released the first standards for the coal-burning waste, but they were hardly what environmental groups were hoping for. The EPA ruled that the ash can be treated like regular garbage, meaning regulating the stuff will be left up to states and watchful citizens. Clearview Energy Partners, an energy research firm in Washington, said in a research note that the EPA appears to have been influenced by state regulators worried that a hazardous designation would prove costly for municipal landfills that have accepted coal ash.

Coal Ash Lawsuit: SELC, Sierra Club seek to end decades of Dominion coal ash pollution into the Elizabeth River

For over a decade, Dominion has known that over one million cubic yards of coal ash stored at the CEC are illegally leaching high levels of arsenic, cobalt, sulfide, and other dangerous pollutants into the groundwater and two waterways popular for recreational activities. In the last three years alone, concentrations of arsenic, a known carcinogen, have been found in the groundwater near the site as high as 30 times the state standard.

Keystone XL: “Not even nominal benefit” to U.S. consumers, Obama says

US President Barack Obama has delivered his most skeptical remarks yet on the future of the Keystone oil pipeline, claiming its controversial extension from Canada to Nebraska would do little to reduce American energy prices and generate only a limited number of US jobs, but could add to the infrastructure costs of climate change.

Fracking Ban: Health commissioners say no to natural gas extraction
New York

New York’s health and environmental commissioners Wednesday rejected the prospect for “high-volume hydraulic fracturing” in New York — better known as “fracking” — saying that health risks, the potential of local bans and limited available land would outweigh the benefits of the controversial drilling technique.

Tap Water: Safe Drinking Water Act’s 40th birthday

Everyone cares about drinking water and yet, despite episodes such as those in Charleston and Toledo, we take its convenience and safety remarkably for granted. That most certainly is not the case in much of the world, where “Is it safe to drink the water?” is a very real question. Almost 2 billion people don’t have access to treated water. Yet I can go virtually anywhere in the United States and take a sip from the tap without a second’s thought.

Water Cutback: Officials right to regulate water to protect species

Federal officials acted properly when they curtailed water extraction from California’s Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta to protect fish and orca species at the expense of farmers and other water users in central California, a U.S. appeals court ruled on Monday.


Oil Spill: Israel’s precious Evrona Nature Reserve imperiled

Officials are calling it the worst environmental disaster in the nation’s history — a literal blot on a landscape that harbors some of the hardiest known plants and animals, which live in an impossibly difficult environment. The fear is that the oil may suffocate the roots of hundreds of these acacia trees, or poison them, causing a collapse in the system.

Oil Spill: UN sends team to clean Sundarbans oil spill

Thick tar clogging 350 sq km of delicate mangrove forest and river delta, home to endangered Bengal tigers and rare dolphins, after a tanker collided with another vessel last Tuesday.

Maternal Deaths: Safe water and basic sanitation would slash maternal deaths, report says

An estimated 289,000 women die from childbirth complications each year. Researchers say this figure could be quickly reduced through better provision and monitoring of safe water, and basic sanitation and hygiene to prevent infection and improve care.