News Digest - May 3, 2019

The Texas Water Development Board will meet on Thursday, July 9th. There are eight projects on their agenda, the meeting will be streamed live on the TWDB’s website.

The parties in County of Maui v. Hawaii Wildlife Fund, a Clean Water Act case currently on the Supreme Court’s docket, may reach a settlement before oral arguments are made. While litigation may be over] for now, the question of groundwater discharge under the Clean Water Act is far from settled, expect to hear on this issue.

The EPA is seeking input from the public as they develop their Water Reuse Action Plan. Comments submitted before July 1, 2019 will inform the draft plan.

A bipartisan group of representatives in the US House introduced the Protect Drinking Water from PFAS Act in response to the EPA’s PFAS Action Plan. The bill would require the EPA to establish Maximum Contaminant Loads for all PFAS chemicals within two years.

Marijuana legalization might not happen in Texas as long as Dan Patrick has anything to say about it, but University of Texas at Austin professor Navid Saleh wants to make sure that municipalities and regulators are prepared for the impact of marijuana legalization on water quality. Saleh points out that recreational and prescription drugs are already present in our wastewater, and sometimes even in treated effluent. He suggests further study of the component chemicals of cannabis, and their interactions with other chemicals in the wastewater stream, is warranted.

Japanese researchers announced the results of new research that suggests Earth’s water may have been delivered to the planet via asteroids and comets. Analysis of dust samples from the asteroid Itokawa showed water with a chemical signature similar to that of the water on Earth.

Using computer simulations as well as telescopes, scientists have identified several potential “Waterworlds” in other solar systems. These planets are usually larger than earth and completely covered in water and ice. Asked to describe these global oceans, which could be thousands of kilometers deep, Harvard Astronomer Li Zeng was quoted “Unfathomable. Bottomless. Very deep.

WEAT’s Government Affairs Committee Co-Chair Nathan Vassar was selected as a 2019 Texas Rising Star by Super Lawyers. Congratulations Nathan!

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