Lloyd G. Carter, former UPI and Fresno Bee reporter, has been writing about California water issues for more than 35 years. He is President of the California Save Our Streams Council. He is also a board member of the Underground Gardens Conservancy and host of a monthly radio show on KFCF, 88.1 FM in Fresno. This is his personal blog site and contains archives of his news career as well as current articles, radio commentaries, and random thoughts.
Sunday, February 21st at 6:30 p.m. at the Unitarian Universalist Church, 2672 E. Alluvial: the film “Nicotine Bees” will be shown. This film, directed by Kevin Hansen, gets to the truth of why honeybees of the world are in big trouble and why our food supply is in trouble with them. The answers are clear – and have been for several years: filmed on three continents to find out the real reasons bees are in catastrophic decline – and why people don’t want the real story to be told. The simultaneous global decline of honeybees threatens one third of our food supply – yet despite clear cut scientific data, especially from Europe, news reports still refer to the issue as a “mystery”. Come and see the film and find out why the “honeybees” don’t come back home. 53 minutes long. This film is being co-sponsored by the Fresno Center for Nonviolence and the Peace and Justice Coordinating Committee of the Unitarian Universalist Church. Wheelchair accessible. Free admission though donations would be welcome. For more information call the Center at (559) 237-3223 Mon-Fri 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
By Emma Bailey
Michigan is defined by its proximity to five of the largest bodies of freshwater in the world. The state’s geographic placement makes it ideally suited to benefit from clean, glacial lake water for drinking as well as industry, agriculture, recreation tourism and power generation. These waters are a precious nonrenewable resource.
In the last few weeks, the crisis in Flint has highlighted the danger of taking our water for granted. Hidden underground, ageing pipe infrastructure is often ignored – but unless we act fast to upgrade pipeline systems across the country, Flint’s water problems could easily become widespread. Throughout the United States, pipes old enough to be your grandfather frequently bear the responsibility of carrying resources both valuable and volatile.
FROM THE NEW YORK TIMES
2015 Was Hottest Year in Recorded History, Scientists Say
By JUSTIN GILLIS JAN. 20, 2016
Scientists reported Wednesday that 2015 was the hottest year in recorded history by far, breaking a record set only the year before — a burst of heat that has continued into the new year and is roiling weather patterns all over the world.
In the continental United States, the year was the second-warmest on record, punctuated by a December that was both the hottest and the wettest since record-keeping began. One result has been a wave of unusual winter floods coursing down the Mississippi River watershed.
The State Water Resources Control Board Tuesday (Jan. 19) adopted regulations requiring all surface water right holders and claimants to report their diversions. Those who divert more than 10 acre-feet of water per year must also measure their diversions.
The regulations, which apply to about 12,000 water right holders and claimants, require annual reporting of water diversions. The regulations cover all surface water diversions, including those under pre-1914 and riparian water rights, as well as licenses, permits, registrations for small domestic, small irrigation and livestock stockwatering and stockpond certificates.
Previously, pre-1914 and riparian right holders were only required to report every three years, and measurement requirements could be avoided if the right holder deemed them not locally cost effective. About 70 percent of such diverters claimed that exemption.
The goal of the new regulation is to provide more accurate and timely information on water use in California to enable better management of the state’s water resources. READ MORE »
EPA Survey Shows $271 Billion Needed for Nation’s Wastewater Infrastructure
WASHINGTON — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today released a survey showing that $271 billion is needed to maintain and improve the nation’s wastewater infrastructure, including the pipes that carry wastewater to treatment plants, the technology that treats the water, and methods for managing stormwater runoff.
The survey is a collaboration between EPA, states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and other U.S. territories. To be included in the survey, projects must include a description and location of a water quality-related public health problem, a site-specific solution, and detailed information on project cost.
“The only way to have clean and reliable water is to have infrastructure that is up to the task,” said Joel Beauvais, EPA’s Acting Deputy Assistant Administrator for Water. “Our nation has made tremendous progress in modernizing our treatment plants and pipes in recent decades, but this survey tells us that a great deal of work remains.”
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U.S. EPA Requires J.R. Simplot Company to Reduce Emissions at Sulfuric Acid Plant in San Joaquin ValleySubmitted by Lloyd Carter on Wed, 12/16/2015 - 20:59.
SAN FRANCISCO – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Department of Justice has announced a settlement with the J.R. Simplot Company that will resolve a Clean Air Act enforcement case involving its sulfuric acid plant near Lathrop, Calif.
Under the settlement, Simplot will spend over $40 million on pollution controls that will significantly cut sulfur dioxide (SO2) emissions at a total of five acid plants in three states: the Lathrop facility and two plants each in Pocatello, Idaho, and Rock Springs, Wyo. Once implemented, the settlement will reduce SO2 emissions from Simplot’s five plants by more than 50 percent, approximately 2,540 tons per year of reductions. Simplot will carry out a plan to monitor SO2 emissions continuously at all five facilities.
The company will pay a civil penalty of $899,000 and has agreed to fund an environmental mitigation project valued at $200,000 to reduce particulate matter pollution in the San Joaquin Valley. This special project with the San Joaquin Air Pollution Control District will provide incentives to residents living in the San Joaquin Valley to replace or retrofit inefficient, higher-polluting wood-burning stoves and fireplaces with cleaner-burning, more energy-efficient appliances. READ MORE »
WASHINGTON – On the heels of a White House Roundtable on Water Innovation, the U.S. Department of the Interior today (Dec. 16, 2015) launched a new, interactive website to show the dramatic effects of the 16-year drought in the Colorado River Basin. The specialized web tool, otherwise known as Drought in the Colorado River Basin – Insights Using Open Data, shows the interconnected results of a reduced water supply as reservoir levels have declined from nearly full to about 50 percent of capacity. READ MORE »
By Emma Bailey
Human-caused climate change is a very real and urgent threat to all life on this planet. The rapidly worsening issue of global warming requires an immediate switch to energy sources which generate far fewer emissions during production. According to the stabilization wedge theory, we already have the means to get climate change “under control.” The theory surmises that we can and should use a variety of conservation and energy production methods, rather than rely on a single "silver bullet.” Implementing the recommendations of this theory, however, will call for new and ingenious approaches to all aspects of the power production cycle.
A new study, published in the scientific journal Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, has found mercury and selenium in the Grand Canyon segment of Colorado River at concentrations “sufficient to pose exposure risks for fish, wildlife, and humans.” READ MORE HERE: http://www.phoenixnewtimes.com/news/the-grand-canyon-has-an-alarming-amount-of-mercury-and-selenium-7610875.