The federal government on Wednesday affirmed the Los Angeles River’s status as a “traditional navigable water.” This action ensures that the river is protected from pollution and other damaging activities under the Clean Water Act.
The 51-mile river that is mostly lined with concrete extends from the San Fernando Valley south to Long Beach. Two years ago, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers proposed to declare that only small portions of the river be considered traditional navigable waters. Some had feared that this would weaken federal protections for many tributaries and wetlands. EPA’s designation removes any ambiguity regarding the river’s legal status.
“This designation assures the community that their local waters are protected by the nation’s water laws,” said EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson. “A clean, vibrant L.A. River system can help revitalize struggling communities, promoting growth and jobs for residents of Los Angeles. We want the L.A. River to demonstrate how urban waterways across the country can serve as assets in building stronger neighborhoods, attracting new businesses and creating new jobs. ”
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Continue reading Mercury News: Los Angeles River granted status that offers protection
Photo: Jayel Aheram
A climate change report released yesterday by the Arab Forum for Environment and Development (AFED) found that water supply, public safety and biodiversity will be seriously threatened by rising temperatures.
According to an AFED press release, Prince Hamzah of Jordan, the president of the Royal Energy Committee, in the opening address, stressed the need to seriously tackle the challenges of climate change, especially because the Arab region will be among the most affected by its serious impacts.
The report warned that by 2025, water resources in the region will reach an alarming stage, and before the end of the century, “water flow in the Euphrates River may decrease by 30 per cent and the Jordan River by 80 per cent.”
The report also indicated that “an estimated 75 per cent of buildings and infrastructure in the region are at direct risk of climate change impacts, mainly sea level rises, higher intensity and frequency of hot days and storm surges,” and that a 2.25C rise in temperatures will cause 40 percent of all species in Arab countries to become extinct.
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Continue reading Jordan Times: Arab countries will be greatly affected by climate change
Following an announcement yesterday by the Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC), its 2009 determination has been extended to include natural gas exploratory wells.
As of yesterday, all sponsors of Marcellus Shale natural gas wells located within the drainage area of Special Protection Waters in the Delaware River Basin must now receive commission approval before beginning any project.
A moratorium placed in May on the approval of drilling projects, pending new natural gas regulations, will be extended to include natural gas exploratory wells.
According to the DRBC press release, the action “recognizes the risks to water resources, including ground and surface water that the land disturbance and drilling activities inherent in any shale gas well pose.”
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Continue reading DRBC: Marcellus Shale drilling in the Delaware River basin halted
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently reached a settlement with E.I. DuPont de Nemours and Company for the discharge of pollutants at its Kinston, N.C., manufacturing facility in violation of the Clean Water Act. DuPont will pay a civil penalty of $59,000.
The company discharged an amount of mercury into the Neuse River that exceeded the total mercury limitation established in its National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit.
“Mercury is a dangerous pollutant, especially for children and pregnant women,” said Stan Meiburg, an EPA regional administrator. “Companies must comply with the conditions of their discharge permits.”
Discharges from cities, package treatment plants and agriculture have contributed to a history of water quality issues for the Neuse River.
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Continue reading EPA: DuPont penalized for mercury discharges into the Neuse River