Starting Off the New Year Right – Drinking Water Water Resources Sustainability

Starting Off the New Year Right

by Brian Oram

Happy New Year, I would like to propose we make one additional commitment this year.  This commitment is to care about the water we drink as we try to remember how we impact or influence the quality and quantity of the water resources.  Although it is the beginning of a new year (wishing you GOOD Luck in 2017!), for the water cycle the new year started in October.  This is the time of the year when the aquifer begins to recharge. Many people are unaware that the aquifer must recharge, it is not infinite.  In Pennsylvania and the Northeastern United States, we are blessed with having abundant water resources, but something we should not take for granted.   In 2016, we had an interesting election year that brought up many concerns. Also in the news, came a reminder of the limitedness of the water.  A number of regions of Pennsylvania were put on a drought advisory and many small streams, springs, and even a few shallow wells dried up, i.e., no water.  With 2016 in the rear-view mirror, I would like to suggest a few small steps to help move us forward in a positive direction.  These steps are as follows:

  1. Learn about how and where you get your drinking water – Does your water come from a private source or city water supply source?
  2. If the water is from a private well- When did you have the water tested? For parts of Pennsylvania, New York, and New Jersey, it is not uncommon for about 40 to 50% of private wells to have a problem that may make the user or a guest sick.
  3. If you are on a city water source- Have you ever looked at the Annual Confidence Report about the quality of your drinking water? The most common problem with community water sources is elevated levels of trace metals like lead and chlorine by-products like trihalomethanes, i.e., suspected carcinogens.  For information on water testing, please visit water-research.net.
  4. Are you using your water wisely? There are ways to use our drinking water resources more efficiently.   A website titled, wateruseitwisely.com, offers over 100 tips on how to best use water.  My favorite tip is “Turn off the water while you brush your teeth and save up to 4 gallons a minute. That’s up to 200 gallons a week for a family of four”.  There are over 4 million households in Pennsylvania, this one lifestyle change could save 41.6 billion gallons of water.  This is only one change!
  5. Our surface water and groundwater are connected, and “we all live downstream”. This phrase means that how we use the groundwater resources directly impacts the surface water resources and we all are interconnected.  Therefore, when using cleaning products, chemicals, or managing a waste we all live downstream from someone else.   For example, the biggest source of man influenced global oil pollution is not massive spills or leaks.  Only 8% of man influenced oil pollution comes from pipelines and major releases. The biggest sources are the small leaks from our boats, cars, and other means of transportation and the improper disposal of waste oil by individuals.
  6. Know Your H20? – it is important to know how you can influence the quality of the water resources, but it is also important to know the historic hazards in your community that may be contributing to a problem. With this in mind, it is important to learn about the historic hazards in your community and surrounding your home.  The Keystone Clean Water Team offers neighborhood or community hazard survey reports for communities within the Unities States.  The 501 c3 offers a few free reports each month.  To get more information about this program, please visit – knowyourh20.us.

The best way to start off the New Year is not with a significant lifestyle change, but baby steps.   Make a few basic commitments and make small changes that will help you and your family save and conserve water, check the quality of your drinking water, learn about the hazards in your community, and perhaps implement 1 item each month that will save and conserve water.   It is important to remember that the less water you use, the more money stays in your pocket.

A few short phrases we should try to remember.

We ALL Live Downstream !

Groundwater and Surface water are Connected!

We are Part of the Water Cycle – Not just an Observer!

You can help – Make A Donation !

 

 

America’s infrastructure collapsing Hexavalent chromium (chromium-6) was just found in 75% of drinking water

“(NaturalNews) An Environmental Working Group review of government water analysis data reveals that 75% of drinking water in America is contaminated with cancer-causing hexavalent chromium (also known as chromium-6). In a widely publicized report, EWG warns that 200 million Americans are right now being exposed to this toxic chemical in their water.

This is on top of our own efforts at EPAwatch.org where my lab tested hundreds of municipal water samples from across the country and found high levels of lead and other heavy metals in 6.7% of samples.

