EPA cancels widely used insecticide

WASHINGTON — March 1, 2016 — Bayer CropScience, LP and Nichino American Inc. will receive notices of intent to cancel flubendiamide products that adversely affect aquatic wildlife, according to a press release.

Studies revealed the insecticide is harmful to aquatic species, especially fish, when it breaks down into a more highly toxic material, noted the release. Flubendiamide can be used on more than 200 crops.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the three companies have been in agreement since 2008 that if unreasonable adverse effects were found by the EPA, flubendiamide registrations would be canceled by the companies within one week of the EPA notification. The companies rejected voluntary cancellation, so the EPA canceled the registrations for failure to comply with the original terms.

Virginia Tech awarded grant for Flint testing

FLINT, Mich. — March 1, 2016 — Virginia Tech University received an EPA grant for $80,000 to fund sampling to measure lead levels in flint drinking water.

Researchers will test samples from nearly 300 residences first sampled in August 2015. The city switched back to Detroit water in October. Since December, it has added more phosphates to reduce corrosion. The testing by Virginia Tech researchers will help quantify lead level reductions.

While bottled water remains the safest option for vulnerable populations in the city, the EPA recommends residents use NSF-certified filters in their homes.

Local governments to receive EPA assistance for water infrastructure planning

PHILADELPHIA — Feb. 23, 2016 — Ten municipalities around the U.S. will receive $50,000 each in financial and technical guidance to aid in investing in drinking water and wastewater infrastructure, according to a press release.

The communities will focus on longterm strategies through the EPA’s Water Community Assistance for Resiliency and Excellence (WaterCARE). The new program assists communities with populations less than 100,000 that have public health challenge needs, median household income considerations and willingness to implement capital improvement projects.

The communities include:

  • Lawrence, Massachusetts
  • The Township of South Orange Village, New Jersey
  • Selma, Alabama
  • Youngstown, Ohio
  • Gatesville, Texas
  • Johnston, Iowa
  • Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribe (Montana)
  • Hoopa Valley Tribe (California)
  • Haines Borough, Alaska

Gas stations to comply with fuel tank storage requirements to protect groundwater

SEATTLE — Feb. 23, 2016 — Nine gas stations in Alaska, Oregon and Washington reached settlements with the EPA after facing penalties for improper underground fuel tank storage, according to a press release.

Because of repeated violations, the stations were subject to increased penalties. Some of the stations were not allowed to receive fuel shipments. As the only station that did not agree to correct the problems, Shall Gas Station in Hoquiam, Washington, cannot receive fuel delivery until it complies with the the terms.

More than 6,800 petroleum spills were caused by failure to monitor tanks and underground piping in 2015, noted the release. The EPA strengthened underground storage tanks regulations in 2015, the first major revision to the regulations since 2005.

EPA approves Walk River Paiutes water quality standards application

SAN FRANCISCO — March 2, 2016 — The Walker River Paiute Tribe received the EPA approval for “Treatment in a similar manner as a State” under the Clean Water Act, according to a press release.

The action encourages tribes to protect tribal waters by developing water quality standards and issuing water quality certifications of federal actions on their lands, noted the release. With the decision, the tribe can develop and submit water quality standards to the EPA similar to the way states conduct the process.