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Federal Judge Considers States’ Bid to Block Trump Water Rule

A California federal judge is weighing whether to block the Trump administration’s controversial water rule, as requested by more than a dozen states suing over the regulation.

The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California spent three hours Thursday hearing arguments on whether to halt the Navigable Waters Protection Rule from taking effect on June 22, as planned.

A preliminary injunction will “prevent widespread harm to national water quality, and disruption” to water pollution control in cities and states while the claim is litigated, the 17-state coalition led by California and New York argued in a motion filed last month.

The rule “seriously undermines water quality and seriously is contrary” to the Clean Water Act, New York attorney Timothy L. Hoffman, representing the coalition, told Judge Richard Seeborg.

Study Suggests Extreme Weather Conditions in California are a Result of Atmospheric Rivers

California spent 376 weeks in a drought, from December of 2011 until March of 2019.  That’s the longest duration of drought we’ve ever seen here in the Golden State. Now a study by Scripps Institution of Oceanography suggests wet and dry extremes in California are likely the result of severe storms called Atmospheric Rivers.

Trump Administration Will Not Regulate Rocket Fuel Chemical in Drinking Water

US environmental regulators have decided they will not put restrictions on perchlorate – a rocket fuel ingredient known to harm fetal brain development – in drinking water. The Environmental Protection Agency argued that the federal government, states and public water systems have already taken proactive steps to reduce perchlorate levels.

Opinion: California Can Lead the World to a More Sustainable Agriculture Industry

As a biologist and environmental advocate, even before the pandemic, I was scared by the headlines about our planet:  A 75% decline in insect biomass with a 40% loss of insect species predicted; a United Nations warning of the imminent extinction of 1 million species worldwide; a 3 billion loss of birds in United States and Canada over the past half-century; the growth of dead zones on our coasts and the decline in the oxygen held by the world’s oceans.  Climate change will only worsen these environmental problems.

U.S. House Democrats Unveil $1.5 Trillion Infrastructure Plan

U.S. House of Representatives Democrats on Thursday unveiled a $1.5 trillion infrastructure bill that they will seek to pass in coming weeks, arguing it has been made more urgent by the coronavirus pandemic.

The legislation would spur construction or improvements f roads, bridges, ports, clean energy, schools and other projects that experts say have long been neglected. It comes at a time when the United States is in desperate need of new jobs amid an economic downturn sparked by the coronavirus.

California and EPA Tussle Over Water-Quality Protections

Attorneys for 18 states and two major cities were in federal court Thursday asking a judge to grant a preliminary injunction that would prevent the Environmental Protection Agency from removing protections from temporary streams, wetlands and other minor water bodies.

IID, County Transitioning Workforces Back in House

Although COVID-19 cases continue to skyrocket locally, both Imperial County and the Imperial Irrigation District have started transitioning from telecommuting to having their employees return to their usual work sites.

Filling Trump Void, California Steps in to Protect Birds, Wetlands

The Trump administration has rolled back dozens of long-standing environmental protections. Now California is trying a new tack: Writing its own rules.

San Francisco Awarded $513M for Wastewater Upgrades

EPA announced the second WIFIA Loan supporting San Francisco’s Southeast Treatment Plant, which treats 80 percent of the city’s wastewater.