Thursday, September 18, 2014

Meeting of the Virginia Roanoke River Basin Advisory Committee





Meeting of the

Virginia Roanoke River Basin Advisory Committee

The next meeting of the VRRBAC will be held from
 9:30 a.m. to noon on THURSDAY OCTOBER 23
The meeting location is the Institute for Advanced  Learning, Charles R. Hawkins Research Center,
230 Slayton Ave., Danville VA 24540
Please mark your calendars to attend. 
The agenda will be sent in advance of the meeting.
DEQ recently completed the 2014 Annual Report of the Roanoke River Basin Bi-State Commission.  The document is posted on our webpage at
Any questions, please feel free to contact me.
Mary Ann Massie
Planner, DEQ Office of Water Supply
PO Box 1105
Richmond VA 23218

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Rally: Globalfrackdown Day October 11, 2014

Americans Unite Against Fracking's photo.

Comments: We need to stop fracking in Virginia and North Carolina because it has ruined wells all over America. Plus it is a health hazard because of the "burn off flame". This causes pollution in the air and lots of wells are near homes. Rockingham, North Carolina is a "proposed drilling option" and it sits on the Dan River, you know the river that Duke Energy dump tons of coal ash. The Dan River is drinking water for lots of people! Ban Fracking!

Global Frack Down Day


Political Affiliations aside, Fracking will affect you and your community's health! This is a place to join in order to attend, be involved in the planning and be informed about the event. The event is already in action with other Environmental Groups in NC and we are joining in the effort.

This event will coincide with Globalfrackdown Day October 11, 2014.

You can be involved as much or as little as you choose...

Ideas to details, depend on you...

The event is taking shape as a concert/festival with NC musicians with a headliner and other musicians along with prominent speakers.

The goal is to make this fun and informative so that many North Carolinians will attend and it will affect change.

Help plan this statewide bipartisan event for all groups, organizations and individuals and/or plan to attend.

This event's goal is to inform North Carolinians and with that knowledge in November, vote for Representatives that will

put a moratorium in place for Fracking in NC.

Please invite your friends:

Monday, September 15, 2014

Tell EPA: Get climate pollution under control as fast as possible

Virginia state insect - tiger swallowtail butterfly
Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly

Virginia state bird - northern cardinal
State Bird:  Cardinal

State Tree:DogwoodImage result for picture of dogwood tree

Virginia state flower - flowering dogwood
State Flower: Flowering Dogwood

Tell EPA: Get climate pollution under control as fast as possible::   Too Hot For The Birds

Don't you remember learning about your state flower, your state tree, and your state bird?

I love the idea that each state claims citizens from the natural world--it is such a nice way to get schoolchildren engaged with the creatures living near them. There is something sweet and simple and quirky about declaring that the Baltimore oriole stands for Maryland, or the common loon for Minnesota, or the brown pelican for Louisiana.

We have bad news for our fellow creatures. Climate change --due to carbon and methane pollution-- is the Number 1 threat to North American birds, according to a fascinating, and alarming, report from the National Audubon Society. We are fouling their nests.

Tell EPA: Get climate pollution under control as fast as possible.

Birds have certain tolerances for heat and cold, rain and drought: when conditions change, birds move elsewhere. What this means is that in 70 years--during the lifetimes of our children--Maryland won't have Baltimore orioles, Louisiana won't have its beguiling brown pelicans, Minnesota won't have loons, New Hampshire won't have purple finches, Pennsylvania won't have those handsome ruffed grouses, and Vermont will no longer hear the lilting melodies of the hermit thrush, and Idaho will not be treated to the turquoise flash of the mountain bluebird.

We tend to think that we will all adjust to a warmer world; we'll turn up the A/C or we will migrate to cooler homes. But it isn't so simple, of course. Eventually, every place is compromised by global warming, and many creatures will run out of places to go. We all will.

We saved the bald eagle from extinction once before, when the DDT that was destroying eggshells was banned. The bald eagle is once again in trouble.

Every morning, I watch the hummingbirds canoodle the trumpet vine, and I am in awe of such tiny miracles. Each of us needs to do our part to preserve the world with which we are blessed. I'm in this to protect my children--but all creatures deserve our compassion and our care.

