News Picks

Monday, September 17, 2007

State Briefs

ILLINOIS: The Chicago Metropolitan Water Reclamation District is asking researchers to survey kayakers and other boaters on the Chicago River to compare their rate of illness to those who use Lake Michigan or do not use either body of water. The study will determine whether there is a link between the sewage contamination of the river and any illnesses among the boaters (Michael Hawthorne, Chicago Tribune, Sept. 14).

MARYLAND: The state Board of Public Works pledged last week to increase the state government's use of ethanol and biodiesel-fueled vehicles and to triple its hybrid vehicle fleet by 2011. The new policy calls for 40 percent of new vehicle purchases over the next three years to run on biofuels (Andrew A. Green, Baltimore Sun, Sept. 13).

MINNESOTA: The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency added 287 lakes and streams to its list of state waterways that are too polluted for human use, bringing the total to 1,469 (AP/St. Paul Pioneer-Press, Sept. 13).

NORTH CAROLINA: The Sierra Club praised the city of Raleigh last week for its adoption of energy-saving measures as part of its campaign against climate change. The city will begin using low-energy light bulbs in its buildings and will buy vehicles that run on alternative fuels to cut gasoline consumption and emissions (Wade Rawlins, Raleigh News & Observer, Sept. 13).

SOUTH CAROLINA: State water officials reported last week that they found trace amounts of tritium in private drinking water wells and a pond near the Chem-Nuclear waste landfill but said there is no public health risk (Susanne M. Schafer, Charlotte Observer, Sept. 14).