Santa Clarita, a comfortable exurb of some 213,000 residents about 30 miles northwest of Los Angeles, is one of hundreds of California communities and districts grappling with the pricey problem of drinking water that’s been tainted by per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, chemicals that have been linked to cancer, liver damage, decreased fertility and increased risk of asthma and thyroid disease.
California is poised to issue the world’s first guidelines for microplastics in drinking water despite no data on how plentiful they are in the state, no scientific agreement on how to test water for them and little research on their health risks.
The pieces of plastic — smaller than an ant, some so tiny they can be seen only with a microscope — have contaminated wildlife and human bodies through their food, air and water.
A coalition of San Diego County elected representatives introduced a bill Monday to address water pollution along the U.S.-Mexico border. The Border Water Quality Restoration and Protection Act would designate the Environmental Protection Agency as the lead coordinating federal, state, and local agencies’ efforts to build and maintain infrastructure projects aimed at reducing pollution along the border.
A bill aimed at addressing pollution along the U.S.-Mexico border and improving water quality in the Tijuana and New rivers was introduced Wednesday.
The Border Water Quality Restoration and Protection Act would designate the Environmental Protection Agency as the lead agency coordinating federal, state and local agencies to build and maintain infrastructure projects aimed at reducing pollution along the border. It would also require the EPA and other agencies to identify a list of priority projects and would authorize the EPA to accept and distribute federal, state, and local funds to build, operate and maintain those projects.
Like a giant garbage disposal, three huge new green pipes sit on Mexico’s side of the border, shredding trash in the Tijuana River that would otherwise jam this critical piece of the city’s wastewater system that caused spills on the United States side.
San Francisco is challenging the EPA over conditions imposed in a permit that allows the city to send discharge from its combined sewer system into the Pacific Ocean, according to a petition for review in the Ninth Circuit. The city’s filing in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit comes after the Environmental Protection Agency refused to review three conditions in the National Pollution Discharge Elimination System Permit. The EPA approved the permit in December 2019.
The San Diego County Board of Supervisors unanimously voted Tuesday to declare pollution at the Tijuana River Valley a public health crisis.
Supervisor Nora Vargas said the action is needed because of the decades-long contamination of River Valley, which has resulted in environmental and health damage. According to the county, the region has long suffered from poor air quality, sewage leaks, waste from industrial plants, tire waste, plastic pollution, sediment, and trash.
San Diego County declared a public health crisis at the U.S.-Mexico border because sewage tainted water continues to flow into the U.S. and the region endures a lot of other pollution.
All five members of the San Diego Board of Supervisors voted to approve it.
It is a new tactic for clean water groups concerned about pollution in the area.
Six states with drinking water standards for so-called “forever chemicals” are now wrestling with what those limits mean when water contamination from Department of Defense sites seep into their communities.
Members of Congress from both parties are starting to vent their frustration at military foot-dragging even as the states take different paths to address the contamination. One state is suing. Another must wait years for an investigation to end. A third is keeping a watchful eye on the Biden administration.
U.S. Reps. Raul Ruiz, D-Palm Desert, and Juan Vargas, D-San Diego reintroduced a bill this week that is aimed at cleaning up the New River, a highly polluted waterway originating near Mexicali, Mexico that flows north, emptying into the Salton Sea. The bill, HR491, would direct the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to create an organization to be called the California New River Restoration Program, which would coordinate funding and cleanup projects.