Please sign our petition to EPA to stop carbon pollution. And forward it to five friends to do the same. 
Go ahead: ruffle some feathers. It will save lives.

Dominique Browning
Co-Founder and Senior Director, Moms Clean Air Force

Meeting: Natural Gas Pipelines in Central Virginia?

Natural Gas Pipelines in Central Virginia?

What are the costs and benefits?
Do we want to support fracking?

Wednesday, September 17
7:00 p.m.
St. Mark Lutheran Church  (Corner of Ivy Rd. & Alderman Rd. in C’Ville)

Everyone is encouraged to attend this informative program about the three proposed natural gas pipelines that could be built in our area.  What will be the impacts?  What can citizens do to stop them?

Our speakers include:
Kirk Bowers  - Sierra Club
Greg Buppert - Southern Environmental Law Center
Dan Holmes  - Piedmont Environmental Council
Ernie Reed  - Wild Virginia

Refreshments provided by the Piedmont Group of the Sierra Club

For more information please contact Suzanne at or 434 245-9898

Friday, September 12, 2014

Greenhouse Gases Hit Record High Amid Fears of CO2 Saturation Point: carbon sinks

Comments:  Nuke is not the answer, not safe, waste last 4/ever, not clean, not green....way too expensive!


Data suggest natural "carbon sinks" may be nearing exhaustion, say some scientists, although others disagree

Brian Clark Howard
Published September 9, 2014
The amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere reached a new record high in 2013, propelled by a surge in levels of carbon dioxide, the World Meteorological Organization reported Tuesday, raising the threat of increased global warming.
The scientists warn that the Earth's natural ability to store and mediate the gases through oceans, plants, and other means may be approaching a saturation point, which could exacerbate current warming. Not all scientists agree, however.
The World Meteorological Organization's annual report "shows that, far from falling, the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere actually increased last year at the fastest rate for nearly 30 years," said Michel Jarraud, the group's secretary-general, in a statement.
"We must reverse this trend by cutting emissions of CO2 and other greenhouse gases across the board," said Jarraud. "We are running out of time." (See "Can Coal Ever Be Clean?")
Scientists who contributed to the report, called the "Greenhouse Gas Bulletin," noted that carbon dioxide levels rose more between 2012 and 2013 than during any other year since 1984.
The report showed that between 1990 and 2013, the energy in the atmosphere increased by 34 percent. The surge was driven by a concentration of carbon dioxide that is 42 percent higher than the level in the pre-industrial era (prior to 1750). Methane and nitrous oxide were 153 percent and 21 percent higher, respectively, than pre-industrial levels, although their overall numbers are much lower than carbon dioxide's.
Complex Systems
Normally, about a quarter of carbon dioxide emissions into the atmosphere are absorbed by plants, while another quarter dissolves into the ocean.
But the ability of plants and oceans to keep on absorbing excess greenhouse gases may be slowing as those systems approach what may be a saturation point, the organization's scientists warn.
The report said that preliminary data suggest the record high level of carbon dioxide "was possibly related to reduced CO2 uptake by the earth's biosphere in addition to the steadily increasing CO2 emissions," the organization wrote in a statement. (See "Climate Milestone: Earth's CO2 Levels Pass 400 ppm.")
Because carbon dioxide remains in the atmosphere for many hundreds of years and in the ocean for even longer, Jarraud said, "past, present, and future CO2 emissions will have a cumulative impact on both global warming and ocean acidification. The laws of physics are non-negotiable." (See "What's Behind New Warning on Global Carbon Emissions?")
The growing amount of CO2 in oceans has been raising the acidity of seawater, which scientists warn has serious implications for the growth of corals and other marine creatures. (Read "The Acid Sea" in National Geographic magazine.)
Similarly, in a study published last year in Nature, scientists at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in California wrote that cool ocean waters appear to have been absorbing some excess heat in the atmosphere.
The oceans' ability to absorb heat was already thought to be largely responsible for the so-called "global warming pause" or "hiatus" that has meant global temperatures have not risen as fast as some scientists expected over the past few years.
Voices of Caution
Other scientists say more data are needed to better understand long-term trends in warming and evaluate the role of carbon sinks.
"There is a lot of year-to-year variability in the carbon sinks, so I don't think we can say much about their response based on their behavior over one year," one of the world's leading authorities on the uptake of carbon dioxide into the oceans, Corinne Le Quéré of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research and University of East Anglia in the U.K., told National Geographic.
Le Quéré's colleague Róisín Moriarty of the Tyndall Centre added that emissions are steadily rising and that climate models predict carbon dioxide will likely continue to dissolve into the oceans until at least 2050.
Gavin Schmidt, a climate scientist with NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies, says that "it is very hard to say" whether the Earth's natural carbon sinks are becoming saturated with carbon dioxide
Read more at: 

