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Category Archives: Environmental Law

Unregulated water contaminants

Via Data is Plural:Through the Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Rule, the Environmental Protection Agency “collect[s] data for contaminants that are suspected to be present in drinking water and do not have health-based standards set under the Safe Drinking Water Act.” The current version of the rule requires public water systems to test for lithium and 29 per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, better known as PFAS. (Prior iterations, which go back to the early 2000s, have tested for other contaminants.) The EPA publishes the data collected, with the most detailed files listing each sample, its public water system, facility, sampling point, sample date, contaminant tested, concentration detected, and more. Related: Last week, the EPA finalized its first-ever limits for PFAS in drinking water. [h/t Lisa Sorg]

Climate crisis: average world incomes to drop by nearly a fifth by 2050

The Guardian: “Average incomes will fall by almost a fifth within the next 26 years as a result of the climate crisis, according to a study that predicts the costs of damage will be six times higher than the price of limiting global heating to 2C. Rising temperatures, heavier rainfall and more frequent and intense… Continue Reading

The invisible seafaring industry that keeps the internet afloat

The Verge: “…The world’s emails, TikToks, classified memos, bank transfers, satellite surveillance, and FaceTime calls travel on cables that are about as thin as a garden hose. There are about 800,000 miles of these skinny tubes crisscrossing the Earth’s oceans, representing nearly 600 different systems, according to the industry tracking organization TeleGeography. The cables are… Continue Reading

US DOT – PROTECT Discretionary Grant Program Award Recipients

PROTECT Discretionary Grant Program Fact Sheet –  “The vision of the PROTECT Discretionary Grant Program is to fund projects that address the climate crisis by improving the resilience of the surface transportation system, including highways, public transportation, ports, and intercity passenger rail. Projects selected under this program should be grounded in the best available scientific… Continue Reading

BirdCast

USFWS Pacific “About 90-140 million birds are predicted to migrate across the U.S. each night this weekend! Lights at night can be very disorienting to birds during their long spring migration. To help prevent deadly bird collisions, turn off or dim unnecessary lights! Graphic: BirdCast The Pacific Region for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service… Continue Reading

80 Percent of Global CO2 Emissions Come From Just 57 Companies

Smithsonian Magazine: “A new analysis released last week by the international non-profit InfluenceMap reveals an overwhelmingly unequal share of fossil fuel pollution worldwide. From 2016 to 2022, 80 percent of global carbon dioxide emissions were produced by just 57 companies. Shared in the think tank’s Carbon Majors Database, which is authored by some of the… Continue Reading

Mapping America’s access to nature, neighborhood by neighborhood

Washington Post – “A city is a science experiment. What happens when we separate human beings from the environment in which they evolved? Can people be healthy without nature? The results have been bleak. Countless studies have shown that people who spend less time in nature die younger and suffer higher rates of mental and… Continue Reading

What you need to know about the plastic crisis

Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC): “Global annual production of plastic has increased exponentially over the past 65 years, growing from 2 million metric tons in 1950 to 460 million metric tons in 2019. Much of this plastic quickly becomes waste, and plastic waste is found everywhere, including the farthest reaches of the Arctic, the deep seabed, and even… Continue Reading

Japan Gives Washington 250 Cherry Trees as Replacements

The New York Times [unpaywalled]:  “Japan is giving the United States 250 cherry trees to replace more than 100 that will be torn up during construction around the Tidal Basin in Washington, the Japanese prime minister, Fumio Kishida, said on Wednesday. The gift honors the 250th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence,… Continue Reading

Virtual Reality and the ‘Virtual Wall’

EFF: “When EFF set out to map surveillance technology along the U.S.-Mexico border, we weren’t exactly sure how to do it. We started with public records—procurement documents, environmental assessments, and the like—which allowed us to find the GPS coordinates of scores of towers. During a series of in-person trips, we were able to find even… Continue Reading