WaterWorld Weekly Newscast, March 14, 2016

A transcript of the Weekly Newscast for the week of March 14, 2016.

The following is a transcript of the Weekly Newscast for the week of March 14, 2016.

Hi, I'm Angela Godwin for WaterWorld magazine, bringing you water and wastewater news headlines for the week of March 14th. Coming up...

AWWA supports removal of lead service lines

Military to check hundreds of sites for water contamination

Mayors voice support for Flint Mayor Weaver

PA families awarded in fracking water contamination suit

Wastewater agencies want San Jose to turn over treatment plant expense records

[story1]

The Board of the American Water Works Association voted unanimously last week to support recommendations from the National Drinking Water Advisory Council that strengthen the Lead and Copper Rule and ultimately lead to the complete removal of lead service lines.

Some of the Council's key recommendations are that water utilities:

1. Locate and replace all lead service lines completely, sharing responsibility for that replacement with customers,

2. Conduct additional monitoring and analysis of water quality parameters in order to better manage corrosion control,

3. Expand on current educational outreach to alert customers, particularly customers with lead service lines, to the risks posed by lead and steps they can take to reduce those risks, and

4. Analyze customer samples for lead upon request.

AWWA CEO David LaFrance said that the board’s support for the Council's recommendations "underscores the importance of protecting families today from lead exposure and a shared responsibility among utilities, customers, property owners and government for the complete removal of lead service lines over time.”

AWWA published new analysis last week estimating that 6.1 million lead service lines remain in U.S. communities, suggesting progress in lead service line removal over the past two decades but indicating an estimated $30 billion challenge remains.

[story2]

According to the Department of Defense, the military plans to check 664 sites for possible water contamination from perfluorinated chemicals after mounting concern that the chemicals may have contaminated groundwater.

The chemicals come from foam used to fight fires and the sites are places where fire or crash training have been conducted by the military.

According to a list provided to the Associated Press, there is at least one site in every state, but California has the most, with 85, followed by Texas, with 57.

According to the Associated Press, tests have been carried out at 28 naval sites since December, mostly in coastal areas.

The Navy said elevated levels of the chemicals have been found in drinking water at a landing field in Virginia and the groundwater at a site in New Jersey.

Other test results have been below federally acceptable levels or are pending.

[story3]

During a press conference at Flint City Hall last week, U.S. Conference of Mayors CEO & Executive Director Tom Cochran and Former Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin stood in solidarity with Flint Mayor Karen Weaver as she called for federal and state assistance.

As part of the Conference's support, Cochran also released a new bipartisan letter to Congress and the White House from more than 150 mayors around the country urging resources for Flint in the aftermath of the water crisis.

In the letter, the Conference underscored the need for immediate funding to replace the lead service lines throughout Flint's water system.

The letter also called for significant assistance in the form of resources and technical support to assess, monitor, and address the impact of lead exposure particularly with regard to the children of Flint.

[story4]

Last week, jurors in a federal civil suit ordered Cabot Oil and Gas, one of Pennsylvania's largest fracking companies, to pay a total of $4.24 million to two families in Dimock, Pennsylvania, for contaminating their well water.

Throughout the eight-year dispute, Cabot maintained that the contaminated wells had nothing to do with its operations and that the methane was naturally occurring.

The two families were the last of more than 40 that had sued Cabot. The others settled with the company in 2012.

[story5]

A coalition of small wastewater tributary agencies is demanding the city of San Jose turn over all public records related to expenditures at the San Jose Santa Clara Wastewater Treatment Plant.

The agencies say they have reason to believe the City of San Jose has used ratepayer funds for the benefit of San Jose only – and at the unfair expense of smaller communities whose fees are supposed to pay for plant operations.

The agencies have hired an independent forensic auditor to investigate and intend to turn over their findings to state and federal officials for further investigation as need be.

[OUTRO]

For WaterWorld magazine, I'm Angela Godwin. Thanks for watching.

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