Water World Weekly Newscast: Feb. 1, 2016

A transcript of the Feb. 1, 2016, edition of the WaterWorld Weekly Newscast.

The following is a transcript of the Feb. 1, 2016, edition of the WaterWorld Weekly Newscast.

Hi, I'm Angela Godwin for WaterWorld magazine, bringing you water and wastewater news headlines for the week of February 1st.

Coming up...

ACLU files lawsuit over Flint water crisis

Wetland mitigation banking opportunity available through USDA

Florida House passes bill to regulate fracking

Poor water, sanitation fuel fears of disease in Zimbabwe

[story1]

The Michigan ACLU has filed a lawsuit over the widespread lead contamination crisis in Flint, Michigan.

The suit alleges that city officials are not upholding their obligations under the Safe Drinking Water Act.

The complaint seeks full replacement of all lead service lines at no cost to rate payers, as well as implementation of a monitoring program to report on levels of lead and copper in the water system.

Other plaintiffs in the suit include the Natural Resources Defense Council, a group of pastors, and a Flint resident.

[story2]

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced the establishment of the Natural Resources Conservation Service Wetland Mitigation Banking Program, made possible by the 2014 Farm Bill.

Wetland mitigation banking is a market-based approach that involves restoring, creating, or enhancing wetlands in one place to compensate for unavoidable impacts to wetlands in another.

Through the program, NRCS will provide $9 million to help states, local governments or other qualified partners develop wetland mitigation banks, broadening the conservation options available to farmers and ranchers so they can maintain eligibility for other USDA programs.

USDA is now accepting project proposals through March 28. To learn more, visit grants.gov.

[story3]

The House of Representatives in Florida has passed a bill that, if signed into law, would regulate the practice of hydraulic fracturing in the state.

It would also prohibit local bans on fracking, like similar bills do in Oklahoma and Texas.

Florida currently has no fracking regulations.

The proposed legislation would first require a study of the health and environmental impacts of fracking, which would be used by the Department of Environmental Protection to create regulations around the drilling practice.

The Senate will now consider its version of the bill.

[story4]

In international news, health officials in Zimbabwe are concerned that the water crisis there could increase the spread of typhoid and other infectious diseases.

Over the past few weeks, several cases of typhoid have been detected in the capital city of Harare, as well as dozens of cases of shigellosis.

City officials deny that the tap water is contaminated, but health experts say that the frequent outages and poor sanitation are highly conducive to the spread of bacterial diseases.

Access to clean drinking water and sanitation in Harare has dropped in recent years, from 95% in 2009 to below 40% in 2014.

[OUTRO]

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

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