Mixing water with diesel fuel may decrease air pollution, but the right surfactant is key

As noted in prior posts, diesel engines have had a well established reputation for producing particulates, oxides of nitrogen (an important ingredient in smog), and odor. With the recent requirement for the use of low-sulfur fuel in improved diesel engines for cars and trucks, the emissions have decreased...

Oceans show warming in last two decades

Because water has a vastly larger capacity for heat storage than the atmosphere, eventually between 80 to 90 percent of the heat trapped by the greenhouse effects ends up being stored in the oceans. Thus, the trend in ocean temperatures is an excellent indicator of long-term trends in global GHG effects...

Fissures found in glaciers raise questions about future ice movement

Water is at the heart of the dynamic behavior of glaciers. Water located beneath a glacier is believed to "lubricate" its movement toward the sea. How glaciers melt and move is likely to have a major impact on sea levels. It thus came as an apparent surprise to researchers when they discovered...

Amoebas in drinking water: An untreated threat to health

EPA recently announced they are moving forward, contrary to the policy of the Bush Administration, with setting standards for various toxics in drinking water. Unfortunately, attention is not being given to a serious health threat, amoebas in drinking water. Amoebas (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki...

Ninth Circuit rules that owners of storm water systems (e.g., cities, counties, districts) are liable for discharges of polluted stormwater into rivers and ocean

It is well known that stormwater gathers a variety of pollutants as it flows across the landscape and even through stormwater drainage systems. See, for example, http://cfpub.epa.gov/npdes/home.cfm?program_id=6 and http://www.epa.gov/owow_keep/NPS/index.html . In NRDC v. County of Los Angeles, Ninth...

Rivers are discovered in the atmosphere, and they can convey a lot of water

As I look out the window and once again view the downpours that have impacted California for months, it seems appropriate to describe one of the more interesting discoveries of the last decade, rivers in the atmosphere. Think of it as the "Pineapple Express", only in spades. Completely unknown...

Can dead zones (hypoxic waters) cause deformities in sexual organs of fish? Interesting study suggests it can.

Prior posts have described the scope and potential causes for the "dead zone" (low oxygen) in the Gulf of Mexico; the zone exists for part of the year, and its scope has been expanding over time. Nutrients (nitrogen, phosphorus) from various agricultural operations and waste treatment effluent...

Amount of plastic trash in the ocean may be vastly underestimated

Prior posts have noted the various plastic debris wastes that are located in the oceans. Prior posts have also suggested that there may be plastic waste in the water column, though its quantification was uncertain. A recent assessment suggests that the amount previously estimated using surface sampling...

State Net Capitol Journal Legislative Updates: Ohio Governor Signs Law Requiring Lake Erie Water Permits

ENVIRONMENT: The NORTH CAROLINA Senate approves SB 820, legislation that would legalize the natural gas drilling process known as hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, in the Tar Heel State. The measure moves to the House (NEWS & OBSERVER [RALEIGH]). • OHIO Gov. John Kasich (R) signs HB 473, which...

U.S. EPA Issues Final Regulations Governing Cooling Water Use At Power Plants And Industrial Facilities

The U.S. EPA has promulgated final regulations that established requirements for cooling water intakes at existing power plants and industrial facilities. After almost 20 years of attempting to adopt rules under Section 316(b) of the Clean Water Act, [ enhanced version available to lexis.com subscribers...

New Report Concludes Water Will Impact Business Growth

A new report "Bridging Concern with Action: Are U.S. Companies Prepared for Looming Water Challenges?" by VOX Global and Pacific Institute concludes 60% of companies surveyed believe water is poised to affect business growth and profitability within five years. In addition, more than 80% say...

City of Huntington Creates Water Quality Board Combining Wastewater, Stormwater and Flood Wall Operations

Historically, the City of Huntington, West Virginia operated three municipal services related to management of the water quality and quantity in and around City proper under separately established municipal corporate organizations: 1) the Huntington Flood Wall Division, 2) the Huntington Storm Water...

California State Water Resources Control Board Issues Drought Regulations Restricting Certain Water Uses and Ordering Curtailments in Several Watersheds

According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, California is experiencing severe to exceptional drought conditions. Twice in 2014, California Governor Edmund G. "Jerry" Brown, Jr. has issued proclamations regarding the State of Emergency related to the drought. The proclamations addressed water conservation...

US EPA Issues First-Ever RCRA “Imminent and Substantial Endangerment” Order for Vapor Intrusion at Fort Gillem, Georgia

By: Alexander J. Bandza In what appears to be the first-ever RCRA § 7003, [ enhanced version available to lexis.com subscribers ], “imminent and substantial endangerment” order for vapor intrusion, US EPA Region 4 issued an order last month for the US Army to take expedited corrective...

How To Answer Sustainability Program Doubters

We’re coming to the end of the year - the time that companies think seriously about the future. Financial performance data is in; you know where you stand. What is the direction of your firm? If your firm does not already have an energy or sustainability program or has a middling one, there may...

California Enacts Comprehensive Groundwater Management Legislation

California Governor Jerry Brown has signed into law a historic package of three bills— Senate Bill 1168 , [ enhanced version available to lexis.com subscribers ], Senate Bill 1319 , [ enhanced version available to lexis.com subscribers ], and Assembly Bill 1739 , [ enhanced version available to...

Farm Animals, Manure and Environmental Law

Here is the presentation by Meredith James on Farm Animals, Manure and Environmental Law for the Animal Law section of the OBA . The presentation focuses on the manure produced by farm animals. In particular, the presentation looks at how manure is regulated and how violations of the acts governing...