A constructive alliance has been forged, bringing the San Geronimo Golf Course and the Salmon Protection and Watershed Network together to improve natural habitat in the creeks that cross through the course.Although SPAWN’s recent clas...
Companies tapping springs and aquifers with little oversight
Miles from the nearest paved road in the San Bernardino National Forest, two sounds fill a rocky canyon: a babbling stream and the hissing of water flowing through a stainless steel pipe.
From wells that tap into springs high on the mountainside, water gushes down through the pipe to a roadside tank. From there, it is transferred to tanker trucks, hauled to a bottling plant and sold as Arrowhead 100% Mountain Spring Water.
Nestle Waters North America holds a longstanding right to use this water from the national forest near San Bernardino. But the U.S. Forest Service hasn't been keeping an eye on whether the taking of water is harming Strawberry Creek and the wildlife that depends on it. In fact, Nestle's permit to transport water across the national forest expired in 1988. It hasn't been reviewed since, and the Forest Service hasn't examined the ecological effects of drawing tens of millions of gallons each year from the springs.
Tampons have been hailed by scientists as an effective way to identify pollution in rivers.
A new study led by David Lerner, a professor of environmental engineering at the University of Sheffield, helped identify specific households where pipes are misdirecting sewage into rivers rather than treatment plants.
During the study, the tampons were suspended on rods above 16 different surface water outlets which ran into rivers and streams. Afterwards they were dipped in diluted detergent for five seconds, where nine of them showed up optical brighteners (chemical compounds) under ultraviolet light, indicating the presence of water pollution.
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The team worked with Yorkshire Water to trace the pipe network back from four of the nine pollution sites and dipped tampons in each manhole to discover the source of the leak.
This revealed which households required their pipelines to be tested, including one where both a sink and a soil stack were connected to the wrong pipes.
Lerner said pollution in rivers is usually widespread and difficult to track, with the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs estimating in 2009 that around 5% of homes have incorrectly connected waste water pipes.
“All you need is for someone to have a cowboy builder and connect their appliances to the wrong drain and you have sewage going into the river,” he said.
If you have any doubt about the contempt that some leaders within the pork industry have for their own customers – to say nothing of the pigs locked in gestation crates – the dispute over a dangerous animal drug named ractopamine should dispel it. On Monday, McClatchy reported that the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) is maneuvering to derail free trade talks with the European Union unless the EU agrees to accept imports of pork from pigs fed ractopamine. Ractopamine is a beta-agonist (a drug used to treat asthma in humans) that producers feed pigs, cattle and turkeys to induce rapid weight gain. It is banned or restricted in around 160 nations—including in the EU and even in Russia and China. But that hasn’t stopped the American pork industry, which now treats an estimated 60 to 80 percent of its pigs with ractopamine, from routinely using the drug.
For the first time in a century, endangered Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep are back on their ancestral range and headed toward recovery, wildlife officials said Monday. During an ongoing relocation effort, dozens of bighorns have been captured with nets dropped from helicopters then moved to...
The cancer-research arm of the World Health Organization last week announced that glyphosate, the world’s most widely used herbicide, is probably carcinogenic to humans. But the assessment, by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) in Lyon, France, has been followed by an immediate backlash from industry groups.
On March 23, Robb Fraley, chief technology officer at the agrochemical company Monsanto in St Louis, Missouri, which sells much of the world’s glyphosate, accused the IARC of “cherry picking” data. “We are outraged with this assessment,” he said in a statement. Nature explains the controversy.
The main reason soaring greenhouse gas emissions have not caused air temperatures to rise more rapidly is that oceans have soaked up much of the heat. But new evidence suggests the oceans’ heat-buffering ability may be weakening. by cheryl katz
For decades, the earth’s oceans have soaked up more than nine-tenths of the atmosphere’s excess heat trapped by greenhouse gas emissions. By stowing that extra energy in their depths, oceans have spared the planet from feeling the full effects of humanity’s carbon overindulgence.
News that a Texas city is to be powered by 100% renewable energy sparked surprise in an oil-obsessed, Republican-dominated state where fossil fuels are king and climate change activists were described as “the equivalent of the flat-earthers” by US senator and GOP presidential hopeful Ted Cruz.
