Storms and flooding have caused significant damage throughout the U.S. during the first half of 2019. The Associated Press tallied about $1.2 billion of damage in 24 states based on preliminary assessments of public infrastructure categories established by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The tally includes damage to roads and bridges, utilities, water control facilities, public buildings and equipment, and parks. Each state must meet particular damage thresholds to qualify for federal aid based on their populations. Most, though not all, of the damage costs tallied by the AP will be eligible for federal aid. Figures for some states include updated damage costs provided to the AP by state agencies after their initial reports to FEMA.
Archive for date: August 11th, 2019
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Extended, multi-year droughts have become more the norm in the exception throughout the western United States and the Bureau of Reclamation is keenly aware of the situation. Consequently, Reclamation recently announced that it is making grant funding opportunities available to assist communities in building long-term resilience for future droughts. This funding opportunity is part of the WaterSMART Drought Response Program for projects in 2020 and 2021. Up to $300,000 per agreement is available for a project that can be completed within two years. Up to $750,000 per agreement is available for a project that can be completed within three years. Recipients must match the funding with a minimum of 50 percent non-federal cost-share.
Over 75 years, a billion-dollar industry has grown up around a group of toxic chemicals that helps keep carpets clean, makes water roll off of camping equipment, and stops your food from sticking to frying pans. There are nearly 5,000 of these chemicals in a class called PFAS, for perfluoralkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances. We’re just beginning to understand the risk they pose. What chemists know is that the tough carbon-fluorine bonds in these “forever chemicals” make them break down very slowly in the environment — posing a persistent risk to water supplies. The Centers for Disease Control has profiled PFAS, which has been studied in people and in animals. Studies have linked to it developmental problems, thyroid disease, harm to the immune system, and impaired liver function.