IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: GAO report finds less than half of U.S. school districts test their water for lead; Following in Scott Pruitt's swampy footsteps, coal lobbyist and acting EPA chief Andrew Wheeler weakens toxic coal ash water protections; June 2018 was the third hottest June on record globally; Climate change is coming for your Internet; PLUS: Marriott International becomes the latest major corporation to ditch plastic straws... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Fossil fuel industry spent nearly $2 billion to kill U.S. climate action, new study finds; Republicans move to kill carbon tax before it gains any momentum; U.S. court blocks EPA decision not to enforce 'Glider Truck' limits; Puerto Rico governor names new PREPA CEO; Pro-PG&E wildfire bill written by lawmaker whose son works at PG&E; Oil boom in Southern New Mexico ignites groundwater feud with Texas; EU-Japan trade deal first to carry Paris climate clause; Seaweed farming and its surprising benefits; Powering ships with plastic in Amsterdam... PLUS: Thirsty vineyard, Big Ag test landmark aquifer law... and much, MUCH more! ...
STORIES DISCUSSED ON TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...
- GAO report finds less than half of US schools test for lead:
- GAO: Less than half of school districts test water for lead (AP):
A 2005 memorandum signed by the Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Education and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides guidance to schools, including a testing protocol and suggestions for disseminating results, educating the school community about the risks and health effects of exposure and what actions should be taken to correct the problem. But there are still major information gaps, the report says, and no federal law that requires schools to test for lead.
- Millions of public school kids were exposed to potentially unsafe levels of lead in drinking water. (The New Republic):
[S]chool districts serving 12 million children aren’t testing for lead at all. If 37 percent of those districts had lead contamination, that would mean 4.4 million children at risk of lead exposure.
- Lead Testing of School Drinking Water Would Benefit from Improved Federal Guidance [PDF] (Government Accountability Office)
- Acting EPA chief Andrew Wheeler weakens toxic coal ash drinking water protections:
- EPA eases rules on how coal ash waste is stored across U.S. (Washington Post):
The new standards — the first major rule signed by EPA acting administrator Andrew Wheeler — will extend the life of some existing ash ponds from April 2019 until October 2020, empower states to suspend groundwater monitoring in certain cases and allow state officials to certify whether utilities’ facilities meet adequate standards. EPA officials estimate that the rule change will save the industry between $28 million and $31 million a year in compliance costs.
- EPA rolls back Obama-era coal ash regulations (CNN):
According to the EPA, there are over 1,000 coal ash disposal sites across the country, many of them constructed in the 1950s and 1960s, well before any sort of regulations..."Millions of tons of industrial waste directly on the banks of major drinking water reservoirs that serve hundreds of thousands of people," he said, "that's a recipe for disaster."
- EPA's Wheeler could stay in officie without Senate confirmation until 2020:
- Temporary EPA Chief Could Keep Gig for Years Without Senate Vote (Bloomberg):
[T]he former energy industry lobbyist may be able to remain in charge of rolling back regulations on climate change and auto emissions for the rest of Trump’s four-year term without Senate confirmation, thanks to exceptions in a law originally designed to prevent abuse.
- June 2018 was 3rd hottest on record globally:
- June 2018 ties for third warmest June on record (NASA)
- Earth had its third-warmest June amid sizzling global records (Axios):
The planet is headed for a top 5 warmest year despite the lack of an El Niño event in the tropical Pacific Ocean, which would help boost temperatures in addition to human-caused global warming.
- The heat goes on: NASA pegs last month in a tie for third warmest June in 138 years of modern record keeping (Discover Magazine):
Although NOAA’s just-released analysis differs somewhat, both show that June 2018 continued the long-term global warming trend.
- June 2018 ties for 3rd-warmest June on record (EarthSky Journal)
- Climate change is coming for your Internet:
- Lights Out: Climate Change Risk to Internet Infrastructure [PDF] (Univ. of Oregon, Univ. of Wisconsin)
- Rising Seas Are Putting The Internet At Risk, Study Finds (Huffington Post):
The labyrinth of cables and hardware that supports the internet is likely to be flooded with saltwater as sea levels rise over the next 15 years, submerging thousands of miles of underground infrastructure, particularly in coastal cities.
- Rising Seas Could Cause Problems For Internet Infrastructure (NPR):
The Internet is particularly susceptible to flooding because data travels through underground cables buried along roadways and through tunnels. While the massive deep sea cables that carry data under the Atlantic and Pacific oceans are designed to be permanently underwater, other infrastructure such as copper wiring and power stations are not.
- California reaches its emissions reduction target four years early:
- Climate Pollutants Fall Below 1990 Levels for First Time (CA Air Resources Board)
- California meets greenhouse gas reduction goal years early (AP):
California greenhouse gas emissions fell below 1990 levels, meeting an early target years ahead of schedule and putting the state well on its way toward reaching long-term goals to fight climate change, officials said Wednesday.
- California Beat Its 2020 Emissions Target Four Years Early (Yahoo Finance):