2 Michigan communities given bottled water after hazardous chemicals found

Michigan is once again grappling with water issues following a warning issued to two communities over dangerously high levels of industrial chemicals found in their drinking source.
Residents of two Kalamazoo counties will receive bottled water on Friday morning after “high amounts” of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS, were detected during testing conducted by the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ).
A PFAS test yielded 1,410 parts per trillion in their drinking water, 20 times higher than the lifetime health advisory given by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
A recently released study, however, from the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) and the EPA found that the health advisory should likely be far lower.
City officials said they were unsure how the man-made chemicals entered the water source.
Parchment’s water source will be drained over the course of the next two days, after which point residents will be connected to Kalamazoo’s water supply.
Rick Snyder (R) said in a statement that the health of residents would be prioritized in addition to ensuring their access to drinking water.
Reacting to the news, Rep. Fred Upton (R) posted a Facebook statement on Thursday and said he would be meeting with state and local officials to mount a response.
While the dangers posed by the chemicals have been known for some time, documents obtained by the Union of Concerned Scientists through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) this spring found that under the Trump administration a number of agencies, including the EPA, sought to suppress a Health Department PFAS chemical study in January.
Pennsylvania is also grappling with severe PFAS contamination.

School gets bottled water amid tests for hazardous chemicals

ROCKFORD, Mich. (AP) — Officials are shutting off drinking fountains and providing bottled water at a middle school in western Michigan as they test water for possible hazardous chemicals from a decades-old tannery waste dump site nearby.
The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality announced precautionary measures Thursday at East Rockford Middle School.
Superintendent Michael Schibler said he was notified by the DEQ, the Kent County Health Department and Wolverine Worldwide that a disposal area had been located near the school.
He said his immediate concern was the safety of students and staff.
The agency said there’s no evidence of contamination in the Rockford school’s drinking water but said precautions will be taken until test results come back within about two weeks.
They also said eight properties adjacent to the subject area will also be tested as a precautionary measure.
Schibler said the school will provide bottled water for cooking and drinking until school administrators know the status of the well water.
Wolverine World Wide used chemicals at its former tannery in Rockford to waterproof leather for Hush Puppies shoe manufacturing.
Dump sites have turned up in the area, with contamination including per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS.
State toxicologists said exposure to PFAS have been linked to cancer as well as other health issues.

Multi-agency bust in McKinleyville finds 21K marijuana plants, cash, environmental damage

The following is from a press release issued by the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office: On Wednesday, the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office’s Drug Enforcement Unit (DEU) and the Humboldt County Drug Task Force (DTF) served three search warrants to investigate an allegation of illegal cultivation of marijuana and possession for sales of marijuana.
The following agencies assisted DEU and DTF in this investigation: Wardens from California Fish and Wildlife, Biologist from California Fish and Wildlife, CAL Fire Law enforcement officers, Investigators from the District Attorney’s Office, specialist from the Humboldt County Environmental Health and HAZMAT Unit, Humboldt County Code Enforcement officers, and personnel from the California Army National Guard Counter Drug Unit.
Drug Task Force served a search warrant on a residential structure on Visser Court.
The investigation on Visser Court led to another parcel near the residence that was under the control of Brett Visser.
Two structures that were converted into indoor marijuana grow rooms were located on this property.
The two indoor marijuana grows were not permitted by Humboldt County Building and Planning Division.
700 growing marijuana plants were located and seized from this property.
A total of 21,389 marijuana plants were eradicated from the properties and 391 pounds of processed marijuana was seized.
Several subjects fled upon law enforcements arrival.
Humboldt County Code Enforcement officers conducted a parallel investigation and discovered the following violations: Grading without a permit, Construction without a permit, stream side management area violations, solid waste disposal violations, using an RV as a residence, marijuana cultivation ordinance violations.

