POLLUTION

Remember acid rain? In the 1970s and ‘80s, scientists found that rain 100 times more acidic than normal was harming the mountain forests of New England and New York.

An F-15 jet at Barnes Air National Guard Base in Westfield, Massachusetts.
File Photo / The Republican/ Masslive.com / photos

The city of Westfield, Massachusetts, is moving ahead with a plan to address contaminated water. 

The Springfield Water and Sewer Commission and Bondi's Island, across the Connecticut River from the Union Street combined sewer overflow, or CSO.
Jill Kaufman / NEPR

A very old sewer system is still in use at about 800 wastewater treatment plants in the U.S., including along the Connecticut River. It’s called “combined sewer overflow,” or CSO. What overflows into waterways is a mix of storm water, street runoff and raw sewage.  

Officials in Connecticut and New York are praising a federal court decision, which says the Environmental Protection Agency needs to do more to control air pollution.

Water running from a faucet.
Skitterphoto / Creative Commons

A plan to decontaminate water in Westfield, Massachusetts, stands a good chance of passing after a city councilor said he'll change his vote.

Plastic water bottles.
Ricardo Bernardo / http://zone41.net / Creative Commons / flickr.com/photos/zone41

A western Massachusetts town has banned the sale of small, single-use bottles of water. 

The activated sludge system, the "heart of the water treatment plant," at Springfield Water and Sewer, where wastewater is treated before going into the Connecticut River, in  2017.
Ryan Caron King / WNPR

A draft water pollution permit for a regional wastewater treatment plant on the Connecticut River in Springfield, Massachusetts, is now back in the hands of the Environmental Protection Agency. 

The Environmental Protection Agency has announced more than $8 million in “brownfield” remediation grants, money that will fund assessments and cleanups of old industrial sites throughout New England.

Updated at 2:54 p.m. ET

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt faced withering criticism from congressional Democrats on Thursday, with one lawmaker calling him "unfit to hold public office." But Republican members of Congress — especially those representing states with large fossil fuel industries — rallied to Pruitt's defense.

Air quality in our region continues to rank among the worst in the country. The 2018 State of the Air Report from the American Lung Association gave failing grades in air quality to most of the counties in the region.

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