April 16, 2016
By Joseph M. Manko In recent weeks, the issue of safe drinking water has been unusually conspicuous, thanks to headlines emanating from Flint, Mich., and elsewhere. Philadelphians have good reason to be proud of their city's robust tradition of watershed protection and commitment to providing safe, top-quality drinking water. That commitment was first made 200 years ago, when the city's government, business, and community leaders decided on an innovative plan to create a public waterworks system that would guarantee safe drinking water for the citizens of Philadelphia.
April 13, 2016 |
Standing outside a Montgomery County military base where chemicals from firefighting foam has contaminated public drinking water, two local congressmen made a bipartisan appeal Monday for stricter drinking-water regulations. "Residents are understandably concerned these chemicals are to blame for their health concerns," said Rep. Brendan Boyle (D., Pa.). Boyle traveled Monday to Naval Air Station Willow Grove with Republican Rep. Patrick Meehan to apply public pressure to the Environmental Protection Agency to finalize new standards for safe levels of chemicals in drinking water.
April 9, 2016 |
Cabot Oil & Gas Corp. on Thursday asked a federal magistrate to set aside a Scranton jury verdict last month that awarded two Dimock, Pa., families $4.24 million for their claims that Cabot's shale-gas operations contaminated their drinking water. The gas driller alleged that misconduct by the families' attorney, Leslie Lewis, tainted the jury, and that the testimony of two neighbors who had earlier signed settlements and non-disclosure agreements with Cabot should not have been permitted.
April 9, 2016
New Jersey legislators are trying to correct an oversight in the state's environmental laws, which do not require schools to regularly test their water for lead. Unacceptable levels of lead have been found in the water at 30 of Newark's 67 public schools, which have shut down their water fountains. The discovery raises questions about water quality in schools around the state. A bill sponsored by Senate President Stephen Sweeney (D., Gloucester) and Sens. Ron Rice and Teresa Ruiz (both D., Essex)
April 4, 2016
ISSUE | CLIMATE CHANGE No time to wait It is important that we take seriously the predictions of sea-level rise cited in last week's edition of the journal Nature ("Alarm on sea level rises to new heights," Thursday). The study illustrates that climate disruption can have a greater impact in a shorter time frame than had been projected: Oceans could rise by more than 6 feet by the end of the century if high levels of greenhouse-gas emissions continue. Many researchers have cautioned that conditions in the Mid-Atlantic region are likely to be worse than the global average.
March 30, 2016 |
Gov. Christie has described the levels of lead found in Newark public school water as "nowhere near crisis. " But the revelations have renewed public interest - and lawmaker calls for action - in a long-standing problem that affects children across the state. The full scope of the problem in New Jersey, however, is difficult to ascertain: There are 2,500 public schools, and the state doesn't know how many, or which, test their water for lead; it doesn't inspect certain rental homes for the contaminant; and the state has a higher threshold for triggering public health action than the federal government recommends.
March 23, 2016 |
As the water crisis in Flint, Mich., stokes concerns about lead in drinking supplies nationwide, water officials in Philadelphia wanted to make something clear Monday: Philly is not Flint. Lead is rarely found in drinking water here, officials said at an investigatory hearing of City Council. In cases where children were found to have lead exposure, drinking water was not the culprit, officials said. But Council members still pressed water and health officials to do more to address the estimated 50,000 homes that are connected to city water mains by lead pipes, saying even trace amounts of lead are too much.
March 11, 2016
ISSUE | WATER QUALITY Stop the pipeline The PennEast Pipeline Co. has applied for a water permit from the Delaware River Basin Commission that would allow its destructive pipeline to run through the region. According to the application, the company plans to discharge or withdraw more than 45 million gallons of water. The 110-mile pipeline would cut through the Delaware River valley, beginning in Pennsylvania and crossing the river and 87 other waterways, including protected waters, into Hopewell Township, N.J. The application process could take up to a year, and, if rejected, the DRBC could help stop the pipeline.
March 10, 2016
New Jersey's Pinelands Commission was once a respected, independent steward of a forest that filters the drinking water for millions in the region. But political manipulation has turned it into an ineffective agency that looks the other way when the preserve's delicate balance is threatened. The latest annual report of the Pinelands Preservation Alliance rightly notes that the forest is facing its greatest threat in decades because the commission simply is not doing its job. The panel's abdication is astounding given national concern over the lead-laden water that is threatening the health of Flint, Mich., residents.
March 5, 2016 |
Is toxic water in the vicinity of the former Naval Air Station Willow Grove and the Naval Air Warfare Center in Warminster making people sick? That's the concern three area congressmen raised Thursday in a letter to the Navy demanding answers about the government's knowledge of the water issues. "Residents who consumed the contaminated water have understandable concern that these chemicals, which studies show can cause serious illness, are the cause of their own health conditions," wrote U.S. Reps.