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2020-10-22EPA Releases New Curriculum to Protect Children in Indian Country and Communities from Lead Exposure
As part of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) celebration of Children’s Health Month, the agency released a curriculum to help tribes and all communities protect children from potential lead exposure. The Lead Awareness in Indian Country: Keeping our Children Healthy! curriculum advances the Trump Administration’s commitment to the Federal Action Plan to Reduce Childhood Lead Exposures and Associated Health Impacts by providing practical, on-the-ground, community-based resources to reduce childhood lead exposure. [ full text ]

Click here for more information about lead regulation.

2020-10-21EPA Announces Initiative to Recruit and Retain the 21st Century Water Workforce
At the virtual 2020 WEFTEC conference, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Andrew Wheeler announced the next step in EPA’s effort to help address workforce challenges that are facing America’s drinking water and wastewater utilities. The new America’s Water Sector Workforce Initiative (Initiative) outlines actions that the public and private sector are committing to that will help recruit and retain the next generation of the water workforce through workforce planning, technology training, and collaboration across the federal government and the water sector. These actions will support workforce resiliency for water utilities and thereby help ensure that Americans can continue relying on safe drinking water and vital wastewater services that protect public health and the environment. [ full text ]

Click here for more information about drinking water systems.

2020-10-12'Hard, Dirty Job': Cities Struggle To Clear Garbage Glut In Stay-At-Home World
From empty pizza boxes to Amazon cartons, household trash cans are overflowing with the refuse of our new, stay-at-home era — and cities are struggling to keep up. Residential trash volume spiked as much as 25% this spring, according to the trade group Solid Waste Association of North America. It has shrunk a bit since then but remains well above pre-pandemic levels. [ full text ]

Click here for more information about solid waste management.

2020-10-12Tackling Stormwater Problems Without the Pushback
Delaware lawmakers passed a law in 1991 requiring new housing subdivisions to install and maintain their own systems to collect and treat stormwater. Two decades later, the first generation of ponds, swales and other infrastructure mandated by the law began to fall into disrepair and fail. Quickly overwhelmed, homeowners associations turned to the public sector for help. [ full text ]

Click here for more information about stormwater.

2020-10-12Ways2H, Local Power Aspire to Sell Hydrogen from Waste for Microgrids
There’s a fairly new movement in the U.S. where some jurisdictions are investing in microgrids to bypass utilities while generating locally sourced clean power that is delivered directly to the end user’s site, which could for instance be a small hospital campus or an entire downtown area. [ full text ]

Click here for more information about energy issues.

2020-10-08Announcing the Launch of the Water Equity Network
This extraordinary year has put a sharp focus on how inequity affects a community’s well-being. The COVID-19 virus has highlighted how interconnected we are, but we are definitely not all “in the same boat” as we navigate these waters. In a time of pandemic, intensifying climate change, and growing awareness of racial inequities, we see clearly that people in vulnerable communities experience worse outcomes in terms of health and well-being, employment, and access to the basic needs of food, water, and housing. We know that these disparate outcomes are underpinned by systemic racism and classism in our cities and their systems of operation—and that includes our water systems. As anchor institutions in their communities, water utilities can play a significant role in advancing water equity—but they can’t do it alone! Cross-sector collaboration among utilities, community organizations, environmental groups, philanthropy, and other local stakeholders is key to building thriving, equitable water systems and communities. And we can all can learn from and support one another in this work. [ full text ]

Click here for more information about drinking water systems.

2020-10-08Explainer: Who Regulates U.S. Drinking Water and How?
Who’s responsible for making sure the water you drink is safe? Ultimately, you are. But if you live in the U.S., a variety of federal, state and local entities are involved as well. The Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) forms the foundation of federal oversight of public water systems — those that provide water to multiple homes or customers. Congress passed the landmark law in 1974 during a decade marked by accumulating evidence of cancer and other health damage caused by industrial chemicals that found their way into drinking water. The act authorized the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for the first time to set national standards for contaminants in drinking water. The EPA has since developed standards for 91 contaminants, a medley of undesirable intruders that range from arsenic and nitrate to lead, copper and volatile organic chemicals like benzene. [ full text ]

Click here for more information about drinking water.