U.S.News- Los Angeles has been blackballed. The city has completed a program of covering open-air reservoirs with floating "shade balls" to protect water quality. City officials this week dumped the last 20,000 of 96 million black balls into the Los Angeles Reservoir in Sylmar, 25 miles northwest of downtown. The 4-inch-diameter plastic balls block sunlight from penetrating the 175-acre surface of the reservoir. That prevents chemical reactions that can cause algae blooms and other problems, allowing the Department of Water and Power to meet U.S. Environmental Protection Agency water-quality requirements.
CNN- The mustard hue of the Animas River in Colorado -- the most visible effect of a mistake by the Environmental Protection Agency that dumped millions of gallons of pollutants into the water -- is striking. Just a glance at a photo of the orange-yellowish slush is enough to know that something seems wrong. Scientists will have to say just how wrong, and possibly dangerous, the contamination is, though five days after the spill answers are few. Just how polluted is the river? Is drinking water in peril? Are businesses dependent on the river out of luck?
CNN- The environmental crew had one job: pump out and treat contaminated water at the Gold King Mine in southern Colorado. Instead, when the workers for the Environmental Protection Agency used heavy equipment to enter the defunct mine on August 5, 2015, a leak sprung. A massive one. The EPA has taken full responsibility and announced it was temporarily ceasing work at other mines to avoid a repeat. Water tainted with heavy metal gushed from Gold King into the nearby Animas River, turning it a solid mustard color. It flowed downstream for dozens of miles crossing state lines. It made life miserable for thousands who depend on the river water
Washington Post- Last September, the remote community of Point Lay on Alaska’s North Slope became the focus of headline news when a staggering 35,000 walruses crowded onto the shore nearby. And now, some scientists are saying a similar event could happen this summer — in fact, any time now. Last year’s gathering, scientists explained, had a worrying explanation. Walruses prefer to spend their time hanging out on the Arctic sea ice, which allows them a resting place in the open ocean where food is abundant. In the summer, when sea ice begins to melt, walruses typically follow the retreating ice north and migrate back south again when the ice refreezes in the fall.
The Hill- The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is planning both an internal and outside investigation into how agency contractors caused a spill of 3 million gallons of mine waste in Colorado. The agency hopes to figure out the root cause of the spill into the Animas River near Silverton last week, how to prevent such accidents in the future and how to better respond, EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy said Wednesday. “We are doing an internal EPA investigation, and we’re also going to seek independent review and investigation of what happened,” McCarthy told reporters in Durango, Colo., after visiting with EPA, local, state and tribal officials working to respond to the massive spill.
The Hill- Colorado state officials said pollution appears to have cleared from the Animas River after the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) caused a massive mine waste spill. Gov. John Hickenlooper (D) and Larry Wolk, executive director of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, said Tuesday that their latest sampling show that the river is back to the pollution levels it had before the spill of 3 million gallons of heavy metals last week, The Durango Herald reported. “Isn’t that amazing? That’s much better than what I would have hoped for,” Hickenlooper said in Durango, according to the Herald.
Politico- The long-term success of President Barack Obama’s new climate regulation probably depends on a Democrat like Hillary Clinton winning the White House — but it’s not at all clear the rule will help the party’s chances in 2016. The tougher coal standards Obama announced Monday will force major adjustments to power companies in Michigan, Ohio and parts of Pennsylvania — the battleground states Democrats usually need to win the White House. That gives conservatives ample ammunition to insist once again that Democratic leadership will drive up energy prices and wipe out thousands of jobs, a theme that contributed to big losses for the president’s party in the last two midterm elections.
The Daily Journal- Rocky Morales is watching his small Louisiana town of Delacroix slowly melt into the water. The woods where he played hide-and-seek as a boy are gone. It's all water and mud back there now. So, too, is the nearby marsh where townsfolk once trapped for muskrat, otter and mink.Many of the fishermen who once lived here — his friends and relatives — have disappeared as well, fleeing behind the intricate levee system protecting New Orleans out of fear that one more hurricane will be all it takes to send the rest of Delacroix into the sea.Ten years after Hurricane Katrina ravaged the Gulf Coast — killing more than 1,830 people and causing more than $150 billion in damage in the nation's costliest disaster — New Orleans has been fortified by a new $14.5 billion flood protection system. But outside the iconic city, efforts have lagged to protect small towns and villages losing land every year to erosion. And as that land buffer disappears, New Orleans itself becomes more vulnerable.
Fastcoexist- When Hurricane Sandy hit in 2012, waters flooded over Hoboken, New Jersey, a commuter city across the Hudson River from midtown Manhattan. With half the city stranded, the National Guard moved in with food and supplies. Across New Jersey, the storm destroyed 350,000 homes. Three years later, a 60-person team of Hoboken students is assembling an impressive new resilient house that’s designed to withstand the next Hurricane Sandy-like storm and even supply power to its neighbors in a disaster. When they are done, they’ll send it to Seaside Park, a Jersey shore beach community, where it will serve as a resilience education center.
Independent- The biggest driver of the tourism industry— the third largest industry in the state—- is the beachfront that spans the length New Jersey. Those beaches, boardwalks and coastal waterways contribute over $19 billion in tourism revenue annually — one half of the state’s total $40 billion tourism revenue, according to a resolution in support of increasing the Shore Protection Fund to at least $50 million. That increase would help support future beach preservation projects.“As I think about the 137 miles of shoreline, I think about growing up coming to the beach every day with my brothers,” said Assemblywoman Mary Pat Angelini (R-Monmouth). As a policy maker, Angelini said she has the obligation to protect natural resources, such as the beaches.
Nola- Here's a breakdown of the money needed to pay for Louisiana's Master Plan, with half dedicated to coastal restoration. The chart includes known and possible future money sources.
WaterWorld- According to new research conducted by Lux Research, the market for hydraulic fracturing (frac or fracking) water management is still estimated to be worth $1.9 billion, not including water transportation and disposal, despite a precipitous decline in frac activity following a dramatic decline in global oil prices. While fracs have fallen from about 2,300 in October 2014 to 1,350 in February 2015, the water treatment market remains strong for companies that know how to play the opportunity. As oil and gas companies cut spending, operators are tapping new technologies to tighten up water management strategies and lower costs. In addition, new regulatory momentum in the U.S. could usher in stricter oversight of water transportation and disposal and facilitate more extensive water recycling.