Clean Water Act, Then and Now (start time: 3:38): Two weeks ago was the 50th anniversary of the Clean Water Act. The landmark law set out to clean up the nation’s lakes, rivers and streams, and to safeguard the water supply for humans throughout the country. While there’s been some progress since the act was signed in 1972, many view the law as a mixed bag, both nationally and here in Colorado. By some estimates, at least half of the country’s rivers and streams do not meet the standard of the Clean Water Act. The legislation also faces new threats, including one from the U.S. Supreme Court. Host Susan Moran interviews two experts on the topic: John Flesher, a correspondent at the Associated Press; and Danny Katz is executive director of CoPIRG, which is part of the USPIRG network.
* CoPIRG new report on industrial polluters
* CoPIRG report Wasting Our Waterways
* State bill tackling lead in schools’ drinking water
Host & Producer: Susan Moran Executive Producer: Susan Moran Engineer: Shannon Young Headline contributor: Benita Lee
Mining retention pond in Colorado. Image courtesy of the EPA.
Clean Water Struggles. Co-host Susan Moran interviews journalist Judith Lewis Mernit about how small rural communities in the West are struggling to afford complying with federal water-quality standards as they relate to water pollutants. Mernit wrote an article on the topic in High Country News’ Dec. 12 issue. She explores the unintended consequences of complex federal standards, which place a disproportionately heavy burden on small communities. A big bone of contention, and a source of a flood of lawsuits, is a provision in the Clean Water Act that forces states to assess their impaired waterways and set maximum limits, or loads, for nitrates and other pollutants in them.
2011’s Big Sci-Enviro-Tech Stories. In the second feature co-hosts Susan Moran and Tom Yulsman are joined by How On Earth’s Tom McKinnon and Shelley Schlender, as well as photojournalist Michael Kodas (author of a forthcoming book on megafires) to reflect on 2011’s major science, technology and environment stories. The list includes extreme weather events, record-high carbon dioxide levels, the Fukushima nuclear disaster, Boulder’s November vote to consider municipalizing its electricity, and advancements in proteomics. Stay tuned for plenty more coverage of these topics on How On Earth in 2012. (Scroll down to download the audio file of the show.)
Hosts: Susan Moran, Tom Yulsman Producer: Susan Moran Engineers: Tom McKinnon, Shelley Schlender Executive Producer: Tom McKinnon