rivers and lakes
"Amphibians are one of nature's best indicators of
overall environmental health. Their catastrophic decline serves as a
warning that we are in a period of significant
environmental degradation." - Russell A. Mittermeier
"When the EPA, charged with the job of protecting
our environment for the benefit of
the American people, stone walls on regulating a known toxin in public
drinking water, in my mind it is akin to our government saying it's OK to
poison Americans." - Mike Laskavy
former employee of the EPA charges
government of the US with turning a blind eye to the systematic poisoning
of America's food supply, animals, water, and people.
Anaconda Copper smelting from
1884 to 1980 contaminates 120 miles of the Clark Fork River in Montana.
1920's Powerine Oil Co. dumped oil wastes from
the 1920's to the 60's creating an under ground pool of
toxic sludge some 900 feet wide in
Santa Fe Springs, Los Angeles.
1951 Pacific Gas
& Electric Topock facility dumps waste water containing chromium 6
untreated into percolation beds from 1951 to 1969.
1978 United States Coast Guard discovered a plume of oil
beneath Brooklyn, New York containing between 17 million and 30 million gallons
of oil that had migrated from tank farms.
In St. Maries, Idaho a wood treatment facility is found to be leaching
contaminates into the St. Joe River.
The facility operated as a
creosote wood pole treating plant from the 1930s through the 1960s.
Coal tar creosote is
products are used in
'medicines' to treat skin diseases such as psoriasis, and are also used as
animal and bird repellents, insecticides, restricted pesticides, animal dips,
1999 Massive 7 million tire fire in Westley, California
releases 250,000 gallons of oil into a gully which runs into the California
Sunoco pipeline spills 192,000 gallons of oil into a pond and surrounding
wetlands in the John Heinz
National Wildlife Refuge, Pennsylvania.
Buried 28 inch Explorer
Pipeline Co. pipeline ruptured spilling over 500,000 gallons of gasoline into
Lake Tawakoni, Texas which is used as a backup water supply reservoir by the
City of Dallas.
2001 Columbia Terminals Inc.
pleads guilty to illegally disposing over 500,000 gallons of hazardous
chemicals. The incorporation will pay $1.3 million in fines.
Mining Co. agrees to pay $138 million over the next 30 years as part of a
settlement for cleanup costs associated with toxic mine tailings in the Coeur
d'Alene basin, in the 1,500 square mile Bunker Hill area, Idaho. Estimated
cleanup costs will run $1.3 billion.
State of Colorado determines over
50,000 fish were killed along a 7.4 mile length of Clear Creek by
Joseph Coors from the release of
77,000 gallons of bad beer into the tributary of the Colorado
House of Representatives passes a measure ordering the EPA to
reduce the current maximum allowable level of
arsenic in drinking water,
50 parts per billion (ppb), by 80% - in effect backing the 10 ppb put into
affect by the Clinton
administration and subsequently rescinded by the George Walker Bush
Arsenic in drinking
water can cause lung, bladder and skin cancer and according to a study by
the National Academy of Sciences, the current 50 ppb standard "could easily"
result in a cancer risk of 1 in
every 100 people exposed.
Three thousand water systems nationwide
serving over 13 million people currently supply water which exceeds the 10 ppb
2002 Measurements taken in Red Lion Creek, Delaware found
levels of benzene at up to 22,000 times federal drinking water
The benzene contamination resulted from
tank failures of the Metachem Chemical facility spilling 6.8 million pounds of
chlorinated benzene compounds into the soil in 1986.
The facility had been
one of the world's largest producers of chlorinated benzenes which were used in
pesticides, herbicides, dyes and other products.
are composed of twelve chemical species: one mono-, three di-, three tri-,
three tetra-, one penta-, and one hexachlorobenzene.
is applied to wheat as a
is used chiefly against termites in soil.
Trichlorobenzenes are used as
solvents for pesticides.
benzenes have a chemical structure and properties similar to those of PCBs and
Gasoline from a ruptured pipeline
of SFPP L.P., a subsidiary of Kinder Morgan Energy Partner L.P.
contaminates soil and ground water in
The spill, estimated at 10,000 gallons, was larger as
some 52,000 gallons had been recovered by January, 2005.
leaching chemicals into Petrolia, Pennsylvania wells.
