Water quality in California is regulated by several state agencies, including the State Water Resources Control Board (State Water Board) and its nine regional boards, which enforce clean water laws and the Department of Public Health.
Water quality concerns are also often involved in disputes over water rights, particularly in situations involving endangered species or habitat.
The State Water Board administers the Clean Water Grant Program that funds construction of wastewater treatment facilities. The State Water Board also issues general permits for municipalities and construction sites that try to prevent contaminants from those sources from entering municipal storm sewers.
Drinking water standards and regulations are developed by federal and state agencies to protect public health. In California, the Department of Public Health administers the federal Safe Drinking Water Act, which regulates drinking water quality in the United States.
California schools can receive free lead testing for their drinking water under a new short-term initiative meant to address safety concerns. … The initiative announced by the State Water Resources Control Board keeps lead testing at schools voluntary.
Amid greater scrutiny of oilfield contamination threats to California’s groundwater, state officials will hold a hearing Wednesday on a proposal to expand the aquifer area where a Livermore driller is permitted to dispose of oily wastewater.
Nearly 540 tons of metals – mostly iron and aluminum – contaminated the Animas River over nine hours during a massive wastewater spill from an abandoned Colorado gold mine, the Environmental Protection Agency said Friday in a new report on the 2015 blowout that turned rivers in three states a sickly yellow.
No patterns, lots of blooms and more to learn. … For the first time, the state tracked outbreaks of cyanobacteria, commonly known as blue-green algae, confirming reports of blooms in approximately 40 different lakes, rivers, streams and other water bodies across the state, including Lake Elsinore, Pyramid and Silverwood lakes and lakes at the El Dorado East Regional Park in Long Beach.
Federal inspections of cattle and hog feedlots, turkey houses, and other animal feeding operations dropped for a fourth consecutive year, according to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency data. The number of fines and orders to change management practices for those same facilities fell for a fifth consecutive year.
The city of Clovis won its more than three-month-long civil trial against chemical manufacturing giant Shell Oil Co. over the cleanup of a toxic chemical found in drinking-water wells around the city of 108,000 people. The chemical is 1,2,3-trichloropropane, or TCP, which is a waste product from making plastic.
Orange County health officials have ordered the closure of a children’s dental office in Anaheim after lab tests found bacteria in its new internal water system, which had replaced a system blamed for an earlier outbreak of bacterial infections.
The environmental damage from illicit marijuana operations in California is getting worse. Experts say illegal growers are killing wildlife by diverting water from streams, using pesticides, fertilizers and poisons.
Californians relying on small water utilities to bring drinking water into their homes, or who work or go to school in places providing their own water, are far more likely to be exposed to lead, according to a new analysis of Environmental Protection Agency data by The Desert Sun and USA TODAY.
Donald Trump picked Oklahoma Atty. Gen. Scott Pruitt to run the Environmental Protection Agency, signaling the president-elect will deliver on his vow to disassemble President Obama’s landmark effort to fight climate change.
House and Senate leaders reached agreement Monday on a bipartisan bill to authorize $170 million for Flint, Michigan, and other cities beleaguered by lead in drinking water, and to provide relief to drought-stricken California.
Having made environmental clean-up history with a specialized plant that breaks apart perchlorate using bacteria, management at West Valley Water District is now focused on creating another type of plant to attack this harmful water pollutant.
The governor’s proposed Delta tunnels could worsen toxic algae blooms like the one that stunk up Stockton’s downtown waterfront this year, according to testimony last week from an expert offered by San Joaquin County.
Four months ago, the Coachella Valley Water District’s managers approved a plan they described as their costliest infrastructure project ever: the construction of small water treatment plants at nearly a third of the district’s 92 wells.
The Environmental Protection Agency had sufficient authority and information to issue an emergency order to protect residents of Flint, Michigan, from lead-contaminated water as early as June 2015 — seven months before it declared an emergency, the EPA’s inspector general said Thursday.
