Regulatory

Federal money driving Jackson water bill, DOJ appointee says

A bill before the Mississippi Legislature that would transfer the capital city’s troubled water system to a new regional entity could be motivated by a desire by state officials to access a large pot of federal dollars earmarked for the city, Jackson’s federally appointed water operator said Wednesday.

Water system in Mississippi’s Capital could get new owners

Jackson’s troubled water system could get a new set of owners under legislation advanced Tuesday by Republican lawmakers in Mississippi. The bill would transfer ownership to a new public entity overseen by a nine-member board, the majority of which would be appointed by state leaders.

Residents in Scottsdale, Ariz., file lawsuit against city for disrupting water supply

(UI) — After being cut off from its municipal water supply due to severe drought conditions and falling Colorado River water levels, a suburb of Arizona has filed a lawsuit against Scottsdale. Residents of the unincorporated hamlet of Rio Verde Foothills filed a lawsuit against Scottsdale earlier this month in Maricopa County Superior Court, requesting an order to compel the city to resume water services.

Washington Watch: EPA Ups Ante on Pipeline Methane Emissions

(UI) — The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has once again proposed to tighten the vise on interstate pipeline methane emissions. Its supplemental Clean Air regulatory proposal, in November this year, doubles down on a never-finalized recommended rule issued in November 2021, which the transmission industry slammed for unrealistic emission controls.

Even Mississippi lawmaker feels strain of Jackson water woes

In Mississippi's capital city, where intermittent periods without running water have become a fact of life for residents, a new disruption to the long-troubled water system persists just days before lawmakers are set to arrive for the state's 2023 legislative session.

Massachusetts fines city for illegal sewage discharge into Lake Quinsigamond

(UC) — The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection and the city of Worcester have reached a settlement following the unauthorized discharge of approximately six million gallons of untreated wastewater to Lake Quinsigamond that occurred in February 2022. The city must pay a $13,000 penalty to the state.

PODS releases new data model, standard with ILI module for pipeline operators

(UC) — The Pipeline Open Data Standard (PODS) data model provides the database architecture pipeline operators need to submit regulatory reports, store critical information, analyze pipeline systems data, and manage geospatial data in a linear-referenced database which can be visualized in any GIS platform.

Washington Watch: FERC Rejects Environmental Concerns About Gas Pipeline Projects

(UC) — The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) continues to dispatch environmental objections to pipeline projects. Even Chairman Richard Glick, who had originally made reducing greenhouse gas emissions his guiding light, is turning a deaf ear.

Water lobbyists urge Biden administration to loosen ‘Buy America’ law requirements

(UC) — Water advocacy groups are seeking an exception from the "Buy America" criteria for project developers, arguing that the rules hinder the sector from creating projects meant to combat climate change, provide safe drinking water, handle sewage, and safeguard the public.

'Unacceptable': EPA head says of West Virginia water issues

Barton and other residents of southern West Virginia's McDowell County shared their stories of the challenges of living without access to safe drinking water and wastewater with the head of the Environmental Protection Agency on Tuesday.

Regulators limit fracking waste in Delaware River watershed

A regulatory agency responsible for the water supply of more than 13 million people in four Northeastern states moved Wednesday to ban gas drillers from dumping fracking wastewater in the Delaware River watershed and to make it difficult for them to take fresh water out.

Judge OKs federal intervention in struggling water system

The U.S. Justice Department has won a federal judge's approval to carry out a rare intervention to improve the precarious water system in Mississippi's capital city, Attorney General Merrick Garland announced Wednesday, months after the system's partial failure.

Environmentalists fight huge utility's long-term contracts

Distributors for the nation's largest public utility signed onto what amounted to "never-ending" contracts that unfairly tied them to power generated by the Tennessee Valley Authority, a lawyer argued Thursday as she represents environmental groups in a lawsuit.

Denver gets EPA approval for $700 million lead water pipe removal plan

The Environmental Protection Agency on Thursday approved a nearly $700 million plan to remove all lead water pipes in the Denver region, saying the local water utility's approach for reducing lead levels is succeeding and making swift progress. It's a recognition that cities can effectively address the lead pipe crisis if they try.

