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Fallout from September '18 EPA Groundwater Ruling Related to Coal Ash

#1
This morning I learned that an IL lawsuit against Dynegy was dismissed. The judge ruled that federal law did not govern regulation of the groundwater being polluted by coal ash pits. This decision connects to recent EPA controversies in OK involving groundwater regulation. I've posted links to three articles below. My question is: are others on this list seeing similar state controversies involving groundwater? This issue may demonstrate how the Trump administration's influence over the EPA is negatively affecting the people's ability to protect groundwater. Essentially, the IL court ruled that the federal Clean Water Act covers only surface waters, not groundwater. And yet other court decisions contradict this finding. The IL environmental group, Prairie Rivers Network, is weighing whether to appeal the IL court decision.

Dynegy coal ash pits in Central Illinois

Groundwater issues involving federal or state control

Conservation Groups Fight to Keep Coal Ash Oversight Under Federal Control
 
#2
Thanks for keeping us updated, Sandra. Wish I knew more about the groundwater world in California; water is such a disaster here generally.
 
#3
Thanks for keeping us updated, Sandra. Wish I knew more about the groundwater world in California; water is such a disaster here generally.
In Shrinking the Earth: The Rise and Decline of Natural Abundance by Charles Worster, the author tells the story of Imperial Valley, once known as the Colorado Desert, and how capitalists' drive to colonize even these sandy acres led to the creation of an artificial agricultural site on which much of the US now relies. The chapter ends with details of the dwindling water supplies of this region.

As a person who lives in a part of the country whose incredibly rich land is being abused for the production of soy and corn cattle feed and highly processed food additives, I am watching the slow deterioration of Imperial Valley with dread. Central Illinois should be preparing for the dearth of human food that is going to plague us when Imperial Valley can't feed us anymore. Our part of the country needs to be converting now to small farms that grow a wide variety of foods, restore portions of our lands to prairie, savannah, forest and wetland, and do all this with environmentally sound methods. We have water--for now--more than Imperial Valley does. As the snows disappear from the mountains and the Colorado River is no longer able to bring water to multiple states, California and other states are going to struggle. Because surface water from traditional watersheds is already decreasing, groundwater supplies in CA are being heavily used. Here's a link to an article from Reveal about California's groundwater challenges. CA's water troubles are trouble for everyone. And the rest of us must try to safeguard water supplies where we live, especially when a major food production area looks like it will be compromised sooner rather than later.

The ways capitalism assumes there will always be enough water, or begins to monetize water as it attempts to do everything else, reflect yet another part of the contemporary system that needs to be changed. We need system change and a truly democratic shift to ecosocialism for so many reasons.
 
#4
Right, thanks. And there's the wonderful (by now classic) book about water in the US west, Cadillac Desert. The incredible history of how capitalism, US-style "democracy", and a cast of amazingly greedy and powerful characters devastated whole regions of the country, especially in California.
 
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