Pesticides can drift off the edges of orchards and end up in streams that provide drinking water and fish habitat. A promising solution: Use a fan to blow the chemical back into the trees as the spray rig moves along.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today [Oct. 5] announced it has reached an agreement with the Orange County Water District to conduct a remedial investigation and feasibility study to address a large area of groundwater contamination in Northern Orange County known as the “North Basin.” The work required by the agreement is expected to take up to two years to complete and is estimated to cost up to $4 million.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency calls nutrient pollution the “single greatest challenge to our nation’s water quality.” Rising concentrations of nitrogen and phosphorus in waterways, the agency reports, are a significant threat to human health, ecosystems, and local economies.
Tests have confirmed the presence of toxic cyanobacteria — also known as “blue-green algae” — in south Delta waterways, state officials said Thursday. The “extensive” bloom is present in Old River and Grantline Canal, along Fabian Tract not far from Tracy and Mountain House, the State Water Resources Control Board announced.
A new study finds that unusually warm Pacific Ocean temperatures helped cause a massive bloom of toxic algae last year that closed lucrative fisheries from California to British Columbia and disrupted marine life from seabirds to sea lions.
The city of Fresno wants to hire two national experts on corrosion in municipal water systems to reduce the odds that discolored-water problems now plaguing northeast Fresno will repeat themselves when a new water treatment plant opens in 2018.
When Erin Brockovich went after PG&E for poisoning groundwater in the desert town of Hinkley, California — a campaign that later became a film starring Julia Roberts — the toxic chemical was a heavy metal called hexavalent chromium.
Cooler temperatures seem to have finally subdued Stockton’s stinky algae monster for 2016, but an expert warned the Delta Protection Commission this week that, in general, toxic blooms are getting worse.
The good news for humans and other mammals, said UC Santa Cruz professor Raphael Kudela, is that the stink and clingy nature of the foamy water at beaches around Monterey Bay is the worst of it, because the algal bloom is not producing a toxin.
California’s five-year drought created ideal conditions for brewing toxic levels of the naturally occurring bacteria, which multiplies rapidly in hot temperatures, low water flows and stagnant water choked with fertilizers and nutrients.
An environmental group said Monday that 55,000 people statewide are at risk of drinking tap water contaminated with arsenic, and many of the communities are poor, mostly Latino towns in the San Joaquin Valley.
The Senate voted to move forward Monday on a $10 billion water projects bill that includes $220 million in emergency funding for Flint, Michigan, and other communities beset by lead-contaminated water.
As the western United States struggles with chronic water shortages and a changing climate, scientists are warning that if vast underground stores of fresh water that California and other states rely on are not carefully conserved, they too may soon run dry.
California’s ban on the use of suction dredges to extract gold from rivers is legal and not overridden by a 19th century federal law that allows mining on federal land, the California Supreme Court ruled Monday.
One of the nation’s leading experts in corrosion problems in public water supplies said that despite considerable concern over discoloration of water coming from galvanized pipes in a growing number of northeast Fresno homes, “at present there’s really no indication at all that there’s a lead problem” in the city’s water under federal law.
Firefighters protected Lake Tahoe’s famously clear water as they quickly snuffed out flames shooting from a docked tourist cruise boat, preventing any fuel or oil leaks, the U.S. Coast Guard said Wednesday.
A new interactive map on the California Water Quality Monitoring Council’s website shows the more than 30 lakes and rivers across the state where blooms of cyanobacteria, commonly known as blue-green algae, have developed.
Surrounded by barren brown hills and cracked, dry clay, San Luis Reservoir was so empty this week that the nearly milelong, meandering path from the old high-water mark to the waterline could have doubled as a set in the post-apocalyptic “Mad Max” film franchise.
A former Fresno water plant operator used a private email server and cell phone to hide complaints of discolored or tainted water from his bosses, city officials said Thursday. … The complaints also were not made public to the state, which is required under state law.
Two recognized experts in drinking water contamination and water chemistry – including the professor who led the investigation into lead contamination in Flint, Mich. – are working with the city of Fresno to find solutions to the corrosion of galvanized residential plumbing in the northeast part of the city.
A study by UC Berkeley and Harvard University researchers finds a firefighting foam containing highly fluorinated chemicals is contaminating drinking water supplies around many of the nation’s military bases, airports and industrial sites.
