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Wednesday, April 17, 2024

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Day of action focuses on CT undocumented's healthcare needs; 7 jurors seated in first Trump criminal trial; ND looks to ease 'upskill' obstacles for former college students; Black Maternal Health Week ends, health disparities persist.

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Seven jury members were seated in Trump's hush money case. House Speaker Johnson could lose his job over Ukraine aid. And the SCOTUS heard oral arguments in a case that could undo charges for January 6th rioters.

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Fears grow that low-income folks living in USDA housing could be forced out, North Carolina's small and Black-owned farms are helped by new wind and solar revenues, and small towns are eligible for grants to boost civic participation..

EPA Samples Show How Bacteria Can Ruin a Day at the Beach

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Tuesday, July 18, 2023   

A significant percentage of beaches that surround the Great Lakes tested positive last year for potentially unsafe levels of bacteria. Wisconsin is highlighted in a new report that compiles federal data. In its latest "Safe for Swimming?" summary, the group Environment America notes 63% of beaches tested in the Great Lakes region last year had at least one day of fecal contamination that exceeded the EPA's Beach Action Value. That tool helps states determine whether a beach is safe enough to go swimming.

John Rumpler, clean water director with Environment America, said the results underscore how much pollution is plaguing areas meant for the public to enjoy.

"All too often, hundreds of America's beaches have enough pollution to put swimmers at risk - and that's just unacceptable," he explained.

The report's authors looked at data from more than 300,000 samples across the U.S. that were sent to the EPA. For Wisconsin, more than 100 beaches were tested last year, and 76 had at least one day of potentially harmful levels of the bacteria in question. The group said key sources of pathogen pollution that can make swimmers sick include stormwater runoff and sewage overflows.

And in the Midwest, there is concern about the presence of so-called factory farms in connecting the dots, Rumpler said.

"It's possible that manure from some of those animal operations is also contributing to the kind of bacteria that we're seeing on these beaches," he continued.

To prevent these results from becoming more widespread, the report recommends putting moratoriums on industrial-scale livestock operations or adopting policies that stop manure from flowing into waterways. Another listed solution is repairing and modernizing sewage systems. Those types of infrastructure projects stand to benefit from the bipartisan infrastructure law adopted by Congress in 2021.


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