The Stream, June 27, 2019: EPA to Reconsider Alaska Pebble Mine Project, Halted in 2014 Under Clean Water Act

The Global Rundown

The U.S. EPA says it will reevaluate the development of Alaska’s Pebble Mine, which was halted in 2014 due to water pollution concerns. A record heat wave parches Europe. Herders and farmers in Nigeria continue to fight over water and pasture despite stricter grazing laws. Michigan officials warns that higher lead readings are likely as the state changes its testing methods. Bad governance and climate change created the water crisis in Chennai, India, experts say. 

“It’s shocking but not surprising.” –Tarun Gopalakrishnan, a climate change expert at the Centre for Science and Environment in New Delhi. Gopalakrishnan says the extreme was shortage in Chennai, where four main reservoirs have run dry, is due to “a toxic mix of bad governance and climate change.” Experts and residents say that the government could have done more to prevent the crisis, such as properly monitoring and repairing rainwater harvesting structures that were installed a few years ago. NPR

In context: Reservoirs in Parched Chennai, City of Millions, Are Dry. Can Better Forecasting Avert Future Crises?

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By The Numbers

350,000 hectares (860,000 acres) Arable land in Nigeria that is affected by drought and desertification every year. Clashes between farmers and pastoralists over land and water have been plaguing the country for years. In 2017, the country’s Benue state tightened laws about livestock grazing on open land, but the rule has done little to prevent continued quarrels. Reuters

In context: HotSpots H2O: Resource Conflicts Rattle Nigeria in Lead-Up to Elections

10,000 Water bottles distributed to the homeless and people in need in Milan, Italy, where temperatures are expected to top 40°C (104°F) this week. Other areas of Europe are expected to be even warmer, raising fears of wildfires and heat-related deaths. The Guardian

Science, Studies, and Reports

Health and environmental leaders in Michigan are warning that new testing methods for lead and copper in drinking water may yield higher lead readings across the state. In the past, lead testing was performed only on the first liter of tap water; now, both the first and fifth liter will be tested, allowing a deeper analysis of water lines. MLive

On the Radar

Development on southwestern Alaska’s Pebble Mine, a sprawling copper and gold project, was halted in 2014 over concerns related to the Clean Water Act. On Wednesday, the U.S. EPA said it will reconsider the decision from five years ago. If approved, the mine plan includes construction of a new road, pipeline, and power plant near the starting points of two rivers. Reuters

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