America’s infrastructure collapsing into Third World status

This quote at a recent rally in  Michigan is very true- “”we used to make cars in Flint and you couldn’t drink the water in Mexico. Now the cars are being made in Mexico, and you can’t drink the water in Flint.”” Nor can you safely drink public water almost anywhere in America, as it’s almost universally contaminated with chromium-6, heavy metals or other toxic chemicals.”

To Read More: http://www.naturalnews.com/055408_chromium-6_drinking_water_chemical_suicide.html

Personally – We are the solution, not big govt, we must act to be informed, understand risk, and act.  You can Act NOW! Just some suggestions:

Act NoW !

  1. Get Your Water Tested – We recommend the Well Water or City Water Test Kit.
  2. Complete a Hazardous Survey Around Your Home!
  3. Get or Install a Point of Use Water Treatment Device  (Treated Water for Pennies a Gallon) !

Governor Cuomo Announces Immediate State Action Plan to Address Contamination in Hoosick Falls – PFOA

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced a series of immediate actions by New York State to address contamination in the Village of Hoosick Falls’ water supply and at the Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics Site. These announcements follow today’s meeting between the Governor and senior state and local officials.

“We are taking immediate and aggressive actions to protect the health of Hoosick Falls residents,” said Governor Cuomo. “These actions will ensure that the source and extent of PFOA contamination is identified, and all necessary steps are taken to swiftly address the chemical’s presence. My administration is investigating this situation fully, and we will do whatever is necessary to ensure safe, clean drinking water for local residents.”

Emergency regulation issued to classify PFOA as a hazardous substance; Saint-Gobain facility to be classified as a State Superfund Site to unlock state resources and legal remedy to address contamination.

State will conduct Health Risk Analysis to establish PFOA drinking water guidance level; retest private wells in the village of Hoosick Falls; and immediately install filtration systems at school and other community gathering places

State hotline (1-800-801-8092) established to help public stay informed.

 

EPA – Drinking Water Health Advisory 

NJ – Drinking Water Guidance on PFOA – DEP also has taken the first step toward developing a preliminary drinking-water guidance value (Pdf Format) for PFOA. Based on existing animal studies and estimates derived from a lifetime of exposure (70 years), DEP identified a guidance level of .04 parts per billion (ppb). Average blood levels in the United States are approximately 5 ppb.

The Details

These actions include to:

 

  • Issue Emergency Regulation to Classify PFOA as Hazardous Substance: The state Department of Environmental Conservation today issued an emergency regulation to classify Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), the contaminant found in the Village’s water supply, as a hazardous substance. This provides DEC with the legal authority to pursue State Superfund designation and cleanup of the site using State Superfund resources.
  • Classify Saint-Gobain Facility as a State Superfund Site to Unlock State Resources to Address Contamination: Further, the state announced it will classify the Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics Corporation McCaffrey Street Plant and other possible sources of contamination that may be identified in Hoosick Falls as State Superfund sites to unlock state funding resources under the State Superfund Program to address the contamination in the community. DEC has already initiated its investigation and inspected the Saint-Gobain property. If in the course of its continuing investigation DEC finds any additional sources of PFOA contamination, they will also be listed. The Superfund Class 2 designation will allow the state to use State Superfund resources to investigate and clean up PFOA contamination much more quickly than waiting for a federal Superfund designation. In addition, the state will be able to seek cost recovery for the investigation and cleanup activities. DEC will collaborate closely with EPA in the investigation of PFOA in groundwater, soil and other media in Hoosick Falls to determine appropriate cleanup activities.
  • Conduct Health Risk Analysis to Establish PFOA Drinking Water Guidance Level: To address the water supply contamination, the state Department of Health will conduct a risk analysis, examining the latest national research, to establish a drinking water guidance level for PFOA.
  • Retest Private Wells in the Village of Hoosick Falls: In addition, the state Department of Health will retest 24 private wells in the vicinity of the Saint-Gobain facility.
  • Immediately Install Filtration Systems at School and Other Community Gathering Places: Out of an abundance of caution, the state committed to installing water filtration systems at the local school, public health facilities and other community gathering places.
  • Blood Testing of Community Members to Begin in Mid-February: Beginning in mid-February, DOH will begin blood testing for community members for those who wish to be tested.
  • Establish State Hotline for Public to Stay Informed: Residents can contact 1-800-801-8092 for more information.

