Posted on 18 May 2013 by Nitin
CHENNAI: The southern bench of the National Green Tribunal on Friday ordered the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board And Commissionerate of Food Safety and Drugs department to conduct sample tests in all 92 private packaged drinking water units in and around Chennai. The units are being operated without valid licences from statutory authorities for several years.
The bench, comprising Justice M Chokkalingam and R Nagendran, passed the interim order on petitions filed by the South India Packaged Drinking Water Manufacturers’ Association and others against the orders served by the pollution control board to close the units and disconnect power supply.
“We are not against packaged drinking water industry. If there is a procedure, why can’t you follow,” the bench observed. When the counsels representing for units said the central ground water authority’s clearance, a statutory order for extraction of groundwater for commercial use, could not be obtained since Tamil Nadu Groundwater Extraction Act 2003 was yet to be notified, the bench observed: “So will you be continuing for a century without licence.”
In its action taken report, the member secretary, pollution control board said there were 124 packaged drinking water units in and around Chennai. Of this, only 24 units have got consent orders to operate. In all, 92 units were served with closure orders and disconnection of power supply orders. Against this, electricity board has disconnected power supply to 78 units.
Posted on 13 May 2013 by Nitin
Azad on Friday asked the food regulator to depute teams to check water samples of all water sources and test the plants of bottling companies.
New Delhi: After complaints about safety of bottled water sold in the national capital, Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad has written to the food regulator to check the bottling plants supplying such drinking water in Delhi and their water sources. The minister has also written to the Food Safety and Standards Association (FSSA) to check the chemical contents in the water bottles sold in and around Delhi and whether they are fit for human consumption.
In a letter to FSSAI, which is responsible for maintaining standards of quality in anything consumed by people, Azad on Friday asked the food regulator to depute teams to check water samples of all water sources and test the plants of bottling companies. Health Ministry sources said Azad’s letters follows numerous complaints received by him about poor quality of bottled water sold in the open market.
The Minister asked the regulator to check the contents of chemicals and ascertain their permissible limits to check if the bottling companies are using proper purification systems. Sources say the complaints refer to certain water sources from where the bottling plants are getting raw water and allege that the companies are using chemicals above the permissible limits to purify the water. Sources said the water samples of all brands, including those manufactured by top MNCs and government-run companies, would be taken.
Posted on 26 April 2013 by Nitin
Juba — South Sudan, which suffered decades of civil war with neighboring Sudan, faces high risks of environmental and water pollution, an official told a summit in South Africa.
Speaking at the Africa Urban Infrastructure summit held in Cape Town, Joseph Kulang, the Chairman of South Sudan’s Central Equatoria state Investment Authority said apart from threat pollution poses, the country also lacks basic facilities needed avert the crisis.
Several speakers from different countries, attended th two-day summit, organized by the Mayor of Cape Town, Patricia de Lille at Cape Town International Convention Center, South Africa.
He however stressed that pollution remains a major problem in the continent, given Africa’s fast growing urbanization.
“Concentration of population, particularly in large cities is posing unprecedented pressure on the urban infrastructure and its basic, recreational and other social facilities,” Kulang told the summit.
The SSIA chairman, further said, while most urban centers usually face problems, such as inadequate water, electricity, sanitation, transportation and transportation, they is need for proper urban planning.
Posted on 22 April 2013 by Arshiya
The water bodies of the earth are being continuously polluted by a variety of sources. The pollution is occurring in all types of water bodies; both freshwater bodies like ponds, lakes and rivers as well as marine bodies like coastal and deep-water seas. Major causes of water pollution are deposition of acid, organic sewage, detergents, agricultural chemicals, industrial effluents, silt, oil and heat into the water bodies.
Various acid gases, aerosols and other acidic substances released into the atmosphere from the industrial or domestic sources of combustion of fossil fuels eventually come down to the ground. These substances are deposited directly on the water bodies.
In addition, these substances also reach the water bodies along with run-off rainwater from the polluted soil. Deposition of acidic substances causes acidification of water by lowering its pH below 6.0. The sulphates, nitrates and chlorides have been reported to make water bodies like lakes, rivers and ponds acidic in many countries.
Posted on 19 April 2013 by Arshiya
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Laboratory tests show that globs of oil found on two Louisiana beaches after Hurricane Isaac came from the 2010 BP spill.
Tests run by Louisiana State University for state wildlife officials confirmed that oil found on Elmer’s Island and Grand Isle matched the biological fingerprint of the hundreds of millions of gallons of oil that spewed from BP’s Macondo well.
On Wednesday, BP PLC said oil from its spill had been exposed by Isaac’s waves and that the company would work to clean it up.
Ed Overton, the LSU chemist who did the state tests, said the oil found on Elmer’s Island had not degraded much while oil at Grand Isle had.