Thursday, September 11, 2014

The Curse of the Yellow Powder

by Rose Jenkins
This fall, near Teddy Nez’s house on the Navajo reservation near Gallup, N.M., men in earth-moving equipment were scraping away the topsoil, up to three feet deep, which had been contaminated by radioactivity from abandoned uranium mines. In earlier phases of this project, starting in 2007, crews had torn out 100-year-old junipers and piñon pines and had clawed earth away from the remaining trees, which weakened them, even after replacement soil was trucked in. The machines had flayed hillsides, whose cover of flowering shrubs and fragrant herbs has yet to grow back. “It looks like a B-52 hit it,” Nez told me, recalling an image from his service in Vietnam.
Navajo territory extends over 27,000 square miles in the Four Corners area of the American Southwest. In this sparsely populated desert, approximately 30% of the population is not connected to a public water supply, so people drink from the sources available, including springs and private wells.
Out of approximately 375 Navajo water sources tested by various agencies, according to data compiled by SRIC, more than a quarter contain excess levels of contaminants that could derive from uranium operations — including arsenic in 17% and uranium in 10%.
In response, the EPA shut down three of the most contaminated sources. The agency is also working with local partners, including SRIC, to publicize warnings about hazardous water sources and to provide safe drinking water for thousands of homes. That addresses people’s immediate needs, but it doesn’t resolve the underlying problem — the polluted groundwater.
I asked the EPA if there was any chance the groundwater could ever be treated enough to be safe to drink.
“Our first goal is to make sure people are not being exposed to contaminated groundwater,” Rusty Harris-Bishop, an EPA spokesperson, told me. Before the agency could attempt to fix the groundwater itself, he said, it would need to see evidence that contamination derives from industrial activity and not from naturally occurring uranium. In that case, the EPA would weigh potential clean-up measures against criteria such as cost-effectiveness, protectiveness, and practicality. According to Harris-Bishop, the success of such measures, if implemented, would depend, in part, on how widespread the contamination is. More localized problems are likely to be resolved with more success.
If pollution from uranium sites gets into the environment, how does it affect people’s health?
Historically, the most obvious toll is that thousands of uranium miners who worked during the first boom, including over 1,000 Navajos, died of lung disease. Many other people, like Nez, believe that pollution from uranium sites has made them sick. But the link between exposure and illness can be hard to prove due to the complexity of factors that cause disease and limited research. Some people argue that exposure to uranium wastes is not as dangerous as many Americans assume. (See “The Uranium Widows,” by Peter Hessler).
A well-known set of studies by Dr. John D. Boice, of the Vanderbilt School of Medicine, finds that living in proximity to uranium operations does not correlate with increased rates of mortality from cancer, except among miners.
Shuey, who holds a Masters of Public Health, notes that Boice’s research ignores a wide range of non-malignant health impacts, and points to studies that link uranium-related pollution to kidney disease, diabetes, hypertension, autoimmune diseases, miscarriages, stillbirths, and birth defects. Shuey also argues that more detailed information about exposure — rather than just proximity — will yield more precise results. An ongoing study among the Navajo, by a team of researchers at the University of New Mexico, including Shuey, shows increased rates of health problems the closer people live to uranium sites and the higher their level of reported exposure.