Further, once PFOA contamination is addressed, the state committed to work with the community and banks to safeguard property values.

Department of Environmental Conservation Acting Commissioner Basil Seggos said: “Under the direction of Governor Cuomo, New York State is working collaboratively with all levels of government from the EPA to the village and town, to address the contamination in Hoosick Falls. Classifying PFOA as a hazardous substance and making the Saint-Gobain site a State Superfund site will free up resources to investigate and clean up the contamination quickly. We will continue our open dialogue with local officials and the people of Hoosick Falls to ensure they are informed throughout our investigation and remediation.”

Department of Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker said: “The actions taken today by Governor Cuomo, the Department of Environmental Conservation and the Department of Health will safeguard the residents of Hoosick Falls and help address their concerns. The Department of Health will continue to test private wells, and will soon begin a blood testing program to measure residents’ exposure to PFOA. Additionally, DOH will continue to examine the latest and best scientific research to establish a drinking water guidance level for PFOA.”

Senator Kathy Marchione said: “I want to personally thank Governor Cuomo for convening this afternoon’s highly productive and positive meeting regarding Hoosick Falls. The announcement that the state recognizes the seriousness of this issue and is taking purposeful action that will help Hoosick Falls families is welcome news. Our discussion today focused on realistic solutions including the state’s regulation of PFOAs, testing of all local wells, blood testing and carbon filtration systems to help protect the health and well-being of families in Hoosick Falls. The positive steps agreed to today are welcome news for the community. I have been carefully monitoring this situation and will continue advocating for Hoosick Falls families as this process moves forward.”

Town of Hoosick Supervisor Mark Surdam said: “I am thankful for the Governor’s recognition of the problem our community is facing with its water supply, and for the actions the state taking today. I want to assure all of the residents in the Town of Hoosick that we are undergoing a tremendous effort to deal with these concerns.”

Village of Hoosick Falls Mayor David Borge said: “I am grateful for Governor Cuomo’s swift action to help our community quickly restore the use of our water supply – and am pleased by the level of coordination by state agencies responding to this issue. This is a major step forward for all residents of the greater Hoosick Falls community.”

Hoosick Falls Central School Superintendent Kenneth Facin said: “Today’s meeting with Governor Cuomo was productive and meaningful, and promises real results for our students and parents. We are appreciative to be a part of a singular, concerted effort to rectify the environmental issues surrounding our water supply. As a proactive measure to ensure the health and safety of our students, the state is assisting our school district with the installment of a carbon filtration system. We are grateful for the Governor’s leadership in galvanizing resources to assist our community.”

State’s Earlier Actions to Address PFOA Contamination

Today’s actions build upon DEC and DOH’s initiatives announced earlier this month to address the PFOA contamination to protect public health and the environment. The state urged EPA to take vigorous action on the federal level to regulate PFOA and to quickly add the Hoosick Falls site to the Superfund National Priorities List. The state, Saint-Gobain and the Village are collaboratively working on an agreement to install water treatment systems to remove hazardous chemicals from the Village’s water supply. In addition, DOH is undertaking a cancer registry study to investigate the incidence of cancer among Village residents and biomonitoring studies. Further DOH is offering PFOA biomonitoring to measure the level of PFOA in Village residents.

PFOA was detected in the Village’s public drinking water in 2014. Since then, DOH has worked closely with the Village to provide technical advice and assistance for water sampling and to evaluate water treatment options to eliminate health risks. Because the levels of PFOA in public water were higher than the EPA health advisory level, DOH determined that people should reduce their exposure by avoiding the use of tap water for drinking and cooking. In addition, DOH continues to monitor private wells and will have more results very soon.