Corporation agrees to pay $4.5 having acquired companies that dumped chemicals
at the landfill during the 1950s and 1960s.
Beazer East Inc. agrees to
pay $18.1 million in cleanup costs.
Kaiser Aluminum agreed to pay $24
million in cleanup costs for 66 contaminated sites.
4 million gallon
underground plume of gasoline contaminates the ground water of Hartford,
gasoline from a refinery to
the Mississippi River were leaking 15,120 gallons of gasoline per week.
The facility operated from 1981 to 2002 when the refinery was
2004 Study by the nonprofit group Center for Progressive
Regulation concludes that many states do not have the money to enforce the
federal Clean Water Act.
150 species of amphibians have become
As many as 55% of
all known species, more than 3,000, could be on the verge of
extinction according to a report
published in the journal Science in October .
More than 500
scientists are included in the first global amphibian assessment.
Amphibians serve as sentinels for environmental problems that might be
jeopardizing entire ecological systems.
In America, 21% of known
species are threatened with extinction.
indeed telling us that the Earth is being harmed right where you and I live,"
said Andrew R. Blaustein, director of the graduate program in environmental
sciences at Oregon State University.
Wells 125 feet from the Colorado
River, a drinking water source for some
18 million Californians, are found to have levels of chromium 6 at 100
EPA developes three options to remediate pollution caused by mining
waste along Butte's Metro Storm Drain, Montana.
Corp. agreed to remove thorium contamination from Kress Creek and the DuPage.
From the 1930s, Lindsay Light and Chemical Corp. began processing ore
to make radioactive thorium used in the manufacture of gas lamp
Kerr-McGee bought the facility in 1967 and closed it 6 years
During the years of operation, the facility dumped waste water
into local creeks.
An estimated 800,000 tons of mill tailings were also
generated and were spread around the community for use as landfill for flood
plains and on residential lawns.
It is found a redeveloped limestone
mining and cement manufacturing plant has failed to cap cement kiln dust piles
creating a high pH leachate contain metals, including
arsenic which is
seeping into Little Traverse Bay, Lake Michigan, Michigan.
Exploration and Producing US, Inc. settles a federal and state action by
agreeing to pay $5.5 million for spilling oil in tributaries of the San Juan
River, Utah between 1991 and 1999.
Plastics maker Keysor-Century Corp.
agrees to pay $4.3M dumping for toxic waste water into the Santa Clara River,
Burlington Northern Santa Fe Corp. agrees to cleanup an
Albuquerque, New Mexico wood treatment facility.
The wood treatment
facility operated from 1908 to 1972
releasing creosote into the soil and
EPA states that Colonial Pipeline is responsible for "at
least 194" oil spills
in 12 states from 1966 to 1994 and "numerous" spills in subsequent years.
In one spill, more than 950,000 gallons of
diesel fuel spilled into the Reedy River
in South Carolina in 1996, killing 35,000 fish and other species of wildlife,
and dispersing more than 34 miles downstream.
ship spills 265,000 gallons of oil into the Delaware River.
Drinking water wells in
Glendale, California are found to contain levels of chromium 6 at 49 parts per
The city council has set a safety limit of 5 ppb for
chromium 6, while the state maximum allowable level remains at 50
Government Accounting Office (GAO) reports there was between 450,000 and
1,000,000 brownfield sites in America.
New York City contains
approximately 6,000 properties designated as brownfield sites.
announces over 300,000 sites with leaking under ground storage tanks have been
remediated over the past 20 years.
Some 130,000 leaking under ground
storage tanks still need to be cleaned up and 4 out of every 10 under ground
storage tanks remain out of compliance with regulations.
chromium 6 in a well within 60 feet of the Colorado River measure 354 parts per
The allowable limit set by the state is 50 ppb.
Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) uses chromium 6 as a rust
prevention agent in natural gas compressor stations along pipelines during
1950s and 1960s.
