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April to June 2004 Environmental News

June, 2004

UK scientists discover reason for arsenic in drinking water in Bangladesh and the Indian state of West Bengal that has poisoned tens of millions: Blame bacteria
Writing in the journal Nature, researchers at Manchester University say certain kinds of bacteria strip arsenic from earth and deposit it in water which is drawn up in wells and drunk. Their finding may lead to new ways of eliminating arsenic from drinking water. BBC News_ 6/30/04

GAO: Perchlorate efforts by military are inadequate and cleanup costs miscalculated
The Pentagon's estimate of $16 billion to $165 billion for removing perchlorate and other toxins from military sites is almost worthless, congressional investigators said. Furthermore, the report concluded, the Defense Department has no policy either for monitoring or cleaning more than 200 chemicals associated with military munitions from its operational military ranges. The Pentagon disputed the General Accounting Office findings. Los Angeles Daily News_ 6/29/04

Perchlorate in Clovis, New Mexico water supply
Local officials say the levels are so small that water remains safe to drink for most healthy people. But some experts are more concerned than others. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency advocates a standard of 1 part per billion. Clovis’ levels have been recorded about 4 parts per billion each of the past five years. It's not known where the perchlorate found in Clovis comes from. Clovis News Journal_ 6/29/04

Panel ends preliminary hearings into water contamination at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina

The four-member fact-finding panel appointed by the military to look into the problem heard testimony for two days but its chair, Ronald C. Packard, said it is a long way from presenting any findings. According to a panel press release from the management consulting firm, Booz, Allen and Hamilton, volatile organic compounds were detected in some drinking water wells at Lejeune in 1980. The affected wells were closed in 1985. The substances include trichloroethylene and tetrachlorethylene, two known cancer-causing agents that were used as degreasing solvents aboard Camp Lejeune and at a nearby civilian dry cleaner.  New Bern Sun Journal_ 6/26/04

Ann Arbor, Michigan awarded $26,000 grant by the state's Department of Environmental Quality to study how medicines, hormones and other substances are getting into the city's water cycle
Experts say the increasing presence of chemicals and medicines in urbanized waterways is an emerging issue. The substances are not those that local utilities, governments and regulatory agencies routinely monitor because they have not been an issue in the past. And no one knows what, if any, long-term effects they may have on creek health or people who come into contact with them. Ann Arbor News_ 6/26/04 (logon required)

Miscarriages at office building lead to water tests by Allegheny County, Pennsylvania

The Allegheny County Health Department is testing water samples for levels of trihalomethanes, a byproduct that occurs when water is disinfected with chlorine. Scientists for years have studied whether certain contaminants in water cause miscarriages. The issue has produced strong feelings on both sides and some studies have shown a correlation. Indiana Gazette_ 6/26/04

$3M water line could solve Mount Greylock Regional School District's perchlorate-contaminated water problem
Town Manager Peter Fohlin said tapping into Northern Berkshire Health System's water supply would temporarily fix the problem until the water line is built. In May, perchlorate levels over one part per billion were discovered in both water wells at Mount Greylock after the Department of Environmental Protection began mandating testing for the chemical in public water supplies. Since then the school has used bottled water for drinking and cooking. North Adams Transcript_ 6/15/04

Algae in a California water project lake adds earthy, musty smell to Los Angeles tap water

The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California assures customers the water is safe. State is asked to treat water is Castaic Lake for the second time this year. It's a summertime thing. Press Release_ 6/14/04

University of California, Irvine study of existing data concludes perchlorate in water not as harmful as state EPA says: scientist involved in the review resigns from National Academy of Sciences panel assessing health risks of the chemical
Research has linked the chemical, a toxic ingredient in rocket fuel found in drinking water supplies, to thyroid damage and led to state and federal warnings that it may be harmful to pregnant women and young children. The Irvine report found that perchlorate wasn't harmful at higher levels, saying it shouldn't cause hormonal effects in healthy adults at 100 parts per billion, the Los Angeles Times reported. The study didn't draw conclusions about the chemical's impact on pregnant women or people with thyroid problems at the higher levels. Academy officials said the Irvine study could create  the impression that toxicologist Richard Bull had already reached conclusions about perchlorate.  AP/San Francisco Chronicle_ 6/12/04

