The Stream, January 7, 2020: Officials Douse Flood-Hit Jakarta in Disinfectant to Fend Off Disease

The Global Rundown

Officials spread disinfectant in flood-hit Jakarta, Indonesia, to prevent the spread of infectious diseases. Rescues and evacuations continue in Australia as bushfires blaze. A hearing on proposed PFAS regulations in Michigan begins this week. California considers a $4.2 billion climate bond in an attempt to prepare for future natural disasters. A Native American tribe in Virginia fights against a water pumping station being built on the possible site of their ancient capital.

“The eyes of everybody were on the project once we were federally recognized.” –Kenneth Branham, chief of the Monacan Nation in Virginia, which was federally recognized in 2018. The tribe is using the status to fight against a proposed water pumping station where the Rivanna and James Rivers meet near Charlottesville, Virginia. The Monocans believe that the site is where their ancient capital, Rassawek, was situated. Justin Curtis, a lawyer for the James River Water Authority, argues that the evidence for Rassawek’s location is inconclusive, and claims the project should be allowed to move forward. For now, the pumping station is on hold.  The Washington Post

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By The Numbers

8 million hectares (19.8 million acres) Amount of land that has burned during the past several months of bushfires in Australia, as of Monday. The fires have also killed 25 people and engulfed thousands of buildings. Emergency evacuations and rescues are ongoing in several parts of the country, although thick smoke is complicating rescue efforts. Reuters

$4.2 billion Size of a climate bond being considered by California lawmakers as part of a preemptive move against natural disasters. The state has suffered from devastating wildfires in recent years, and lawmakers fear that these and other natural disasters could worsen in severity as the climate changes. If approved, proponents of the bond say it would help the state better prepare for impending disasters. Associated Press

Science, Studies, and Reports

More than 60 people have died amid widespread flooding in Jakarta, Indonesia, and officials fear the death toll could rise further if an outbreak of infectious disease occurs. More than a thousand soldiers and health officials took to the streets on Sunday to spray disinfectant in the hardest-hit areas of the city, potentially staunching the spread of diseases like dengue and leptospirosis. Associated Press

On the Radar

The first of three hearings on new PFAS regulations in Michigan is being held by the state’s  Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE) on January 8. The state is hoping to set maximum contaminant levels for seven different PFAS compounds, including PFOS and GenX. The other two hearings are planned for next week. MLive

In context: From Michigan to the Nation — A Groundwater Emergency.

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