“Both were good solid matches on Macondo oil,” Overton said.
Two other samples collected from another barrier island did not match the signature of oil from the BP well.
Experts expected that hurricane waves would stir up oil buried along the Gulf Coast and that Isaac, which made landfall on Aug. 28 and soaked the region in the days afterward, apparently did just that. Reports of tar balls washing up on beaches after the storm were reported in Alabama and Louisiana, two states that got hit hard by BP’s massive offshore oil spill.
Posted on 18 April 2013 by Arshiya
The hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, process - injecting high pressure water, sand and chemicals into a shale bed to release natural gas – is not responsible for groundwater contamination, according to a new study from the University of Texas, Austin, US. Groundwater contamination that has occurred at fracking sites is mostly down to faulty casings allowing the polluted water from fracking to foul groundwater, meaning the risks of fracking are no worse than conventional oil and gas extraction.
‘The bottom line conclusion in the states’ areas we investigated . [is that] we found no evidence of actual hydraulic fracturing contaminated groundwater,’ says Charles ‘Chip’ Groat, who led the research team.
Part of the reason that fracking has been far more controversial than conventional hydrocarbon drilling, Groat says, is that it is taking place in areas that the oil and gas industry has traditionally shown little interest in.
The population density in states like New Jersey, where there have been efforts to impose a state-wide ban on fracking, is much higher than those that have a history of oil exploration, such as Texas. Groat hypothesises that this is causing conflict between communities, who are worried that there is something uniquely environmentally damaging about fracking, and industry, which considers it a fairly standard procedure.
He notes that fracking has been going on since the 1950s, but its rapid expansion has fuelled concerns about environmental damage.
Posted on 12 April 2013 by Nitin
Everyone knows not to be a litter bug in theory, but it doesn’t always make it into practice. A recent discovery in the Great Lakes is the latest example of previously unobserved trash in our ecosystem.
According to new research coming out of the National Meeting of the American Chemical Society, floating plastic debris, similar to the “Great Pacific Garbage Patch” has been found in the Great Lakes.
The pacific garbage patch is an area of trash in the Pacific Ocean that’s estimated to be twice the size of Texas. The spot acts as a vortex of plastic particles and other pollutants that the currents have pushed together. The actual dimension varies because the garbage itself is often hard to see from satellites. The Pacific is not alone, there’s also a garbage patch in the Southern Atlantic Ocean, and now the Great Lakes.
Posted on 08 March 2013 by Nitin
MILWAUKEE — An investor who’s trying to develop an iron ore mine in northern Wisconsin also owns a coal mine in central Illinois that’s accused of doing too little to resolve long-standing water pollution problems.
The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency is seeking enforcement action against Macoupin Energy, alleging that the company isn’t adequately addressing groundwater problems at the Shay 1 mine in Carlinville, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported.
The agency said it plans to refer the case to the Illinois attorney general’s office.
Shay 1 is one of four Illinois mines owned by billionaire Christopher Cline, who wants to build a $1.5 billion iron ore mine just south of Lake Superior if Wisconsin’s legislature rewrites mining laws to the company’s satisfaction.
Posted on 02 March 2013 by Vynavii
Lakes and streams in Maine and other parts of North America are taking more time than expected to recover from the effects of acid rain, according to reports published this week in the journal Nature and issued by the Water Research Institute (WRI) at the University of Maine. Nevertheless, according to Steve Kahl, director of the WRI, some signs already point to a modest recovery.
Kahl is a co-author of the paper in Nature, “Regional trends in aquatic recovery from acidification in North America and Europe 1980-95.” He is a primary author of the WRI draft report to the EPA, “Recent trends and aquatic effects related to acidic deposition in Maine.”
Scientists define recovery of a lake as the return to pre-industrial levels of acidity and other chemicals which counteract acidity. So-called “acid neutralizing capacity” is an indicator of a lake’s chemical health. It results from the natural weathering of rocks and soils.
Posted on 21 February 2013 by Nitin
Last week social activist Deng Fei accused factories in Weifang City of Shandong Province of discharging chemical waste water into 1,000 meter deep underground which seriously polluted citizen’s drinking water.
In the following days, Shandong provincial environment protection departments sent 320 officers to over 700 suspected factories to investigate. But they say none of them is found to use deep well technology to dump waste water. Weifang government says it will offer 100,000 yuan to reward people who can report specific violators. In Weifang’s case, can we say that the underground water is contaminated?
Posted on 11 February 2013 by Nitin
MAYOR Mauricio Domogan recently ordered the City Environment and Parks Management Office (Cepmo) to cause for the immediate plugging of sewer lines directly discharging wastes in several waterways in Baguio City.