Officials in Virginia county seek help for uranium-tainted water
Dinwiddie Public Safety Director David Jolly declared a local emergency for two subdivisions and a neighboring water company asked for help with two of its own contaminated wells. State assistance also sought. Petersburg, Virginia Progress-Index_ 6/11/04

New Mexico to propose taking control over surface water quality monitoring
The federal Environmental Protection Agency currently performs those duties.
New Mexico is the only state in Region 6, which also includes Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Louisiana, that does not have primacy over its surface water. Carlsbad Current-Argus_ 6/9/04

Pollution shifting rain patterns in California's Sierra Nevada, worldwide
Air pollution appears to be altering rainfall patterns in the Sierra and around the world, said atmospheric scientist Veerabhadran Ramanathan of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla. It's the latest fallout from an exploding human population that over the last half-century has pushed untold tons of smog, soot and ash into the atmosphere. Ramanathan co-led a 1999 study that reported the existence of a vast "brown cloud" of pollution, dust and chemicals that he believes is slowing solar evaporation from the oceans and leading to a net reduction in world rainfall. AP/San Francisco Chronicle_ 6/10/04

Water quality in eastern North Carolina holding its own: Hog farmers and environmentalists credit cooperation
A study, using data gathered over 30 years by the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources, showed that in most instances water quality in the eastern part of the state was stable or improved during that period of time.The improvement came during a time when hog production was increasing in eastern North Carolina. Chuck Stokes, a Greene County hog farmer and former president of Frontline Farmers, a group of about 150 contract hog farmers seeking ways to improve hog production practices, gave credit to environmentalists, regulatory agencies and farmers for their efforts in improving water quality. "Frankly speaking, our industry needed cleaning up," he said. New Bern Sun Journal_ 6/9/04

Oklahoma University admits to 381 water violations
OU has admitted using four water wells with dangerous levels of arsenic and selenium for its campus water supply between 1995 and 2003, according to the results of an audit released by state water-quality officials. OU will not pay any fines for the violations. Instead, it will educate the OU community about the federal violations and submit additional water samples to ensure OU’s water system complies with all water-quality guidelines in the future, according to a consent order completed by water-quality officials at the Department of Environmental Quality.  The Oklahoma Daily_ 6/9/04

Levee gives way near Stockton; Utility officials say Bay Area water supply is safe
A huge section of a dirt levee gave way in the fertile farmlands of Stockton, Calif. Thursday morning, flooding crops and more than a dozen homes, sending 270 people fleeing for higher ground and leaving state officials scrambling to protect the state's water supply. State and local water officials said that, as of early afternoon, nearby water supply lines serving the East Bay Municipal Utility District and the California Aqueduct, which ships to Southern California, were safe, but they were keeping close watch on the situation as the break in the levee continued to grow.  San Francisco Chronicle_6/4/04

27 die from contaminated water in Pakistan
Contaminated water from a public reservoir is believed to have killed as many as 27 people and sickened more than 3000 over the past two weeks in the southern city of Hyderabad, Pakistan, health authorities said. Officials have said they believe the water may have been contaminated by chromium, lead and other toxins flowing from upstream factories.  The Australian_ 6/4/04

Bennington, Vermont's $7 million water treatment plant upgrade will end acid problems
The town's 2004 water report shows haloacetic acid, a by-product of the chlorine disinfection system, exceeds the maximum contamination level of 60 parts per billion. The finding does not pose an immediate risk, but if high amounts are consumed over many years it does pose a cancer risk, according to the report. The upgrade should be finished in about two years.
Bennington Banner_ 6/2/04


May, 2004
Washington, D.C. Water and Sewer Authority (WASA) adds lead-protection chemical to drinking water

Officials said orthophosphate is supposed to form a protective coating inside lead water pipes, to keep lead from leaching into the water. The lead-reduction program will reach the entire city and Northern Virginia in phases over several weeks. AP/NBC4.com_ 6/1/04

Heavy Mid-west rains lead Wisconsin officials to urge homeowners to test well water for contamination
Private wells provide drinking water to 750,000 residences in Wisconsin. If a laboratory test finds bacteria or other contaminants in well water, officials said, homeowners should disinfect the well and the home's plumbing system. While waiting for test results, well owners should buy bottled water or obtain water from some other safe supply.  Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel_ 5/27/04 (logon required)

