The Stream, December 18: Six Face Federal Charges for West Virginia Spill

The  Global Rundown

The Global Rundown

Six people will be charged in connection with a chemical spill that contaminated drinking water in West Virginia, an announcement that comes as the United States Safe Drinking Water Act turns 40 years old. New York state is banning fracking due to health concerns. United Nations experts will help clean up an oil spill in a protected Bangladesh river delta, Mekong River countries will soon decide the fate of the Don Sahong Dam, and a gold mine tailings dam in the Solomon Islands may overflow. Taiwan is cutting irrigation to rice farms due to water shortages, while Virginia coastal communities are contending with more frequent floods. Scientists found massive amounts of water deep in Earth’s crust.

“The conditions at the Freedom Industries facility were not only grievously unacceptable, but unlawful. They put an entire population needlessly at risk.”–Statement by U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder regarding federal charges brought against six individuals involved in a chemical spill that contaminated drinking water for 300,000 people in West Virginia in January 2014. (CNN)

By the Numbers

By The Numbers

40 years Time since the passage of the United States Safe Drinking Water Act, a “huge, underappreciated success”. Slate

350 square kilometers Area of Bangladesh’s protected Sundarbans mangrove forest and river delta contaminated by an oil spill. Guardian

5,800 hectares Rice paddies in Taiwan that will be fallowed due to irrigation water shortages. The paddies represent 3.5 percent of the country’s rice-growing area. Focus Taiwan


Science, Studies, And Reports

Scientists suggest the Earth’s deep crust could contain life after finding that 11 million cubic kilometers of the world’s oldest water is trapped deep below ground. BBC

New York state will begin 2015 with a ban on hydraulic fracturing for oil and natural gas. The decision followed the release of a report that found there is not enough scientific information to declare fracking safe for public health. Reuters

On the Radar

On The Radar

Australian gold mining company St. Barbara warned residents living near its shuttered Gold Ridge mine in the Solomon Islands that the tailings dam could overflow this rainy season, potentially causing deaths. Radio Australia

Countries that share the Mekong River are expected to meet in January to decide the fate of the Don Sahong Dam, a project that conservationists warn will threaten local fisheries, food security, and livelihoods. International Rivers

Housing prices are dropping in Norfolk, Virginia, where increased tidal flooding due to sea level rise provides a window on the future of U.S. coastal communities. Blooomberg

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply