State of the Planet

News from the Columbia Climate School

water contamination

  • Presidential Politics: Water Supply and Contamination

    Presidential Politics: Water Supply and Contamination

    The federal government needs to develop and implement a plan to solve problems with our water infrastructure, pollution and growing scarcity. How will the next president act?

  • Protecting Our Drinking Water

    The reason we have federal water quality standards is to ensure that local economic issues, politics, racism or other factors do not control decisions about water supply. But in Flint, decisions on water supply were not subject to effective federal review.

  • There’s Plenty of Blame for Flint, Michigan’s Water Crisis

    The federal government sets the drinking water standards in America, even though monitoring and administration is delegated to the states. The federal EPA had the authority and responsibility to intervene. The failure in Flint belongs to all of us and it should lead to some hard thinking about the causes of this completely avoidable environmental…

  • Microbeads, Marine Debris, Regulation and the Precautionary Principle

    It is clear that the hunger for economic growth and wealth pushes business and governments to ignore environmental impacts that are considered an inevitable byproduct of development. But this fails to account for the costs that will inevitably be borne when the damage must be cleaned up.

  • EPA Spilled, but Didn’t Dump, the Toxics That Ended up in Colorado’s River

    The short-term, expedient result of ignoring environmental impacts may be greater immediate profit for some, but the long-term impact is higher costs and lower profit, and many of those higher costs must be borne by all of us. Many of the companies that made the mess will be long gone before many of the bills…

  • Revising the Toxic Substances Out-of-Control Act

    An unregulated chemical industry is an invitation for disaster. Fortunately, there is at least one place in America where regulation of toxic chemicals is taken seriously—California (of course).

Banner featuring a collage of extreme heat images.

Recent record-breaking heat waves have affected communities across the world. The Extreme Heat Workshop will bring together researchers and practitioners to advance the state of knowledge, identify community needs, and develop a framework for evaluating risks with a focus on climate justice. Register by June 15

  • Presidential Politics: Water Supply and Contamination

    Presidential Politics: Water Supply and Contamination

    The federal government needs to develop and implement a plan to solve problems with our water infrastructure, pollution and growing scarcity. How will the next president act?

  • Protecting Our Drinking Water

    The reason we have federal water quality standards is to ensure that local economic issues, politics, racism or other factors do not control decisions about water supply. But in Flint, decisions on water supply were not subject to effective federal review.

  • There’s Plenty of Blame for Flint, Michigan’s Water Crisis

    The federal government sets the drinking water standards in America, even though monitoring and administration is delegated to the states. The federal EPA had the authority and responsibility to intervene. The failure in Flint belongs to all of us and it should lead to some hard thinking about the causes of this completely avoidable environmental…

  • Microbeads, Marine Debris, Regulation and the Precautionary Principle

    It is clear that the hunger for economic growth and wealth pushes business and governments to ignore environmental impacts that are considered an inevitable byproduct of development. But this fails to account for the costs that will inevitably be borne when the damage must be cleaned up.

  • EPA Spilled, but Didn’t Dump, the Toxics That Ended up in Colorado’s River

    The short-term, expedient result of ignoring environmental impacts may be greater immediate profit for some, but the long-term impact is higher costs and lower profit, and many of those higher costs must be borne by all of us. Many of the companies that made the mess will be long gone before many of the bills…

  • Revising the Toxic Substances Out-of-Control Act

    An unregulated chemical industry is an invitation for disaster. Fortunately, there is at least one place in America where regulation of toxic chemicals is taken seriously—California (of course).