POLLUTION

Scott Pruitt was supposed to spend today on Capitol Hill discussing the Environmental Protection Agency's budget. That may seem an easy task compared to the grilling he's likely to get instead over myriad allegations of improper spending and ethics violations.

It's the first time Pruitt will appear before lawmakers since weeks of accusations prompted a string of investigations — by the EPA Inspector General's office, at the GAO, and in Congress. By this week, even staunch allies like Senator James Inhofe, a Pruitt mentor from his home state of Oklahoma, were expressing concern.

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.

Connecticut and New York are butting heads over a controversial decision by the federal Environmental Protection Agency to allow dumping of dredged material in Long Island Sound. It’s an unusual split between two states that have been pretty lockstep in suing the EPA.

14 States Suing EPA Over Methane Emissions

Apr 6, 2018

New York and several states from New England have filed a lawsuit against the EPA and its administrator, Scott Pruitt, for not doing enough to combat methane pollution.

Fourteen states, including Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont, and Rhode Island, have joined New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s lawsuit against the agency.

Schneiderman says the EPA is violating the Clean Air Act by unreasonably delaying its obligation to control methane pollution from the oil and gas industry.

A stretch of the Housatonic River that under an EPA proposal would be dredged to remove PCBs.
Nancy Eve Cohen / NEPR

The New England EPA is suggesting mediation may help speed up the clean up of the Housatonic River. 

For years, the water at one of Massachusetts’ largest prisons — MCI-Norfolk — has been described by prisoners as smelly and looking like black tea.

Massachusetts Department of Correction officials say the water meets state standards for potability. But they acknowledge there’s a problem in at least some of the samples collected from the prison’s well: elevated levels of the mineral manganese, which can cause health problems including a Parkinson’s disease-like neurological disorder.

Water running from a faucet.
Skitterphoto / Creative Commons

The city of Westfield, Massachusetts, now has three of its wells off-line.

It’s an elevator pitch Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy has made a lot. Climate change is real. It’s man-made. And it’s here. But, he thinks the state could do better.

The Connecticut River at Springfield, Massachusetts, on April 3, 2017.
Ryan Caron King / WNPR

The Springfield Water and Sewer Commission has qualified for a $50 million low-interest loan that could help the Connecticut River run cleaner. 

Water running from a faucet.
Skitterphoto / Creative Commons

The city of Westfield, Massachusetts, has filed a lawsuit against three companies after chemical contaminants were found in two of its wells.

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