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Daily News Blog

Archive for the 'Water' Category


24
Jul

New EPA Administrator Urged to Protect Farmworkers and Bees

(Beyond Pesticides, July 24, 2013) Gina McCarthy, a veteran environmental regulator and President Obama’s pick to run the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA),  finally had her appointment confirmed by the U.S. Senate after an almost five month delay imposed by Senate Republicans. Ms. McCarthy’s appointment got caught up with other cabinet appointments that Republicans were blocking. News of her confirmation was applauded by environmental groups who urge her to focus of several key environmental issues before the agency including climate change, farmworker justice, and pollinator protection. Last Friday the Senate confirmed Gina McCarthy to lead EPA, ending the agency’s longest period without a permanent administrator and closing the door on a contentious dispute over votes on executive nominees. Ms. McCarthy, who currently heads the agency’s Air and Radiation Office, was confirmed on a 59-40 vote. Ms. McCarthy will succeed Lisa Jackson, who stepped down in February, and replaces acting Administrator Bob Perciasepe. The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee cleared Ms. McCarthy’s nomination in May. Environment and Public Works Chairwoman Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) said ahead of the vote that the Senate could “not have a more qualified, more bipartisan nominee,” noting that Ms. McCarthy had worked for Republican governors in […]

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23
Jul

Nanoparticles in Athletic Wear: Don’t Sweat It?

(Beyond Pesticides, July 23, 2013) When shopping for sportswear nowadays, you might notice the stickers or tags on some clothing items touting the apparel as “antimicrobial.” What’s not mentioned on those tags, however, is the point that these antimicrobials, often titanium dioxide or silver nanoparticles (nanosilver), are largely untested, and recent studies are revealing that these substances could seep into a person’s sweat and end up being absorbed through one’s skin. Lead researcher of the study published in Environmental Science and Technology, Natalie von Gotz, Ph.D,, found that some pieces of clothing released significant amounts of nanosilver. Manufacturers are adding nanoparticles to clothing in order to tout their ability to block UV rays (titanium dioxide) or prevent mold and smells (nanosilver) on clothing. However, the long-term impacts of this new technology to human health and the environment are still unknown. There are concerns about the ability of nanomaterial to travel through the human body and damage brain, liver, stomach, testes and other organs, as well as pass from mother to fetus, according to a recent Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) report. Laundering these products ultimately washes them into our environment because sewage treatment plants are not set up to filter […]

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19
Jul

Federal Report Finds Stream Health Severely Degraded

(Beyond Pesticides, July 19, 2013) A recent report by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) examines the health of the nation’s streams over 20 years and finds that streams nationwide are severely degraded by humans, exhibiting elevated levels of pesticides and nutrients as well as streamflow modifications. Overall, the report finds that 83 percent of streams in agricultural and urban areas contain at least one aquatic community that was altered, or in other words, negatively affected. With waterways in the U.S. increasingly imperiled from various agents including agricultural and industrial discharges, nutrient loading (nitrogen and phosphorus), and biological agents such as pathogens, assessments such as these provide further impetus to protect water quality for both human health and the environment. The report, entitled “Quality of Our Nation’s Waters: Ecological Health in the Nation’s Streams, 1993-2005,” describes the health of three biological communities ””algae, macroinvertebrates, and fish”” to  measure the overall quality of streams. A stream’s ability to support these community structures can directly measure the health of waterways. The report assesses streamflow modifications and measures over 100 chemical constituents in water and streambed sediments. The report is a comprehensive assessment of the variety of factors that contribute to stream health declines, […]

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09
Jul

Chlorpyrifos Contamination Could Lead to Trout Troubles in UK

(Beyond Pesticides, July 9, 2013) A recent pesticide contamination incident in Great Britain’s Kennet River has decimated aquatic invertebrate populations on a ten mile stretch of river between the towns of  Marlborough and Hungerford. The contamination occurred after a spill of the toxic pesticide chlorpyrifos entered a Marlborough sewage system. The lack of aquatic invertebrates could lead to a dramatic decline of the river’s chalk trout population. A similar incident occurred in Great Britain on the Wey River in 2003, and in Sussex Ouse in 2001. This recent calamity helps to underscore the importance for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), across the Atlantic, to fully implement pesticide restrictions that U.S. conservation groups are seeking to enforce through court action. The damage to the U.K. river may have been caused by, according to an Express article, only two tablespoons of the neurotoxic insecticide chlorpyifos. Members of the public have been advised by Britain’s Environment Agency to avoid skin contact with the water and not to eat fish caught from the river.  The contamination has occurred at the height of fly-fishing season. Environmental organizations are afraid that a decline in the number of aquatic invertebrates could lead chalk trout and other […]

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08
Jul

China To Deal with Massive Contamination of Groundwater Used for Drinking Water

(Beyond Pesticides, July 8, 2013) The Chinese government has just announced its work plan to manage and clean up contaminated groundwater in North China Plains, a region where many are completely dependent on groundwater for drinking water. Eighteen percent of water use in China is groundwater. Unfortunately, the report indicates this groundwater is highly contaminated with pesticides, fertilizers, and irrigation waste water from agricultural expansion, as well as petrochemical industry wastewater, and domestic and industrial waste. Considering 400 of the approximately 655 cities in China are completely reliant on groundwater for drinking, the plan could not come sooner. Likely though, “It will be very expensive to clean up, if it is even possible,” said Sun Ge, PhD., research hydrologist of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Forest Service Southern Research Station. Many of the chemicals are extremely persistent, remaining in the environment years after they were released. The plan marks progress made after a massive government investigation launched in 2006, which found that groundwater of the North China Plains, home to nearly 130 million people, was almost irreparably contaminated. After six years of investigation and a year of planning, the Chinese Ministry of Land and Resources has finally announced its work […]

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05
Jul

Ohio Senate Bill Seeks to Curb Fertilizer Runoff

(Beyond Pesticides, July 5, 2013) A bill recently introduced in the Ohio State Senate would grant state agencies new regulatory powers intended to stunt the spread of toxic blue green algae in Lake Erie. Senate Bill 150, introduced by Republican State Senator  Cliff Hite, will empower the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) and Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) to require reductions in the amount of fertilizer runoff that is produced by farms. Currently the state lacks authority to limit commercial fertilizer runoff. Swift action is needed as blue green algae blooms, which feed off phosphorus in fertilizer runoff, have increased dramatically in Lake Erie since the mid-1990’s. The proposed legislation would provide ODNR the authority to cite farmers who allow fertilizers to runoff their field. Under the proposed bill, the Chief of ODNR would issue orders to farmers to comply with technical standards, to be created by ODNR,  that “achieve a level of management and conservation practices that will…abate the degradations of the waters of the state by soil amendments.”  Under this legislation, farmers will have to undergo training and receive a certificate from ODA to apply fertilizers and manure. “Farmers would apply for a fertilizer certificate in the […]

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27
Jun

Connecticut Passes Law to Curb Pesticide Use to Save Lobsters

(Beyond Pesticides, June 27, 2013) After years of lobster decline, a new law in Connecticut seeks to protect and revive the crustacean population by banning the use of toxic mosquito pesticides in coastal areas. With the support of Connecticut’s remaining lobsterman, Governor Dannel Malloy last Friday signed into law  House Bill 6441,  which bans two chemicals, methoprene and resmethrin. Declines in the   sound’s lobster population have been alarmingly common for the past 15 years, devastating fishermen and the local economy that depends on them. The pesticides have long been suspected in killing off the lobsters; however last summer, it was officially linked when those chemicals were detected in lobster tissue last summer. Connecticut legislators say that they were convinced that banning the two mosquito pesticides after learning that Rhode Island and Massachusetts had enacted similar bans with successful results. “The fisheries of Long Island Sound have been devastated by this lobster die-off, which has been terrible for our local economy and all the families that relied on this industry,” State Senator Bob Duff (D-Norwalk, Darien) said in a statement. “We should be doing everything we can to reverse the trend and bring the lobster population back to a healthy […]

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26
Jun

Study Finds Pesticides Reduce Biodiversity in Aquatic Ecosystems

(Beyond Pesticides, June 26, 2013) Pesticide use has sharply reduced the regional biodiversity of stream invertebrates, such as mayflies and dragonflies, finds a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science. While previous research has shown similar decreases in individual streams, this new study analyzes the effects of pesticides over broad regions. This is one of several recent findings that show pesticides pose a long-term threat to important ecosystems. The study, entitled Pesticides reduce regional biodiversity of stream invertebrates, notes that losses of biodiversity caused by anthropogenic activities during the past 50 years are unprecedented in human history. A team of researchers sampled 23 streams in the central plains of Germany, 16 in the western plains of France, and 24 in southern Victoria, Australia. Researchers classified streams according to three different levels of pesticide contamination: uncontaminated, slightly contaminated, and highly contaminated. Utilizing a model-based approach to account for other environmental variables, the team observed that losses in taxonomic diversity were, to a large degree, determined by the loss of species specifically vulnerable to pesticides. Overall, they found that there were up to 42% fewer species in highly contaminated than in uncontaminated streams in Europe. Highly contaminated streams […]

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21
Jun

New Report Showcases Atrazine Manufacturer’s Efforts to Discredit Critics

(Beyond Pesticides, June 21, 2013) A scathing new investigative report shows that atrazine manufacturer, Syngenta Crop Protection, launched an aggressive multi-million dollar campaign in response to a class action lawsuit that threatened to remove the controversial herbicide atrazine  from the market. The report reveals that the pesticide giant routinely paid “third-party allies” to appear to be independent supporters, keeping a list of 130 people and groups it could recruit as experts without disclosing ties to the company. The company, the report finds,  also purportedly hired a detective agency to investigate scientists on a federal advisory panel, looking into the personal life of a judge and commissioning a psychological profile of Tyrone Hayes, PhD, one of the leading scientists critical of atrazine, whose research finds that atrazine feminizes male frogs. Recently unsealed court documents reveal a corporate strategy to discredit critics and to strip plaintiffs from the class action case. 100Reporters, a nonprofit investigative journalism group, obtained the documents from the lawsuit in a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request. The campaign is spelled out in hundreds of pages of memos, invoices, and other documents from the  Illinois’ Madison County Circuit Court, which were initially sealed as part of a 2004 […]

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18
Jun

New Study Exposes Range of Harm from Neonicotinoid Pesticides

(Beyond Pesticides, June 18, 2013) Neonicotinoid pesticides have broad ranging negative impacts not only on beneficial pollinators, but on overall biodiversity and ecosystem health, according to a new study published in the Journal of Applied Ecology. The study, conducted by David Goulson, Ph.D, of the University of Sussex, provides a detailed overview of the current literature on the economic and environmental risks of neonicotinoid pesticides. Dr. Goulson’s work draws stark and disturbing conclusions about the environmental fate of these systemic insecticides. First introduced in the early 1990’s as an alternative to the acutely toxic organophosphate and carbamate classes of  pesticides, neonicotinoids are now the most widely used insecticides in the world. They can be broadly applied as a spray or soil drench, however, the ability of these chemicals to translocate into a plant as it grows has led to the creation of a large market within conventional agriculture for seeds coated with these pesticides. As Dr. Goulson notes, global acceptance of treated seeds has undermined the adoption of alternative methods of conventional pest control, even  integrated pest management (IPM), which can reduce pesticide reliance  through monitoring and biological, structural, and cultural strategies. Instead, the treated seed market pushes farmers toward […]

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06
Jun

Wal-Mart to Pay $110M for Clean Water Act and Pesticide Violations

(Beyond Pesticides, June 6, 2013) Last week Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. plead guilty in cases filed by federal prosecutors in Los Angeles and San Francisco to six counts of violating the Clean Water Act by illegally handling and disposing of hazardous materials at its retail stores across the United States, including pouring pesticides down the drain. The Bentonville, Ark.-based company also plead guilty in Kansas City, MO to violating the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) by failing to properly handle pesticides that had been returned by customers at its stores across the country. As a result of the three criminal cases brought by the Justice Department,  and the  related civil case filed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Wal-Mart will pay approximately $81.6 million for its unlawful conduct. Coupled with previous actions brought by the states of California and Missouri for the same conduct, Wal-Mart will pay a combined total of more than $110 million to resolve cases alleging violations of federal and state environmental laws. According to the Kansas City Star, the company stated that the fines and penalties would “not be material to its financial position.” “By improperly handling hazardous waste, pesticides and other materials in […]

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04
Jun

The 2013 Farm Bill: Act Now to Protect Pollinators, Our Food, and Your Health

(Beyond Pesticides, June 4, 2013)  We all know the problems we’re having with Congress these days, and all this turmoil comes together this week as the Senate returns to debate amendments to the 2013 Farm Bill.The country’s environmental and public health is under attack in the current bill — but at the same time there are some encouraging signs. The fate of these proposals will have a profound impact on the future of food in the United States, as well as the health of people and the broader environment. Beyond Pesticides has singled out several issues below that we urge you to act on today, before the Senate votes, in order to both maintain important safeguards for human and environmental health, advance organic, and develop critical protections for pollinators. Because these issues are complex, we are asking you to send separate letters on 5 key topics, which we’ve prepared with just 5 easy clicks! OPPOSE Senator Joe Donnelly’s (D-IN) amendment to the Farm Bill that will reverse our efforts to take the hazardous fumigant sulfuryl fluoride out of our food supply OPPOSE amendments SA 1100 and SA 1103 would remove commonsense protections from pesticide applications directly into our nation’s waterways […]

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03
Jun

Study Finds GE Salmon Able to Cross-Breed with Brown Trout

(Beyond Pesticides, June 3, 2013) A new study, published in Proceedings of the Royal Society, found that genetically engineered (GE) AquaBounty AquaAdvantage salmon can successfully cross-breed with brown trout, a closely related species. GE salmon, created by the biotech company AquaBounty, are designed to reach maturity faster than their wild counterparts and would be the first GE animal approved for human consumption in the United States. As a result of this study, the authors “…suggest that interspecific hybridization be explicitly considered when assessing the environmental consequences should transgenic animals escape to nature.” The study not only found that GE salmon can cross-breed with brown trout, but also that their GE hybrid offspring could outgrow wild salmon, non-GE hybrid offspring, and even GE salmon. The GE hybrids also out-competed wild salmon and GE salmon in simulated stream environments, further stunting the growth of other fish. According to Andrew Kimbrell, executive director of Center for Food Safety, “This study highlights yet another ecological risk of these hazardous genetically engineered fish. The FDA’s [U.S. Food and Drug Administration] attempt to approve these gene altered fish without even analyzing these irreversible impacts on our native salmon and trout populations is unlawful and a gross […]

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30
May

Study Shows Pesticides Dramatically Increase Risk of Developing Parkinson’s Disease

(Beyond Pesticides, May 30, 2013) New research published in the journal Neurology further supports the causative link between pesticide exposure and Parkinson’s disease. Emanuel Cereda, M.D., Ph.D., of the IRCCS university Hospital San Matteo Foundation in Pavia, Italy, and coauthor Gianni Pezzoli, M.D., analyzed 104 studies published between 1975 and 2011 to determine the link between pesticides and solvents to Parkinson’s disease. The researchers analyzed exposure using information on proximity to large farms likely to use pesticides, likelihood of well water consumption, and occupations that cause greater exposure to pesticides and solvents used to kill weeds, insects, fungus, and rodents. Overall, researchers found exposure to pesticides increased the risk of developing the disease by 33%  to 80%.   Some pesticides were considered to be of higher risk than others, with weed killers like paraquat and fungicides maneb and mancozeb causing twice the risk for development of Parkinson’s disease. While risk increased the longer people were exposed to pesticides, researchers indicate there is still a need for further research on the chemical threshold for harm to the brain. The study builds on recent research that has linked Parkinson’s disease to pesticide exposure. In a 2011 article published in the journal Molecular […]

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22
May

Seafood Company Commits To Limit Pesticide Use

(Beyond Pesticides, May 22, 2013) Norwegian seafood production company, Marine Harvest, has committed to certify its salmon farms by 2020  to the Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) Salmon Standard, with the condition that they  begin tightening restrictions of pesticide use and move from caged systems in coastal waters to closed containment systems. As the world’s largest producer of farmed salmon, responsible for 25% to 30% of the global salmon and trout production the move marks an important shift toward sustainable production of their fish products. The ASC Salmon Standard, an accreditation scheme developed and promoted by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), requires members to  diminish the use of toxic chemicals, address sourcing of feed ingredients, diminish the transmission of disease to wild salmon populations, control the escape of farmed salmon, reduce the use of antibiotics and genetically engineered products, and finaly address the labor issues on salmon farms. As of now Marine Harvest has only committed to accredit its fish farms within the United Kingdom, although they also produce fish in Norway, Canada, the Faroe Islands, Ireland and Chile. The company’s move follows on the heels of recent media attention that revealed the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (Sepa) had  found up […]

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20
May

USGS Documents Threat of Pesticides to Waterways; Farm Bill Amendment Undermines Clean Water Act

