June of last year proved to be prime time for harmful algal blooms, resulting in major human health, environmental, and economic problems across the country. Despite the historically colder and wetter conditions we’ve experienced so far in 2019, harmful algal blooms are not out of the question if summer conditions prove conducive to cyanobacteria growth.
Approximately 1 million Californians currently struggle to access safe and affordable drinking water due to water agencies that are out of compliance with state standards on contamination levels or treatment techniques. Though not a new problem, new legislative attempts at the state Capitol endeavor to establish a fund for small water agencies unable to provide customers with clean drinking water because of the high treatment costs.
Last month the Division of Drinking Water and the Division of Water Quality announced the State Water Resources Control Board’s phased investigation approach to PFAS. It is the intention of the Board to begin the investigation by collecting PFAS detection data at 31 airports and 252 municipal solid waste landfills. These facilities have the potential to impact over 1,320 surrounding drinking water wells and drinking water sources.
A California Senate bill aiming to ban the use of a broad-spectrum pesticide passed the Health committee this month and will now be heard in the committee for Environmental Quality. The pesticide, chlorpyrifos, kills insects on contact by attacking their nervous systems. Unfortunately, it also has harmful effects on human neurodevelopment, which is why Sen. Maria Elena Durazo, D-Los Angeles, proposed the bill.
Monterey County growers face new water-testing regulations that hope to lessen risk of an E. coli outbreak like the one that hit the more-than-$600 million romaine lettuce industry last year.
Lead testing was in the mainstream news yet again this month after a report gave California a “C+” for its policies to protect children from lead in drinking water at school. In fairness to California, it was one of the only states to receive a “passing” grade, as 22 of the 32 states analyzed received an “F” letter grade. If you’re a parent like me, however, you probably feel like a C+ report card is hardly worth celebrating.
But what exactly did the report base its assessment on?