Residents voice support for plan to remove all radioactive waste from West Lake Landfill –

The EPA thinks the best choice is alternative 4. The plan calls for about 70% of the waste would be removed from the site by digging down 16 feet deep. Then a permanent cap would be placed on the area. It would cost about $246 million and take 5-years to implement.

Many residents said a partial removal is only a partial solution and when over 1,000 residents were asked during the meeting who would like alternative 4 not one person raised their hand.”

Yet another Superfund site….

Great Lakes water quality issues to be focus of public forum – News – Voice News

Weigh in on environmental issues on Oct 4, in Toronto Canada. If you are a citizen of the US or Canada you are invited to participate. Go to IJC.ORG to find out more. So your part to protect the Great Lakes.

Toledo Drinking Water Crisis

Algae blooms in Lake Erie creating toxic release poisoning area water supplies, namely Toledo Ohio. IJC reports:

“It is unacceptable that nutrient pollution has been allowed to contaminate Lake Erie so significantly that the drinking water for more than 500,000 northwestern Ohio residents has been compromised. In the wake of this crisis, federal and state agencies will have an opportunity to act to stem the flow of nutrients into Lake Erie. We urge agencies to learn from this crisis and act swiftly. A great place to start is enacting the recommendations put forth by the International Joint Commission in their report released this spring, “A Balanced Diet for Lake Erie: Reducing Phosphorus Loadings and Harmful Algal Blooms.” Delaying action will only cause continued harm to the lake and more crises like the one Toledo is facing today.”

Controversies – Only Half of Chemical Contaminants in Great Lakes are Removed by Treatment Plants – AllGov – News

The International Joint Commission releases a new report on the health of the Great Lakes. Excerpts from the report:

Noting that the focus of environmental monitoring has recently “shifted to an array of recently discovered compounds known as ‘chemicals of emerging concern’,” the report states that CECs are “found in products used daily in households, businesses, agriculture and industry, such as flame retardants, pharmaceuticals, personal care products, and pesticides.”

To determine how well wastewater treatment plants on the Great Lakes are handling CECs, IJC conducted a study from 2009 to 2011 of their operations and of the effectiveness of various wastewater treatment technologies at removing 42 specific CECs.

The study found that six chemicals (an herbicide, an anti-seizure drug, two antibiotics, an antibacterial drug and an anti-inflammatory drug) were detected frequently and had a low rate of removal in treated effluent, while five more had a low rate of removal, but not frequent detection. The main finding was that “at least half of the 42 substances examined…are likely to be removed in municipal wastewater treatment plants.”

The Great Lakes and Lake Baikal

Baikal lake in Russia is similar to Great Lakes in USA in that they each represent 1/5 of the worlds fresh water. They are also similar since we exploit and pollute them for their resources. Earth and Sky excerpt reads:

If you exclude polar ice caps and glaciers, Lake Baikal holds over one-fifth of all surface fresh water on Earth. Unlike other deep lakes, it contains dissolved oxygen right down to the lake floor. That means creatures thrive at all depths in the lake.


Photo credit: Kyle Taylor

Most of Lake Baikal’s 2,000-plus species of plants and animals are found nowhere else in the world. Scientists believe up to 40 per cent of the lake’s species haven’t been described yet. Species endemic to Lake Baikal have evolved over tens of thousands, perhaps millions, of years. They occupy ecological niches that were undisturbed – until the last few decades.

Now, industrial development, paper mills, mining, agriculture, and general population growth on the lake’s shores are putting toxic compounds, fertilizers and other pollutants into Lake Baikal.

Find out more about Lake Baikal and how scientists are studying how the lake is changing: How is pollution changing Lake Baikal? Read on at:

Fish Smell? Not in Polluted Waters

Organically fish smell but metals contaminating the environs that fish live in destroy their ability to smell. A Canadian study demonstrates that fish can recover their sense of smell with remediation of lakes and streams. Here is an excerpt from Scientific America explaining this restorative process: Greg Pyle, a professor at the University of Lethbridge in Alberta, said he suspects that impaired sense of smell “has meaningful and profound effects” on many fish species. It may be jeopardizing entire populations of fish, including some endangered species. “We’ve tested everything from leeches to water fleas to several species of fish,” Pyle said. “Every species and every metal we’ve observed has had effects at low, environmentally relevant concentrations.” Most contaminated lakes have a metallic mix, making it hard to tease out which pollutants are to blame. In the latest study, Pyle and his team of researchers took yellow perch that lived in Ontario lakes contaminated with mercury, nickel, copper, iron and manganese, and put them in a cleaner lake. Within 24 hours of basking in the clean water, the fish regained their sense of smell. This shows “fish from metal contaminated lakes have the ability to recover once the lake recovers,” the authors wrote in the paper published in last month’s Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety journal. The researchers used wild fish from two lakes with metal contamination (Ramsey and Hannah lakes) and from a cleaner one (Geneva Lake). Ramsey and Hannah, located in Sudbury, Ontario, are polluted from more than a century of mining, particularly with nickel. Hannah Lake is one of the worst-polluted lakes in the area, while Ramsey is similar to other North American lakes near industrial areas. Geneva Lake is far enough northwest to escape most contaminants. Just as the clean lake revived the sense of smell for the Ramsey and Hannah fish, Geneva Lake’s perch had decreased smell after just 24 hours of hanging out in the dirtier lakes. Their response times to substances that smelled like their food dropped 75 to 59 percent.