The Stream, December 12: Trump Administration Proposal Limits U.S. Clean Water Act

The Global Rundown

The Trump administration proposes major rollbacks of the United States’ Clean Water Act. China attempts to cut pollution of the Bohai Sea. Snowpack in California’s Sierra Nevada mountains is above-average following recent storms. Officials attempt to understand a recent PFAS spike in the water supply of Ann Arbor, Michigan. Data shows that the San Juan-Chama Project cut groundwater use in Albuquerque, New Mexico, by almost 70 percent in the past decade.

“This proposal is reckless. Given the problems facing our lakes, streams and wetlands from the beaches of Florida to the drinking water of Toledo, now is the time to strengthen protections for our waterways, not weaken them.” –John Devine, director of the Natural Resources Defense Council, in reference to a new proposal by the Trump administration that would weaken the federal Clean Water Act. Proponents of the proposal say it would give states and landowners more control over their water resources, but environmentalists fear the change could be detrimental to thousands of miles of waterways and wetlands. NPR

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FERC Panel Finds Deficiencies in Oroville Dam Safety Reviews After the Oroville spillway failure, hydropower regulators assess the dam inspection process.

Too Soon To Know Hospital Compliance with Federal Government Legionella Policy — Hospitals and nursing homes that receive government payments were ordered in June 2017 to pay greater attention to harmful bacteria in their plumbing systems.

By The Numbers

106 percent of average Amount of snowpack in the Sierra Nevada mountains after several recent storms in California. Officials hope the above-average snowfall will aid the state’s water supply. Last year, snowpack measured at only 47 percent of average. Los Angeles Times

$450 million Cost of the San-Juan Chama Project, which delivers water from the Colorado River to Albuquerque, New Mexico, through a series of dam, tunnels, and other infrastructure. Officials say that the decade-old project has cut the city’s groundwater use by nearly 70 percent, allowing the aquifer to recharge. The Denver Post

Science, Studies, And Reports

Data shows that China’s Bohai Sea, which runs along the coastlines of Liaoning, Hebei and Shandong provinces, is heavily polluted with sewage, heavy metals, agricultural runoff, and other contaminants. On Tuesday, the country’s environment ministry said it is committed to cutting pollution in the Bohai, and hopes to make 73 percent of the waterbody fit for human contact by 2020. Reuters

On The Radar

PFAS levels in the Huron River, which provides drinking water to Ann Arbor, Michigan, mysteriously spiked in October, according to information released on Monday by the city’s public services administrator. City officials are unsure why the concentration changed, but said that PFAS levels in the waterway do fluctuate, and that businesses along the river may still be releasing PFAS on a daily basis. MLive

In context: PFAS: What You Need To Know.

Kayla Ritter is a recent graduate of Michigan State University, where she studied International Relations and Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages. She is currently based in Manton, Michigan. Kayla enjoys running, writing, and traveling. Contact Kayla Ritter

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