Coca-Cola’s Latest Environmental Victory Is More Complicated Than It Seems

Read the full story at Huffington Post Green.

Something as simple as water winds up becoming immensely complicated in the hands of a multinational corporation like Coca-Cola.

On Tuesday, the company announced it had almost reached its goal of “replenishing” all of the water in the beverages it sold in 2014…

By “replenishing,” Coke does not literally mean it’s putting back the water it takes out of each locality where it operates. To come up with its number on replenishment, Coke and its partner, the nonprofit Nature Conservancy, measured the amount of water it reclaimed through various conservation efforts around the globe — everything from tallgrass restoration in North Texas to reforestation in Ghana to canal rehabilitation in Kyrgyzstan. The company is involved in hundreds of these projects.

“That’s not how it works,”  said Amit Srivastava of the India Resource Center, an activist group based in India that opposes corporate globalization in the country. “Water issues are local issues. You need to put water back at the source.”

Groundwater Foundation launches 30 by 30 water tracking app

Did you know the average American uses 100 gallons of water every day?  Learn how to reduce your water usage by 30 gallons a day with 30 by 30!

30 by 30 is a fun, free water-tracking app for Android and Apple devices from The Groundwater Foundation.  Track your direct water usage, learn how to use less water, and see your monthly water usage.  30 by 30 makes tracking your daily water usage simple; the app calculates how much water you use, simply choose an activity!  Log your water use every day and receive fun, easy tips on how you can do even better at conserving water and share your achievements on Facebook and Twitter!

Central Valley sinking fast because of groundwater pumping

Read the full story at SFGate.

The floor of the Central Valley is sinking at a record pace as drought-gripped farmers pump out the groundwater beneath them, new satellite data show.

In some places the ground is dropping nearly 2 inches a month, according to measurements taken by the state and NASA. The sinking soil is dragging roads, bridges and other infrastructure with it, raising concern that state pumping restrictions scheduled to take effect in five years won’t arrive in time to head off costly damage and environmental ruin.

14 Local Governments to Consider Mahomet Aquifer Consent Decree

A proposed consent decree has been drafted between Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan, Clinton Landfill, Inc., and 14 local government agencies, which comprise the Mahomet Aquifer Coalition. Throughout the month of September, each agency will review and take action on the proposed agreement. If approved by all parties, the consent decree would resolve the pending litigation  regarding the disposal of certain hazardous materials in a landfill located above the Mahomet Aquifer. The Mahomet Aquifer is the primary source of drinking water for nearly 750,000 people in 14 Illinois counties.
The City of Champaign has served as the lead agency for the Coalition leading these efforts, including the litigation, the designation of the aquifer as sole source, and promoting legislation to  protect the aquifer. The consent decree will appear before Champaign City Council at their  September 1, 2015, regular meeting. The agreement would allow manufactured gas plant (MGP) waste already dumped at the landfill to remain. In exchange, Clinton Landfill, Inc. is barred from accepting any more MGP source material or submitting any more applications to dispose of MGP source materials or federally regulated PCB waste at any  landfill facility anywhere in DeWitt County over the Mahomet Aquifer. Additionally, the landfill is required to receive at minimum, semi-annual groundwater monitoring, and must provide at least 12 additional inches of cover over the MGPs stored there. The proposed consent decree is available in its entirety on the City’s website at ci.champaign.il.us/aquifer
Below are detailed key points of the proposed consent decree:
  1. Clinton Landfill, Inc. agrees to withdraw its application before the United States Environmental Protection Agency for approval to accept Polychlorinated Biphenyl (PCB) waste regulated by the Federal Toxic Substance Control Act in the chemical waste unit at the Clinton Landfill. They further agree not to seek future approval to dispose of said PCB waste in any landfill facility located anywhere in DeWitt County over the Mahomet Aquifer.
  2. Clinton Landfill, Inc. agrees to not accept additional Manufactured Gas Plant (MGP) waste with chemical constituents in concentrations exceeding state regulatory limits for toxicity in the chemical waste unit. They also agree to not seek future permission from any regulatory body to accept such MGP waste at any landfill facility located anywhere in DeWitt County over the Mahomet Aquifer.
  3. Clinton Landfill, Inc. agrees to cover the MGP waste already disposed of in the chemical waste unit (pursuant to an earlier Illinois EPA approval) with a 12 inch layer of impermeable clay soils. This is to prevent water and other liquids from other waste subsequently disposed of on top of the MGP waste from leaking into the MGP waste
  4. Clinton Landfill, Inc. agrees to have properly licensed environmental testing professionals test the groundwater at Clinton Landfill for the presence of toxic chemicals commonly found in MGP wastes on a semiannual basis. Tests are to be conducted for the remaining operational life of the chemical waste unit and for the post-closure period of time (under current law a minimum of 30 years) and to provide those test results to the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
  5. The State of Illinois, through the Illinois Attorney General’s Office and the Illinois EPA, reserve the right to pursue any future criminal or civil violations related to any future contamination of the environment from the MGP wastes already accepted at Clinton Landfill, and any remedies available under the law, including but not limited to the removal of the waste material causing the contamination.

Two upcoming WaterSense webinars

A for Assess: Setting Goals and Developing a Water Management Plan
Thu, Aug 27, 2015 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM CDT
Register at https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/3046252306454514433

Join us for WaterSense’s second of four technical training webinars of 2015 for C&I facilities. As discussed in the first webinar of this series, water management planning starts with a facility assessment. This webinar will build on that concept by helping participants use the information collected during a facility assessment to establish water use reduction goals and develop a water management plan. Following this webinar, you’ll be ready to prepare your water management plan by incorporating realistic goals—which is the next step in managing and reducing your water use.

C for Change: Implementing Your Water Management Plan and Other Best Management Practices
Thu, Oct 22, 2015 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM CDT
Register at https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/6444765782096765697

WaterSense’s third of four technical training webinars of 2015 for C&I facilities will walk through some of the most cost-effective projects and biggest water savers that can be implemented at your facility. WaterSense will provide an overview of water-efficient operating procedures, retrofits, and replacements in private use restrooms, public restrooms, commercial kitchens, mechanical spaces, and outdoor landscapes. From this webinar, participants should come away with new ideas and more details about water-saving projects to implement at their facility.

To view archived WaterSense webinars, visit http://www.epa.gov/watersense/commercial/webinars.html.

How jellyfish have become nature’s ultimate guerrilla protesters against power plants

Read the full story in the Washington Post.

The jellyfish are coming and energy plants may be powerless to stop them.

Blooms of the translucent sea creatures clog power plants worldwide, threatening to shutter all operations. Just last week, a coal-fired power plant in Rutenberg, Israel worked hard to unclog its filters from a nearby swarm that could have shut down its cooling system, Haaretz reported.

CNT Receives EPA Grant to Address Environmental and Public Health Issues Related to Urban Flooding

Read the full post from the Center for Neighborhood Technology.

The RainReady℠ program, an initiative of the Center for Neighborhood Technology (CNT), has received a $30,000 EPA Environmental Justice Award. The grant will be used to support CNT’s work helping homeowners reduce sewer backups and flooding in Chatham, a neighborhood on Chicago’s South Side. The work is being done in partnership with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.