Although the use of PFOA is being phased out, it is still used to make household and commercial products that resist heat, and repel oil, stains, grease, and water. This includes nonstick cookware, surface coatings for stain-resistant carpets and fabric, and paper and cardboard food packaging. Studies of people have associated exposure to PFOA with an increased risk for several health effects. This includes associations with effects on the liver, immune system, thyroid gland, cholesterol levels, blood pressure during pregnancy, and kidney and testicular cancer.

 

Know Your Community Health Hazards !  Know Your H20?
Get Your Water Tested !

Understanding the Health Risks of Private Well Ownership

Understanding the Health Risks of Private Well Ownership
Guest blogger / writer – Julie Bowen <julie@palatino.org>

As a country, we are proud of our reputation for having the safest and cleanest drinking water in the world. However drinking water that is procured from privately owned wells is not regulated by the United States Environmental Protection Agency or many state agencies, meaning that the owners of those wells are responsible for ensuring that their water is safe and drinkable. Water from private wells tastes crisp and refreshing, and it can be a wonderful gift to own your own water source. It is also important to acknowledge that many residents living in rural areas have no choice but to procure their water from private wells or cisterns.  However, regardless of the reasons that their water is sourced from private wells, it is essential that private well owners are aware of the health risks involved in private well ownership as well as the myriad of benefits that they can obtain.  

The Risks of Water Contamination

Drinking water from wells can be contaminated in a variety of different ways:  either due to naturally occurring chemicals and minerals, the land use and farming practices in the area surrounding the well, and a malfunction of the wastewater treatment systems operating on the well itself. As a result of this, there are a wide range of illnesses that can be contracted via drinking contaminated well water. These can range from short-term gastrointestinal and stomach illnesses that includes nausea, vomiting and diarrhea to more severe long term illnesses such as reproductive problems, neurological disorders, and other chronic illnesses.  Death by drinking water is not common, but it has happened.  Individuals with compromised immune systems, as well as children, pregnant women, and elderly people, are more vulnerable to the effects of certain contaminates and should be especially vigilant about the quality of their privately owned drinking water.

Two of the parasitic illnesses private well owners should be most aware of are Hepatitis A and Giardia (which is the parasite that causes the illness giardiasis, a common cause of diarrhea). Giardiasis is a relatively short lived condition, that is caused by water becoming contaminated by either mammalian or human feces. The parasite itself is resistant to basic chlorination, meaning that it tends to be particularly resistant to water treatment methods, however once infected most individuals have overcome the illness in approximately 7 days. More deadly are the risks posed by the liver condition hepatitis A, which is a highly contagious illness that is also contracted via the fecal oral route, due to water contaminated by infected feces.  Hepatitis A is a self-limited disease that does not result in chronic infection, but the symptoms can be severe and pose a particular risk to vulnerable individuals.

Taking the Appropriate Precautions                      

Because of the risks of being exposed to contaminated drinking water, it is recommended that in addition to regularly checking the quality of your drinking water, and taking the necessary precautions to ensure it avoids contamination, private home owners also secure comprehensive health insurance.  This will help them to ensure that they are fully protected in the unlikely instance that something should go wrong with their water supply, and they should contract one of the myriad of illnesses listed above.                          

The Keystone Clean Water Team (KCWT) is committed to ensuring that home owners with responsibility for private wells are given the support, the information, and the technology that they need to ensure that their well based drinking water is as clean and as safe as possible. The quality of well water should be tested at least three times a year, and the well itself should be regularly repaired and maintained to protect the water that is inside. When it comes to modern well technology, knowledge is power, so it is important to be as informed as possible about what is happening inside your well, and well as any possible risks that you face. The process involved in maintaining healthy well water can seem complicated, and the language involved in the process unnecessarily convoluted, which is why The Keystone Clean Water Team can help homeowners interpret their test results and ensure their water is as safe as it can be.

