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This Week in #MOwater: Black and environmental leaders speak out against levee

Posted in: News- Dec 17, 2014 No Comments

As some green groups use recent civil rights movements to increase their own diversity, Missouri is seeing yet another such partnership down south (see “New Madrid Floodway”). This week provided several momentous occasions of water and environment news, including the death of Theo Colborn, a creative, pioneering water monitoring scientist; a global safe drinking water act; and Enbridge’s settlement for the Kalamazoo oil spill. And then there’s the everyday operation: new wastewater treatment facilities, ramped-down navigation on the Missouri, and the ever-present issues of coal ash and chloride. It’s all important, and it’s all here, every Tuesday afternoon.



New Madrid Floodway: Environmental and NAACP leaders speak out against project
St. Louis

A levee project in the Missouri Bootheel region would increase the flood risk in predominantly black communities in Illinois, several government and civic leaders of those communities said in a letter to President Barack Obama on Tuesday.

Monsanto: Employees tell their side of the story at Southeast forum.
Cape Girardeau

“The Future of the American Food Chain: Healthy Plants = Healthy Planet,” a three-part presentation, featured Monsanto employees who work in the law and policy, commercial research and scientific development areas of the St. Louis-based agri-giant.

Navigation: Flows reduced to winter levels
Missouri River

As part of the normal operation of the mainstem reservoir system, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has reduced releases from several Missouri River dams to winter levels. Because of robust runoff in the Missouri River basin this year, flow support for navigation was extended 10 days, ending on Wednesday at the mouth.

River Relief: Connections made through service

Stream Team #1875, Missouri River Relief, makes the news again with this KBIA story on their Clean Sweep stop in Boonville.

Public Works: New wastewater treatment facility operates
Cape Girardeau

According to the city of Cape Girardeau, the project was several years in the making and marks the largest public works project in Cape Girardeau’s history.

Fly Fishing Lady: Elderly woman inspired a life of fly fishing
Roaring River State Park

Jim Friend has liked to fish all his life, but about 20 years ago, he met a  woman and fell in love —with trout fishing. “She asked if I was having trouble and asked to try to my rod,” Friend said. “She took it and cast it perfectly. Then she said to me, ‘You know what you should do with this rod — you should throw it in the trash can and get yourself one that fits you.’”

United States

Theo Colborn: remembering the scientist who got BPA out of your water bottles

By the time Colborn died yesterday, at the age of 87, she had immersed herself in decades of research — and inspired even more research — that sought to do just that. The many, many proposed BPA bans? Go back to the very beginning, and you’ll find Colborn. The concern over dwindling sperm counts? Same thing.

Rising Chloride: Study finds road salt increasing chemical levels

The amount of chloride is increasing in many waterways, which has implications for the health of aquatic life, according to a new study by the U.S. Geological Survey.

Coal Ash: Waste threatens 40+ sites in Alabama

There are nine coal-burning power plants in Alabama that generate a staggering amount of coal ash waste – 3.2 million tons a year.  This waste contains high levels of toxic chemicals such as mercury, arsenic, selenium, lead and other heavy metals and is typically dumped into  giant sludge lagoons for disposal. Few, if any, of these waste dumps have protective liners that would keep contamination from seeping into surrounding groundwater and nearby streams and rivers.

Global Water Act: Bipartisan support for water, sanitation and hygiene
Washington, D.C.

The Water for the World Act will build upon the Senator Paul Simon Water for the Poor Act of 2005, which established access to safe drinking water and sanitation as a priority of America’s foreign policy. Today’s vote reaffirms the legacy of Senator Simon’s lifelong dedication to global safe drinking water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) and its importance as a fundamental building block to alleviate poverty and improve health.

Fish Farming: Aquaculture finding home in Midwest

Farmers are increasingly embracing the practice as a way to stay in agriculture and participate in what’s billed as “green” food production, with virtually no chance of their fish spreading disease or genetic mutation into the wild. And such tank systems can be placed almost anywhere — from Minnesota to Florida — because temperature and water quality can be controlled.

Oil Spill Settlement: Enbridge will pay out

Enbridge Inc. will pay about $6.8 million after reaching a proposed settlement last week in a class-action lawsuit stemming from the 2010 oil spill.

Want more water news?

We got quite a few of these headlines straight off Twitter. If we see something we think Missourians would like, we retweet it. Heck, we’d retweet you if you gave us some #MOwater news and notes to work with. Follow us @mostreamteam.