The Stream, January 17, 2020: Florida Purchases Property in Heartland of Everglades, Saving it From Oil Drilling

The Global Rundown

Florida purchases a piece of the Everglades to protect the wetlands from oil drilling. A probe into the 2019 collapse of a Vale SA tailings dam in Brumadinho, Brazil, will wrap up in June, police say. Police in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, investigate tainted tap water in several of the city’s neighborhoods. Michigan officials question the cost of cleaning up a PFAS site in Madison Heights, where green ooze was discovered seeping onto the highway last month. California prepares to build a single delta tunnel to carry water from the San Joaquin Delta to southern California.

“This project would help safeguard a vital source of affordable water for millions of Californians.” –Karla Nemeth, director of the California Department of Water Resources, in reference to a planned tunnel that will ferry billions of gallons of water from the San Joaquin Delta to the southern part of the state. Governor Gavin Newsom issued a Notice of Preparation for the project on Wednesday, which will jumpstart a long environmental review process. The current plan replaces a two-tunnel proposal that Newsom dismissed last year. KQED

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By The Numbers

255+ People killed after the collapse of a tailings dam in Brumadinho, Brazil, a little less than a year ago. The dam was owned by mining company Vale SA, which has come under intense scrutiny since the disaster. A key part of the police investigation into the collapse is expected to wrap up in June, according to a leading investigator. Reuters

20,000 acres (8,094 hectares) Land in the Florida Everglades purchased by the state from a private real estate firm. The deal will spare the land from potential oil drilling, and bring the total protected Everglades wetlands to to nearly 600,000 acres (243,000 hectares). Reuters

Science, Studies, and Reports

Toxic PFAS chemicals were recently discovered at a contaminated site in Madison Heights, Michigan, and could significantly increase cleanup costs. The Electro-Plating Services facility, where green ooze was found leaking onto the interstate last month, was owned by Gary Sayers, who is now imprisoned for illegally storing hazardous waste at the site. It is unclear whether Sayers or taxpayers will be responsible for the cleanup costs. Bridge

On the Radar

Police in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, are investigating the cause of smelly, discolored tap water that has affected several city neighborhoods for more than a week. Investigators plan to question workers at water utility Cedae to determine whether the foul water is naturally occurring or was caused by human error or intervention. Cedae says the discoloration is caused by geosmin, a harmless organic compound. Experts at a local university warn that the presence of geosmin could signal water quality issues. The New York Times

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