A few thoughts from the KCWT:

  1. When people say may water taste great and looks great – I have no problem – 50% of the time they have a problem that can make them sick.
  2. Of these individuals, 50% of the time the problem can be eliminated for a few hundred dollars.
  3. Some recent work on lead in drinking water found that 2 out of 3 private well samples had elevated lead; whereas only 1 out of 10 city water samples had a lead issue.  Testing your well water quality is important, but you must understand our risks.
  4. Blood lead testing is important for kids – get it done if you are living an older community that has or had historic industrialization.

A few suggestions:

  1. Download our free phone App.
  2. Get Your Water Tested (Portion of the Proceeds Help the KCWT)
  3. Get a Custom Neighborhood Hazard Report
  4. Order the Private Well Owner Educational Guide

 

How to Reduce Lead in Your Drinking Water

Lead has been a hot new topic, but not for the Keystone Clean Water Team.  We have been talking about and educating the public,  private well users, and city water users about lead and drinking water quality for over 30 years.  Here are some suggestions to reduce lead in your drinking water.

  1. Flush your pipes before using the water for drinking – most of the lead in the water is not coming from the water source, but from the piping in your home or the main water line.  Lead may be also coming some of the fixtures or some of the scale that as built up over time on the inside of the pipes.    The longer the water has been sitting in the piping – the higher the lead content – “SO flush it out”.    (How Long?  – about 2 minutes or until it becomes noticeably cold).    Hint- “Most of the time the source is your water pipes, NOT the main.”
  2. Use ONLY Cold Water for Consumption – this includes making soup, tea, coffee, etc.   Hot water likely contains even more lead.  Also – watch the cookware ! Glazed pottery and some glazing used tableware and cookware can contain lead and other metals, like aluminum.  (Watch imported and traditional Goods and replicas !)
  3. Get the Water Tested – Ask the Utility to Test, Contact a Testing Laboratory, or conduct an Informational Water Test from a reliable source, but get the facts and do a first flush and flushed test for copper, lead, and zinc.   If you think there is a problem and you have a private water system or well, you may want a more comprehensive test to determine the corrosion and/or scale forming potential of your water.
  4. If you have slime coating or odors – Get a bacterial test that includes total coliform, standard plate count, E. coli.,  and slime forming bacteria.

Hints You May Have A Lead Problem

  1. Your home has faucets or fitting made of brass that contains some lead.
  2. Your home has lead pipes.
  3. Your home has copper pipes with lead solder and the home is older than 1989, the water is soft, and the water is used intermittently.
  4. You have pin hole leak, blue-green stains, or blue water.
  5. Your home was built before 1930s.
  6. Piping installed prior to 1986 may have solder and flux that was high in lead – How High?  At one time as high as 50 % lead.   In 1986, the term lead-free applies to solders and flux that are 0.2 % lead and pipes and fittings must be 8 % or less lead.  This did not go into effect until about 1988.

More on Corrosion and More on Lead.   Indoor testing of paint and sources for lead.

Blood lead levels PA cities.

Please do not forget about environmental lead exposure and note foreign products may have more lead- old paint, chipping paint, glazed pottery, some cosmetics, lipstick,  some crayons, kids toys (especially imported),   imported foods in cans, work exposure to lead, lead batteries, imported candles, lead contaminated soils.   (Sources- NY State; FDA)

Please note – This is one reason to Buy – Made in America !

We have been asked for a recommendation on a faucet mounted or counter mounted treatment system – Based on a review – it appears the NSF Certified – Paragon P3200 would be a suitable Countertop Treatment Unit (replace filter cartridge annually)- Use Promo Code A27AC.

Norweco New At Grade Bed For Residential Wastewater Applications in Pennsylvania

Norweco is excited to announce our at-grade bed approval for our Singulair® residential wastewater treatment system! We are proud to offer Pennsylvania the most affordable and effective residential onsite wastewater treatment system. Our Singulair® system, accompanied by our award-winning Hydro-Kinetic Bio-Film Reactor®, produces a clear, odorless effluent that is safely returned to the drain field (NO SAND MOUND REQUIRED).

