Water Quality

In Harvey’s wake, critics see big money behind lax petrochemical reporting
Right-to-Know / Water Quality

In Harvey’s wake, critics see big money behind lax petrochemical reporting

In the wake of Hurricane Harvey, an exploding chemical plant and spikes in cancer-causing emissions are highlighting how little the public knows about potential dangers from the oil and chemical industries. Critics say one reason for the darkness: tons of campaign money. HOUSTON, TX — “Unlike any past storm — […]

Against the stream: The future of the federal Clean Water Rule
Water Quality

Against the stream: The future of the federal Clean Water Rule

A pitched battle is being waged over which water sources warrant federal protection under the Clean Water Act. Who’s right, and who will prevail? WASHINGTON, DC — “In June, federal environmental agencies proposed to scrap an Obama-era rule explicitly defining which waters fall under the Act’s jurisdiction. Waters such as […]

The green scum shown in this 2011 image was the worst algae bloom Lake Erie had experienced in decades mage captured by the Landsat-5 satellite. Data provided courtesy of the United States Geological Survey.
Lake Erie / Water Quality

Nutrient pollution: Voluntary steps are failing to shrink algae blooms and dead zones

CAMBRIDGE, MA — “Summer is the season for harmful algae blooms in many U.S. lakes and bays. They occur when water bodies become overloaded with nitrogen and phosphorus from farms, water treatment plants and other sources. Warm water and lots of nutrients promote rapid growth of algae that can be […]

In this Aug. 3, 2014, file photo, an algae bloom covers Lake Erie near the City of Toledo water intake crib about 2.5 miles off the shore of Curtice, Ohio (Associated Press file photo).
Lake Erie / Water Quality

Environmentalists sue EPA to designate Ohio’s portion of Lake Erie ‘impaired’

CLEVELAND — “Advocacy groups are challenging the federal Environmental Protection Agency’s decision to accept Ohio’s assertion that its portion of Lake Erie does not meet the definition of impaired waters. The Ohio EPA did not include the state’s open waters on a list of impaired waterways when it submitted the […]

Harmful algae bloom photographed in the summer of 2011 (credit: NOAA Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory).
Lake Erie / Water Quality

US won’t force Ohio to label Lake Erie ‘impaired’

TOLEDO — “Documents released late Monday show the federal government won’t compel the state to declare Ohio’s portion of western Lake Erie as impaired, a move that environmentalists and Lucas County commissioners believe will hurt the lake’s future water quality. And, in a separate-but-related matter, the Trump Administration released its […]

An staff member with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources Fisheries Division nets musky on Lake St. Clair in a 2009 photo. As the DNR conducts fish surveys, some of the catch are shared with the Department of Environmental Quality for analysis of the levels of mercury and other toxins in the fish's tissues.(Credit: Michigan Department of Environmental Quality)
Great Lakes / Water Quality

Scientists puzzled by mercury’s jump in Great Lakes fish

DETROIT, MI — “It’s not supposed to be like this. Though advisories about toxic mercury in fish have continued in Michigan and the surrounding Great Lakes, with recommendations to limit consumption of certain species to a few times per month, the amount of mercury found in fish tissues has dropped […]

Cautionary tale: editorial
Environmental Justice / Water Quality

Cautionary tale: editorial

TOLEDO — “The ongoing Flint, Mich., water crisis should serve as both an indictment and a warning: Lose a stable and reliable water supply and you lose a city, maybe a region. It has been nearly three years since Flint, under the control of a state-appointed emergency manager, switched from […]

Great Lakes watershed (Public Domain)
Great Lakes / Water Quality

How eliminating two EPA programs could affect large parts of America

WASHINGTON, DC — “Although the requested cuts are not likely to pass, the proposal would return the responsibility of both these efforts back to state-level and local entities. However, without a federal agency tasked with holding states accountable, many goals may not be met. In the Chesapeake Bay, states have proved […]

Phragmites are being replaced gradually by native plants at the 691-acre Mentor Marsh on Thursday, June 29, 2016. Federal dollars made available through the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative and the Sustain Our Great Lakes Initiative of the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation are helping restore the marsh to its natural state. (Credit: Thomas Ondrey, The Plain Dealer)
Great Lakes / Water Quality

Great Lakes Restoration slated to drop from $300 million to $10 million: Cleveland Congress members promise to fight cuts

WASHINGTON, DC — “Congress members from the Cleveland area pledged Friday to fight any effort by President Donald Trump to gut the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s budget for Great Lakes cleanup. A leaked draft of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s 2018 budget proposal indicates the Trump administration intends to suggest cutting […]

Lake Erie (Credit: Wikimedia Commons)
Great Lakes / Water Quality

Trump budget virtually kills Great Lakes initiative

TOLEDO — “To the dismay of many Toledo-area officials and environmental groups, the Trump Administration is trying to kill all but 3 percent of funding for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Great Lakes Restoration Initiative. The program has been used for everything from helping Toledo avoid another algae-induced water crisis […]