The level of environmental pollution rose in Virginia for the first time in seven years. And once again, Montgomery County in the southwestern part of the state, tops the list for the largest amount of toxic emissions. But some say the numbers are misleading.
Scientists say 50-year old water regulations are out of step with modern challenges to the country’s drinking water. Urban and agricultural runoff, fracking, and water shortages, have changed what gets into the water. Scientists are calling for a fresh look at the smell and taste of the country’s drinking water.
Municipal drinking water safety is carefully regulated by cities and towns; on up to the federal government, but when it comes to the taste of that water, not so much.
Virginians tired of the cold weather may already be dreaming of summer plans—days on the beach, swimming, fishing, kayaking, jet skiing, or canoeing on favorite waterways. But in some cases, those plans could get canceled because rising pollution and bacterial levels force temporary closures of those locations. The Department of Environmental Quality’s latest “Impaired Waters” report makes that scenario more likely for a larger number of waterways.
DEQ's Bill Hayden says the impairment is not necessarily due to more pollutants.
While some high school kids are playing video games or watching movies on their cell phones, eight students from Charlottesville are trying to solve a serious global problem – how to turn polluted water into something people can drink.
Last fall,students at St. Anne’s-Belfield School decided to enter the Lemelson-MIT InvenTeams challenge – a contest that awards 15 grants of up to $10,000 for research on real world problems. Bob Troy chairs the high school’s science department.