clean water act

Catching up with the "Crude" court case

Catching up with the "Crude" court case

When it premiered in January 2009 at the Sundance Film Festival, Joe Berlinger’s documentary CRUDE opened many filmgoers’ eyes to the plight of 30,000 people from five indigenous tribes in Ecuador. These residents of what had been a beautiful, biodiverse rain forest were suffering the effects of what has become known as the “Amazon Chernobyl,” in which, they and others contend, 18 billion gallons of toxic oil waste had been dumped in their rivers and on their land. The water they drank, bathed and played in had been poisoned, and their children, siblings and parents were sick and dying in alarming numbers.

H.2O: Discussing water with Maude Barlow of the United Nations, part one

H.2O: Discussing water with Maude Barlow of the United Nations, part one

Water nourishes every aspect of life on Earth. Most Americans take access to water for granted. The grim reality is that fresh water is getting harder to find. When communities cannot get clean water, people are often forced to choose between dying of thirst or drinking disease-ridden polluted water. This heartbreaking situation is playing itself…

World Water Day: California Students March for Water

World Water Day: California Students March for Water

LOS ANGELES, California, March 19, 2009 (ENS) – In observance of World Water Day on March 22, hundreds of students from Los Angeles schools will join activists and concerned residents for a community March for Water to increase public awareness of the water crisis in California and around the world. The march begins at LA…

House Approves Funding for Clean Water Infrastructure Upgrades

House Approves Funding for Clean Water Infrastructure Upgrades

WASHINGTON, DC, March 19, 2009) – A bill that will help bridge the multi-billion dollar annual gap between wastewater infrastructure needs and available funding is working its way through Congress. The Water Quality Investment Act of 2009 (H.R. 1262), approved Friday by the House, renews the federal government’s commitment to clean water by authorizing $19.8…

Environmental Judge Orders Vermont to Act on Stormwater

Environmental Judge Orders Vermont to Act on Stormwater

MONTPELIER, Vermont, February 23, 2009 (ENS) – For the second time in seven months, the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources has been handed a court order to implement stormwater regulations that will protect water quality in five Chittenden County brooks. Environmental Court Judge Thomas Durkin last week reaffirmed his August 2008 order to the state…

Appeals Court Reverses Limits on Mountaintop Removal Coal Mining

Appeals Court Reverses Limits on Mountaintop Removal Coal Mining

RICHMOND, Virginia, February 17, 2009 (ENS) – A federal appeals court Friday reversed a lower court ruling that limited the controversial coal mining practice called mountaintop removal. In mountaintop removal coal operations, the peaks of mountains are blasted away with explosives to expose coal seams and the waste materials are dumped into streams, causing what…

U.S. EPA Steps In to Set Florida Water Quality Standards

U.S. EPA Steps In to Set Florida Water Quality Standards

WASHINGTON, DC, January 21, 2009 (ENS) – In one of the final acts of the Bush administration, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has announced that it will set “water quality standards for nutrients” for all Florida surface waters. The standards will apply to concentrations of the agricultural nutrients nitrogen and phosphorus in state waters. The…

Shell to Pay $1 Million for Water Pollution in Puerto Rico

Shell to Pay $1 Million for Water Pollution in Puerto Rico

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico, January 15, 2009 (ENS) – For discharging pollutants into a creek that flows to the Caribbean Sea, a Shell petrochemical company in Puerto Rico has agreed to pay a $1,025,000 penalty and spend at least $273,800 enhancing its pollution controls and monitoring to remedy the Clean Water Act violations. The agreement…

Oklahoma Pipeline Company Fined $3.3M for Jet Fuel Spill

Oklahoma Pipeline Company Fined $3.3M for Jet Fuel Spill

DALLAS, Texas, January 9, 2009 (ENS) – An Oklahoma pipeline company will pay the federal government $3.3 million for spilling a large amount of jet fuel into a Texas creek in 2007. The Explorer Pipeline Company of Tulsa has agreed to pay the civil penalty to resolve an alleged violation of the Clean Water Act…

Court Cancels EPA Clean Water Act Exemption for Pesticides

Court Cancels EPA Clean Water Act Exemption for Pesticides

CINCINNATI, Ohio, January 7, 2009 (ENS) – Environmental groups today celebrated their victory as an appeals court vacated a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency rule that has allowed pesticides to be applied to U.S. waters without a Clean Water Act permit. On November 27, 2007, the EPA issued the final rule, which states that pesticides applied…

Honolulu Must Spend Over $1 Billion on Wastewater Treatment

Honolulu Must Spend Over $1 Billion on Wastewater Treatment

HONOLULU, Hawaii, January 6, 2009 (ENS) – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today issued final decisions to not renew the City and County of Honolulu’s variances exempting the Sand Island and Honouliuli Wastewater Treatment plants from full secondary treatment requirements. The decision forces the city to upgrade both plants to bring them into compliance with…

Chesapeake Bay Foundation Sues EPA to Force Cleanup

Chesapeake Bay Foundation Sues EPA to Force Cleanup

WASHINGTON, DC, January 5, 2008 (ENS) – The Chesapeake Bay Foundation today filed a lawsuit to require the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to reduce pollution of all kinds enough to remove the nation’s largest estuary from the federal impaired waters list. Calling it “the most significant lawsuit in the history of Bay restoration,” with “unprecedented…

