Environment

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ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

Michigan's attorney general has announced felony charges against two former emergency managers of Flint, Mich., and two other former city officials. The charges are linked to the city's disastrous decision to switch water sources, ultimately resulting in widespread and dangerous lead contamination.

"All too prevalent in this Flint Water Investigation was a priority on balance sheets and finances rather than health and safety of the citizens of Flint," state Attorney General Bill Schuette said in a statement.

A lesson in leadership illustrated by images of men only. A fill-in-the-blanks test whose "correct" answer is a stereotype: "I am a Filipino. I am a domestic helper in Hong Kong." A discussion of global warming that highlights potential "positive effects" of climate change, such as "Places that are too cold for farming today could become farmland."

These are some examples from textbooks around the world included in a newly released study about the role of textbooks by the UNESCO Global Education Monitoring Report.

New Orleans has agreed to pay $13.3 million to settle lawsuits over injuries and deaths at the hands of police in the weeks before and after Hurricane Katrina.

‘Regulatory Vacuum’ Exposes Wisconsin Children to Lead in Drinking Water at Schools, Day Care Center

Dec 19, 2016
Coburn Dukehart / Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism

Almost two weeks into the school year, Melissa Corrigan got an email from the principal and superintendent of her daughters’ elementary school.

Residents of Corpus Christi, Texas, can use their tap water again, city officials announced on Sunday.

On Sunday, the city issued a statement saying:

"The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and the City of Corpus Christi have concurred on the decision to lift the tap water restrictions citywide effective immediately.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards has declared a Public Health Emergency for the town of St. Joseph, after officials found water going to three buildings — one of them the town hall — was contaminated with lead or copper.

The governor said state testing showed elevated levels of lead at a private residence as well as the town hall building, on Thursday. The tests also showed "elevated levels of copper" at two private homes.

Coral in an area in the Atlantic Ocean stretching from Connecticut to Virginia has been protected from deep-sea commercial fishing gear, by a new rule issued this week by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

California is the first state to adopt efficiency standards for computers and monitors, the state's energy commission announced this week.

The commission approved regulations that limit the amount of energy computers and small servers can use when they are idling, asleep or turned off. The regulations for monitors will also limit the amount of energy the apparatus uses when it is turned on.

Susan Bence

Dr. Yanna Lambrinidou’s has thrown herself into the middle of drinking water issues for years. This week, the Virginia Tech researcher shared her insight with a group of concerned citizens in Milwaukee.

Her involvement began in 2001 when Washington D.C. faced a massive water crisis. “This was the most severe lead in water crisis that our country had ever seen, and that’s the moment I decided I will never stop working on this issue until we solve it,” she says.

The Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission has approved a plan to kill some mountain lions and black bears.

It's part of a plan the commission hopes will decrease the number of predators to help boost the state's mule deer population.

For months, the Standing Rock Sioux tribe and others in North Dakota mounted a massive protest against the controversial Dakota Access pipeline, in part over concerns that any leak could contaminate their drinking water.

The water crisis in Flint, Mich., didn't start a year ago. For almost two years, officials told residents the water was fine when it wasn't.

Later the officials told residents to drink filtered water — unless you're a baby or pregnant — in that case drink only bottled water.

Then they said tap water is safe for everybody, as long as you have a filter.

But now lots of people in Flint don't believe anything officials tell them.

"Don't drink the city water. Don't drink Flint water, period," says Jennice Badon says, who lives in the city.

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