U.S. Army orders worldwide environmental cutbacks to save money
Some of the programs to be cut include protecting endangered species, disposing of munitions in open-air burning and monitoring groundwater. According to a May 11 memo obtained by The Associated Press, the cuts are authorized until after the new fiscal year begins in October. The Pentagon spends $4 billion on military environmental programs each year. AP/San Francisco Chronicle_ 5/27/04

Central California's Alisal Water Co. fined $500,000 for federal Safe Drinking Water Act violations

It's the largest penalty ever against a public water system. Federal Judge Jeremy Fogel said the fine was so large because of officials' "refusal to cooperate with regulators over a span of years." The federal government filed the action in 1997 alleging that defendants submitted false drinking water reports to state and local regulators in the early 1990s. An attorney for the water company said it likely will appeal. Alisal Water mostly serves customers in East Salinas and North Monterey County. AP/San Francisco Chronicle_ 5/26/04


Maui, Hawaii to reduce, change water additive used to reduce lead
In response to continuing consumer complaints about skin rashes and other health problems, the Maui Department of Water Supply has started reducing the amount of phosphoric acid added to the Upcountry water system. The county will be eventually eliminate the chemical additive from the system and replace it with soda ash or another substance. The water department is under orders from the state Department of Health, acting on behalf of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, to reduce high levels of lead caused by leaching of pipes in some older Upcountry homes. Honolulu Advertiser_ 5/24/04

More than 90,000 in Ohio drink water from public systems that exceed pending federal arsenic limits

Statewide, most public water systems meet a new arsenic standard that takes effect in 19 months, according to a Columbus Dispatch analysis of four years of tests at 2,000 water systems. The 2 million Ohioans who drink from private wells, however, won’t be protected by the new standard. The Ohio Department of Health checks new private wells for bacteria and other contaminants but not arsenic, unless the homeowner pays about $20 for the additional test. Columbus Dispatch_ 5/23/04

Florida county to provide 17 Televast homeowners with water while their wells are tested for contamination
The homes are near a former American Beryllium Co. plant that polluted the ground water, and a five-acre plume of contaminated water is threatening private wells.  Herald Tribune_ 5/22/04

Lead levels in D.C. water slashed after switch from chloramines disinfectants to chlorine
The change in disinfectants for annual pipe-flushing this spring provides the first concrete evidence of the cause of excessive lead levels in thousands of homes. The treatment plants stopped using chlorine in 2000 because it creates byproducts that are linked to cancer with chronic exposure. Water experts say further study is needed before they decide whether chlorine will play a role in solving the city's lead problem.

Washington Post_ 5/21/04

AWWA advocates independent study of DC lead situation in U.S. House Committee testimony; Lead problem does not appear to be nationwide
The American Water Works Association (AWWA) emphatically supports measures to reduce lead exposure and promote public health, AWWA Water Utility Chairman Howard Neukrug told the U.S. House Committee on Government Reform during testimony on elevated lead levels in Washington D.C.'s drinking water and the situation's national implications. His recommendations included asking a group such as the National Academy of Engineering to examine the Washington, D.C. incident for lessons that can be learned. Press Release_ 5/21/04

Elevated perchlorate levels found in water serving Williamstown, Massachusetts school

Perchlorate levels in the water at Mount Greylock Regional School District exceeding one part per billion have been confirmed by the Department of Environmental Protection. The levels could present health problems for pregnant women, pre-pubescent children, and people with hypo-thyroidism. North Adams, Massachusetts Transcript_ 5/20/04

Washington, D.C. to add the anti-corrosion agent zinc orthophosphate to the city's water supply to reduce lead levels
Washington residents have been drinking bottled water and lining up for blood tests since January, when local media first reported poorly publicized official tests showing water lead levels exceeded federal standards in thousands of homes in the U.S. capital.  Reuters_ 5/19/04

Scientist William Glaze resigns from panel reviewing contaminated drinking water at Camp Lejeune
Glaze was one of two men with scientific backgrounds added to the panel after critics complained the original three members were too close to the military or lacked scientific expertise. Former U.S. congressman Ronald Packard, the panel's chair, Glaze was concerned his involvement with two organizations that might review the panel's findings could eventually create a conflict of interest. Jacksonville, North Carolina Daily News_ 5/19/04

