The Stream, February 26: Protests, Investigations Continue About North Carolina Coal Ash Spill

Protesters have been demonstrating and signing petitions against coal ash ponds in front of the corporate headquarters of Duke Energy, the North Carolina-based company responsible for spilling millions of gallons of coal ash into the state’s Dan River, CNN Reported. The United States federal government is conducting a criminal investigation of the spill, and the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources is considering changing Duke Energy’s wastewater permits.

Environmental water experts have cast doubt on the effectiveness of China’s recently proposed $US 333 billion spending package to clean up water pollution, Sound of Hope Radio reported. Soil pollution will also need to be remedied, and efforts to enforce pollution prevention measures will need to be scaled up in order to achieve water pollution reduction goals, according to researchers.

South Africa is considering taxes on mining companies to help pay for the cleanup of acid mine drainage pollution, Bloomberg News reported. A set tax has not been agreed upon, but the country’s finance minister said the government will be consulting with companies about an “appropriate funding mechanism.”

Deforestation and the retreat of mountain glaciers have led to increased variability in the flow of rivers in northern India, AlertNet reported. Flash floods have become a problem due to reduced vegetation and riverbed mining, while increasingly dry periods make it difficult for farmers to grow traditional crops.

A legal battle over water rights in three southeastern U.S. states could get a new twist if Georgia approves legislation that would allow the release of more water to rivers that flow to Florida, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported. The purpose of the releases would be to sustain threatened species during dry spells and prevent them from becoming endangered.

The Stream is a daily digest spotting global water trends. To get more water news, follow Circle of Blue on Twitter and sign up for our newsletter.

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