Michigan adopts most robust lead water rules in US

June 15, 2018 by  
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In the wake of the Flint crisis, Michigan is adopting new lead water rules — the strictest in the U.S., according to Reuters . Lead service lines will have to be replaced, and the lead concentrations allowed in drinking water will be lower than the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)’s standard. Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) Michigan Senior Policy Advocate Cyndi Roper said in a statement , “There is no safe level of lead in drinking water, so despite some troubling loopholes, these rules set an example other states and the Environmental Protection Agency could follow to address an issue plaguing water systems across the country.” More than 18 million Americans received water through systems with lead violations in 2015, the NRDC said . Lead contamination of drinking water still troubles people across the U.S., and Michigan is taking some action. Their new Lead and Copper Rule, as laid out in a statement from Governor Rick Snyder, lowers the level of allowable lead to 12 parts per billion (ppb) in 2025. The EPA’s Lead Action Level is 15 ppb . Related: Flint activist and stay-at-home mom wins the Goldman Environmental Prize All public water systems will be required to replace lead service lines at a rate averaging 5 percent a year starting in 2021 during a 20-year period. The rules also require a second sample collection at locations that obtain water from lead service lines and the creation of a statewide water system advisory council. All public water systems will have to conduct asset inventory under the new rules as well. “The new Michigan Lead and Copper Rule is the most stringent in the world when applied to cities with lead pipes, yet it strikes a reasonable balance between cost and benefit,” Virginia Tech University engineering professor Marc Edwards said in the governor’s statement. “It provides the EPA  with a good exemplar to follow, if they ever begin to wage their long-promised war on lead in water.” + Office of Governor Rick Snyder + Natural Resources Defense Council (1 , 2) Via Reuters Images via Depositphotos (1 , 2)

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Michigan adopts most robust lead water rules in US

Target is selling fidget spinners that contain toxic levels of lead

November 9, 2017 by  
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If you’re planning to gift a fidget spinner this holiday season, take heed – the US Public Interest Research Group has found dangerously high levels of lead in some spinners sold at Target. In fact, one of the fidget spinners was found to contain 300 times the 100 parts per million allowable for children’s toys. The Fidget Wild Premium Spinner Brass contains the highest levels of lead , testing at 33,000 parts per million. As we mentioned, that’s 300 times what is allowed for children’s toys. The Fidget Wild Premium Spinner in Metal tested at 1,300 parts per million. The response from Target and the manufacturer has been the same: the particular spinners aren’t intended for children under the age of 14. Hence, CPSC lead restrictions for children’s toys “don’t apply.” The companies say products marketed to those over the age of 12 have no specific lead-level restrictions. Said a spokesperson for Target: “The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has reviewed and explicitly defined fidget spinners as ‘general use products.’ They are not defined by the CPSC as toys.” Related: 11-year old inventor becomes “America’s Top Young Scientist” for creating lead-detecting sensor According to Kara Cook-Shultz, the toxics director at US PIRG, it doesn’t matter how the CPSC classifies these spinners — they’re still being marketed as toys for kids. “All fidget spinners have play value as children’s toys regardless of labeling,” said Cook-Schultz. “We can’t sit idly by while children play with these toxic toys. And, yes, they are toys.” CBS News reports that the gadgets are being sold in the toy aisles alongside the spinners sold to 6-year-olds. Additionally, the packaging for the brass spinner says the toy is appropriate for ages “6 and up.” The Fidget Wild Premium Spinner Brass, on the other hand, does recommend “Ages 14+”. Lead poisoning is a serious concern, particularly for young children. This is because children absorb the substance more readily. Young kids are also more likely to put products that contain high amounts of lead in their mouths and near their noses. Excess levels of lead can lead to hyperactivity , lack of appetite, behavior problems, and learning disabilities. Of course, lead is toxic to adults, as well. Excess levels of lead can result in brain and nervous system ailments, stomach and kidney problems, high blood pressure, weakness, headaches and muscle problems in adults. + US Public Interest Research Group Via CBS News Images via Pixabay

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Target is selling fidget spinners that contain toxic levels of lead

Why you should grab a piece of the sharing economy

August 25, 2016 by  
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Amazon, BMW and others are following the lead of Airbnb and Uber… and you should too.

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Why you should grab a piece of the sharing economy

The Michigan city replacing all lead plumbing to prevent Flint-like water crisis

August 17, 2016 by  
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As Flint ’s water crisis bulldozes forward, there is another Michigan city taking preemptive measures to protect its citizens from lead poisoning . Lansing’s Board of Water and Light has been replacing aging, lead-riddled water pipes with copper before a problem even starts. The local government working to prevent causing its citizens harm is leaving locals shocked. Just 50 miles west of Flint lies the state capital, which draws its water from the 400-feet deep Saginaw Aquifer. Lansing’s officials started the copper pipe replacement project ten years ago, without the courts or public outcry demanding they do so. Operating under the radical idea that no amount of lead exposure is a safe amount, mayor Virgil Bernero started the $42 million plan to replace all 14,000 of the city’s pipes. Related: 6 Michigan state workers charged with misconduct over the Flint Water Crisis The public’s reaction to the plan has been mixed, mostly due to suspicion that the mission must mean the drinking water is unsafe. Board of Water and Light’s executive director of public affairs, Steve Serkaian, said to Next City , “When we show up at homes to replace the lead service lines, people think there’s a problem with the water.” They are surprised to learn the city is taking care of the issue before they are in harm’s way, rather than after. There are now only 325 pipes left to replace, with completion of the project projected for 2017. With any hope, this communities approach to public safety may serve as an inspiration to others around the country. Via New City Images via Wikipedia , Pixabay

