Oct 10, 2019

EPA plans overhaul on testing water for lead contamination

The water plant in Flint, Michigan. Photo: Brett Carlsen/Getty Images

The EPA plans on issuing a proposal that would change how communities test their drinking water for lead and force quicker action when water is contaminated, the Washington Post reports.

Why it matters: This proposal is the first update to the EPA's lead and copper rule in nearly three decades and would — theoretically — prevent another situation like the one that took place in Flint, Michigan, from arising.

Between the lines, via Axios' Amy Harder: This is one of the few areas where the EPA is seeking to add, instead of repeal, regulations. The agency has largely focused on rolling back rules on climate change, but this is more focused on traditional environmental protection, a core part of EPA's mission.

Yes, but: "[W]hile Thursday’s sprawling proposal seeks significant changes to the status quo, some environmental advocates said the agency’s overhaul does not appear to take the most important step: requiring the steady removal of the estimated 6 million or more lead service lines that remain underground throughout the nation," per the Post.

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Massive demonstrations put police response to unrest in the spotlight

Washington State Police use tear gas to disperse a crowd in Seattle during a demonstration protesting the death of George Floyd. Photo: Jason Redmond/AFP via Getty Images

The response of some officers during demonstrations against police brutality in the U.S. has been criticized for being excessive by some officials and Black Lives Matter groups and leaders.

Why it matters: The situation is tense across the U.S., with reports of protesters looting and burning buildings. While some police have responded with restraint and by monitoring the protests, others have used batons, tear gas and other chemicals and devices to disperse protesters and, in some cases, journalists.

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

U.S. cities crack down on protesters

The scene near the 5th police precinct during a demonstration calling for justice for George Floyd in Minneapolis on Saturday. Photo: Kerem Yucel/AFP via Getty Images

Major U.S. cities have implemented curfews and called on National Guard to mobilize as thousands of demonstrators gather across the nation to continue protesting the death of George Floyd.

The state of play: Hundreds have already been arrested as tensions continue to rise between protesters and local governments. Protesters are setting police cars on fire as freeways remain blocked and windows are shattered, per the Washington Post. Law enforcement officials are using tear gas and rubber bullets to try to disperse crowds and send protesters home.

Journalists get caught in the crosshairs as protests unfold

A man waves a Black Lives Matter flag atop the CNN logo during a protest in response to the police killing of George Floyd outside the CNN Center on May 29. Photo: Elijah Nouvelage / Getty Images

Dozens of journalists across the country tweeted videos Saturday night of themselves and their crews getting arrested, being shot at by police with rubber bullets, targeted with tear gas by authorities or assaulted by protestors.

Why it matters: The incidents show how easy it can be for the media to entangled in the stories they cover, especially during a time of civil unrest.