The Stream, August 13, 2019: Newark, New Jersey, Plans to Distribute Bottled Water as Lead Contamination Persists

The Global Rundown

Newark, New Jersey, says it will distribute bottled water after filters fail to protect homes from lead contamination. Sydney, Australia, prepares to expand its desalination capacity. Typhoon Lekima leaves at least 32 people dead in eastern China. The U.S. Trump administration introduces a proposal that would restrict states’ ability to block pipelines and other energy projects. The death toll from monsoon flooding in India continues to rise. 

“Several houses are still covered under 10-12 feet deep mud. This is hampering rescue work.” –Pinarayi Vijayan, the chief minister of Kerala, India, in reference to monsoon flooding and landslides. The death toll from recent flooding in Karnataka, Kerala, and Maharashtra reached 147 over the weekend, and some areas remain inaccessible. Reuters

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By The Numbers

1.5 million People in Sydney, Australia, being supplied by the Kurnell desalination plant, which returned to operation in January of this year. Officials say that the plant is playing a large role in providing enough water to drought-stricken Sydney, and are taking bids for an upcoming expansion of the plant. The Guardian

32 Death toll from Typhoon Lekima, which struck the eastern Chinese province of Zhejiang on Saturday. Many of the deaths occurred when excessive rainfall caused a natural dam to collapse near the city of Wenzhou. Sixteen people are also reported missing. Reuters

Science, Studies, and Reports

A recent survey of homes in Newark, New Jersey, show that government-distributed water filters are not stopping lead contamination in many households. In response, city officials say they will distribute bottled water to affected homes while they explore why the filters are proving ineffective.

On the Radar

On Friday, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a proposal that would limit the ability of states to halt pipelines and other energy projects. Currently, Section 401 of the Clean Water Act authorizes states to block energy projects due to environmental concerns. The EPA proposal looks to change Section 401, arguing that states have utilized it to excessively delay projects, or halt projects for reasons beyond water protection. The proposal has received backlash from several states, with New York Governor Andrew Cuomo calling it a “gross overreach of federal authority.” Reuters

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