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The Michigan city replacing all lead plumbing to prevent Flint-like water crisis

6 Michigan state workers charged with misconduct over the Flint Water Crisis

July 29, 2016 by  
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Residents of Flint, Michigan are one step closer to justice in the aftermath of the Flint Water Crisis . Today Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette filed misconduct charges against six state workers. Three employees are from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services , and three employees are from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality . The workers (including one former employee) are charged with misconduct for a variety of reasons, including allegedly misinterpreting federal regulations, manipulating reports, and conspiring to misconduct. The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services employees charged are Nancy Peeler, Robert Scott, and Corrine Miller. In addition to misconduct, their charges include ” willful neglect of duty related to allegedly concealing or disregarding test results ” after tests revealed high levels of lead in the blood of Flint residents. Peeler and Scott both work in a “childhood lead poisoning prevention program” for Michigan. Miller is the Michigan Director and State Epidemiologist. Related: 33 other U.S. cities have cheated water tests that detect lead The sole state employee fired so far over the Flint Water Crisis has been Liane Shekter Smith, who was the chief of Michigan’s Office of Drinking Water and Municipal Assistance. She is among the charged employees. The other two employees to receive charges are water regulators Adam Rosenthal and Patrick Cook of the Department of Environmental Quality. Emails show Rosenthal manipulated reports about the lead levels in Flint water, and other emails show Cook wanted to quiet EPA expert Miguel Del Toral who asked about the corrosion control chemicals Flint lacked. According to The Detroit News , it is still considered unsafe to drink Flint water. In a statement, Schuette said “The families of Flint will not be forgotten. We will provide the justice they deserve. And in Michigan, the justice system is not rigged. There is one system of justice. The laws apply to everyone, equally, no matter who you are. Period.” Via The Detroit News Images via screenshot and Wikimedia Commons

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6 Michigan state workers charged with misconduct over the Flint Water Crisis

Small Pacific nation makes bold plans to protect ocean life

June 30, 2016 by  
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With regional authorities doing little to protect fish in the Western Pacific, Palau takes the lead to protect marine life with new initiatives.

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Small Pacific nation makes bold plans to protect ocean life

33 other U.S. cities have cheated water tests that detect lead

June 2, 2016 by  
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The Guardian performed its own investigation into U.S. water testing practices and revealed startling results. Out of 43 cities east of the Mississippi, 33 from 17 states used shoddy methods to avoid detecting lead in their water. 21 cities used the same practices as Flint , which ultimately led to criminal charges. It’s not only small cities utilizing shady means, but big ones like Boston, Philadelphia, and Chicago. The Guardian tried to obtain “water testing documents” from 81 cities and 43 offered information. The tricks used by officials include practices such as removing aerators, pre-flushing pipes, and running water slowly. All these practices potentially reduce the amount of lead that shows up in water samples. Sometimes officials didn’t test water in what they determined were “high-risk homes.” Related: BREAKING: What Flint officials knew about the poisoned water, and when In Michigan and New Hampshire, departments allowed employees to re-sample and toss out “results with high lead levels.” In Chicago and Philadelphia, officials requested that employees “test water safety in their own homes.” Some cities, citing security risk concerns, said they didn’t know where lead pipes were or didn’t conduct testing in the mandatory amount of homes with lead pipes. As a result of Flint’s water crisis , made possible because of similarly deceptive water-testing procedures, thousands of children may experience developmental issues. Studies have shown that even small amounts of lead are “associated” with behavioral and developmental issues. Mere exposure to lead is “linked” to an inclination “to commit violent crimes.” Scientist Marc Edwards , who was instrumental in shining a light on the Flint water crisis, told the Guardian, “They make lead in water low when collecting samples for EPA compliance, even as it poisons kids who drink the water. Clearly, the cheating and lax enforcement are needlessly harming children all over the United States. If they cannot be trusted to protect little kids from lead in drinking water, what on Earth can they be trusted with? Who amongst us is safe?” Via The Guardian Images via Pixabay and Pexels

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33 other U.S. cities have cheated water tests that detect lead

The new clean energy powers: Europe slides, developing nations surge

March 25, 2016 by  
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Europe is sliding as developing nations for the first time take the lead in global clean energy investment.

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The new clean energy powers: Europe slides, developing nations surge

P&G, GM and Google take flight on wind power

February 25, 2016 by  
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U.S. corporations are taking the lead on utility-scale wind power demand.

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P&G, GM and Google take flight on wind power

WING multi-use loft transforms a derelict warehouse into a cultural hub in Hong Kong

April 28, 2015 by  
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Read the rest of WING multi-use loft transforms a derelict warehouse into a cultural hub in Hong Kong Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: derelict warehouse , event space , green renovation , Hong Kong , industrial warehouse , lead , natural light , performance space , Wing loft

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WING multi-use loft transforms a derelict warehouse into a cultural hub in Hong Kong

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