Environmental Protection Agency

A federal rule that revises which bodies of water are subject to the Clean Water Act will take effect Aug. 28. Some Louisiana farmers are concerned that the new Clean Water Rule is overreaching.

The biggest change is the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is defining ditches, according to LSU Ag Center water policy economist Naveen Adusumilli. Any ditch that is part of a tributary or connected to a previously jurisdictional waterway would now have to be in compliance with the Clean Water Act.

More than 120 people traveled to suburban Houston Tuesday to attend the final public hearing on new EPA rules that govern the amount of cancer-causing chemicals refineries are allowed to emit.

A busload came from Louisiana where more than 200,000 residents live within two miles of a refinery, according to Katie Moore, research analyst for the activist group Louisiana Bucket Brigade.

About 30 people have traveled from New Orleans to Texas to testify at an Environmental Protection Agency hearing on air quality.

They want increased air quality monitoring at oil and gas refineries.

Beverly Wright is director of the Deep South Center for Environmental Justice at Dillard University in New Orleans. She says monitoring is now sporadic.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has settled a lawsuit on measuring toxic emissions from refineries and chemical plants. The move comes after complaints by community groups in Texas and Louisiana.

More than a dozen people in Shreveport have started a job training program this week made possible through a grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. It could lead to a full-time job next month. Southern University at Shreveport is administering the grant that provides environmental health and safety training certifications.

An Algiers family will be getting free high-end energy-efficient appliances installed tomorrow by the nonprofit Rebuilding Together. The project managed to sidestep a government shutdown and Tropical Storm Karen.

State environmental quality officials say they followed the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's instructions on submitting a plan to reduce ozone, but they are unsure why Louisiana was included on a list of states that failed to do so.

On Jan. 4, the EPA sent notices of failure to 28 states while also acknowledging that the letters are the result of unclear guidance from the federal agency.

Citing a "lack of business integrity," the Environmental Protection Agency announced it was temporarily suspending the oil giant BP from entering into new contracts with the federal government.

In a press release, the EPA said BP demonstrated the lack of integrity during the Deepwater Horizon "blowout, explosion, oil spill and response." This kind of suspension, the EPA explained, is "standard practice when a responsibility question is raised by action in a criminal case."

Louisiana is receiving a $17 million federal grant for improvements to public drinking water systems.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced the funding Thursday.

The dollars, from the EPA's Drinking Water State Revolving Fund, are going to the state Department of Health and Hospitals for loan assistance for water system infrastructure upgrades and repairs.

The program is designed to promote safe drinking water for communities.

U.S. Sen. David Vitter says the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will award a $100,000 grant to the Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority to help fight the Gulf of Mexico's "dead zone."

Vitter says the grant will be used to help reduce hypoxia, or low oxygen levels in the Gulf, caused by increased nutrients transported from the Mississippi River.

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