Army tests new Cape Cod perchlorate cleanup plan
Tiny gold-tinted beads that look like glitter for a grade school art project may be the answer to perchlorate water contamination from Cape Cod's Massachusetts Military Reservation to communities in California. Cape Cod Times_ 5/14/04

Camp Lejeune families angry at toxic water investigators
Chair of panel investigating water contamination at North Carolina base says the military will be calling the shots when it comes to what the commission can investigate. "This is not a panel that is going to be doing a lot of scientific research on the problem," said Ron Packard, a retired U.S. Representative. "We're not going to make any recommendations on how the problem can be resolved. This is simply not our mission."  WECT Wilmington_ 5/11/04

Interview: Indian Ocean could lose coral islands in 50 years
Dr Carl Lundin, head of the marine programme of the Swiss-based World Conservation Union (IUCN), predicted the coral losses if sea temperatures continue to rise and reefs badly damaged by global warming do not recover. Found in warm, clear, shallow waters of tropical oceans worldwide, reefs have functions ranging from providing food and shelter to fish and invertebrates to protecting the shore from erosion. Reuters_  5/10/04

Military panel looking into past drinking water contamination on Camp Lejeune scheduled to tour base
Also, U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Dole asked Congress to allow the U.S. Comptroller General to investigate the contamination, which is believed to have ended in the mid-1980s. The military panel coming to Camp Lejeune has been criticized by Dole and others because of members' ties to the military. New Bern, North Carolina Sun Journal_ 5/10/04

Florida dairies must get wastewater discharge permits after legislature refuses to block a court order
A judge ruled in March that dairy farmers' voluntary best management practices weren't working to clean up nitrates in the state's waters. He said not only should large dairies get permits, but smaller ones whose waste water might affect ground water as well. Naples Daily News_ 5/10/04

Kentucky spring water's health benefits weighed against contaminants
People in Appalachia are rediscovering the natural springs that were the primary water supply for early settlers in the mountain region. It's a trend that has caught the attention of government regulators, who warn that some springs could be polluted with contaminants that might make people ill. AP/Cincinnati Enquirer 5/9/04

North Carolina's Onslow County Public Utilities completes lead and copper tests on home water lines
But until a corrosion control system is installed, those who live in these homes should continue to take precautions with the water they drink, said Karen Wallace, operator in responsible charge. The county intends to add orthophosphates to the water sometime in 2005. The chemicals will coat the lead and copper pipes to prevent leaching. Jacksonville, North Carolina Daily News_ 5/10/04

For 28 cows and precious Arizona water, Wally Klump vows to sit in jail
"Sometimes a man has to die for what he believes in before anyone knowed he truly believed it," says the 70-year-old rancher who refuses to remove cows from federal land. Arizona is expected to grow by 40 percent in the next 20 years and officials wonder where the future's water will come from. Recycled toilet water is one idea. The retirement of ranchers is another. About 20,000 ranchers have their cattle grazing on federal land in the West, and how the land and water regulations are being enforced is the key to their survival or death.  New York Times_ 5/9/04 (logon required)

Perchlorate threatens a $17.5 million well system created on Cape Cod by the Pentagon after pollutants from the Massachusetts Military Reservation contaminated the old drinking water system

The discovery of perchlorate in groundwater near the new wells now puts that water supply in doubt. Board members of the Upper Cape Water Cooperative are weighing their options as Army cleanup officials investigate groundwater contamination near the water supply.The pollution could pose a threat to the wells in 12 years. Cape Cod Times_ 5/7/04

Washington, D.C.'s Water and Sewer Authority's new public health adviser says lead in drinking water is a minor source of exposure for children and poses the greatest risk to those who already have high lead levels in their blood from other sources
The view of Tee L. Guidotti, a physician and public health expert from George Washington University, that water accounts for 7 percent of the lead exposure in 2-year-olds is different from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's widely cited estimate that water accounts for as much as 20 percent of lead exposure for the overall population. Guidotti said his figure for toddlers comes from the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, which is part of the U.S. Health and Human Services Department.  Washington Post_ 5/7/04 (logon required)

