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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Senate Democrats plan to force vote on Trump's power plant emissions rule

Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Senate Democrats intend to force a roll call vote next week on EPA regulations that scrapped Obama-era carbon emissions rules for power plants and replaced them with a more modest alternative.

Why it matters: Floor votes on global warming are rare, and the bid to scuttle the Trump administration rule signals Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer's (D-N.Y.) increasing emphasis on the topic.

Go deeperArrowOct 10, 2019

The water crisis cities don't see coming

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Aging water treatment systems, failing pipes and a slew of unregulated contaminants threaten to undermine water quality in U.S. cities of all sizes.

Why it matters: There's arguably nothing more important to human survival than access to clean drinking water.

Go deeperArrowOct 16, 2019

NASA mission aims to map water ice on moon's south pole for the first time

NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine on Oct. 15. Photo: Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP via Getty Images

NASA announced Friday plans to send the Volatiles Investigating Polar Exploration Rover (VIPER) to the Moon in Dec. 2022 to study the concentration of water ice.

Why it matters: VIPER will gather data to inform NASA's first global water resource maps of the Moon. The mission's project manager, Daniel Andrews, said VIPER will help answer the question of "if the Moon could really contain the amount of resources we need to live off-world."

Go deeperArrowOct 26, 2019