Despite GenX worries, well water can bring own set of concerns

Despite GenX worries, well water can bring own set of concerns.
Concerned about contamination in the region’s groundwater, Rick Catlin, an environmental engineer and former state legislator, is pushing New Hanover County to adopt a permitting system for private wells.
“We want to make sure people aren’t putting wells in near contaminated sites,” Catlin said.
The safety of the region’s drinking water has been in question after a StarNews story earlier this month revealed researchers had found GenX, a man-made chemical used in Teflon and a host of other products, in the Cape Fear River and the drinking water supply of the Cape Fear Public Utility Authority (CFPUA).
Chemours, a Delaware-based chemical company that makes the chemical at a plant roughly 100 miles up the Cape Fear River from Wilmington, announced this week it will take steps to capture all wastewater containing the GenX chemical, remove the substance and dispose of it.
“In the confined aquifers, I would not think there would be an issue (with GenX),” Shew said.
Personally, for me, I’d like to do substitute for the drinking water for now.” Statewide, national issue During a meeting earlier this week with New Hanover County Manager Chris Coudriet and Health Director Phillip Tarte, Catlin shared his map of known contamination sites with the county officials.
“When you put it on a map and plot it, it is not just relegated to New Hanover County,” Tarte said.
“We have these known (contamination) sites,” Coudriet said.
“By ordinance, once a customer is connected to our system,” a CFPUA spokeswoman wrote, “they are not permitted to disconnect and move to an alternate water source.” Reporter Adam Wagner can be reached at 910-343-2389 or Adam.Wagner@GateHouseMedia.com.

Thai Local Communities Want Their Say in Fighting Pollution

Investments in major chemical and manufacturing industries have been marked by industrial estates, especially in the Eastern Seaboard some 150 kilometers from Bangkok.
“The production and use of hazardous substances in the country has caused pollution as hazardous substances were released into the environment and may cause contamination or remain in the environment,” the PCD said.
Heavy metal pollution Marek Sir, a chemistry researcher from the University of Chemistry and Technology in the Czech Republic, said the studies indicated concerns over heavy metal pollution in areas near industrial plants.
“That’s a problem — still there are toxic fumes released into the environment and the easiest way to spread the pollution of heavy metals, which are absorbed on solid particles and they can diffuse into the air and can be transported.
The EARTH/ARNIKA report accused factory owners responsible for pollution of “uncaring management,” with the result of water pollution, toxic air pollution and hazardous industrial waste — especially those mismanaged and illegally dumped.
Cost of rehabilitation EARTH director Penchom said access to funding for land rehabilitation remains a major stopping block.
It’s very difficult to enforce the law for the polluters to pay,” she said.
Tara said policy often compromises the environment to the benefit to industry and development.
When we can see that the result from the toxic contamination in different regions in Thailand — also affects the community,” Tara told VOA.
The Pollution Control Department set out a strategic plan covering 2012-2021 calling for “rules and regulation amendments to facilitate effective waste management as well as strict enforcement of the laws.

HCM City vows to reduce waste landfill, replace with recycling

Hazardous solid waste is around 150,000 tons per year, including 6,300 tons of hazardous healthcare waste per year.
However, experts say the technology, which was considered suitable many years ago, is no longer reasonable.
Instead of using large land fund for waste burial, the land needs to be used for other purposes for the community’s benefits.
Buried waste causes environmental problems, including soil and water pollution.
Many hazardous materials can be found at landfills such as mercury, arsenic, cadmium, lead and plastics.
Landfills gather all kinds of waste.
Sorting waste at the source and recycling waste are two of the solutions proposed to control burial of waste.
The sorting of waste at source has been implemented for many years in HCMC.
The HCMC Department of Natural Resources and the Environment has submitted to the city’s authorities the planning of the network of domestic solid waste transit stations by 2025.
The report prepared by the HCMC People’s Committee for the meeting shows that in order to collect and treat waste, the city has to spend VND2.2-2.4 trillion a year.