Shell Oil agrees to pay all cleanup costs necessary to
remediate contamination caused by leaking under ground storage tanks at 184 gas
stations in Orange County, California.
British Petroleum, which
acquired Atlantic Richfield,
has cleaned up 10 of 60 gas stations where
Weyerhaeuser agrees to remediate
contamination at a mill and a
landfill near the Kalamazoo River, Michigan.
The landfill reportedly
contains hundreds of thousands of pounds of chemicals.
agrees to pay $2.4 million to the State of Pennsylvania for dumping acids and
waste into Pennsylvania rivers.
Kinder Morgan Energy
Partners pleads guilty to failure to promptly report an
oil spill from one of
its 14 inch pipelines to California state regulators.
stated Kinder Morgan Energy
Partners waited 18 hours to report a spill which dumped 123,774 gallons of
oil into wetlands near San Francisco Bay in April 2004 and
brushed off civil penalties in the
past as a cost of doing business.
Los Angeles Regional Water
Quality Control Board orders Micro Matic USA draft beer equipment maker to
cleanup up ground water
contamination emanating from its Northridge, California facility.
perchloroethylene, tetrachloroethylene or PCE plume runs beneath the facility
and under area homes.
Levels of PCE have been measured at more than 300
times levels considered safe for drinking
Wisconsin circuit court judge fines home improvement retailer
Menard Inc. $2,025,000 for discharging pollutants from one of its distribution
centers into a maintenance shop drain contaminating the Chippewa River.
Regulators alleged that employees disposed of solvents, cleansers, oils
and other pollutants by pouring
them into the shop drain.
Eleven California companies are fined $8.2
million to settle their liability for the cleanup of
volatile organic compounds
(VOC) contaminating ground water beneath the city of Industry and portions of
La Puente and Walnut.
The firms used solvents for degreasing
The settling defendants include: Acorn Engineering Co.,
Aerosol Services Co. Inc., GOE Engineering Co., Hexcel Corp., Lansco Die
Casting Inc., Herring Investments LLC, Somitex Prints of California Inc., Union
Pacific Railroad, and Utility Trailer Manufacturing Co.
EPA approves a
$29 million cleanup plan for the Solvents Recovery Service of New England
Superfund site in Southington which disposed of millions of gallons of solvents
and oil from 1955 and 1991 by dumping them into lagoons and leach fields.
The site is some 500 feet from the Quinnipiac River.
water beneath the site is contaminated with
acetone, toluene and
other volatile organic
Toluene, an aromatic hydrocarbon
(paint thinners), is a mono-substituted benzene derivative, consisting of a
CH3 group attached to a phenyl group.
(CH3)2CO, is a volatile, flammable
and colorless liquid is the simplest and smallest ketone.
soil is contaminated with
Study by the nonprofit
research organization Environmental Working
Group (EWG), which involved a review of two years worth of information
on tap water gathered by regulators in 42 states, found 141 contaminants for
which there are no enforceable health standards.
Nineteen of these
contaminants were found in levels that exceeded the EPA's unenforced safety
guidelines for water utilities serving 10,000 people or
Contaminants included gasoline additive MTBE, rocket
fuel component perchlorate and
several industrial solvents.
According to the study, the top 10 states
with the most contaminants in their drinking
water were: California, Wisconsin, Arizona, Florida, North Carolina, Texas,
New York, Nevada, Pennsylvania and Illinois.
The study also found 119
contaminants for which enforceable heath standards exist including
According to the Environmental Working
Group, the contaminated tap water is used by over one hundred million
people in the 42 states.
2006 Remediation of
contaminants at and from the former
Anaconda Copper mine in
Nevada will cost between $100 million and $1 billion.
2007 Scientists began work on an "Amphibian Ark."
deadly new fungus, the chytrid fungus, is decimating amphibian populations
to collect uninfected amphibians and lock them away to save amphibians from
David B. Wake of
UC Berkeley's Museum of Vertebrate Zoology, a leading amphibian expert,
called the prospects for amphibian survival "very grim."
