2021 Law Could Help Fund Water Upgrades For Communities That Need It Most

When storms like Hurricane Ian strike, many people have to cope afterward with losing water service. Power outages mean that pumps can’t process and treat drinking water or sewage, and heavy stormwater flows can damage water mains. Ian’s effects echoed a similar disaster in Jackson, Mississippi, where rising river water overwhelmed pumps at the main water treatment plant on Aug. 29, 2022, following record-setting rain. The city had little to no running water for a week, and more than 180,000 residents were forced to find bottled water for drinking and cooking. Even after water pressure returned, many Jackson residents continued…

Report Shows Toxic PFAS Pollution Is Likely at More Than 57,000 US Locations

Toxic PFAS have likely contaminated roughly 57,412 locations across the U.S., according to a new study. Those locations include certain industrial facilities, waste processing facilities, and places where firefighting foam containing PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances) have been used, such as airports and military bases. The study, published today in the journal Environmental Science & Technology Letters, found likely PFAS contamination sites in all 50 states. It is the first study to use existing scientific data on PFAS contamination to create a model that can predict locations where contamination is likely. “PFAS contamination at these sites is not just possible,…

Report: Thousands of Federal Officials Have Owned Stock in Companies They Govern

Thousands of federal officials in the executive branch over the last two presidential administrations have disclosed trading stocks in companies that their agencies oversee, representing thousands of potential conflicts of interest, a new investigation finds. The Wall Street Journal analyzed over 31,000 financial disclosure forms dated between 2016 and 2021, which included information on over 315,000 trades in stocks, bonds and funds by officials and their immediate families. These documents showed that over 2,600 senior officials across 50 federal agencies have disclosed owning stock in companies that have lobbied the agency that they work in. This represents more than one…

Supreme Court Could Restrict US Agencies’ Regulatory Power in Air Pollution Case

On Feb. 28, 2022, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in West Virginia v. EPA, a case that centers on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s authority to regulate greenhouse gas emissions that drive climate change. How the court decides the case could have broad ramifications, not just for climate change but for federal regulation in many areas. This case stems from actions over the past decade to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from power plants, a centerpiece of U.S. climate change policy. In 2016, the Supreme Court blocked the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan, which was designed to reduce…