The National Sea Grant Law Center


Categories: “Water Quality”

  • “Forever Chemicals” in Drinking Water: A Minnesota Case Study on PFAS
  • September 15th, 2021 — by Cody Bahr — Category: Water Quality

  • Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS, are a group of more than 5,000 chemicals that have been used since the 1960s. PFAS are present in a multitude of products across a variety of industries, including nonstick Teflon™ cookware coatings, water-, grease-, and stain-repellents and fire-retardants for clothing, as well as textiles, carpeting, and lining paper products, such as takeout containers. 3M was one of the first companies to use PFAS in their products.

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  • Iowa Supreme Court Dismisses Attempt to Regulate Agricultural Water Pollution under the Public Trust
  • June 29th, 2021 — by Katherine Hupp — Category: Environmental Law Water Quality

  • Unlike some states, Iowa does not require farmers to mitigate nonpoint source pollution. Instead, Iowa farmers are encouraged to voluntarily implement agricultural water pollution controls. Environmental groups challenged Iowa’s voluntary compliance strategy in court but, on June 18, the Iowa Supreme Court dismissed the lawsuit for lack of standing. The court ruled that the claims raised by the plaintiffs’ lawsuit, which sought to force state environmental agencies to regulate agricultural nonpoint source pollution under the public trust doctrine, are not capable of being resolved by the courts.

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  • Lead in Water Series: The SipSafe Program
  • April 22nd, 2021 — by Taylor Harris — Category: Water Quality

  • In the Meet the Team installment of this Lead in Water Series, I told you the embarrassing story of how six-year-old me resolved to protect herself from lead poisoning—which mostly involved being veryyyy suspicious of #2 pencils. What six-year-old me did not know, among other things (like pencils aren’t made from lead), is that there are regulatory agencies in the U.S. that ensure limited contact with lead by implementing laws like the Safe Water Drinking Act and the Lead and Copper Rule.

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  • Lead in Water Series: MSDH Referral Program
  • April 20th, 2021 — by Taylor Harris — Category: Water Quality

  • One thing all good villains have in common is that they’re evasive. Hard to catch before it’s too late; the bank is already empty; and the kryptonite already planted before you notice they were even there. Sometimes this feels like the case with lead. The only way to know you’ve been exposed is to be tested for it. Once lead exposure is identified, dust from lead paint is the most often-considered culprit. But up to 30% of elevated blood lead level (EBLL) cases in children have no immediate lead paint source, and the only way to know where the exposure originated is to test for a source.

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  • Lead in Water Series: Research in Our Communities
  • April 16th, 2021 — by Taylor Harris — Category: Water Quality

  • Some questions are better left unasked. For example, you probably shouldn’t ask your doctor how much student loan debt they’ve accumulated, and it’s probably not the best idea to ask the chef at a restaurant what their secret recipe is. Other questions you flat out might not want to know the answer to, like whether something (or nothing) is moving around in the dark when everyone is supposed to be out for the night. But what about whether lead is leaching into your drinking water?

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  • Lead in Water Series: Community Engagement
  • April 14th, 2021 — by Taylor Harris — Category: Water Quality

  • The best people to ask about great food spots, hidden gems, or improvements that could be made in a community are its members. A well-meaning decorator might try to help you re-arrange your living room, but they wouldn’t know where the sun shines brightest and casts a glare on the television or that your pet likes to sunbathe in a certain corner of the room. Research, especially where community resources are concerned, isn’t so different.

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  • Lead in Water Series: Meet the UM Team
  • April 12th, 2021 — by Taylor Harris — Category: Water Quality

  • The first time that I considered the dangers of lead poisoning was during a presentation in elementary school. I didn’t understand exactly what lead was, but I did gather that my safety absolutely depended on being suspicious of any inclinations to ingest paint and keeping a safe distance from any mishaps with my #2 pencil. I’ve found since then that all paint (not just lead based) is pretty unappetizing and that pencils aren’t actually made with lead, it’s just in the name.

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  • EPA Faces Another Safe Drinking Water Act Lawsuit
  • March 22nd, 2019 — by Rachel Buddrus — Category: Water Quality

  • The Waterkeeper Alliance, Waterkeepers Chesapeake, and California Coastkeeper Alliance (the organizations) recently filed a lawsuit against the EPA, claiming that the agency has sorely neglected its duties under the Safe Drinking Water Act. The organizations believe that the EPA has not updated regulations for currently regulated contaminants, been reluctant to regulate new contaminants in public drinking water systems, and missed mandatory deadlines under the Act.

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  • Key West Follows Hawaii’s Lead, Bans Sale of Certain Sunscreens to Protect Coral Reefs
  • February 8th, 2019 — by Catherine Janasie — Category: Environmental Law Water Quality

  • This week the City Commission of Key West voted 6-1 to ban the sale of sunscreens containing chemicals that could harm coral reefs. The banned chemicals are oxybenzone and octinoxate, which can damage reefs by contributing to coral bleaching and death. Key West’s action follows legislation passed by the state of Hawaii last year which prohibits the sale of the same chemicals.

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  • President Trump Signs New Legislation Concerning Harmful Algal Blooms
  • January 18th, 2019 — by Catherine Janasie — Category: Water Quality

  • While nitrogen and phosphorus are nutrients that naturally occur in aquatic ecosystems, the presence of these nutrients in excessive quantities causes risks to human health and results in substantial economic and environmental harms. Nutrient pollution is primarily caused by several human activities, including municipal wastewater discharges, stormwater runoff, and agricultural discharges, such as fertilized cropland manure and runoff.

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  • Drinking Water Update - Lead Testing in Schools
  • November 9th, 2018 — by Catherine Janasie — Category: Water Quality

  • Issues with the nation’s drinking water have continued to be in the news of late. In the U.S., drinking water is regulated on the federal level by the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA). The SDWA aims to ensure the quality of Americans' drinking water and authorizes the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to set national standards for drinking water to protect against health effects from exposure to naturally-occurring and man-made contaminants.

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