Domogan said the City Government has constantly reminded households and businesses directly discharging their wastes into creeks and river tributaries to build their own septic tanks or connect with the city Sewerage Treatment Plant.
Cepmo department head Cordelia Lacsamana said they are slowly moving forward toward encouraging households to construct their own septic tanks or connect with the city’s sewer lines instead of discharging liquid and solid wastes in the city’s water ways.
Among the most common wastes dumped in headwaters leading to the Balili, Bued, Galiano and Ambalanga rivers are liquid, solid and construction wastes, Lacsamana said.
Although meeting a few setbacks and resistance from the public, Lacsamana said existing water dialogues with communities are slowly gaining positive results in enabling residents to realize the importance of cleaning the waterways for the environment.
Through the Salaknib Ti Waig program, or “guardians of rivers” program of the city, the Cepmo chief said they are increasing efforts together with private partners in rehabilitating the city’s inland waterways through various water protection endeavors.
Last year, inland waterway protection and pollution prevention activities such as clean-up and monitoring activities yielded some 1,857 sacks or 37.13 tons of mixed solid wastes collected from waterways participated by some 969 government employees and volunteers.
Posted on 07 February 2013 by Nitin
CHANDIGARH: The SAD-BJP government’s claims about attracting over a lakh crore rupees of investment in Punjab have been proven hollow, evidently by their own admission. Not just are the bigger industries moving out, but Punjab is among the worst performing states in the country when it comes to checking water pollution. The state is among the worst defaulters in the country with at least seven grossly polluting industrial units dumping their toxic waste directly in the rivers and lakes.
The latest environment report of the state, Environment Statistics, has expressed concern over the present industrial scenario having a depressing effect on the economy. The report, released this week, clearly states that not just “the number of large industries in state is going down, but the state economy is based on small scale industries, mostly food processing industries.”
Of the 20 grossly polluting industries not even half, nine units, comply with norms regarding water pollution. The others are discharging toxic waste in the state’s lifeline — its rivers and lakes. Punjab ranks seventh on the list of defaulting states with most other states –Bihar, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Assam and Jharkhand — managing to have not a single such polluting unit. The industrially-strong Gujarat has reported one such unit. In Punjab, a few industrial units in Jalandhar and Ropar are dumping toxic waste into the river.
Sources said that the figures thrown up by the report are in direct contrast to the claims being made by the government, especially when seeking grants from the Centre for river cleaning projects. “Two years ago, the state had got aid worth Rs 1,000 crore for cleaning its rivers. But little has been done to check the polluting units, many of whom have been proven to flourish in connivance with officials of Punjab Pollution Control Board,” said S D Sharma, an environment activist in the state.
Posted on 16 January 2013 by Nitin
According to an article by CNN on Jan. 8, 2013, with marine debris being a big contributor to water pollution, it was reported that Unilever, which is the company that produces Dove soaps, skin creams, Vaseline, and other products, will be phasing out their exfoliation products of which contain microbeads that can lead to marine debris water pollution.
Typically, microbeads have been utilized as some kind of scrub material that can lead to smoother skin, but it really just creates a problem in water. By 2015, Unilever will have completely phased out its exfoliating line of products.
These particular products have been a nuisance to the oceans because of their small sizes. Microplastics are under 5 millimeters in size and can be a major contributor to ocean water pollution. They can be ingested by sea life and be very toxic to marine invertebrates.
Posted on 10 January 2013 by Arshiya
While the most common water pollution diseases involve poisoning episodes affecting the digestive system and human infectious diseases, water pollution may cause a large variety of health diseases including:
- Infectious diseases caused by pathogens (usually microorganisms) from animal fecal origins, of which the most common occur in developing countries involving:
- Diseases caused by polluted beach water including:
- Stomach craps and aches
- Respiratory infections . According to some estimates, every year few millions of Americans are sickened by polluted water. Water pollution involves the pollution of surface waters and/or groundwater which may cause a series of diseases referred to as water pollution diseases. These could have serious health impacts.
Posted on 08 January 2013 by Nitin
A new study released today suggests chemicals from 50 years of oilsands production are showing up in increasing amounts in lakes in northern Alberta. And the effects are being felt much farther away than previously thought.
The joint study between scientists at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ont., and Environment Canada looked at core samples from five lakes close to the oilsands mining and upgrading operations in Fort McMurray, Alta. They also studied samples from Namur Lake, 90 kilometres northwest.
The authors focused on polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, or PAHs. These are cancer-causing chemicals that are released when things are burned. They can occur naturally — from forest fires, volcanic activity and geological deposits — but burning petroleum in the production of the oilsands leaves a particular fingerprint, so the scientists were able to trace where the PAHs in the core samples came from.