Solutions For Water Pollution Essay

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The Middle Route Project of the south to North Water Diversion Project will work with local governments to carry out water pollution emergency drills

The Middle Route Project of the south to North Water Diversion Project will work with local governments to carry out water pollution emergency drills.
The traffic accident is caused by simulation with leakage of hazardous chemicals into the canal water pollution incident, and launched the emergency response and disposal of the water diversion project is the transport unit for the first time with the local government to carry out joint prevention and control emergency drills.
During the emergency drill site, a chemical tank for water falling is hoisted by a crane and cooled by water spraying.
The water pollution incident, middle construction authority belongs to the high element management office, Hebei branch of the relevant three level of operation and management mechanism respectively launched the emergency plan, immediately report the emergency office of the local government of Hebei Province, set up an emergency command, combined with the local government to carry out emergency rescue and disposal work.
During the emergency drill site, water quality monitoring personnel sampled the polluted waters.
Exercise aimed at improving water diversion project operation management units and the masses along the risk consciousness, test the emergency plan operability, practicability and cohesion effectiveness, comprehensive training and training management team, effectively promote the building authority and the local government to establish joint control mechanism of South-to-North Water Transfer Project, coordination and disposal unexpected events, improve the ability of South-to-North Water Transfer Project emergency disposal.
Water quality monitoring personnel on-site detection of water, the results are reported at any time.
Linkage, and the seat of the government emergency system seamless docking, joint defense joint control, to achieve joint response, coordinated operations; the whole line to carry out joint linkage linkage, to prevent secondary disasters, and ensure project safety.
South to North Water Diversion Central Construction Bureau deputy director Liu Xianliang said in an interview with reporters, the exercise process is actual combat process, test the feasibility and availability of the plan.
In addition, through exercises, South China north to coordinate the establishment of local governments coordination, communication and linkage mechanism to promote the coordination of South North Water Diversion local governments to prevent risk normalization.

As EPA faces cuts, some say agency is good for Hoosiers, not ‘bad for business’

Standing in front of a former Martindale-Brightwood plating plant cleared of hazardous materials, environmental activists Tuesday ticked off the impacts that President Donald Trump’s proposed cuts to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency budget could have across Indiana.
And less money for emergency clean-up projects like the one that removed hazardous chemicals from the former Williamson Polishing and Plating site.
“One of the key points is that the program that cleaned this up is slated for the 17 percent budget cuts,” said Dr. Indra Frank, director of environmental health and water policy for the Hoosier Environmental Council.
He has said that this move would help to promote job growth and that the states should assume the regulatory power that the agency currently holds.
Brown Ave. IDEM does not have the resources to do clean-ups at sites such as this one, which had a range of hazardous materials, including sodium cyanide, sodium hydroxide, silver, zinc, other metals and numerous acids.
It took the EPA about four months and $1.8 million to clean up the site.
“We know this type of industry pollution would not be tolerated in wealthier neighborhoods,” said Elizabeth Gore, president of the Martindale Brightwood Environmental Justice Collaborative and an Indianapolis Public Schools board member.
The area is still suffering the consequences of an explosion more than 45 years ago at a lead smelter.
In 2016, that program funded 84 projects in Indiana for a total of $125 million.
“People need to understand that EPA programs make a real and positive difference in Indiana communities… None of us wants the air to be dirtier, the water to be more dangerous to drink or abandoned sites like this one abandoned forever."

Court Orders EPA to Close Loophole, Factory Farms Required to Report Toxic Pollution

Court Orders EPA to Close Loophole, Factory Farms Required to Report Toxic Pollution.
The DC Circuit Court ordered the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Tuesday to close a loophole that has allowed hazardous substances released into the environment by concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) to go unreported.
But the public cannot protect itself from these hazardous substances if CAFOs aren’t required to report their releases to the public.
CAFOs are large-scale livestock facilities that confine large numbers of animals in relatively small spaces.
This waste is known to release high levels of toxic pollutants like ammonia and hydrogen sulfide into the environment.
The court’s decision closes a loophole that exempted CAFOs from the same pollutant reporting required of other industries to ensure public safety.
"People have a right to know if CAFOs are releasing hazardous substances that can pose serious risks of illness or death into the air near their homes, schools, businesses and communities," said Kelly Foster, senior attorney for Waterkeeper Alliance.
Nearly three-quarters of the nation’s ammonia air pollution come from CAFOs.
This decision forces these operations to be transparent about their environmental impact," said Paige Tomaselli of the Center for Food Safety.
"Animal factories force billions of animals to suffer dangerously high levels of toxic air pollution day after day for their entire lives," said Humane Society of The United States’ Chief Counsel Jonathan Lovvorn.