Last week, University of California Davis Professor Geoff Schladow broke the news gently before a crowd of residents and scientists that Lake Tahoe is still getting warmer, regional winters are still getting shorter, and overall snowfall is still on the decline.
Swimming, boating and fishing are prohibited in Lake Elsinore after water quality officials Friday detected harmful levels of toxins related to blue-green algae. … Algae blooms have also recently forced the closure of Pyramid Lake in Los Angeles County, Lake Temescal in Oakland and Discovery Bay in the Delta.
One hundred and eighty reservoirs statewide are contaminated with excessive levels of mercury, according to studies of fish samples from more than 300 reservoirs conducted by the State Water Resources Control Board.
Either there’s been a spill at the local pea soup plant, or Stockton is suffering another nasty algae outbreak at the downtown waterfront. … The algae problem also has come up this week in Sacramento as state water officials begin extensive hearings that may determine the fate of the proposed Delta tunnels.
The city of Fresno is banning the use of galvanized pipe for plumbing in new construction and remodeling projects as signs point to the venerable material as a prime culprit in concerns over discoloration and lead contamination of water in homes across northeast Fresno.
Fresno City Councilman Lee Brand, who is campaigning to be the city’s next mayor, is proposing two major policy initiatives after a large number of residents, almost exclusively in his northeast district, have complained about discolored and tainted water.
The chief of Fresno’s water operations has been placed on administrative leave over discrepancies in the reporting of water quality issues. … The action is related to an ongoing controversy over problems with discolored water in several hundred homes in northeast Fresno and issues of lead contamination in water coming from residents’ faucets in several dozen homes.
The first test of ocean water following a massive California sewage spill came back clean Wednesday, suggesting stinky sludge that drained into the Los Angeles River didn’t flow 20 miles to the coast, officials said.
Another Memorial Day came and went this year, but the marina at Meeks Bay Resort didn’t open for a third straight season — this time due to a high concentration of pollutants, an issue that apparently has been a concern for more than a decade.
As California regulators plan to set a legal limit on a cancer-causing chemical found in Valley water systems, clean water advocates are urging residents to attend coming public workshops on the issue.
After watching her 13-year-old son throw up everything he ate when they got home from a day of jet skiing at Pyramid Lake, Sharyn Martinez was angered to learn last week that the state is now urging the public to avoid the water there because of a toxic algal bloom.
In California, cyanotoxins have become more of a problem amid the drought and the same toxin that shut down Toledo’s water supply has been detected in lakes, reservoirs and streams across the state. But because standard treatment processes usually get rid of cyanotoxins, water officials say it’s unlikely a similar crisis would unfold here.
Visitors to Lake Shasta should take care because a blue-green algae species has broken out on the Pit River Arm and it could sicken visitors, the Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board reported Thursday.
A vocal and growing number of residents in northeast Fresno are convinced water from the city’s Surface Water Treatment Facility is primarily responsible for corrosion in their pipes, causing discolored water – and in several dozen instances, lead contamination – to flow from their household faucets.
Lead-contaminated water in the drinking fountains at a U.S. Capitol office building has prompted officials to offer blood testing to lawmakers and staff, according to information provided to congressional offices.
Fresno leaders will be sending direct-mail fliers this week to every water customer in the northeastern area of the city, substantially expanding the scope of an investigation into discolored water coming from faucets in hundreds of homes as well as lead contamination in about 40 homes.
Today [July 1], the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency proposed a federal Clean Water Act rule to tighten the current selenium water quality criteria for the waters of San Francisco Bay and Delta. The proposed change would better protect aquatic species, including salmon, smelt, and diving ducks, that are dependent on the Bay and Delta ecosystem, from harmful exposure to elevated levels of selenium.
Hundreds of homes in northeast Fresno have discolored water – and, in some cases, excessive levels of toxic lead – coming from their faucets. And while homeowners clamor for answers about why and what to do about it, those answers are in painfully short supply.
The Coachella Valley Water District has approved a plan to start building treatment plants to remove the potentially hazardous heavy metal chromium-6 from drinking water. … But the district’s managers have also questioned the science behind the regulation and have said they will consider joining a lawsuit to challenge the state’s limit.