Royal Caribbean International to upgrade cruise ship wastewater systems
The new equipment will clean the up to 24,000 gallons of sewage or "blackwater" and 265,000 gallons of "graywater" dumped daily from the cruise ships' laundries, showers, sinks and dishwashers.  AP/San Francisco Chronicle_ 5/5/04

Pentagon misses April 30 deadline for report to Congress on perchlorate contamination
A spokesperson said there was no particular reason for the delay and the report on the rocket fuel contamination at U.S. defense sites would be ready in a few days.
Perchlorate has been found in drinking water supplies in 22 states where it was manufactured and handled. It has been linked to damage to the thyroid and may be especially harmful to infants. The Environmental Protection Agency is working on its first national standard for perchlorate in drinking water but is not expected to issue a final standard until 2006. AP/San Francisco Chronicle_ 5/3/04

Officials: Manure Spill Won't Affect Drinking Water
After an accident on a Rockville farm dumped about 100,000 gallons of manure Friday into Mill Creek which feeds into the St. Cloud drinking water supply, St. Cloud officials say: "Drink away."  "With dilution and the plant we have, the quality of the water wasn't compromised to the extent that our plant wouldn't have been able to handle it ... It's not much different from what we do to handle the spring runoff," officials said.  St. Cloud Times_  5/1/04

April, 2004

Tests Show High Levels of Lead in School Water
Students at Wedgwood Elementary may have been exposed to excessive levels of lead in their drinking water for years, but it remains unknown whether the problem is as serious throughout Seattle Public Schools. Schools across the country have been dealing with lead-contaminated water, which generally occurs from the corrosion of aging plumbing.  Seattle Times_4/30/04

Scientists Report How Protons Induce Water Cages

University researchers have reported new data on how the fundamental arrangement of water molecules is affected by the presence of protons. The surprising flexibility of water molecules makes water the medium of choice for biological systems.  Press Release_4/30/04

Company Could Be Penalized After California Fuel Leak
Kinder Morgan Energy Partners may face fines or criminal penalties after failing to promptly report a diesel spill that polluted wetlands near San Francisco Bay.  Reuters_4/29/04

Trees' upper limit? 425 feet, scientists say. The key is water.
A team of U.S. scientists gingerly hauled themselves and more than $30,000 worth of sensitive instruments to the tops of the planet's tallest living organisms — 2,000-year-old California redwoods — and came back with a tentative answer to the height riddle.
Trees rely on evaporation to pull water hundreds of feet into the air. Upon reaching the leaves, water evaporates into the air through thousands of tiny pores. Water can require as much as 24 days to reach the top of a giant redwood, studies show. Baltimore Sun/Seattle Times_ 4/27/04

9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rules more water will flow down the Trinity River this spring than has been released in years
When former U.S. Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt signed the Trinity restoration plan in 2000, Westlands Water District and other Central Valley water and power users sued. While the plan has been stalled in litigation, U.S. District Court Judge Oliver Wanger has in previous years allowed a portion of the flows to go down the river. But with an average winter, the plan called for more water than Wanger allowed. The Hoopa Valley Tribe petitioned the 9th Circuit -- where the larger case rests -- to allow higher flows. Times-Standard_ 4/27/04

Oklahoma University hasn't filed required water samples to the state since 1997 after several university wells were found to have dangerous levels of arsenic, the Oklahoma Daily reports
The 1974 Safe Drinking Water Act requires administrators of public water systems to submit quarterly compliance samples to water-quality officials if they continue to use wells with arsenic levels exceeding maximum contaminant limits. Oklahoma Daily_ 4/26/04
Source of perchlorate in Hills, Iowa water wells may never be found, officials say
The Environmental Protection Agency is investigating how the chemical got into the wells, but the EPA's Craig Smith said they may never find the source. The EPA found the perchlorate several years ago as part of an unrelated national survey of federal grain bin sites. Residents don't know if the pollution has hurt them or even how long they've been drinking it. AP/KCCI_ 4/26/04

Legislative deadline clouds future of hoped for agreement by Florida lawmakers on Everglades protection

Developers and environmentalists at odds over pledge by both President and Governor Bush to give the Everglades the water it needs to survive. Palm Beach Post_ 4/26/04

California sets limits on arsenic in water 2,500 times lower than upcoming federal standard

