“The chief of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says the lingering dirty drinking water in many rural San Joaquin Valley towns would surprise people from other parts of the country.
“Saying she is serious about the agency’s role as a watchdog over federal clean-water funding, EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy said people shouldn’t have to wait years for money that’s already available for fixes.
“The head of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said Thursday that she was disappointed by the slow progress state, federal and local governments have made in bringing potable drinking water to small towns in the San Joaquin Valley. …
“McCarthy’s remarks came during a three-day visit to California, her first since taking over as the nation’s top environmental regulator in July.”
“Decades after industrial waste dumping turned part of Southern California’s seafloor into a toxic hot spot, scientists have dredged up a mystery. Chemicals fouling the ocean off the Palos Verdes Peninsula seem to be going away without being cleaned up.”
“State legislators are working in conjunction with water district officials to push through a law in January that would expedite a plan to bring drinkable water to a neighborhood straddling the border of Wildomar and Menifee.
“Passage of Senate Bill 772 would relieve Elsinore Valley and Eastern municipal water districts of legal liability for ‘injuries or damages’ for two years while they take over the responsibility of supplying water to the community of about 140 households.”
“State water quality officials announced Saturday their intent to reduce the rate of sediment pollution in the Elk River by 97 percent over the next 20 years by limiting it in timberland areas for both residents and logging companies.”
“It’s a long-awaited sight around here, as welcome as a big snowfall on the ski slopes ringing the lake. Hard hats are swarming over Lake Tahoe’s ‘hole in the ground,’ a vast construction site on Highway 50 that sat dormant for nearly five years. …
“But a massive makeover of Tahoe is years away; redevelopment at the lake usually comes at a glacial pace. The environmental rules are legendary.”
“The New River may be getting a much-needed cleanup and improvement if the city of Calexico gets the support from the Colorado River Basin Regional Water Quality Control Board that it requested Thursday during the board’s meeting here.”
“At least one water pipe in Santa Clara County’s $75 million crime lab is infected with bacteria that can cause Legionnaires’ disease, according to preliminary tests, county officials confirmed Wednesday. …
“The building has a separate plumbing system for forensic tests that uses only distilled water, so pending criminal cases will not be affected …”
A judge has ordered a metal plating company in Richmond, Calif., to remove large quantities of hazardous waste, including potentially deadly cyanide, after state officials argued that it poses a health threat to nearby residents.
“Contra Costa County Superior Court Judge Judith Craddick gave Electro-Forming 14 days to dispose of some waste and 30 days for others.”
“Parts of the nation’s $500 billion farm bill that Congress is considering would prohibit the government from disclosing some information about farmers or their employees, possibly preventing people from learning about nearby agricultural and large-scale livestock operations blamed for polluting water or soil.”
“For more than 40 years, scientists have carefully scrutinized the cobalt waters in the middle of Lake Tahoe, documenting a steady and disturbing decline in the lake’s famed clarity. … Now, researchers insist, it’s time to focus the scientific spotlight on parts of the lake closest to shore.
“The United States Environmental Protection Agency has taken over the Samoa pulp mill site and initiated an emergency response to remove millions of gallons of caustic liquids, much of which are currently stored in failing tanks.
“EPA has stabilized the situation, and is now working with the Humboldt Bay Harbor, Recreation and Conservation District on a plan to remove more than 4 million gallons of pulping liquors from the site.
“Technicians working for a state environmental agency drilled a temporary well through the pavement in front of Thomas Ciccarelli’s home in Wildomar and carefully extracted muddy groundwater from a depth of about 25 feet.”
“Rural neighbors of an abandoned World War II-era copper mine that has leaked toxic chemicals in northern Nevada for decades have won up to a $19.5 million settlement from companies they accused of covering up the contamination.”
“It was hardly as dramatic as a raising of the Titanic, but when the nose end of the Captain Al, a 105-foot rust bucket of a tugboat, poked above the surface of the Oakland Estuary for the first time in more than 15 years Monday, a few men ashore got lumps in their throats.