Eighteen million Americans live in communities where the water systems are in violation of the law. Moreover, the federal agency in charge of making sure those systems are safe not only knows the issues exist, but it’s done very little to stop them, according to a new report and information provided to CNN by multiple sources and water experts.
I’ve [T. Christian Miller] received a lot of questions about applying investigative reporting techniques to figuring out whether your water is safe — the stuff in your taps, the stuff in your rivers, the stuff at the beach. … The difficulty is partly due to the complexity of the topic. Water is not simple.
Teflon and related brands Gore-Tex, Scotchgard, and Stainmaster — all prized for their water-repelling, stain-protecting, and mess-preventing attributes — seem to contain magical properties. … Last month, seven years after it issued the first health guidelines for PFOA/PFOS in drinking water, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency lowered the recommended level in drinking water to 0.07 parts per billion combined.
Chloride and nitrate concentrations are rising and arsenic levels are holding steady or falling. Those are two of the conclusions from a U.S. Geological Survey assessment of changes in the nation’s groundwater quality in the last two decades.
As birds sing and lizards scuttle in the lush vegetation of the Tijuana River Valley, helicopters circle overhead, and Border Patrol agents on all-terrain vehicles comb the area looking to stop illegal border-crossers.
California’s tireless water warriors have something fresh to fight over, with the introduction of a bill to resolve an irrigation drainage dispute that affects three modest-sized San Joaquin Valley water districts, as well as the much bigger Westlands Water District.
In response to a number of community complaints and a request from a Los Angeles city councilman, the Department of Water and Power said Tuesday that it will investigate why murky brown water has been intermittently flowing from taps in and around Watts in recent months.
Teachers handed out bottled water to hundreds of students at Grape Street Elementary School on Wednesday amid concerns about murky, discolored water flowing from taps and fountains at that school and four others in South Los Angeles.
The military is checking U.S. bases for potential groundwater contamination from a toxic firefighting foam, but most states so far show little inclination to examine civilian sites for the same threat.
Hidden in the brush of the Santa Fe Dam basin on the San Gabriel River, the homeless camp was littered with heaps of broken furniture, disgorged computers, bicycle frames, televisions, disassembled motorcycles, pieces of exercise machines, rotting food, empty containers and half-buried clothes.
Earth Day, celebrated today across the globe, reminds us of the fragile state of our planet. From land contaminated with toxic chemicals to bad air spewed into the atmosphere, the most of us have been affected by pollution in some way. To bring all of this closer to home, we’re listing the 10 most critical environmental problems in Southern California.
As nations around the globe observe Earth Day, one of the most daunting issues facing the world is the mounting waste problem, which impairs public health, pollutes the environment and threatens to drown some poor countries in toxicity. … Pollution runs into rivers and seeps into ground water.
Runoff from autumn storms kicked up the levels of some contaminants in a southwestern Colorado river after a massive spill of toxic mine waste, but concentrations of other pollutants declined or didn’t change, researchers said Friday.
A growing distaste and distrust of tap water has prompted many school districts to spend thousands of taxpayer dollars on heavily marketed filters — some of which use a process that discards some water as waste — even though the schools say there’s nothing wrong with what’s currently flowing from their pipes.
Before you take a gulp of water, try to mentally trace where that water that just gushed out of your taps has been: How did it go from that weird-tasting raindrop to the clear, odorless water that is sitting in your glass now?
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is failing in its mandate to protect underground drinking water reserves from oilfield contamination, according to a federal review singling out lax EPA oversight in California, where the state routinely allowed oil companies to dump wastewater into some drinking water aquifers.
In 2014, for the first time since lead testing began in the 1990s, Los Angeles Department of Water and Power Plant No. 1 violated the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s action-level for lead in drinking water with a reading of 16 parts per billion (ppb).
This railroad town promotes its ties to Abraham Lincoln, Ronald Reagan and the poet Carl Sandburg. But Galesburg’s long history also shows in a hidden way: Aging pipes have been leaking lead into the drinking water for decades.
In another sign that the drought isn’t over in this neck of California, state officials are considering temporarily loosening water quality standards on the Stanislaus and San Joaquin rivers for the third year in a row.
The presence of a metallic element that at high levels has been linked to kidney and liver damage in Coachella’s drinking water could cost the city millions of dollars a year as it works to comply with new state regulations.
[Los Angeles Unified School District] LAUSD’s effort to eliminate lead contamination in tens of thousands of school water fountains is complete at 60 schools, while District officials say it will take another year-and-a-half to finish the process on all 986 L.A. Unified campuses.
For nearly four years, cities in Los Angeles County have voiced complaints that permits required to rid toxic chemicals and bacteria from storm water imposed staggering costs that could bankrupt smaller cities. On Tuesday, two state senators from Sacramento heard their cries.
An initial round of testing for toxic lead in north Stockton’s drinking water has revealed levels far below federal standards and nowhere near what experts found in Flint, Michigan. … Environmental activist Erin Brockovich compared Stockton to Flint during her visit here in early February.
For almost all of its 240-year history, with only episodic interference from nature (the 1930s Dust Bowl) and one big intervention from man (the clean water campaigns of the 1960s and 1970s), the United States has been a place that largely took its water supply and quality for granted.
The White House on Tuesday unveiled several billion dollars’ worth of corporate commitments to water research and development during a high-level summit. Pegged to World Water Day, the summit was intended to draw attention to specific state and corporate pledges as well as new Obama administration initiatives prompted in part by Western states’ drought and the Flint, Michigan, drinking water scandal.
The Obama administration is sounding alarms over potential dangers in the water supplies on the nation’s Indian reservations, saying the vast majority of tribal members live on reservations that haven’t adopted federally approved standards.
As Flint’s water crisis continues to reverberate nationally, policymakers have turned their attention to the fundamental infrastructure challenges at hand. From Los Angeles to New York, many regions are not only contending with aging, overburdened water facilities—including areas with lead pipes similar to Flint—but are also confronting an enormous backlog of costs, severe financial constraints, and difficulty in coordinating action across thousands of individual community water systems.
A Virginia man who leased out property for a marijuana farm in Shasta County has agreed to pay a $100,000 penalty and complete an extensive environmental cleanup for fouling tributaries with sediment from illegal grading.
For two years, the students at Orange Center Elementary School outside of Fresno have been told not to drink the water. … This week US Senator Barbara Boxer, a Rancho Mirage Democrat, introduced a bill to add lead-contaminated drinking water to the federal government’s definition of a disaster, allowing the Federal Emergency Management Agency and other federal agencies to become involved in the Flint response.
The Environmental Protection Information Center announced Tuesday that it has filed to intervene in a lawsuit to defend the North Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board’s decision to not authorize sediment discharge and other associated waste from logging operations into the Elk River watershed.
The Department of Defense has announced that it is testing military sites nationwide to determine if perfluorooctane sulfonate and perfluorooctanoic acid – both chemicals used in foams that extinguish flammable liquids – are in sediments and groundwater around runway areas.
Now, with the suspected cancer-causing chemical PFOA being phased out in the U.S., it is still very much around, turning up in the water in factory towns across the country — most recently in upstate New York and Vermont — where it is blamed by residents for cancers and other maladies.
Chris Rufer, 66, never has been keen on big government and always liked an underdog fight. … That perseverance has Rufer entangled in a $1.5-million battle with water regulators over waste and odors from his tomato processing plant in the Sacramento Valley town of Williams, the largest facility of its kind in the country.
I [Sasha Khokha] have to admit, after the water crisis in Flint, Michigan, I’m a little freaked out about what’s in my tap water. So when I opened my water bill from the city of Fresno recently, I decided to actually read the “consumer confidence report” for drinking water.
When it comes to water, only about half of Americans are very confident in the safety of what’s flowing from their tap, according to an Associated Press-GfK poll, which found that trust is even weaker among minorities and people with lower incomes.
The bill proposed by [Rep. Jackie] Speier and [Rep. Jared] Huffman — the Crab Emergency Disaster Assistance Act of 2016 — seeks to appropriate about $138 million in disaster funds to fishermen and small businesses, including restaurants, that were banking on the commercial season. Sen. Barbara Boxer is expected to introduce its companion bill on Monday.
A federal lawsuit filed Thursday by a local tribe and environmental groups claims the U.S. Forest Service’s recently approved wildfire protection plan for communities near the Klamath National Forest will do just the opposite by increasing fire danger and impacting threatened coho salmon.
Fears of lead contamination swept through the town of Healdsburg this week after parents and officials learned that water at an elementary school contained elevated levels of the toxic metal late last year.
High levels of lead have been discovered in drinking fountains at Healdsburg Elementary School’s main building, county school and public health officials said Wednesday. The lead contamination first was detected over Thanksgiving break.
Humboldt County accounted for the majority of 51 medical marijuana growers who have chosen to enroll in the North Coast’s mandatory water quality protection program that hopes to serve as a model for California.
Crab lovers — keep waiting. State officials decided Wednesday to keep the commercial Dungeness season shuttered until more of the coast is clear of a deadly neurotoxin that stubbornly continues to be found in some of the spindly sea creatures.
A year after an oyster farm was forced to shut down at Point Reyes National Seashore, sparking a bitter controversy over the role of farming in national parks, a coalition of environmentalists on Wednesday filed a lawsuit over a bigger and more explosive target: thousands of dairy and beef cattle in the park.
The House on Wednesday approved legislation to clarify the Environmental Protection Agency’s authority to notify the public about danger from lead in their drinking water – the first action by Congress to respond to the water crisis in Flint, Michigan.
She received a hero’s welcome in Stockton, was lauded on social media and gave a passionate speech before a huge crowd. … But as good as she is at rallying the people, some critics say [Erin] Brockovich falls short when it comes to science.
The Tulsa City Council meeting was already an hour and a half old when out-of-town water consultant Bob Bowcock stepped to the podium and gave his spiel on the dangers of chloramines in the drinking water.
Fish in today’s oceans contain far lower levels of mercury, DDT and other toxic substances than at any time in the last four decades, according to a major review by scientists at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla.
Stockton is not the first city to attract controversy for the use of chloramines, with flare-ups in Vermont, Washington and San Luis Obispo County, among other places. … Federal, state and local authorities, including the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, all say chloramines are safe at levels used in drinking water.
San Joaquin County’s top health expert has no problem with the city of Stockton’s switch to chloramines to treat the drinking water. … His comments came one day after a town hall forum featuring environmental activist Erin Brockovich attracted more than 1,200 people to the Atherton Auditorium at San Joaquin Delta College.
The U.S. Geological Survey has begun collecting private well water samples here as part of a $5.4 million study of the area to determine how much of a cancer-causing chemical in the groundwater is man-made and how much was put there by nature.
The recent addition of chloramines to treat Stockton’s drinking water is not on Tuesday night’s City Council meeting agenda, but a rally on the hot-button issue is scheduled nonetheless late in the afternoon outside City Hall.
Lead pipes like the ones that led to contamination of the tap water in Flint, Michigan, carry water into millions of older homes across the U.S. every day, a legacy of an era before scientists realized the severe long-term health consequences of exposure to the heavy metal.
Over several years, the plan to put chloramines in north Stockton’s drinking water was vetted in public by the City Council and by a citizen oversight group. … But it was a Facebook post late Saturday by renowned environmental activist Erin Brockovich that turned a mostly non-controversial issue into a firestorm of public outrage.
More farmers in drought-stricken California are using oilfield wastewater to irrigate, and a new panel on Tuesday began taking one of the state’s deepest looks yet at the safety of using the chemical-laced water on food crops.
For the first time that many people can remember, California’s Dungeness crab season will not open in time for Christmas, spoiling thousands of holiday feasts in the Bay Area and driving a spike of economic pain deeper into fishermen, wholesalers, restaurants and other businesses that rely on December sales of the regional delicacy.
Since millions of gallons of mining waste burst from an inland iron ore mine a month ago, 300 miles of the Rio Doce stretching to the Atlantic Ocean has turned a Martian shade of bright orange, and the deadly consequences for residents and wildlife are just beginning to emerge.
Some of the world’s biggest temperature jumps are happening in lakes – an ominous sign that suggests problems such as harmful algae blooms and low-oxygen zones hazardous to fish will get worse, says a newly released scientific report.
