The Stream, November 6, 2020: Coronavirus Found in Boston Area Wastewater Is Increasing


  • Wastewater tests for Covid-19 in the Boston area are ticking upward again.
  • Tropical Storm Eta could regain strength as it heads towards the Caribbean and the U.S. southeast.
  • A large-scale farm in Idaho pleads guilty to violating the Clean Water Act.
  • Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan can’t agree on terms for negotiating the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam.

The last oil company with permit applications in Cat Canyon, California withdrew a proposal for almost 200 new wells.

“We took a hard look at it and it didn’t fit with our business plan.” – Rich Field, Cat Canyon Resources’ environmental health safety regulatory and compliance manager. Cat Canyon Resources, an oil company previously known by the name Terracore, withdrew its proposal for 187 new wells in Cat Canyon, California. The Santa Barbara Independent reports the Environmental Defense Center (EDC), working on behalf of the Sierra Club Los Padres Chapter and the Santa Barbara County Action Network submitted a comment in the last Terracore hearing before the Planning Commission reporting dozens of environmental issues they found with the proposed wells including threats to groundwater. Field said the company plans to focus on the 160 wells they currently operate.


2020 Election Recap: Florida County Overwhelmingly Supports Granting Legal Rights to Rivers – Voters approved water-related measures in several states.

U.S., Mexico Sign Rio Grande Water Agreement – Officials from the two countries settled a water-sharing dispute.

Who in the U.S. Is in ‘Plumbing Poverty’? Mostly Urban Residents, Study Says – Not everyone in the country has piped water at home. Study authors argue that water access in the U.S. is inseparable from housing and social inequality.

Coronavirus Cases in Boston Area Could Rise Again, Wastewater Tests Indicate

After a dramatic spike two weeks ago, detections of coronavirus in wastewater at the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority’s (MWRA) Deer Island treatment plant are trending upwards again, the Boston Globe reports. The MWRA had been testing wastewater samples several times a week before state officials asked them to begin testing daily in mid-October after noticeable increases in cases. The results of the most recent tests, which were conducted up to Nov. 2, showed the northern section of the MWRA system including Boston reaching the highest level yet of a recent surge.

In context: Enthusiasm But Obstacles in Using Sewage to Monitor Coronavirus



Tropical Storm Eta is expected to drop two to three feet (70-91.4 centimeters) of rain in some parts of Central America, The Washington Post reports. In Nicaragua, more than 30,000 people were evacuated ahead of the storm, which hit the country as a Category 4 hurricane. The storm has weakened since then, but forecasters worry the storm’s intensity may pick back up as it heads into the northwest Caribbean and tear through Cuba and close to Florida and the southeastern United States. The storm system is the 28th to be named in the Atlantic in 2020, tying the all-time record.


A concentrated animal feeding operation (CAFO) operating in Shoshone, Idaho pleaded guilty to unlawful discharge of pollutant into a water of the United States, a misdemeanor violation of the Clean Air Act. 4 Brothers Dairy, Inc. (4 Bros.) and its owner, Andrew Fitzgerald, negligently caused discharges of manure laden water into the Milner Gooding Canal at three locations, court records indicate. Argus Observer reports that the parties involved in the case have jointly recommended that the CAFO pay a fine of $95,000 and that Fitzgerald pay a fine of $35,000. Sentencing for both 4 Bros. and Fitzgerald has been set for Jan. 14, 2021.

In context: One Michigan County Tells the Story of a Nation Plagued By Water Pollution


Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan have failed so agree on new terms of negotiation to resolve disputes over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, the AP reports. Sudan’s Irrigation Minister Yasser Abbas said Egypt opposed a Sudanese proposal supported by Ethiopia to expand the role of African Union experts, who are moderating the negotiations. Mohammed el-Sebaei, Egypt’s Irrigation Ministry spokesman, said all three countries would report their positions to South Africa, which heads the African Union, separately.

In context: HotSpots H2O: Tensions Rise in Horn of Africa as Ethiopia Fills Controversial Dam

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