Daily Archives: June 1, 2011

Free-Living Amoebas in Drinking Water

Do Free-Living Amoebae in Treated Drinking Water Systems Present an Emerging Health Risk?

Jacqueline M. Thomas* and Nicholas J. Ashbolt

Water Research Centre, School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, The University of New South Wales, NSW 2052 Australia, and National Exposure Research Laboratory, Office of Research and Development, United States Environmental Protection Agency, 26 W. Martin Luther King Drive, Cincinnati Ohio 45268, United States
Environ. Sci. Technol., 2011, 45 (3), pp 860–869
DOI: 10.1021/es102876y
Publication Date (Web): December 31, 2010
Corresponding author phone: +61 2 9385 5776; fax: +61 2 9385 6139; e-mail: j.thomas@student.unsw.edu.au., †

A review of 26 studies from 18 countries on the occurrence and significance of free-living amoebas in drinking water. Free-living amoebas have been detected but the health risk they present is currently unquantified. Once in the distribution system there is evidence of free-living amoeba colonization and regrowth, especially in reservoirs and premise plumbing storage tanks.

Click here for an article that discusses this study.

Click here for the abstract and to obtain a copy of the paper.


New York Files Lawsuit on Hydraulic Fracturing

A complaint was filed May 31, 2011 by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman (D) against the Army Corps, the US Fish and Wildlife Service, the National Park Service, the Interior Department, and USEPA.

The complaint states that the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) applies not just to actions taken by the federal government alone, but also to “projects and programs entirely or partly financed, assisted, conducted, regulated or approved by federal agencies.”

An open legal question is whether NEPA applies to the 5-member Delaware River Basin Commission, on which the Army Corps has the only federal agency seat, and which is responsible for approving regulations for natural gas extraction.  Under NEPA, a full environmental review would be required prior to the Commission authorizing natural gas development in its area of jurisdiction, which includes parts of the natural gas-rich Marcellus Shale formation.

This is clearly an attempt by environmental interests to stop natural gas development by resorting to legal action.

Click here for an article describing the case.

Click here to read the full text of the complaint.