Water World Weekly Newscast, Feb. 22, 2016

A transcript of the Water World Weekly Newscast for the week of Feb. 22, 2016.

The following is a transcript of the Water World Weekly Newscast for the week of Feb. 22, 2016.

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Chicago residents sue city over lead pipe water contamination

EPA launches online mapping tool to help protect drinking water sources

Two execs charged for fixing prices of water treatment chemicals

NRDC sues EPA to set limits for perchlorate

Two Ohio EPA staffers fired over response to lead in Sebring water


Chicago residents have filed a class-action lawsuit against the city, claiming that it knowingly started construction projects that greatly increased the risk of toxic levels of lead in residents’ tap water.

According to the complaint, the city's water system modernization projects have disturbed the city’s aging lead water pipes, disrupting the polyphosphate coating that protects the service lines and increasing the risk of elevated lead levels in the water supply.

It also alleges the city failed to warn residents of the risks or provide accurate directions on how to reduce the risk of lead contamination.

The suit seeks medical assistance for affected residents, including a fund to pay for medical monitoring to diagnose lead poisoning to make sure residents are made aware of the hazards and effects of contamination.


The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has released DWMAPS -- the Drinking Water Mapping Application to Protect Source Waters.

The online mapping tool provides water system operators, state programs, federal agencies, and the public with critical information to help them safeguard sources of drinking water.

Utilities and state drinking water program managers can use DWMAPS with their own state and local data to identify potential sources of contamination in their locations, find data to support source water assessments and plans to manage potential sources of contamination, and evaluate accidental spills and releases.

DWMAPS also integrates drinking water protection activities with other environmental programs at the federal, state, and local levels.

To learn more, visit epa.gov/sourcewaterprotection/dwmaps.


Two water treatment chemicals executives were indicted in Newark, New Jersey, last week for their roles in a conspiracy to eliminate competition among suppliers of the coagulant liquid aluminum sulfate to municipalities and pulp and paper companies in the United States.

The indictment alleges that Vincent J. Opalewski and Brian C. Steppig and their co-conspirators discussed each other’s liquid aluminum sulfate business, agreeing to stay away from each other’s historical customers, submitting intentionally losing bids to favor the intended winner of the business, withdrawing inadvertently winning bids and discussing with each other prices to be quoted to municipalities and pulp and paper companies.


The Natural Resources Defense Council has filed a suit in federal court seeking to force the Environmental Protection Agency to set limits on perchlorate.

In February 2011, the EPA determined that perchlorate met Safe Drinking Water Act criteria for regulation as a contaminant.

The agency had two years to propose a regulation and another 18 months to finalize them. But EPA missed both deadlines.

NRDC's complaint says these failures "violate express statutory deadlines contained in the Safe Drinking Water Act" and asks the court to compel EPA to act.


Two Ohio EPA employees have been fired, and a third demoted, over their handling of elevated lead levels in drinking water in the town of Sebring.

On December 3rd, Ohio EPA warned Sebring officials there might be a problem with high lead levels, but residents were not told until six weeks later.

The Ohio EPA staffer responsible for ensuring lab results were received by the field office, and that employee's supervisor, were fired. A third staffer was disciplined for not escalating the situation to superiors.

As of late last week, all but four of the most recent tap water samples from Sebring are below the federal standard for lead.


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

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