Rapanos Will Pay for Clean Water Act Violations

Rapanos Will Pay for Clean Water Act Violations

DETROIT, Michigan, December 30, 2008 (ENS) – In long-running case that affects the scope of federal jurisdiction over wetlands and other waters, developer John Rapanos and related defendants agreed Monday to resolve violations of the Clean Water Act at three sites in Midland and Bay counties, Michigan. Rapanos has agreed to pay a $150,000 civil…

Commercial Ship Discharges Now Need Clean Water Permit

Commercial Ship Discharges Now Need Clean Water Permit

WASHINGTON, DC, December 19, 2008 (ENS) – A new general permit will reduce releases of 26 types of discharges from vessels operating in U.S. waters, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Beginning today, some 61,000 domestically flagged commercial vessels and 8,000 foreign flagged vessels will need to comply with the discharge permit. As a…

Bush Administration Covered Up 500+ Blocked Water Pollution Cases

Bush Administration Covered Up 500+ Blocked Water Pollution Cases

WASHINGTON, DC, December 16, 2008 (ENS) – The results of a Congressional investigation released today detail the collapse of the Clean Water Act enforcement program in the wake of a Supreme Court decision that clouded the question of whether rivers, streams and wetlands remain protected from pollution and development. The report reveals more than 500…

Stormwater Violations Costly for Massachusetts Developer

Stormwater Violations Costly for Massachusetts Developer

BOSTON, Massachusetts, December 11, 2008 (ENS) – A Massachusetts construction company building a public high school on 35 acres next to the Aberjona River will pay a $135,000 penalty for discharging polluted stormwater from its Reading, Massachusetts construction site and four other sites in Massachusetts. The federal agency could have penalized the developer up to…

Portland Malls, Hotels Now Need Permits for Stormwater Discharge

Portland Malls, Hotels Now Need Permits for Stormwater Discharge

PORTLAND, Maine, December 8, 2008 (ENS) – Properties with more than one acre of impervious area, such as parking lots and large roofs, must from now on apply for a Clean Water Act permit for stormwater discharges to Long Creek, which drains a watershed in the Portland metropolitan area. Long Creek does not meet required…

Highest U.S. Court Ponders Power Plants and Fish Protection

Highest U.S. Court Ponders Power Plants and Fish Protection

WASHINGTON, DC, December 4, 2008 (ENS) – The U.S. Supreme Court is wrestling with the difficulty of valuing fish and aquatic organisms with little or no commercial worth, hearing arguments in a legal dispute over what steps older power plants should take to limit water use and minimize environmental harm. In oral arguements Tuesday, the…

Charles River Property Owners Must Now Control Stormwater

Charles River Property Owners Must Now Control Stormwater

BOSTON, Massachusetts, December 1, 2008 (ENS) – The U.S. EPA and the state of Massachusetts are about to impose stormwater permit controls on industrial, commercial and high-density residential facilities in the Charles River watershed. Stormwater containing high levels of phosphorus is blamed for neon blue-green algae blooms of toxic cyanobacteria that have taken over the…

New York Proposes Cleanup for Onondaga Lake Tributaries

New York Proposes Cleanup for Onondaga Lake Tributaries

ALBANY, New York, November 28, 2008 (ENS) – The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation will unveil proposals to clean up contaminated soils in two Onondaga Lake tributaries at a public meeting on December 10. The meeting will be held to present the plans, to elaborate on the reasons for recommending the preferred remedies,…

Rum Maker Bacardi Settles Polluted Water Case

Rum Maker Bacardi Settles Polluted Water Case

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico, November 6, 2008 (ENS) – The Bacardi corporation and the U.S. EPA have reached an agreement that spells out the resolution of Clean Water Act violations at Bacardi’s rum manufacturing facility in Cataño, Puerto Rico. Under the agreement, a consent decree approved by the U.S. District Court for Puerto Rico, Bacardi…

New Rule: Clean Water Permits Voluntary for Factory Farms

New Rule: Clean Water Permits Voluntary for Factory Farms

WASHINGTON, DC, November 3, 2008 (ENS) – The Bush administration finalized a rule Friday that allows more than 15,000 factory farms across the country to avoid certain requirements of the Clean Water Act if they claim they do not discharge animal wastes into lakes, rivers and streams. Federal officials said the rule will help protect…

Desperate Chesapeake Bay Watermen Threaten to Sue EPA

Desperate Chesapeake Bay Watermen Threaten to Sue EPA

ANNAPOLIS, Maryland, October 29, 2008 (ENS) – Watermen in two states, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, and five other parties today notified the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency that they intend to go to federal court to force the agency to require pollution reduction in the waters of Chesapeake Bay, the national largest estuary. Today’s notice of…

Expert Report: EPA Stormwater Program Needs "Radical Changes"

Expert Report: EPA Stormwater Program Needs "Radical Changes"

WASHINGTON, DC, October 15, 2008 (ENS) – Increased water volume and pollutants from stormwater have degraded water quality and habitats in virtually every urban stream system in the United States, says a new report from the National Research Council. The committee of experts that wrote the report says, “Radical changes to the U.S. Environmental Protection…

Arizona Developer Fined $1M for Altering Santa Cruz River

Arizona Developer Fined $1M for Altering Santa Cruz River

PHOENIX, Arizona, October 13, 2008 (ENS) – An Arizona land developer and a contractor have agreed to pay one of the largest fines in the history of the U.S. EPA to settle alleged violations of the Clean Water Act for bulldozing, filling, and diverting five miles of the Santa Cruz River, a major waterway in…