The Singulair® system has been approved and used for decades in North America and continues to lead the way in today’s market. Certified and proven in hundreds of thousands of installations, the Singulair®, in series with our Hydro-Kinetic Bio-Film Reactor®, is the most innovative, state-of-the-art wastewater treatment system. Consider these advantages:

  • Precast concrete & HDPE tanks include pretreatment
  • Non-mechanical, demand use, built-in flow equalization (surge control) and filtration
  • Low electrical usage
  • Simple to install and maintain
  • No large replacement expenses
  • Environmentally safe – no harmful product to replace

Norweco systems are available state-wide through our network of dedicated, hard-working local distributors. For additional information on design applications or where you can purchase Singulair® systems, give Paul Cannon a call at (419)668-4471 or email him at pcannon@norweco.com. We will be exhibiting at the WWETT Show, the Precast Show and the PASEO Show. Please visit us!

Please mention to Paul you save this Announcement on the Keystone Clean Water Team Portal – It appears this is suitable for flows up to 800 gpd or two single family homes or a house with 7 bedrooms (3 bedroom house – 400 gpd; each additional bedroom – 100 gpd).

http://www.carbonwaters.org
http://www.pacleanwater.org

It is important to Know Your H20? and get your well water tested.

More on sewage options in Pennsylvania.

Valley View Holds First High School Energy Fair Archbald Pennsylvania

Northeastern Pennsylvania gas companies went to Valley View High School in Lackawanna County to sponsor an energy fair introducing youth to energy careers.

The growth and dedication that has been displayed between the natural gas industry and educational institutions over the years has been staggering. While much of that relationship has been amongst local area colleges, high schools have been becoming closely involved too, as evidenced by the Energy Education Program offered at Valley View High School in Archbald.”

As this blog has noted before, the Energy Education Program offered by Valley View is the first of its kind in the state, as it brings energy-specific curriculum to the high school level and was developed as a collaboration between industry experts and school officials. The course covers nine different types of energy and regularly features speakers from the various industries.

But on Friday, Dec. 18, Valley View took the next big step in its program and hosted its first Energy Fair, which was planned and organized by the Energy Education Program class.

Read More about the Event and Program

We were planning to go to the event, but the presenter became ill.  Prior to the event, we did conduct training and educational course on energy conservation and Geothermal Energy.

Presentation on Sustainability Training (pdf)
Our Presentation on Careers in Energy – The Great Earth Engine (pdf)

More training Opportunities in Energy and the Environment

 How you can help the Keystone Clean Water Team ! Trying to encourage a positive change in Pennsylvania.

The Great Earth Engine – Geothermal Energy for the USA

Reprint of article I wrote for Natural Awakenings Magazine

“When people think of renewable energy, their first thought is typically solar power or wind energy. As snowbirds return to their cooler climates, one natural and reliable renewable energy system is a geothermal or a ground-source heating and cooling system. These systems come with a variety of configurations, and a single system can heat or cool a home without natural gas, coal, oil or biomass. However, some electric power is required to run the system. This relatively obscure technology is robust, proven and available now to those willing to understand the simple beauty of these systems.

A geothermal system moves and stores energy rather than producing energy through combustion or resistance. Geothermal systems work by exchanging hot or cold air from the home with the stable stored energy in the ground, rather than by converting chemical energy to heat. This is a renewable energy system that is very efficient and has enough flexibility to fit a variety of applications. Some added benefits in addition to efficiency are that geothermal energy creates no pollution to our air or water and, other than electricity, they eliminate the need to purchase highly processed petrochemical fuel from less than environmentally conscious producers.

While the air temperature in northern climates can vary from season to season, the Earth’s temperature a few feet under the surface is essentially the same in winter and summer. In the winter, the system can heat a home using the Earth’s relatively warm core energy. In the summer, the same system can cool the home with the Earth’s relatively cool mass. Year-round, geothermal systems can produce hot water.

Geothermal heat pumps have an efficiency of over 300 to 500 percent (meaning they get a payback of three to five times the energy used to run the system). This efficiency  provides the heating/cooling needs at a cost that is 30 to 70 percent less expensive than conventional energy systems, without combustion, carbon dioxide, methane, water pollution or the waste generated by other energy systems.

Geothermal ground-source heating and cooling systems work during the night, when the sun is blocked by clouds and when the wind is not blowing. While electricity costs may vary, geothermal costs don’t fluctuate like natural firewood, gas, coal and heating oil. The ground-source system comes in a variety of configurations to easily fit new home construction or homes with a more conventional, existing duct-based heating and cooling system.

The geothermal system has three main components: connection to the Earth, delivery and distribution system and a geothermal heat pump. The Earth connection allows the system to pull or store heat in the Earth. In heating mode, the system uses the Earth connection to pull a small quantity of heat from the Earth to heat a person’s space. In cooling mode, the system does the reverse and transfers heat from the air back to the Earth. The distribution system can be a series of vertical connections or loops buried in the ground that transfer and help to distribute the energy.

The geothermal heat pump is very efficient energy transfer system that moves the energy from the building to the transfer fluid. The system does require an electrical source to run the heat pumps and circulation system, and it is critical that an existing home have a formal energy audit done prior to installing a system.

New construction should use green building and energy efficient insulating systems so the system can be properly sized.

Users can benefit from lower energy costs, elimination of water and air pollution and a significant reduction of the expensive and environmentally destructive infrastructure of fossil fuels by adapting geothermal systems as soon as possible. ”

Recent presented a training course on “Ground Source and Geothermal Energy in Archbald, PA” – Valley View Great Class !
We do not have an energy crisis – We have an Careers in Energy – The Great Earth Engine– We have an Energy Waste Crisis.

 

Note: Training Courses in the Energy Sector

PADEP pipeline task force gives 184 recommendations

Note Our Work – Email blast  from PIOGA

A state task force on natural gas pipelines is making 184 recommendations touching on everything from location of pipelines to emergency response plans, all designed to promote “responsible” pipeline development in Pennsylvania. The 335-page document, crafted by the state Department of Environmental Protection’s Pipeline Infrastructure Task Force, has been posted online for public review.

“It is important to remember that the report is not meant to be the final word,” said DEP Secretary John Quigley, who chaired the task force. “When we present our report to the governor in February 2016, I anticipate that the next step will be to determine the feasibility and implementation strategies for each recommendation.”

The 48-member task force was created in May by Governor Tom Wolf to develop policies, guidelines and tools to assist in pipeline development, operation and maintenance.

Recommendations in the draft were assembled by delegates from sectors affected by pipeline development, Quigley noted, including agriculture, communities, environmentalists, cultural resource advocates, industry officials, government agencies and emergency responders.

That lengthy list of recommendations starts with “educate landowners on pipeline development issues.” Other recommendations:

  • Implement full-time environmental inspections during pipeline construction.
  • Monitor water quality during construction.
  • Establish planning coordination between county agencies and pipeline developers.
  • Require pipeline abandonment plans.
  • Standardize emergency response plans and provide 911 addresses for pipeline-related facilities.
  • Do not locate pipelines parallel to waterways within their 100-year floodways.
  • Conduct early outreach with affected communities.
  • Minimize impact on local roads.
  • Create various statewide bodies and processes, including an all-region DEP pipeline review committee, a statewide pipeline information center for the public, and a DEP design manual for pipeline construction.

A 30-day public comment period on the draft report will run through December 14. [Read more]

Please note – there is no assumed responsibility associated with Pipeline Construction for Private Well Impacts – therefore it is important to document baseline conditions for your existing water sources and water wells.  Primary items of concern are aesthetic water quality issues, future methane and other gas releases, spills, local disturbances, discolored water, and related contaminants. The Know Your H20? App for Baseline Testing in PA should help.

