Are legacy mines polluting US drinking water? | IEA: Climate targets require more clean energy tech | US-Mexico border projects aim to curb water pollution
September 16, 2020
Environmental Advisor
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Risk Management, Insurance and Claims
Are legacy mines polluting US drinking water?
(George Frey/Getty Images)
Over 500,000 hard rock mining locations have been abandoned on public lands in the US, the Environmental Protection Agency says, and they could have an impact on nearby drinking water and aquatic habitats. A comprehensive evaluation of "mine influenced waters," which may contain lead, cadmium, mercury and other substances, has never been completed in the US, according to the EPA.
Full Story: The Associated Press (8/29) 
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An International Energy Agency report says the world will need a great deal more clean energy technology such as electrification and hydrogen to achieve climate targets. Such technology is necessary for the power sector as well as transportation and other industries, according to the report.
Full Story: CNBC (9/10) 
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The federal government will use $300 million from the US-Mexico-Canada Agreement to stop untreated wastewater from Mexico from entering US waters. In the meantime, the Environmental Protection Agency and other agencies are working on several efforts to reduce cross-border pollution, including a $10.6 million project completed in August that will prevent 4.5 million gallons of untreated wastewater from flowing into the Tijuana River daily.
Full Story: The Associated Press (9/3) 
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Laws and Regulations
The Environmental Protection Agency has finalized rules easing coal ash and wastewater disposal requirements for coal-burning power plants. "[The] rule, and every effort to undermine bedrock clean water protections, will undoubtedly jeopardize our waters and our communities, and if [EPA Administrator Andrew] Wheeler's other rollbacks are any indication, it will not help coal workers or their communities," said Mary Anne Hitt of the Sierra Club.
Full Story: Reuters (8/31),  The Hill (8/31),  The Wall Street Journal (tiered subscription model) (8/31) 
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A property's vapor intrusion risks might not all come to light if purchasers conduct standard due diligence, attorney Catherine Johnson writes. Site buyers need to formulate a plan that goes beyond a traditional environmental site assessment to identify and address any "gaps" in due diligence, Johnson writes.
Full Story: JD Supra/Environmental General Counsel (9/10) 
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Green Construction
The World Green Building Council has unveiled a new initiative to promote sustainable construction of buildings across the globe. "It is no coincidence that building renovation has been identified as a top priority of post-COVID-19 recovery programs around the world to boost jobs and economic growth and accelerate circular business models," said Harry Verhaar from Signify.
Full Story: Trade Arabia (Bahrain) (9/2) 
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News from Aon
Coronavirus and cyberrisk: The essential role of the CHRO
The economic uncertainty caused by the pandemic, as well as resulting layoffs, furloughs, and changes in compensation and benefits, further heighten cyberrisks. Stressed and unengaged workers are more likely to make mistakes or, in a worst-case scenario, actively take steps against their employers if they feel they have been wronged in some way. Learn more.
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Top 10: Cyber governance for boards of directors
Eric Friedberg, co-president of Aon's Cyber Solutions, provides his Top 10 list, which focuses on how a board can improve its cyber governance. See the list.
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