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While Oil Filled the Gulf…

Here are some big water and energy stories that you might have missed while you were monitoring the situation in the Gulf of Mexico. 1. Water Boil Order in Boston A major water main break in Boston caused the city to issue a massive boil order in the city. The order had major implications for businesses, especially those that deal with food. We could all stand to think about how this same scenario might play out in our own cities and towns because, as our infrastructure ages and remains underfunded, we will all face similar disruptions in service. 2. Major Flooding in Nashville Record rains in Nashville caused the worst flooding in 70 years, taking out one of the city’s water treatment systems, along with major country music historic sites. "You know you see it on TV all the time, but you never expect to live it," said one Nashville resident. I think we better get used to seeing more and more extreme weather events and start understanding the implications of those events. 3. EPA Backs Away from Labeling Coal Ash Hazardous You would think after the huge spill in Tennessee in December 2008 that dumped 1 billion gallons of toxic coal ash into the environment, the feds would willingly classify the stuff as hazardous. Not so my friends. On Friday, the EPA announced that it was backing off the “hazardous” label to give equal consideration to the industry-favored “non-hazardous” label. This is scary, considering there are 1,300 similar dumps in this country, and most of those are unregulated and unmonitored. Of course there are some serious financial implications with a “hazardous” designation that have industry balking. Stay tuned to find out if the EPA will let industry get its way. 4. The Energy Bill is Dead in the Water When your Energy Bill is centered around a strong off-shore drilling plan and you’re in the midst of what might be the country’s worst off-shore drilling accident, it’s better to just let it go. At least that’s what Lindsey Graham had to say about it last week. Look, Lindsey, just because you’re wrapped up in the whole off-shore drilling idea, doesn’t mean the rest of us are. Please keep working on that bill. 5. First Off-shore Wind Farm Approved Approving this off-shore wind farm is a major step towards true clean, renewable energy in our country. I know some of you are worried about wind…the effects of a major air spill could be traumatizing, I know, but I think it’s a risk we can live with.