New Tools and Courses

Know Your H20 Phone App and Database Search
Citizen Scientists – The Online Water Quality Index Calculator is Available.
Training Courses on Natural Gas Development and Environmental Concerns
Stream Restoration, Wetlands, and Water Resources Management 

Actions:

  1. If you have any testing done as part of this action, please consider releasing this data to the Citizen Groundwater and Surface Water Database.  Fill out the attached form and mail the data to the following address:
    Mr. Brian Oram, PG
    Keystone Clean Water Team
    15 Hillcrest Drive
    Dallas, PA 18612
    Please note- if you have baseline testing done already you may have some information on the level of surfactants in the water if you had a MBAS test done.
  2. Informational Screening Testing – Get your water screened for water contamination including isopropanol – Informational Screening Water Kit (Not Certified) Covers about 200 parameters, plus a review of any predrilling data – Only $ 275.00.  Email
  3. Drinking Water Guide for Pennsylvania.

 

Glyphosate Herbicide in Drinking Water Roundup

“Glyphosate is an herbicide that is regulated under the Safe Drinking Water Act. It is an ingredient in Roundup, a widely used herbicide, as well as more than 700 other products for sale in the United States.  Glyphosate is a non-selective herbicide used on many food and non-food crops as well as non-crop areas such as roadsides. When applied at lower rates, it serves as a plant growth regulator. The most common uses include control of broadleaf weeds and grasses hay/pasture, soybeans, field corn; ornamental, lawns, turf, forest plantings, greenhouses, and rights-of-way.

Some people who drink water containing glyphosate well in excess of the maximum contaminant level (MCL) for many years could experience problems with their kidneys or reproductive difficulties.  This health effects language is not intended to catalog all possible health effects for glyphosate. Rather, it is intended to inform consumers of some of the possible health effects associated with glyphosate in drinking water when the rule was finalized. In 1974, Congress passed the Safe Drinking Water Act. This law requires EPA to determine the level of contaminants in drinking water at which no adverse health effects are likely to occur. These non-enforceable health goals, based solely on possible health risks and exposure over a lifetime with an adequate margin of safety, are called maximum contaminant level goals (MCLG). Contaminants are any physical, chemical, biological or radiological substances or matter in water.

The MCLG for glyphosate is 0.7 mg/L or 700 ppb. EPA has set this level of protection based on the best available science to prevent potential health problems. EPA has set an enforceable regulation for glyphosate, called a maximum contaminant level (MCL), at 0.7 mg/L or 700 ppb. MCLs are set as close to the health goals as possible, considering cost, benefits and the ability of public water systems to detect and remove contaminants using suitable treatment technologies. In this case, the MCL equals the MCLG, because analytical methods or treatment technology do not pose any limitation.

The Phase V Rule, the regulation for glyphosate, became effective in 1994. The Safe Drinking Water Act requires EPA to periodically review the national primary drinking water regulation for each contaminant and revise the regulation, if appropriate. EPA reviewed glyphosate as part of the Six Year Review and determined that the 0.7 mg/L or 700 ppb MCLG and 0.7 mg/L or 700 ppb MCL for glyphosate are still protective of human health.” (EPA 2015)

While the United States classified glyphosate as non-carcinogenic when it was last reviewed in 1993, the World Health Organization published a study in March 2015 that indicates glyphosate is a probable carcinogen. Since the new study was released, there have been many questions asked regarding the safety of glyphosate. According to The Ecologist (June 12, 2015), several countries have banned or restricted use of the weed killer, including France, Columbia, Sri Lanka and El Salvador. In addition, many garden centers across the globe are pulling products that contain glyphosate off their shelves as a precautionary measure to protect customers. However, Roundup remains a staple herbicide in the United States.

Testing for glyphosate previously may have been cost prohibitive for many homeowners.  We have partnered with a national testing laboratory to provide a cost-effective alternative that also includes trace metals, volatile organics, and other organic chemicals.   For more information, please visit our Testing Testing and Evalatuion Protal but National Testing Laboratories (NTL) now offers a lower-cost test for detecting glyphosate in drinking water. Typical analysis by EPA-approved methods can cost $200 to $400, but the new package offers a much lower price to both water treatment professionals and homeowners.