The Stream, January 16, 2020: Foul-Smelling, Discolored Tap Water Infects Neighborhoods in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

The Global Rundown

Stinky, foul-tasting water infiltrates neighborhoods in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The U.S. Trump Administration is expected to announce rollbacks to U.S. water laws as soon as this weekend.  2019 was the second-hottest year on record, data shows. Bulgaria appoints a new environment minister amid an ongoing water crisis. Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel files a lawsuit against major U.S. chemical manufacturers over PFAS contamination.

“Despite their knowledge of the potential dangers of PFAS, they deliberately, intentionally conceal these dangers from government entities, including the state of Michigan and the public at large, to protect their profits and avoid public responsibility.” –Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel in reference to the involvement of several major chemical manufacturing companies in the proliferation of PFAS in Michigan groundwater. Nessel filed a lawsuit on Tuesday in the Washtenaw County Circuit Court against 3M, Dupont, and other manufacturers. Bridge 

In context: As PFAS lawsuits proliferate, legal tactics emerge.

Latest WaterNews from Circle of Blue

Water Crises Again Ranked a Top Global Risk in World Economic Forum Report  Environmental factors most concerning for respondents to annual risk survey.

After Plumbing Code Setback, Georgia Health Officials Refocus Legionella Prevention Effort  — New working group mulls regulatory options for dealing with America’s deadliest waterborne disease.

By The Numbers

1 C° (1.8 F°) Amount that temperatures in 2019 were above the average from 1951 to 1980. Data compiled by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration show that 2019 was the second-hottest year on record, and the 2010s were the warmest decade. The New York Times

Science, Studies, and Reports

The Trump Administration is on the verge of announcing new rollbacks of key U.S. water protections, officials say. Exact details of the rollback have not been released, but a 2018 proposal indicates that federal safeguards for half of the country’s wetlands, plus millions of miles of streams, could be cut. The changes are seen as a key victory for farmers, miners, developers, and the oil and gas industry. The finalized law will replace the Obama-era Waters of the U.S. (WOTUS) rule, which was repealed last year. Politico

On the Radar

For more than a week, tap water in some neighborhoods of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, has been stinky, foul-tasting, and a red or brown hue. The state water utility Cedae says the tainted water is caused by geosmin, a nontoxic organic compound, and poses no health risks. Residents still fear their water may be shut off, however, although officials have insisted it will not.  incidences of diarrhea, gastroenteritis, and vomiting in the area also spiked recently, although no link between the illnesses and the water contamination is verified. Associated Press

Bulgaria approved a new environment minister on Wednesday amid an ongoing water crisis in the town of Pernik. Severe water restrictions have plagued Pernik for months, and the country’s former environment minister was recently charged for deliberate mismanagement of the crisis. Reuters

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply