As students head back to class across California this month, many will sip water from school fountains or faucets that could contain high levels of lead. That’s because two-thirds of the state’s 1,026 school districts have not taken advantage of a free state testing program to determine whether the toxic metal is coming out of the taps and, if so, whether it exceeds federal standards.
The Department of Water Resources issued a warning on Friday for those visiting San Luis Reservoir in Merced County: Don’t go in the water. This is based on the potential health risks associated with cyanobacteria, or blue-green algae, blooms that accumulate into mats of scum and foam floating on the surface and along the shoreline.
Lauren Woeher wonders if her 16-month-old daughter has been harmed by tap water contaminated with toxic industrial compounds used in products like nonstick cookware, carpets and fast-food wrappers. … Tim Hagey, manager of a local water utility, recalls how he used to assure people that the local public water was safe. That was before testing showed it had some of the highest levels of the toxic compounds of any public water system in the U.S.
Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, touring neighborhoods devastated by the Carr Fire, stepped up the Trump administration’s push Sunday to remove more trees from national forests as a means of tamping down fire risks. “We need to manage our forests, we need to reduce the fuels,” Zinke said as he overlooked Whiskeytown Lake in the vicinity where the Carr Fire began July 23.
Florida and Mexico are having a food fight over tomatoes and other fresh produce. Will farmers in California and Washington get caught in the crossfire? That’s one question that swirls around the final negotiations between the Trump administration and Mexico on a revamped North American Free Trade Agreement.
Deputy Interior Secretary David Bernhardt drew no crowd when he quietly entered a Capitol Hill room recently. The No. 2 man at an agency that employs some 70,000 workers and spends about $11.7 billion annually arrived with neither fanfare nor palace guard. When he exited the Cannon House Office Building room after about 45 minutes with several lawmakers, he amiably declined to blab to a waiting reporter.
A week ago, the federal government halted work on a massive pipeline project that runs from Northern West Virginia through Southern Virginia. The government said it had no choice but to order work on the multibillion-dollar Mountain Valley Pipeline stopped after a federal appeals court ruled that two federal agencies had neglected to follow important environmental protections when they approved the project.
The “growth” industry has fueled Arizona’s economy – growth in houses, offices, and places to have fun. Consistent growth is possible, in part, because of prudent water management in the more populated areas of the state. But outside the population hubs, some water rights still are tied up in court, making it hard for developers to plan.
It’s only the beginning of August – typically the height of the farming season – but the irrigation ponds here in Sanpete County [Utah] ran dry a month ago. They are now filled with brush and desperate waterfowl while the land surrounding them lies barren, local farmers having already stripped up most of their crops to glean what little profit they can.
City personnel have removed a group of homeless encampments along the Upper Truckee River. The abandoned homeless camps, which according to the city consisted of trash and other debris, were located in the Truckee River Meadow area behind Motel 6.
The worst fire damage to recreation infrastructure is in Redding and at Whiskeytown National Recreation Area in Shasta County. On the renowned Sacramento River Trail, the Carr Fire destroyed four bridges, according to the city of Redding.
Electric bike enthusiasts are not happy the Marin Municipal Water District is not allowing them to ride on Mount Tamalpais fire trails and are seeking a change in the agency’s code. The district has erected signs in the past several weeks underscoring that the bikes are not allowed. That has raised the hackles of those who ride the bikes. While the signs are new, the policy is not.
Thousands of tourists descend on Death Valley each summer to experience one of the world’s most extreme places at its most extreme. Compared with Terry Eddington, these people are amateurs. The National Park Service custodian is about halfway through her first summer in Death Valley, and she has already lived and worked through a July that may go down as the hottest month recorded on Earth.
The road to UC Santa Cruz winds past old lime kilns, assorted barns and storage sheds. Then a vast meadow opens. Its wild prairie grasses, baked golden on toasty summer days, add a vivid layer of color to the vista of redwood forests beyond and bright blue sky above.
Arizona’s Game and Fish Department is inviting the public to witness the release of endangered California Condors at Vermilion Cliffs National Monument next month. The state agency says the release of several young captive-bred condors is planned for 11 a.m. on Sept. 22.
Readers who responded to a Your Voice question this week about their top environmental concerns last week wanted to know whether the state will run out of water and how to combat global warming. They also wanted to know what the state can do to prevent so many wildfires.
As the conflagration of California continues, the 17 blazes that have cumulatively burned an area the size of Delaware have also gotten people thinking about the connection between climate change and wildfires like never before.