(Beyond Pesticides, May 20, 2013) The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) released a national assessment that shows the distribution and trends of pesticide use from 1992-2009, providing visible evidence that contamination of pesticides in our nation’s water is clearly a continuing threat. Meanwhile, U.S. Senators are gearing up to put their version of the Farm   Bill on the table that would eliminate common sense protections from pesticide applications into our nation’s waterways. These highly controversial  amendments would undermine the Clean Water Act and put our health and the environment at risk. Tell your Senators to oppose any efforts to undermine the Clean Water Act. The USGS maps provide, for the first time, a visible depiction of the agricultural use of 459 pesticides for each year during 1992-2009. Maps were created by allocating county-level use estimates to agricultural land within each county. A graph accompanies each map, which shows annual national use by major crop for the mapped pesticide for each year during the period. These pesticide use estimates are suitable for evaluating national and regional patterns and trends of annual pesticide use. To see the maps, go to USGS’s Pesticide National Synthesis Project Page and click on a pesticide. The […]

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16
May

Manufacturer to Restrict Atrazine Sales, Use, and Distribution on Long Island

(Beyond Pesticides, May 15, 2013) Recent public outcry over atrazine contamination of drinking water supplies on Long Island has pressured pesticide, herbicide, and fungicide manufacturer Makhteshim Agan of North America (MANA) to restrict the sale, use, and distribution of the toxic chemical. The move has been lauded by environmental advocacy groups, including Citizens Campaign for the Environment (CCE). “Atrazine is a dangerous chemical that poses an unacceptable risk to public health and the environment on Long Island,” said Adrienne Esposito, CCE Executive Director. “Removing this product from the shelves is an essential first step in protecting Long Island drinking water from unnecessary pesticide contamination. We are delighted by this news.” Unfortunately, stores will continue to sell its atrazine inventory until MANA implements the anticipated restriction date of spring of 2014. Atrazine is one of the most commonly used herbicides in the world and is used on most corn, sugarcane and sorghum acreage in the United States; and can also be used on golf courses and residential lawns. In the U.S. alone, 60-80 million pounds are used per year to stop pre- and post-emergent broadleaf and annual grassy weeds, and is generally applied in the spring. The herbicide is a common […]

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01
May

Take Action: Senators Work with Industry on Yet Another Bill to Strip Water Protections

(Beyond Pesticides, May 1, 2013) Last week, U.S. Senator Kay Hagan, (D-NC), and Larry Wooten, president of the North Carolina Farm Bureau, announced new legislation that will be introduced to eliminate Clean Water Act permits required for certain applications of pesticides on or near waterways. The bill to be introduced by Sens. Hagan and Mike Crapo (R-ID) is called “The Sensible Environmental Protection Act (SEPA).” This is the latest in a string of attacks lobbied by industry to remove Clean Water Act protections for streams receiving pesticide discharges. Take Action: Urge your Senators Not to Support This Bill The bill, The Sensible Environmental Protection Act (S-EPA), announced last Monday by Senators Hagan and Crapo is said to be a bipartisan effort to remove so-called “redundant, unnecessary and costly regulation” on farmers and local governments.  According to Senator Hagan, the Clean Water Act does not provide any additional health benefits.  S-EPA, not to be confused with the School Environment Protection Act  (a real effort to protect children from pesticides),  will clarify that Clean Water Act permits are not required for pesticide applications in or near water. The bill also asks the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to report back to Congress […]

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23
Apr

Report Finds an Increase in Pyrethriod Pesticides in California Waters

(Beyond Pesticides, April, 23, 2013) A report released by the Surface Water Ambient Montioring Program (SWAP) has found in California that “detection of pyrethroid pesticides in sediment increased from 55 percent of the statewide samples in 2008 to 85 percent in 2010.” The findings are among the results of the Stream Pollution Treads, or SPoT, monitoring program, an annual assessment of pollution in streams in California. The report also found that stream beds in urban areas have higher levels of pyrethroids that those in agricultural areas. The SWAP report summarizes results of the 2009 and 2010 annual surveys and compares those results to the 2008 SPoT data. Beyond the 30 percent increase of pyerthriods detected in sediment, the percentage of highly toxic samples increased from 6 percent to 67 percent when toxicity tests were conducted at a colder temperature that more closely matched the normal surface water temperature in average watersheds. These results, according to the report, “suggest that current monitoring may underestimate the occurrence of parathyroid-associated toxicity using the standard protocol.”   The report also acknowledges that some pyrethroids, such as bifenthrin, may persist longer than others, and the chronic impacts of these pesticides may be underestimated by some […]