In Yellow Dirt, journalist Judy Pasternak describes how thoroughly the leavings of uranium operations infiltrated Navajo people’s lives. Pregnant women drank water from lakes left by pit mines. Families built foundations and stucco walls out of the sandy mine wastes. Children played on tailings piles. Livestock grazed around the mouths of unreclaimed mines (and still do, according to a recent New York Times article). Pasternak chronicles case after case of lung cancer, stomach cancer, children with deformities — death after death.
The Navajo decided that they have reason enough to be done with uranium extraction, at least while so many problems remain. In 2005, the tribe passed the Diné Natural Resources Protection Act, banning uranium mining and milling on their lands. The act states as its purpose: “to ensure that no further damage to the culture, society and economy of the Navajo Nation occurs because of uranium mining… [and] processing, until all adverse environmental, economic and human health impacts from past uranium mining and processing have been eliminated or substantially reduced.”
* * * * *
The Navajo Nation was the fourth uranium clean-up site I visited in the West.
In Cañon City, Colo., where a uranium mill shut down last year, the state of Colorado has estimated that a clean-up will cost $43 million, but it allowed the Cotter Corporation, which is responsible, to put up less than half of that amount in surety bonds, according to the Denver Post. Unless plans change, groundwater below the site will stay contaminated, leaving many private wells unusable.
Elsewhere in Colorado, the clean-up of uranium mills after the companies went bankrupt has cost taxpayers $950 million, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. At one of these sites, in Uravan, Colo., both the mill and the town around it were dismantled, buried, and permanently fenced off. That clean-up, or eradication, cost taxpayers $120 million.
The Atlas Mill, in Moab, Utah, which closed in 1984, is one of a few sites where tailings are being relocated, because contamination from them was leaching into the Colorado River, the source of drinking water for Los Angeles and other cities. A suitable repository was located just 30 miles away—but the clean-up will still cost taxpayers a solid $1 billion.
In theory, mining companies are required to post bonds that will cover the costs of reclamation and clean-up, even if a company ceases to exist. As Virginia Uranium, Inc. (VUI), which is proposing to mine the Coles Hill deposit near Danville, puts it: “[N]o uranium-mining company can extract an ounce of ore before posting surety bonds sufficient to restore the land it will disturb; for example, Pinion Ridge in Colorado is setting aside $11 million in bonds and Homestake Grants in New Mexico $33 million.”
But those amounts are a fraction of the actual costs of reclamation projects I saw underway.
Representatives of VUI did not respond to a request for comment. But on its website, VUI notes, “There have been many advances in safety features in all sorts of mining, including uranium mining, over the past several decades… At every level, stringent health and safety regulations exist and are enforced by federal and state authorities.”
The website describes the modern design VUI has in mind for the Coles Hill plant. All water flowing through the site would be “tested and treated as needed to EPA standards.” Tailings cells would be located above the 1,000-year flood plain, lined with clay and multiple synthetic liners, in beds of impermeable rock. “Advanced leak-detection systems” would further guard against any release of contaminants.
Shuey grants that a new, state-of-the-art uranium mill would be a vast improvement over previous models. But if a uranium mill managed not to pollute groundwater, it would be the first time, he said. Of the 52 mill sites in the U.S. (of which only one, in Blanding, Utah, is currently active), all 52 have led to groundwater contamination, he said.
The City of Virginia Beach opposes extracting uranium from Coles Hill because of the possibility that an accidental release could poison its water supply. But VUI says that’s virtually impossible. On its website it states: “Based on… regulatory standards and the characteristics of the Coles Hill site, the probability of a tailings release from the Coles Hill site is effectively zero, or 1-in-10,000,000.”

