Water quality

August 14, 2013

NC four years behind on Clean Water Act rules

Source: The News & Observer (Raleigh, NC), August 11, 2013
Posted on: http://envfpn.advisen.com

Once an innovative leader in water quality science, North Carolina has fallen behind in meeting federal pollution standards.

North Carolina is the only state in its EPA region — which includes Tennessee, South Carolina, Georgia, Kentucky, Alabama, Mississippi and Florida — that has not adopted EPA-approved rules on measuring toxic metals like arsenic, cadmium, copper, silver and zinc in its water, according to a letter the EPA sent on July 31 to Tom Reeder, the director of the Division of Water Resources, within the state Department of Environment and Natural Resources.

DENR sets standards limiting surface water pollution, which must meet requirements set by the federal Clean Water Act, a law that tells states how to protect the country’s streams, oceans, rivers and other bodies of water, and mandates restoration of polluted waterways.

Every three years, DENR is required to hold a public hearing on water quality as part of a review process to update rules that aren’t up to par.

But DENR hasn’t updated those rules in six years and is four years behind in asking for public input — the last year it held a hearing was 2006. The 2008-2010 review is ongoing, though it should have been completed in 2009.

“We continue to allow what we now know to be too much pollution to go into our water ways and into our fish, and that is inexcusable,” said Sam Perkins, the Catawba Riverkeeper, who measures damage to the river and reports problems with pollution. “It’s a disservice to the public, to the people of North Carolina, to not even listen to them every three years” in a public hearing.…

June 25, 2013

Government Study on Effects of Drilling Not Complete Until 2016

Read here about a study being done on the effects of shale gas drilling on water quality that will not be complete until 2016.

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December 11, 2012

Lawsuit pushes for ag water rule: Environmentalists say state board was wrong to delay implementation

Source: Santa Cruz Sentinel (CA), December 1, 2012
Posted on: http://envfpn.advisen.com

Environmental groups are seeking to force state officials to implement strict rules for farm water runoff with a lawsuit filed Thursday in Sacramento Superior Court.

The lawsuit alleges the state Water Resources Control Board acted unlawfully when, in September, it delayed reporting and monitoring regulations approved earlier this year by a regional water board.

The regulations, imposed by the Central Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board, are designed to keep agricultural pollutants out of waterways and drinking water supplies.

“To ignore public monitoring and reporting requirements is inviting the fox into the henhouse,” said Steve Shimek, executive director of the Otter Project, in a press release. “The regulatory agencies and public will have no idea if growers are doing anything to control their pollution.”

Spokesman Tim Moran said the state water board’s lawyer had yet to receive a copy of the lawsuit and so couldn’t comment. He said the legal counsel also noted that the state board is reviewing petitions related to the regulations, and “will continue to review those petitions to resolve the important public health, environmental and public policy claims raised in them.”

The issue has been debated for more than three years. On one side are environmentalists and social justice advocates seeking protection for community water supplies and wildlife. On the other are growers, who say they want to clean up water but question the expense and effectiveness of the regional board’s approach.

After the regional board approved the regulations in March, both sides petitioned the state board for reconsideration. Environmentalists wanted tougher rules on the discharge of toxic nitrates; farmers were looking for a more substantial overhaul.

The regulations call for farms to adopt water quality plans and show their effectiveness. The regulatory program mandates adoption of water quality plans by individual farms and specific results. It uses a system of tiers to focus most closely on large farms using specific pesticides, growing crops with high nitrogen loads and operating near polluted waterways.

Farmers favor a coalition-based projects, measurable improvements and independent monitoring and evaluation.…

July 18, 2011

Pennsylvania Homeowners Sue Gas Driller over Water Well

Source: http://www.insurancejournal.com, July 13, 2011

A western Pennsylvania couple has sued a natural gas driller claiming its activities contaminated their water well.

The Johnstown Tribune-Democrat reports that Chester and Edith Slesinger are suing T&F Exploration LP and T&F Operating Inc.

The couple claims leaks and discharges of drilling fluids and other substances have cost them use of the well on their Adams Township, Cambria County property. The suit says water quality tests found contamination.

The suit in county court says Chester Slesinger has been hauling water from a neighbor’s home since the test results came back. The Slesingers say they noticed problems in December 2009 when their morning coffee tasted salty and bitter.

A phone message left early Tuesday for T&F Exploration was not immediately returned.…

February 17, 2011

Groundwater pollution legal fight finally ends

Source: Lodi News-Sentinel (CA), February 12, 2011
By: Maggie Creamer

The city of Lodi ended a long legal battle over groundwater contamination earlier this month.

The Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board unanimously approved $6.3 million in settlements from a federal lawsuit over groundwater pollution on Feb. 4.

These settlements are with insurance companies of local businesses, and resolve the question of liability for the contamination, city officials said.

“I’m pleased to see we’re no longer paying to fight about the problem, we’re paying to clean it up,” Lodi City Attorney Steve Schwabauer said in a news release. “I’m glad we’ve reached the end of a 22-year odyssey to deal with the root of the contamination.”

With the approval, the city will have access to the money for cleanup and monitoring of the industrial solvent. The city will make sure the chemicals do not reach Lodi’s drinking water wells, install carbon filtration on any wells that are affected, and install a treatment system to remove the contamination.…

January 18, 2011

New owner of hog farm promises better management

Publication Date 01/15/2011
Source: Sun Journal (New Bern, NC)
Posted on: http://envfpn.advisen.com

The Jones County hog farm that is the target of a potential lawsuit for alleged pollution of a nearby creek with hog waste has changed hands, and the new owner has also been threatened with the suit.

Donald E. Taylor of Pink Hill said he took over the McLawhorn Livestock Farm Inc. Banks farm about a month before its previous owners were sent a notice about the potential lawsuit that alleges violations of federal clean water and solid waste disposal laws.

Taylor, who is under contract to raise hogs at the facility for the Warsaw-based Murphy-Brown LLC, the livestock production subsidiary of Smithfield Foods Inc. according to the website wmurphybrownllc.com, said he knows there were “a lot of problems” with the farm before.…

August 11, 2010

Elevated Levels of VOC at Landfill

Acknowledgement to XL Environmental

THE CLAIM
A claim from the regional water quality control board (RWQCB) was initiated for the discovery of elevated levels of volatile organic compounds (VOC) in the groundwater at a garbage company landfill property of an XL insured. Disposal operations at the site had been ceased for over 20 years. VOCs were historically reported at the site upon implementation of groundwater monitoring activities upon closure. During the insured’s environmental consultant’s sampling under an approved, on-going Corrective Action Monitoring Program, unexpected elevated levels of VOCs were reported in the groundwater sampled. The RWQCB required further investigation and the implementation of a remediation work plan.

THE RESPONSE
XL’s environmental claims counsel and a technical consultant worked with the insured and the insured’s environmental consultant to prepare a remediation work plan for submittal to the RWQCB for approval.

THE SOLUTION
The insured’s Pollution and Remediation Legal Liability Policy responded to the insured’s claim report. Experienced XL environmental claims counsel and technical consultant assisted the insured and their environmental consultant with the claim asserted by the RWQCB and with the preparation of a remediation work plan to address the elevated levels of VOCs in the groundwater. All costs and expenses associated with the remediation are expected to fall within our insured’s self-insured policy retention.…