The new state limit is so low it can't be measured by existing technology. It will be expensive for local ratepayers to cover the cost of cleaning up water to meet the goal.
AP/Tri-Valley Herald_ 4/24/04
Monitors of the Salton Sea, California's largest lake, endorse $730 million restoration plan that shrinks it to less than half its current size
Scientists have warned for more than 40 years that receding waters and increasing salinity would eventually doom the Salton Sea, a vital fishery teeming with hundreds of bird species that was once a southeastern California tourist destination. The Salton Sea Authority cannot independently implement the plan but hopes its endorsement will prompt state and federal officials to act. AP/San Francisco Chronicle_ 4/22/04
Approximately 100 water utility professionals poured onto Capitol Hill on Earth Day to elevate critical drinking water issues onto the agendas of Congressional lawmakers
The water professionals were participating in the second day of the Water Matters! Fly-In, organized by the American Water Works Association. Some 300 meetings with U.S. Representatives, Senators and staff focused on the urgency of investing in water security and infrastructure, the need to protect water sources from contamination and other issues. Press Release/U.S. Newswire_ 4/22/04
State and federal authorities would be helpless to prevent more perchlorate contamination in Southern California drinking water if Congress grants the Pentagon broad new environmental exemptions, a coalition of public water agencies warns
The Department of Defense, arguing that its ability to train soldiers for war is at stake, seeks leeway from the Clean Air Act and from hazardous waste laws at thousands of firing and bombing ranges nationwide. Los Angeles Daily News_ 4/22/04
Three environmental groups sue EPA for breaching the Clean Water Act by failing to require Florida to clean up more of its waterways
The Environmental Protection Agency signs off on state lists of polluted waterways and clean up plans, often requiring changes, such as the addition of more waterways. The Sierra Club, Save our Suwannee Inc. and the Florida Public Interest Research Group filed a federal lawsuit alleging the EPA violated the Clean Water Act by not stepping in when 161 polluted lakes and streams were left off Florida's list, approved in June. AP/Lakeland Ledger_ 4/22/04
Former Marine tells Congress military shouldn't be exempt from U.S. environmental laws
Retired Marine Jerry Ensminger said his daughter died because of contaminated water at Camp Lejeune nearly 20 years ago. Rep. John Dingell, D-Mich., said the Department of Defense has been trying for three years to gain exemption from environmental laws. AP/Charlotte Observer_ 4/21/04

Interior secretary calls for blueprint for protecting Lake Mead
More money and planning are needed to protect the water, recreation and environmental benefits that Lake Mead provides to southern Nevada and the surrounding region, federal and local officials said. AP/San Chronicle_ 4/20/04

Army gives bottled water to about 40 families near an old ammunition dump in Baraboo, Wisconsin
Trace amounts of DNT, a dangerous, potentially cancer-causing compound used in the manufacture of ammunition were recently found in several private wells nearby. The levels were below state minimums and officials said the bottled water was a precaution, but not a health necessity. WISC News 3_ 4/19/04

South Florida Water Management District board members use 1972 state law for the first time and vote to "reserve" part of the Loxahatchee River flow to protect the environment

The section of Florida law has been attacked by developers. Palm Beach Post_ 4/15/04

Agilent and Metrohm develop new method for detecting perchlorate contamination in water
Perchlorate, an explosive propellant used in rocket fuel, is a widespread and potentially harmful contaminant that affects thyroid function. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has set a preliminary public health goal (PHG) of 1 part per billion (ppb) for perchlorate in water. The new Agilent Technologies Inc. and Metrohm AG method can detect perchlorate at levels below 100 parts per trillion in drinking or surface water, allowing regulators and testing laboratories to reliably and easily identify water supplies that approach or exceed the PHG level. Press Release/Analytik-News_ 4/16/04

Long-term exposure to nitrates in drinking water does not raise the likelihood of developing pancreatic cancer, according to the American Journal of Epidemiology

Overall, the researchers conclude: "The average nitrate level in community water supplies over an approximately 25-year period was not associated with pancreatic cancer risk in this study population." However, the risk may be increased with the consumption of dietary nitrite from animal products. Reuters_ 4/14/04

Colorado River ranked most endangered on conservation group American Rivers' list of most threatened U.S. rivers

