WaterWorld Weekly Newscast, July 31, 2017

A transcript of the WaterWorld  Weekly Newscast for July 31, 2017.

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BLM proposes rescinding fracking rule; Tool gives easy access to water infrastructure financing info; Air Force admits role in contamination of Colorado groundwater; Water quality challenge seeks low-cost sensors to support nutrient reduction

The following is a transcript of the WaterWorld Weekly Newscast for July 31, 2017.

Hi, I'm Angela Godwin for WaterWorld magazine, bringing you water and wastewater news headlines for the week of July 31. Coming up...

BLM proposes yanking rule on hydraulic fracturing
Tool provides easy access to water infrastructure financing info
Air Force admits role in contamination of Colorado groundwater
Water quality challenge seeks low-cost sensors to support nutrient reduction

Last week, the Bureau of Land Management's proposal to rescind its 2015 rule on hydraulic fracturing was published in the Federal Register.

The agency created the rule to protect groundwater supplies and ensure responsible, safe operation of hydraulic fracturing activities.

Key components of the rule include improving assurances of well-bore integrity and requiring operators to disclose their fracturing chemicals.

In March, BLM was directed by a Presidential Executive Order to review the 2015 rule with the goal of reducing regulatory burden on energy developers and producers.

The proposal is open for public comment until Sept. 25, 2017.

Visit regulations.gov for details.

The U.S. EPA has launched a web-based portal designed to provide communities efficient access to up-to-date water finance information to rehabilitate or replace aging water infrastructure.

The Water Finance Clearinghouse is a searchable database of more than $10 billion in water funding sources and over 550 resources to support local water infrastructure projects.

State, federal, local, and foundation funding sources and resources on public-private partnerships, asset management practices, revenue models, and affordability approaches are included in the Clearinghouse.

States, federal agencies, and other water sector stakeholders have the ability to suggest edits and new resources or funding options at any time through the Contributor Portal.

For more information on the tool or to register for a training webinar, visit epa.gov/waterfinancecenter.

Last week, the U.S. Air Force released the results of a nine-month study into the presence of toxic perfluorinated chemicals in the soil and groundwater near Peterson Air Force base in Colorado.

In that report, the Air Force acknowledged that its use and handling of firefighting foam contributed to the contamination. It stopped short of taking all the blame, however, pointing out that PFCs are common and could come from a number of other sources.

Last year, tests revealed the presence of PFOS and PFOA in groundwater at the base at levels more than 1,000 times the EPA's recommended 70 parts per trillion.

The contaminants have appeared in drinking water sources used by surrounding communities, including Security, Fountain, and Widefield. Many suspect the base is the source of the contamination.

Many were disappointed that the Air Force report lacked specific information on how far and how fast the PFCs are spreading. The Air Force said it plans to continue its investigation.

Last week, the USEPA, USGS, USDA, and other federal partners launched a technology-accelerating water quality challenge to demonstrate how nutrient sensors can be used by states and local communities to help manage nutrient pollution.

The Nutrient Sensor Action Challenge calls for demonstrations showing the effective use of low-cost sensors, innovative partnerships to pilot the sensors and manage data, and demonstrations of how that information can be part of state and local decision-making.

By proving there are successful strategies for incorporating nutrient sensors into existing water monitoring efforts, the Challenge can help clear the way for states and communities to take action to prevent and reduce nutrient pollution.

Stage 1 of Challenge, where teams will submit action plans, closes September 20, 2017. Up to 10 winning applications will be selected and top entries will receive cash prizes totaling $50,000 and invitations to participate in Stage 2.

For more information on the Nutrient Sensor Action Challenge, please visit challenge.gov.

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

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