Read the rest at :

9/11/1: Praying for all!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Testing the Waters 2014 A Guide to Water Quality at Vacation Beaches: Health Concerns: •Viral infection (such as infectious hepatitis, gastroenteritis, and intestinal diseases caused by enteroviruses

.3 Health Concerns
The main route of exposure to disease-causing organisms in recreation waters is contact with polluted water while swimming, including accidental ingestion of contaminated water. In waters that contain fecal contamination, potentially all the waterborne diseases spread by the fecal-oral route could be contracted by bathers. These illnesses include diseases resulting from the following:
  • Bacterial infection (such as cholera, salmonellosis, shigellosis, and gastroenteritis).
  • Viral infection (such as infectious hepatitis, gastroenteritis, and intestinal diseases caused by enteroviruses).
  • Protozoan infections (such as amoebic dysentery and giardiasis).
Swimming in contaminated water most frequently causes gastroenteritis. Gastroenteritis is the inflamation of the gastrointestinal tract, usually caused by a microorganism. Symptoms include chills, nausea, diarrhea, and fever.

Although bathing in contaminated water most often results in contracting diseases that affect the gastrointestinal tract, diseases affecting the eye, ear, skin, and upper respiratory tract can be contracted as well. Infection often results when pathogenic microorganisms come into contact with small breaks and tears in the skin or ruptures in delicate membranes in the ear or nose resulting from the trauma associated with diving into the water. Table 1-1 provides a list of diseases that can result from contact with water contaminated with anthropogenically introduced or naturally occurring bacterial, viral, and protozoan pathogens.

A good trip to the beach promises sun, surf, and relaxation. Visitors should expect to leave sandy and smiling—but not feeling ill. Unfortunately, the water at your local beach might be contaminated by human or animal waste, putting your health at risk: bacteria, viruses, and other pathogens in that waste can make exposed swimmers sick.

What causes this contamination? Across the country, the largest known contributor to beach closings or health advisory days has historically been stormwater pollution. Untreated sewage spills and overflows are also frequently to blame.

This report presents information on water quality at more than 3,000 U.S. beaches along the shores of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, the Gulf of Mexico, and the Great Lakes. Explore the interactive map below to learn about beaches in your community. You can also click here to learn about superstar beaches—popular beaches that routinely have had low bacterial levels

Protecting swimmers from bacteria, viruses, and other contaminants in beach water requires leadership. Summer 2014 is filled with opportunities to improve water quality throughout the United States and to better protect people's health in the process. Everyone can now support a long-awaited rule to enhance protections for small streams and wetlands, which benefit beach water quality in two important ways, filtering out harmful contaminants and minimizing polluted runoff. Additionally, state and federal officials can start using the ample legal tools they have today to rein in stormwater pollution at the city and regional scale.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is responsible for ensuring that our recreational beach water is safe. Unfortunately, when the EPA adopted standards for allowable bacteria levels in late 2012, it missed a critical opportunity to protect the public from swimming in polluted water. However, the EPA also recently proposed guidance for grants given to states for water quality testing under the Beaches Environmental Assessment and Coastal Health (BEACH) Act to use a new and important tool—the health-protective Beach Action Value (BAV)—to make swimming advisory decisions that more fully protect public health. The BAV is a more protective threshold than the national allowable bacteria levels used in previous years to trigger beach advisories. EPA considers the BAV to be a "conservative, precautionary tool for making beach notification decisions." As such, local beach managers and state officials responsible for beach policies should rely on it to adequately safeguard public health.

Sources of Beach Water Pollution

Most beach closings and advisories are issued because beach water monitoring has detected the presence of pathogens—microscopic organisms from human and animal wastes that pose a threat to human health. Key contributors of these contaminants include stormwater runoff, untreated or partially treated discharges from sewage treatment systems, discharges from sanitary sewers and septic systems, and wildlife.

Click her to read more:

Monday, September 8, 2014

Biosolids Info: WARNING! Sewage sludge is toxic. Food should not be grown in "biosolids

Virginia Biosolids Council

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WARNING! Sewage sludge is toxic. Food should not be grown in "biosolids." Join the Food Rights Network.
The Virginia Biosolids Council is an organization devoted to promoting the use of sewage sludge as fertilizer. Its memers include municipal wastewater treatment facilities, companies that produce sewage sludge compost, companies that apply sewage sludge to farms and forests and landowners who apply sewage sludge on their land.[1]
The following are members in the Virginia Biosolids Council:[2]

Contact Information

Articles and resources

Related SourceWatch articles


  1. Jump up Virginia Biosolids Council website
  2. Jump up Virginia Biosolids Council Membership

What companies spread the poison bio solids:

Sep 3, 2014, 5 p.m.Public meeting on proposed permit modification for Bio-Nomic Services Inc. to land-apply biosolids in Franklin County. Main Library, 355 Franklin St., Rocky Mount, VA 24151.Mattie WittBlue Ridge

Sep 4, 2014, 5 p.m.
Public meeting on proposed permit modification for Recyc Systems Inc. to land-apply biosolids in Nottoway County. Crewe Town Library, 400 Tyler St., Crewe, VA 23930.