The Stream, January 19: Ontario Proposes Steep Price Hike For Bottled Water Companies

The Global Rundown

Ontario plans to impose a much higher water rate for bottled water companies amid public concern over groundwater withdrawals. New funding and legislation in Victoria aims to improve environmental enforcement in the Australian state. Tanneries, sewage, and other industrial and municipal effluent continue to pollute the Ganga, despite India’s repeated attempts to clean up the river. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is on track to begin an environmental assessment of the Dakota Access pipeline route under Lake Oahe. Bolivia’s environment minister resigned this week as she faced criticism for her response to a deep drought. A U.S. court decided in favor of a rule that allows the Environmental Protection Agency to exempt New York City from acquiring pollution permits for a water transfer meant to supply drinking water.

“While we might prefer an interpretation more consistent with what appear to us to be the most prominent goals of the Clean Water Act, so long as the agency’s statutory interpretation is reasonable, what we might prefer is irrelevant.” –Robert Sack, a U.S. federal judge, writing the majority opinion defending an Environmental Protection Agency rule that allows pollution permit exemptions for government agencies making water transfers. The case, in particular, involved a transfer to provide water to New York City, which opponents said would introduce sediment pollution into a river used for trout fishing. (Reuters)

By The Numbers

18 percent Proportion of the wastewater from tanneries in Kanpur, India that the city has the capacity to treat. Together with untreated sewage, the effluent is a significant and persistent source of pollution in the Ganga. The Third Pole

In context: Learn how India’s courts and government leaders are pressing to curb pollution along the Ganga.

$45 million Amount the state government of Victoria, Australia plans to spend to improve its Environmental Protection Agency. Much of the funding will go to support additional personnel in an effort to boost enforcement of environmental laws. Guardian

$503.71 per million liters New rate Ontario, Canada proposes to charge bottled water companies for their groundwater withdrawals, a large increase from the current rate of $3.71 per million liters. The Canadian Press

Science, Studies, And Reports

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will begin an environmental assessment of the Dakota Access oil pipeline’s proposed route under Lake Oahe, despite a request from the pipeline company to suspend the study. Sixteen people were arrested for protesting the pipeline in North Dakota this week. Reuters

On The Radar

Under fire for her response to the drought crisis in Bolivia, Alexandra Moreira, the country’s environment and water minister, resigned from her post on Wednesday. The drought is considered the worst in a quarter century, and water shortages forced officials to declare a state of emergency and institute water rationing in La Paz at the end of last year. Reuters