The Big Sunflower River in Mississippi, which was the most endangered river last year, was No. 2 on the new list. Other rivers on the list were the Snake, the Tennessee, the Allegheny, Monongahela, the Spokane River, the Housatonic, the Peace River, Big Darby Creek and the Mississippi River, which the group said faces ‘‘ecological collapse.’’ AP/Yuma Sun_ 4/14/04
Officials: Water at Pensacola, Florida schools now safe after radium scare
Nearly 1,000 children at two schools are drinking from water fountains again after a four-month ban due to high radium levels. AP/Miami Herald_ (logon required) 4/14/04

Some residents of a Michigan community will get free water hookups to replace water contaminated by industrial waste fly ash from a landfill

About 140 residents of The Pines will get a free connection to Michigan City water service. Another 70 residents will receive bottled water as a precaution, but might not receive a permanent connection.
Herald Argus_ 4/14/04

Southern California's Metropolitan Water District opposes Defense Department's effort to exempt all military bases and defense contractors from federal environment laws
Metropolitan's board specifically cited perchlorate contamination that has tainted numerous Southern California surface water and groundwater resources and has been linked to Defense Department activities and contractors. Press Release_ 4/13/04
Wyoming governor: Coalbed water quality must be addressed
Water quality concerns are rising as drilling moves northwest away from the relatively pure water discharged in operations close to Gillette and into the more problematic Big George coal seam. The seam's water quality is significantly lower than that of other coal deposits in the region, and in many cases the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality forbids its discharge into the state's waterways. AP/Billings Gazette_ 4/13/04

Baxter, Arkansas water association seeks answer to radium problem
Newton County wells are sapped and there are worries about radium in the water in the rural, hilly area between Harrison and Russellville, both problems prompting the Mount Sherman Water Association to come up with a new water source. AP/Baxter, Ar., Bulletin_ 4/12/04

Seabrook, New Hampshire residents are billed $6 million in water-related expenses, yet they can’t drink the water, wash their clothes, water their lawns, or fill their swimming pools
And the latest water trouble was a state mandate to boil water due to the discovery of E. coli bacteria. Portsmouth, N.H., Herald_ 4/11/04
Corps of Engineers expands Clean Water Act wetland protection in nine western states to irrigation canals and drainage ditches connecting to navigable or interstate waterways
As part of a settlement resolving a legal challenge by the National Wildlife Federation, the wetlands and streams that flow into these man-made channels also will be granted protections from being polluted or filled by developers. Los Angeles Times/San Francisco Chronicle_ 4/9/04
Bottled water at Fallon, Nevada schools to stop with new arsenic treatment plant
Since November, bottled water has been provided to students in the school system after the fountains were turned off so the youngsters wouldn't be tempted to drink municipal water, which contains 100 parts per billion of arsenic and violates federal standards. AP/San Francisco Chronicle 4/9/04
U.S. Senator seeks reform of Safe Drinking Water Act in wake of D.C. lead problems
Sen. James M. Jeffords (I-Vt.) said he will propose legislation to provide better notification for residents whose water has high lead levels, require increased water testing in schools and day-care centers nationwide and provide more federal funding to upgrade distribution systems. Jeffords made his announcement as he and other senators grilled the leaders of the D.C. Water and Sewer Authority and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency about their handling of the findings that thousands of D.C. homes have water with lead levels that exceed federal limits. Washington Post_ 4/8/04

Ohio cities working to phase in rules for stormwater runoff
New Ohio Environmental Protection Agency stormwater regulations require that municipalities take steps to ensure stormwater discharges are as unpolluted as possible. The discharges are produced by runoff from paved streets, rooftops, parking lots and construction sites when it rains or snows. Columbus Business First 4/2/04

Maine water bill setting Androscoggin River cleanup standards at a level below the federal minimums delayed in the state Senate
The river is one of Maine's most polluted waterways and opponents fear that if the bill passes it would set a precedent for other rivers in the state. Times-Record 4/2/04
Pennsylvania town with TCE contaminated wells must wait about a year for water hookups
The state Department of Environmental Protection is working on setting a contamination level above which residents would receive filtration systems until they are connected to public water. Reading Eagle/KRT/Miami Herald 4/2/04

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