Gas driller pleads no contest to polluting town’s water

Pennsylvania’s most active gas driller pleaded no contest Tuesday to criminal charges, capping a landmark environmental case against a company that prosecutors say polluted a rural community’s drinking water 14 years ago and then tried to evade responsibility.

US officials say 2 more places will test sewage for polio

Philadelphia and Oakland County, Michigan, are joining the small list of U.S. localities that are looking for signs of polio infections in sewage, U.S. health officials said Wednesday.

Justice Department intervenes for struggling water system in Jackson, Mississippi

The Justice Department made a rare intervention Tuesday to try to bring improvements in the beleaguered water system in Mississippi's capital city, which nearly collapsed in late summer and continues to struggle.

EPA reports significant drop in Clean Water Act violations

(UC) — The number of Clean Water Act breaches recorded to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has reduced by more than half in the years after an interstate compliance agreement, according to the EPA, which revealed the figures on Tuesday.

EPA leader listens to water concerns in Mississippi capital

EPA Administrator Michael Regan said Tuesday that the agency is still working on a plan to bring long-term improvements to the water system in Mississippi’s capital city, which came perilously close to collapsing more than two months ago.

Washington Watch: INGAA Opposes New Pipeline Safety Mandates

(UC) — Interstate gas pipelines will have nine months to comply with some of the significant new safety regulations from the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration. The agency has been working on these rules for a decade ever since the San Bruno, Calif., gas explosion on a PG&E pipeline in 2010, which killed eight people.

Supreme Court appears open to scaling back agency enforcement power

(UC) — During back-to-back oral arguments, justices appeared sympathetic to constitutional challenges to the use of in-house administrative law judges to adjudicate conflicts inside the Federal Trade Commission and Securities and Exchange Commission.

Pending Legislation Easing Regulatory Roadblocks for Pipelines?

(UC) — For interstate pipelines, what was important about the Inflation Reduction Act was not just what was in the bill – the new methane fee – but what was not in the bill. Initially insisting pipeline permitting reforms be part of the bill, Sen. Joe Manchin relented under pressure from Democrats.

Ex-Michigan governor asks court to drop Flint water charges

Lawyers for former Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder urged a judge Tuesday to dismiss misdemeanor charges related to the Flint water crisis, a week after another judge took that step with seven other former officials.

Illinois firm settles for $2.5 million in 2017 fatal pipeline construction explosion case

An Illinois company has agreed to pay $2.5 million to settle safety charges from an explosion that killed three welders and injured seven at a Louisiana containerboard mill in 2017, as well as other alleged safety violations.

Regulators propose $125K settlement with coal company over water pollution

West Virginia regulators have proposed a $125,000 settlement of a penalty order with a Kentucky coal company for alleged water pollution violations, according to a published report.

Judge tosses charges against 7 people in Flint water crisis

A Michigan judge dismissed charges Tuesday against seven people in the Flint water scandal, including two former state health officials blamed for deaths from Legionnaires' disease.

Hawaii fines US Navy $8.8 million for unauthorized sewage release

The Hawaii Department of Health said it has fined the U.S. Navy $8.8 million for repeatedly discharging untreated or partially treated sewage into state waters from Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam.

Jackson’s water system at the mercy of political spending rhetoric

Years before people in Jackson were recently left without running water for several days, Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves claimed to have helped block money to fund water system repairs in the capital city.

Judge approves $230 million settlement in California oil spill case

The corroded undersea pipeline ruptured north of Refugio State Beach in Santa Barbara County, northwest of Los Angeles. All American Pipeline later estimated that 142,800 gallons spilled.

Ex-Maui official, businessman plead guilty for wastewater contract bribes

A former Maui County official and the Honolulu businessman who paid him $2 million in bribes in exchange for more than $19 million in wastewater contracts each pleaded guilty Monday in one of the largest bribery cases ever prosecuted in Hawaii.