Lead in School Water: Less Than Half the States Test for It, and Fewer Require It

Five years after the Flint water crisis reminded Americans about the danger of lead in drinking water, nearly half of U.S. students are attending schools in states that don’t have programs or requirements to test tap water in schools, according to a new report.

And the 24 states, plus the District of Columbia, that do require testing for lead or have programs to conduct that testing lack uniformity in how they go about it, researchers from Harvard University and the University of California pointed out in the report, released Wednesday. Only seven states and D.C. require water tests in schools; in the other 17 states with programs, participation is voluntary.


Report: East Texas coal plants leaching pollutants into groundwater

As the Trump administration considers weakening Obama-era safeguards for disposal of toxic coal waste, a new report shows groundwater near all of Texas’ 16 monitored coal-fired power plants is contaminated with pollutants — including known carcinogens — linked to so-called coal ash. That includes four plants in Northeast Texas.

The report from the Washington D.C.-based Environmental Integrity Project analyzed on-site groundwater monitoring data that power companies are required to report to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency under an Obama-era regulation known as the “Coal Ash Rule.”


The U.S. Coal Sector

The 40 percent decline in U.S. coal-fired power generation over the last decade accounted for 75 percent of the total reduction of 800 million metric tons in U.S. energy-related carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions between 2005 and 2017.[1] The shift away from coal was mainly driven by lower natural gas prices due to the shale revolution and stagnant U.S. electricity demand, and to a lesser extent by policy-supported growth in wind and solar generation. With power generation accounting for over 90 percent of U.S. coal use, there was a comparable reduction in U.S. coal production over the last decade.


In Trump country, Republicans cheer on shutdown: The ‘government is our biggest enemy’

Ten words in faded red ink adorn the glass door of the federal building: “Please hold mail for duration of government shutdown. Thank you.”

Here in this northern Colorado coal town, those 10 words, and the unplowed parking lot of that Bureau of Land Management facility, are among the few obvious signs that the nation’s federal government is partially closed, resulting in nearly 1 million American workers not getting their taxpayer-paid paychecks.

Many of Craig’s 9,000 residents are just fine with that.

In this low-slung Western town that still celebrates cowboys and cattle rustlers, Christmas and Christ, and where the smokestacks of coal-fired power plants bracket the broad valley, residents wonder aloud: Doesn’t the shutdown prove their long-held argument that the federal government is too big, too powerful and too expensive?

USA Today

Trump’s proposal to end shutdown hasn’t picked up traction

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump’s proposal to break through the budget deadlock appeared to be gaining little traction Monday, as another missed paycheck loomed for hundreds of thousands of workers and the partial federal shutdown stretched into its fifth week.

Despite the fanfare of the president’s announcement, voting in Congress was not expected to unfold until later in the week. Even then it seemed doubtful that legislation based on Trump’s plan had any chance of swiftly passing the Senate. Republicans hold a 53-47 majority but would need Democrats to reach the usual 60-vote threshold for bills to advance.

Not a single Democrat publicly expressed support for the deal in the 48 hours since Trump announced it. Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer’s office reiterated Monday they that are unwilling to negotiate any border security funding until Trump re-opens the government.


In Texas, It’s Not Just Federal Workers Who Are Affected By The Government Shutdown

On Tuesday, it will be one month since the start of what is already the longest government shutdown in U.S. history, albeit a partial one. It’s certainly taking its toll on federal employees having to work without pay, including those here in Texas.

Brian Kirkpatrick of Texas Public Radio in San Antonio, Richard Pineda of the Sam Donaldson Center for Communication Studies at the University of Texas El Paso and Kevin Diaz of the Houston Chronicle’s Washington bureau are all exploring the shutdown’s effect in the Lone Star State, and they say that it’s having ripple effects beyond just government workers.


Tech company moving to Hutto, will double workforce

HUTTO  — Just 30 minutes northeast of Austin, Hutto, one of the fastest growing cities in Texas, is welcoming a tech company that’s doubling the size of its workforce over the next five years.

The City of Hutto and Titan Development announced BryComm, LLC will build a 30,000 square feet building at Innovation Business Park.

“The company intends to acquire 6.53 acres at Titan’s Innovation Business Park and hopes to break ground in January 2019,” officials wrote in a news release.

Innovation Business Park is a 72-acre site that’s under construction right now


JW Aluminum Announces Addition of New Office Space to Support Plant Expansion and Growth

Goose Creek, South Carolina — To support the company’s growth, JW Aluminum, a leading North American manufacturer of flat-rolled aluminum products, has signed a lease with Daniel Island Sun, LLC to add additional corporate office space at The Landing, 115 Fairchild Street on Daniel Island, South Carolina. Carolina One Commercial Real Estate represented JW Aluminum in the transaction. The additional 22,000 square feet of Class A office space will house up to 50 teammates to perform key corporate functions as the $250 million expansion progresses at JW Aluminum’s existing Goose Creek, South Carolina manufacturing facility.


Atlanta’s Divisive Deal

ATLANTA — Atlanta exists because of railroads. In 1837, the city was founded as the terminus of the Western & Atlantic Railroad line. Atlanta’s name even comes from the word “Atlantic.”

So it’s fitting that the railroad has again entered into public conversation.

The Gulch, a 40-acre sunken expanse of rail tracks and parking lots in the heart of the city, has become a political and legal battleground. Real estate investment firm CIM Group proposed a mixed-use development for the long-underutilized area – a mini city within downtown with office towers, apartments, hotels and retail.

US News & World Report