Kinder Morgan Energy Partners
pays $5.3 million to settle charges addressing the April 2004 spill at the
Suisun Marsh in Solano County, the February 2005 76,902 gallon-spill at Oakland
Inner Harbor in Alameda, and the April 2005 300 gallon-spill into Summit Creek
that impacted waters in the pristine Donner Lake watershed in the Sierra Nevada
Range in Placer County.
The spills, on Kinder Morgan's 3,000-mile
Pacific Operations Unit pipeline system, discharged a combined 200,976 gallons
of diesel fuel, jet fuel and gasoline into
waters, sensitive ecosystems, and impacted endangered and other species,
habitat and commercial uses.
2009 Analysis of 925 major rivers from 1948 to 2004 finds
significant changes in about a third.
Of those, rivers with decreased
flow outnumbered those with increased flow by a ratio of about 2.5 to 1.
The reduction in
river flow to the Pacific Ocean alone is about equal to shutting off the
Clean Water Act does not prevent the Army Corps
of Engineers from allowing mining waste to be dumped into rivers, streams and
"The Army Corps of Engineers permit, issued in 2005,
said that 4.5 million tons of waste from the Kensington mine could be dumped
into the lake even though it would obliterate life in its waters." - Leslie
"If a mining incorporation can turn Lower Slate Lake in Alaska
into a lifeless waste dump, other polluters with solids in their wastewater can
potentially do the same to any water body in America." - Trip Van Noppen,
"Reports from conservationists, salmon-stream
walkers and ecotourism guides all along British Columbia's wild central coast
indicate a collapse of salmon runs has
triggered widespread death from starvation of black and grizzly bears.
Those guides are on the front lines of
what they say is an unfolding ecological disaster that is so new that it has
not been documented by biologists." - Mark Hume, 09/10/09
never experienced anything like this. There has been a huge drop in the number
of bears we see," said Doug Neasloss, a bear-viewing guide with the
Kitasoo-Xaixais tribes in Klemtu, about 180 kilometres south of
"River systems that in the past had 50,000 to 60,000 chum have
now got 10 fish. The chum runs have been fished out. The collapse of the Fraser
sockeye and now the north-coast chum salmon runs is
leading to ecological
collapse of our coast ecosystems.
We've seen the biological
extinction of a salmon species, and now we're seeing the impact on bears.
I've talked to stream walkers [who monitor salmon runs] who have been out for a
month and have yet to see any bears." - Ian McAllister, 09/10/09
British Columbia's Fraser River watershed fishery managers expected 10 to 13
million sockeye in the fall 2009 run. About 1 million showed
According to EPA data more than 23 million people received drinking
water from municipal systems that violated a health-based standard.
estimated 19.5 million Americans fall ill each year from drinking water
contaminated with parasites, bacteria or viruses, according to a study
published in 2008 in the scientific journal Reviews of Environmental
Contamination and Toxicology.
These figures do not count toxic
industrial chemical poisoning.
The most frequently detected toxic
industrial chemical contaminants cause cancer,
birth defects and
According to EPA compliance forms submitted by corporate polluters the
Clean Water Act has been violated more than 506,000 times since 2004, by
more than 23,000 corporations.
2004 US Geological Survey reports
that tree ring reconstructions of Colorado River flows determine that the
lowest five year average flow of the Colorado River occurred between 1590 and
The average yearly flow at that time was determined to be 8.84
During the Dust Bowl years 1930 to
1937 the average yearly flow
was 10.2 million acre-feet. Between the years 2001 and 2004 the average yearly
flow was 5.4 million acre-feet.
Since 2000, the Basin has been
experiencing a historic, extended drought that has impacted regional water
supply and other resources, such as hydropower, recreation, and ecologic
During this time, the Colorado River Basin has experienced
its lowest 16-year period of inflow in over 100 years of record keeping, and
reservoir storage in the Colorado River system has declined from nearly full to
about half of capacity.
The Upper Colorado River Basin supplies
approximately 90% of the water for the entire Basin.
originates as precipitation and snowmelt in the Rocky and Wasatch
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