“I was called an Al Gore clone, a tree-hugger,” says Jim Briggs, interim city manager of Georgetown, a community of about 50,000 people some 25 miles north of Austin.
The latest victim of Florida governor Rick Scott’s unwritten ban on state officials using the words “climate change” is his own disaster preparedness lieutenant, who stumbled through verbal gymnastics to avoid using the scientific term in a newly surfaced video.
The argument for divesting from fossil fuels is becoming overwhelming Read more Bryan Koon, Florida’s emergency management chief, was testifying before the state senate’s budget subcommittee on Thursday, answering questions about the news that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (Fema) will pull federal funding from states that refuse to directly address climate change.
In the video, uploaded by the advocacy group Forecast The Facts, Senator Jeff Clemens asks Koon whether he is aware of the updated Fema guidelines, which would block 2016 funding in states whose governors refuse to implement so-called hazard mitigation plans for global warming.
Koon affirmed that the state’s next plan would be required to include “language to that effect”.
Brazil and Indonesia paid over $40bn in subsidies to industries that drive rainforest destruction between 2009 and 2012 - compared to $346m in conservation aid they received to protect forests, according to new research
China and Russia aren't known as leaders on food safety or animal welfare, yet there's one drug that even they -- along with much of the world, including the European Union -- won't allow to be fed to animals destined for the plate: ractopamine. This growth-promoting drug has left thousands of pigs lame, in intense pain, downed, and even dead. The United States isn't taking the drug off the market and instead is dismissing the data about animal welfare problems and expanding its use. Beef producers are switching in droves to the dangerous growth promoter because they've been blocked by others within their industry from using an equally dangerous and powerful-acting drug.
Fortune's Deena Shanker reported last week that beef cattle feedlot operators have been stung by the refusal of Tyson and Cargill to accept cattle at their slaughterhouses doped up with the growth promoting drug Zilmax (a drug similar to ractopamine), after reports that it caused cattle to arrive at slaughterhouses "hoofless" and in severe pain.
Now, however, beef producers are replacing Zilmax with ractopamine, though it seems to offer little for the well-being of their animals while risking serious harm to them. The drug has been linked to nearly a quarter-million cases of adverse reactions in pigs, including lameness, trembling, hyperactivity, hoof disorder, dyspnea, collapse and death.
Beef eaters should be concerned. The Food and Drug Administration’s original approval of ractopamine included no safety assessment on humans.
Higher levels of pesticide residue in fruit and vegetables are associated with lower quality of semen, according to a study published on Tuesday. Its authors said the research was only an early step in what should be a much wider investigation.
Just 17% of England's rivers are judged to be in good health, according to Environment Agency figures. This is down from 29% with a good ecological status in 2014. The analysis is shocking, say environmentalists. Problems are caused by over-abstraction and pollution from farms, run-off from roads and effluent from sewage works - as well as invasive species. The Environment Agency says the figures look bad because the EU's assessment criteria have been tightened. "Threatens wildlife"
Michigan awards $350000 in grants for dam removal, fixes Escanaba Daily Press LANSING, Mich. (AP) — The state of Michigan has awarded $350,000 to four projects that will remove obsolete dams or fix those needing repairs.
Drought is returning Lake Powell, impounded behind the Glen Canyon dam on the Colorado river, back to desert, writes Grant A. Mincy - and a fine thing too! As nature turns billions of dollars of infrastructural abomination to junk, this creates the chance to reclaim our commons and recreate ravaged ecosystems.
Pramilla Malick was reading in bed last summer when suddenly she had to struggle to breathe. Gasping, she went outside and then back inside, getting no relief from the country air around her home in Minisink, New York. Her symptoms began at a time when her children and some of their Minisink neighbors were also experiencing new ailments, such as nausea, nosebleeds, rashes, sore throats, asthma and dizziness. Their symptoms would erupt during or after an “odor event,” a period of malodorous emissions at the new Millennium Pipeline gas compressor station nearby that began functioning in June of 2013. Malick’s asthmatic symptoms, which she never had before, surface only on weekends in Minisink, she says; they live in New York City, 95 miles away, on weekdays.
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