Entries by Brett Walton

Federal Water Tap, June 27: Forest Service Errors Led to New Mexico Wildfire

The Rundown The U.S. Forest Service examines mistakes that turned a prescribed burn in New Mexico into the state’s largest-ever wildfire. USAID releases a draft version of its contribution to the government’s global water strategy. The Bureau of Reclamation asks the public what to do about water in the Colorado River basin. The EPA’s internal […]

EPA Warns of Health Problems When PFAS Levels in Drinking Water Are Inconceivably Tiny

Revised health advisories are a precursor to federal regulation.

Federal Water Tap, June 20: EPA Issues PFAS Warning and Troubled Colorado River Is Focus of Senate Hearing

The Rundown The EPA strengthens non-binding health advisories for two PFAS chemicals and issued new advisories for two others. The EPA appraises end-of-life plans for more than 160 coal ash ponds that could be polluting groundwater. The EPA also invites applications for $1 billion in PFAS response funds that will help small and disadvantaged communities […]

Drought’s Spillover Effect in the American West

In a region latticed with pipelines and canals, the consequences of dry conditions in one basin are exported to neighboring watersheds.

Federal Water Tap, June 13: Biden Mentions Watershed Protection Before New Mexico Fire Briefing

The Rundown President Biden, while in New Mexico, notes the harm that forest fires can wreak on a watershed. The House passes a $25 billion water resources bill. Commodity futures regulators want more information on climate change and financial risk. An EPA report outlines strategies for reducing the destruction of coastal wetlands. NOAA forecasts an […]

What Does Water Want?: A Conversation with Author Erica Gies

Problems and opportunities spring from the mismatch between the natural world and the built environment.

What Happens If Glen Canyon Dam’s Power Shuts Off?

Lake Powell is drying behind one of the Southwest’s largest hydropower plants.

Federal Water Tap, June 6: White House Links Water and National Security

The Rundown The Biden administration outlines its priorities for global water security. The Defense Department releases new data on PFAS found in drinking water near its bases. The Bureau of Reclamation restarts a salinity control facility in the Colorado River basin. EPA science advisers publish a report evaluating the agency’s Waters of the U.S. proposal. […]

Federal Water Tap, May 31: EPA Proposes Protection for Salmon-Rich Bristol Bay

The Rundown The EPA intends to deny a Clean Water Act permit for a mine development in Alaska’s Bristol Bay watershed. NOAA expects another above-average Atlantic hurricane season. Officials sign a Navajo-Utah water rights settlement. The EPA announces an interagency working group for water reuse. The CDC surveys O’ahu residents for health problems after a […]

Federal Water Tap, May 23: House Committee Advances Water Resources Bill

The Rundown A House committee followed its Senate counterpart and endorsed a key bill to authorize Army Corps water projects. An early-season forecast indicates a moderate harmful algal bloom in Lake Erie this summer. A GAO report recommends better federal agency coordination to help Alaska Native villages address environmental change. An inspector general’s investigation clears […]

Federal Water Tap, May 16: House Committee Alleges Criminal Activity

The Rundown The House Natural Resources Committee tells the Justice Department it should investigate alleged criminal activity from a top Trump administration official. The EPA proposes a waiver, applicable to projects in the design phase, from American-sourced materials requirements in the infrastructure bill. To prevent manatees from dying, an EPA regional administrator says that Florida […]

Michigan’s ‘Very Big Opportunity’ in Infrastructure Windfall

More communities gain access to the largest federal infusion in a half-century.