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18
Apr

Climate Change Augments Agricultural Chemical Impacts on Lake Erie

(Beyond Pesticides, April 18, 2013) With hotter and more frequent extreme weather events, scientists say harmful algal blooms caused by pesticides and fertilizer inputs will strike more often in water bodies like Lake Erie, to the detriment of aquatic life and surrounding wildlife. All trends, show that the conditions that caused Lake Erie’s 2011 algal blooms will continue recurring. The algal blooms, which cause bright green scum that completely covers the Western part of Lake Erie, occurs from mid-July to October, in part because of farming practices surrounding the Lake and in part due to climate change. Ecologist Thomas Bridgeman, Ph.D.  at the University of Toledo contributed to these findings in this month’s publication of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science entitled “Record-setting algal blooms in Lake Erie caused by meteorological trends consistent with expected future conditions. “The 2011 bloom was a catastrophe. But it could become the new normal if we don’t do anything” said Dr. Bridgeman. Importantly, the study concludes that “long-term trends in agricultural practices are consistent with increasing phosphorus loading to the western basin of the lake, and that these trends, coupled with meteorological conditions in spring 2011, produced record-breaking nutrient loads.” In short, […]

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09
Apr

Pesticides Found in Long Island Drinking Water

(Beyond Pesticides, April 9, 2013) Last Wednesday, close to a hundred people attended a public hearing at the Riverhead campus of Suffolk County Community College, sponsored by the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), to comment on the draft of the Long Island Pesticide Pollution Prevention Strategy. The strategy, which was released in January, is dramatically different than a draft plan DEC had released in 2011. The draft plan had initially received praise from environmental organizations for its “zero tolerance policy”   to ensure certain chemicals did not end up in Long Island’s drinking water. However, the revamped strategy fails to offer any meaningful protective measures or strong pesticide regulations. This is concerning, given trace amounts of metalaxyl, imidacloprid and atrazine have been repeatedly detected in test wells, along with 117 other pesticides detected in Long Island drinking water. State officials argued that pesticide levels in Long Island’s drinking water are far below federal standards. However, the pesticides that have been found in the drinking water have been linked to several health and environmental problems. Because of these health and environmental risks the Citizens Campaign for the Environment, a grassroots organization working in Long Island, has called for DEC to ban […]

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27
Mar

EPA Upholds Clean Water Act, Steps in to Add Impaired Streams to State List

(Beyond Pesticides, March 27, 2013) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) stepped in this week to revise a biennial report on impaired rivers and streams across West Virginia, after state officials, under pressure from industry interests, left more than 1,000 miles of polluted waterways off the list. EPA officials stated that the Clean Water Act does not allow the state to ignore evidence that streams are troubled. Water standards and plans for cleanup must be adopted for impaired waterways. EPA reprimanded West Virginia from shirking its responsibilities under the law to list all of the state’s impaired streams, in spite of industry interference. EPA Region  3 officials are now proposing to add an additional 255 waterway segments where aquatic life is impaired to the state’s 303(d) list, named for the section of the Clean Water Act that requires it be prepared. Section 303(d) requires a listing of impaired streams in the state, and the list is used for water standard development for subsequent cleanup plans and restoration of the impaired waterways. States are required to publish such lists every two years. West Virginia’s Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) submitted The West Virginia Integrated Water Quality Monitoring and Assessment Report   […]

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08
Mar

Water Testing for Atrazine Severely Lacking in Hawaii

(Beyond Pesticides, March 8, 2013) Sugarcane and pineapple production in Hawaii is threatening aquatic life as years of atrazine applications, a pesticide regularly used for corn production too, has run off into rivers, streams, and groundwater sources. Recent reviews by Hawaiian news service Civil Beat found that water testing for the chemical is not tracked currently in the state of Hawaii, despite requirements by U.S. Environmental Protection Agency regulatory limits under the Clean Water Act. Instead, the Hawaii Department of Agriculture almost exclusively relies on label compliance, according to Thomas Matsuda, manager of its pesticide program. Monitoring problems have been compounded by understaffing, with only six inspectors for the state of Hawaii. Not surprising, close examination of atrazine sales records by Civil Beat indicate that the largest buyers of the chemical are Hawaiian seed corn companies Monsanto and Mycogen. Syngenta recently reached a class action settlement in City of Greeneville v. Syngenta Crop Protection, Inc., providing the Kaua’i Department of Water with $6,692.96 for atrazine clean-up expenses. Atrazine is used nationwide to kill broadleaf and grassy weeds primarily in corn crops. A potent toxicant, atrazine is known to be associated with infertility, low birth weight, and abnormal infant development in […]

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