Looking out at San Francisco Bay, you’d never know it’s dotted with tiny pieces of plastic. … This microplastic threatens fish and may also threaten people who eat them. “We can’t recover it once it’s into our watersheds and oceans,” said Stiv Wilson, campaign director at The Story of Stuff, a nonprofit in Berkeley.
The danger humans could face eating fish poisoned by the toxic algae bloom drifting off the coast of California was made frighteningly clear Monday by scientists at an international conference on marine mammals in San Francisco.
The Environmental Protection Agency engaged in “covert propaganda” and violated federal law when it blitzed social media to urge the public to back an Obama administration rule intended to better protect the nation’s streams and surface waters, congressional auditors have concluded.
A U.S. Interior Department investigation glossed over the federal government’s negligence in a massive toxic wastewater spill from an inactive gold mine that fouled rivers in three states, Republicans in Congress said as they pushed for a more detailed explanation of the accident.
In a trailer park tucked among irrigated orchards that help make California’s San Joaquin Valley the richest farm region in the world, 16-year-old Giselle Alvarez, one of the few English-speakers in the community of farmworkers, puzzles over the notices posted on front doors: There’s a danger in their drinking water.
Lawmakers joined scientists and fearful crabbers in an unusual meeting Thursday to fret over the continued closure of the Dungeness and rock crab fishing seasons, a major economic blow to the state that experts say could be just the beginning of ocean ecosystem trouble.
Rep. Jared Huffman and other Congress members from California sent a letter to the governor Tuesday urging him to keep a close watch on the levels of domoic acid in the crabs linked to an algae bloom, and to be ready to ask the Secretary of Commerce to declare a disaster if the fishery remains closed for the season.
Three million gallons of contaminated water from the Gold King Mine poured into Colorado’s Animas River in August, laden with cadmium, lead and arsenic. … Navajo Nation Council Speaker LoRenzo Bates, a farmer, spoke to the Los Angeles Times about the effect of the spill on his life and the Navajo Nation.
Now, growers will need to obtain cultivation permits and abide by rules for water and pesticide use, with state agencies policing their environmental impact and vetting labs that will test for pesticides and other contaminants.
As Gov. Jerry Brown prepares for his trip to the United Nations summit on climate change in Paris, protesters gathered outside the Capitol on Thursday to say he hasn’t done enough at home in California.
Colorado officials say they didn’t endorse an Environmental Protection Agency cleanup operation that caused a massive spill of toxic wastewater from an inactive mine, disputing a key claim by federal agencies that state experts signed off on the plan.
The word nutrients sounds like a good thing—they make our food healthy, for example. But in our rivers, lakes, and bays, nutrients can pose water quality challenges. … In the Delta, nutrient pollution has contributed to the spread of invasive aquatic plants such as water hyacinth and recurrent blooms of the toxic blue-green alga Microcystis.
The issue of the governor’s request came to light as part of a lawsuit against the state by farmers who accuse the state of doing an inadequate job of preventing water pollution from oil and gas drilling.
Almost 28 years since state regulators learned there was a chromium-6 problem in Hinkley, officials from the same agency approved a comprehensive clean-up order for the world’s largest known plume of this cancer-causing chemical.
Gold is, of course, no longer even a minor factor in California’s economy. But for decades, the 49er spirit has survived in a few thousand semi-professional hobbyists who have used small suction dredges to gather gold-bearing gravel from streams.
The Colorado spill would have been avoided had the EPA team checked on water levels inside the inactive Gold King Mine before digging into its collapsed and leaking entrance, a team of engineers from Interior’s Bureau of Reclamation concluded in a 132-page report released Thursday.
In an attempt to prevent its oil industry from contaminating groundwater sources that could be used for drinking water, California regulators closed 33 wells last week that were injecting oilfield waste into protected aquifers.
North Coast Regional Water Control Board Chairman John Corbett told the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday that water board regulations may require tinkering to encourage marijuana growers to come into compliance.
Among the batch of bills signed by Gov. Jerry Brown last week is one that sets new water quality regulations on certain types of mining popular in the North Coast area and could result in the state lifting its ban on new mining activity that began in 2009.