The Stream, February 10, 2021: Alberta Restores Environmental Policy After Pushback To Mining Rules


  • Growing opposition to coal-mining rules in Alberta, Canada forces the provincial government to backtrack.
  • Hackers try to pollute the drinking water of a Florida town.
  • A flood in Morocco kills almost 30 workers in an illegal garment factory.
  • Tribal and environmental groups say they will continue efforts to halt Enbridge’s Line 3 pipeline in northern Minnesota.

Residents and dam workers whose homes and workplaces were flooded in northern India on Sunday recall the moments before the devastating deluge.

“There was a very loud and scary noise. I turned around to see water and debris gushing towards us. It was as if the mountains were crumbling.” – Godambari Devi, a resident of Raini village in Uttarakhand state. Residents and dam workers recalled the moments before floods swept through entire villages, Hindustan Times reports. Workers on Tapovan hydropower project said that they let their guard down during the winter months after monsoon season ends, so no one was prepared for Sunday’s tragedy. The hydropower plant was completely destroyed by the flood. Downstream in Raini village, six people are believed to be dead, including Devi’s mother-in-law, who was swept away by debris before Devi could reach her.

In context: Himalayan Meltdown


High Demand for New Michigan Water Infrastructure Grants

A new grant program in Michigan to rid drinking water systems of contaminants is proving to be quite popular.

The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy announced that 32 grant applicants, many of them small towns, requested more than $80 million in state funds.

The problem? Only $25 million is available to hand out.

In Case You Missed It:

HotSpots H2O: Amid Water Crisis, Recent Storms Provide Some Relief to Istanbul – Recent storms provided relief to drought-stricken Istanbul and surrounding areas, leaving parched reservoirs in better shape than in mid-January, when water levels fell dangerously low.

What’s Up With Water – February 8, 2021 – This week’s episode covers a rejected plan to expand two coal mines in New South Wales, a new national budget in India that includes a large boost for water infrastructure and activists in northern Minnesota who are opposing the replacement of Enbridge’s Line 3 oil pipeline.

Growing Opposition To Coal-Mining Rules In Alberta Forces Government To Backtrack

The Guardian reports that amid growing backlash, Alberta’s energy minister announced Monday that the 1976 coal-mining policy would be reinstated. The policy, which protected wilderness and critical wildlife habitats in Alberta, was abruptly rescinded last year, pitting the surrounding community against mining companies and a provincial government determined to extract the land’s resources. Local residents and Indigenous groups are celebrating the move as a victory but predict a long fight ahead to ensure full protection of their land.



Hackers sought to add dangerous amounts of chemicals to the drinking water of around 15,000 people in a town near Tampa, Florida. Reuters reports that the hackers remotely gained access to a software program on the computer of an employee at the water treatment facility and attempted to dump sodium hydroxide into the water. The water treatment operator was able to reverse the command quickly, before it caused harm.

In context: Water Sector Prepares For Cyberattacks


Floods from heavy rains killed at least 28 workers in an illegal garment factory in Tangier, Morocco on Monday, PTC News reported. Local authorities said firefighters rescued 10 people from the factory. Continued search and rescue efforts are underway. Illegal garment factories, like the one in Tangier, are common across Morocco. Workers in such factories often endure unsafe conditions, working long hours in facilities without fire extinguishers, emergency exits, and indoor plumbing.


Tribal and environmental groups failed to halt the construction of Enbridge’s Line 3 oil pipeline for the second time in two weeks, Westlaw Today reports. On Sunday, U.S. District Court Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly rejected a motion to halt pipeline construction, denying the plaintiffs’ claims that the Army Corps of Engineers failed to accurately evaluate the environmental risk of the pipeline. An attorney for the groups said this is only the beginning of “a much longer effort to stop the project,” which they claim violates the Environmental Policy Act and the Clean Water Act.

In context: HotSpots H2O: Minnesota Pipeline Opponents File Federal Lawsuit to Halt Construction

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