The Environmental Protection Agency will use $1 billion from the infrastructure law to accelerate the cleanup of 49 Superfund sites, but there are more than 1,300 nationwide "and still many more sites that we don't even know about," says Bruce Morrison, president of the Great Rivers Environmental Law Center in St. Louis. Two sites on the EPA's accelerated list are in Missouri, and those cleanup efforts will focus on remediating contamination in soil that leaches into groundwater.
The Navy has agreed to drain the fuel from a large underground storage tank facility in Hawaii that is believed to be responsible for contamination in drinking water. The Navy first resisted Hawaii's order to drain the facility near Pearl Harbor, but it relented after a hearing last month during which a state official called the tanks a "ticking time bomb."
The Environmental Protection Agency said it will work to reduce groundwater contamination from unlined coal ash ponds by developing a federal permitting program for coal ash disposal, along with regulations for legacy sites. The EPA also notified four companies that it plans to investigate potential storage violations and proposed rejecting requests from three companies seeking coal ash pond permit extensions.
The establishment and funding of up to five new centers of excellence for stormwater management is one of the smaller initiatives authorized under the recently enacted infrastructure law. Another provision offers grants for small public water systems to upgrade their technology and for water utilities to share data with one another.
The California State Water Resources Control Board has adopted new emergency drought rules that forbid the unnecessary use of water, such as overwatering lawns or filling ponds with potable water, with fines of as much as $500. The rules, which will last for one year, are "commonsense measures to save water as California faces more extreme cycles of wet and dry conditions driven by climate change," said Eric Oppenheimer, chief deputy director of the water board.
The new $192 million Interdisciplinary Science and Technology Building 7 at Arizona State University features a prefabricated envelope covered with glass-fiber reinforced concrete panels. The panels, which were built off-site, act as a rain screen and as a solar-protection system.
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