EPA Strengthens Safeguards Against Water Contamination by Coal Plants

The Biden administration has announced that the Environmental Protection Agency will take several new steps “to force utilities to strengthen safeguards for toxic coal ash pollution from power plants.”

Some plants currently store coal ash in unlined pits, potentially allowing contaminants such as arsenic, lead, and lithium to seep into groundwater and infiltrate water supplies. EPA Administrator Michael Regan said the new regulations “will help us protect communities and hold facilities accountable.”

Solutions Being Considered for PFAS Contamination in Maine Town of Kittery

The Maine State Department of Environmental Protection has begun testing home wells in the town of Kittery, Maine after concerns were raised about the presence of PFAS in the water. Results of the testing has revealed contaminants in at least one of the home wells, and the town has distributed bottled water to the affected residents.

According to Seacoastonline, “the Kittery Water District is open to discuss expanding its water line toward the area of concern as a possible long-term solution.” Another solution being proposed is a “carbon-type” water filtration system, which would cost $5,000 per home to be installed.

Study Shows Hundreds of Thousands of California Residents Do Not Have Access to Safe Drinking Water

The results of analysis by researchers from UC Berkeley and UCLA show that “drinking water for more than 370,000 Californians is contaminated with arsenic, nitrate, and other chemicals.” According to the study, this contaminated water is disproportionately found in the water systems of people of color, especially Latino communities.

Approximately 10% of California’s public water systems were found to be out of compliance with state standards. Also, 40% of the Californians found to have contaminated water have their water supplied by domestic wells because they live in rural communities which are not connected to public water systems.

Boil Water Advisory Issued in Parts of Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Hawaii

A boil water advisory that was put into place earlier this week in Novi, Michigan has been lifted. Crews working on the 14 Mile Water Transmission Main Repair had discovered a leak and have now implemented a solution to repair the leak and restore a clean water supply to affected residents.

An industrial fire led to a boil water advisory in the Slate Belt of Lehigh Valley in Pennsylvania this week. Low water pressure was observed in the water system, and tests will need to be conducted before the water is determined to be safe to drink again.

Additionally, in Hawaii, residents of Molokai are under a boil water advisory until further notice due to possible E. coli contamination in the Kalae Water System.

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