CNN- Scientists grappled with the consequences of a spill of toxic wastewater on Monday, one day after the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reported that an accident had led to 3 million gallons of mining runoff flowing into a river in Colorado used for drinking water. But researchers who study water resources in the region say the spill, while significant on its own, is just the latest example of the much broader problem of water contamination from mining processes. “In the Rocky Mountain area, acid rock and acid mine drainage is a major water quality problem,” said Diane McKnight, a professor civil, environmental and architectural engineering at the University of Colorado. “This is certainly an unfortunate event, but the impact of acid rock and acid rock drainage is well recognized and understood in Colorado.”
The Economist-On the hot, empty road that leads from Las Vegas to the shocking beauty of Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area sits Cactus Joe’s nursery. Cacti, yucca plants, ornamental rocks and various sorts of garden furniture sprawl over seven acres. Business is booming, says Yucca Lou, the sunburnt, cowboy-booted former engineer who took over from Cactus Joe a few years ago. “Traditionally, people in Las Vegas outfitted their homes with tropical plants, lots of foliage, all very water-intensive,” he explains. “But now people are getting rid of the grass, they’re putting in rocks and they’re buying cacti.” Cactus Joe’s success helps to explain why Las Vegas has not—so far—been crippled by its drought, at least compared with neighbouring California. To the casual observer, with most of the West parched, Las Vegas’s water use seems astonishingly wasteful. Visitors flying in see acre on acre of suburban houses, a good proportion of them with pools. Those staying on the Strip find abundant fountains, enormous swimming pools and palm-lined boulevards, all in the middle of the desert. And yet beneath this mirage, quietly, Sin City has proven remarkably effective at managing its water, even as its population booms. If its success is to continue, it will have to get better still.
The Hill- The Obama administration’s top environmental official will visit Colorado and New Mexico Wednesday to inspect the recovery from a massive mine waste spill her agency caused. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Gina McCarthy will visit both Durango, Colo., where 3 million gallons of orange sludge spilled into the Animas River, and Farmington, N.M., about 50 miles downstream, where the Animas flows into the San Juan River, EPA spokeswoman Liz Purchia said Tuesday. Officials have closed off both rivers while they test the heavy metals and determine the potential harm from the spill and the next steps. The governors of both states have declared states of emergencies.
The Hill- The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is confident that neither a federal court nor a future president could overturn its landmark climate rule for power plants. EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy said the rule is squarely legal under the Clean Air Act, and it’d be extraordinarily difficult for a future president, hostile to the regulation, to undo it.“When people get their arms around the final rule, they’ll see that it is legally solid,” McCarthy said Tuesday during an event organized by Resources for the Future, a nonprofit think tank. “People will debate that, as they’ve debated everything, they will do that endlessly. But we feel pretty good about it,” she added.
The Hill- The head of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sought to assure the public Tuesday that officials are taking seriously the mine waste spill it caused in a Colorado river. Gina McCarthy said that the spill into the Animas River last week was “a tragic and very unfortunate incident,” and the EPA is taking full responsibility for the cleanup and recovery efforts.“EPA’s core mission is to ensure a clean environment and to protect public health, so it pains me to no end to see this is happening,” McCarthy said Tuesday in Washington, D.C., ahead of a speech on the Obama administration’s carbon dioxide emissions limits for power plants. “But we’re working tirelessly to respond, and we’ve committed to a full review of exactly what happened, to ensure that it can never happen again,” she added.
Los Angeles Times- Can 96 million balls improve water quality? Los Angeles is about to find out. On Monday, Mayor Eric Garcetti was at the Los Angeles Reservior to mark the addition of 20,000 of the small balls to the lake. The Department of Water and Power proclaimed in a statement it is "the first utility company to use this technology for water quality protection.... The small, black plastic balls protect water quality by preventing sunlight-triggered chemical reactions, deterring birds and other wildlife, and protecting water from rain and wind-blown dust."
Nola-The finalists among the slogan contest run by the Dirty Coase clothing store to commemorate Hurricane Katrina's anniversary sum up the hopes of many South Louisiana residents: "Keep Land in Our Wetlands," "Save the Boot," "The World Needs More Louisiana," "Let The River Run Through It," "Greaux the Delta, Greaux Our Home." Those demands are the ones the state Legislature has recognized by supporting the state's Master Plan, a $50 billion, 50-year outline that split its proposed resources between coastal restoration and flood protection.
Inframanage- The mayor of Flint has sent a letter to President Obama’s Director of Intergovernmental Affairs requesting the participation of the White House and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in a City of Flint Technical Advisory Water Committee.Flint is forming both a water committee and a technical committee within its community to address the concern that the city has for the safety of its drinking water. Even though the water has been declared safe, water officials struggled during the summer and residents are still complaining about the taste, smell, and appearance of their water – problems that have been blamed on aging infrastructure and hundreds of water main breaks.
Pacific Daily News- About $50 million worth of Department of Defense-paid projects to modernize Guam’s civilian seaport will be complete soon. Before the Defense Department’s $50 million assistance package, the seaport hadn’t had major upgrades in almost five decades, Port Authority of Guam management has stated. The Port Authority last week marked the completion of its seven-acre, new terminal gate complex and container yard, which is the third and final phase of the DOD-funded projects. Full completion of the $50 million worth of upgrades is expected to occur about three months from now.
Pensacola News Journal- Santa Rosa County Board of County Commissioners moved a proposed Navarre Beach Renourishment Project forward Monday morning, and if approved, the county model will ease the financial burden on beach leaseholders. In 2006, Navarre Beach leaseholders paid 90 percent — $6.7 million — of the local expense for nearly 3 million cubic yards of sand placed over a 4.1-mile stretch. The 2015 model requires leaseholders to only pay 50 percent, with the county paying the other half from its reserve funds for 1.6 million cubic yards over 4.1 miles primarily on the western end of the beach.
South Coast Today-The state agency behind construction of the $113 million Marine Commerce Terminal is conducting coastal habitat restoration work in two highly visible areas at opposite ends of the city. Bill White, senior director of offshore wind for the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center, or MassCEC, said Monday that work began last month in coastal waters immediately south of the hurricane barrier, near the north end of the harbor walk and across the barrier from the terminal and the Gifford Street boat launch.