River Access Dispute Task Force meeting recap

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From The Mountain Mail (Audrey Gilpin):

Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area was presented as a “success story,” with park manager Rob White highlighting the citizens task force and river management plan as a way of monitoring river use and mitigating disputes among landowners, non-commercial boaters and private boaters. Comprised of anglers, private and commercial boaters, water users, environmental interests, property owners and local government representatives, White said the Arkansas headwaters task force creates a “communication tool” and management of the Arkansas River that’s “all about compromise,” White said…

The long-standing dispute about whether a “right to float” in Colorado exists or ought to exist, however, is not what the task force was charged to decipher. Mike King, deputy director of the Colorado Department of Natural Resources, said the task force is trying to find adequate processes and tools to mitigate disputes. Arkansas River Canyon landowner Tim Canterbury said he’d “hate” to see any standard go statewide. “We have a unique situation on the Arkansas River. Can you legislate respect?” he said…

Task force members will attempt to find “solutions” in dealing with problems identified during the meeting including criminal trespass, obstructions in the river such as diversions, fences and structures; issues with commercial and non-commercial boaters, volume of boaters and impact to natural resources. The Governor’s group will meet from 1-5 p.m. Oct. 13 in Glenwood Springs followed by a public input meeting from 5-7 p.m. The task force is to submit a final report to the governor no later than Dec. 31, identifying a framework for a “dispute resolution process for conflicts between rafters and landowners.”

More whitewater coverage here.

Three recent studies link chlorination byproducts to cancer

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From Pool & Spa News (Ben Thomas):

Researchers from the Barcelona-based Centre of Research in Environmental Epidemiology (CREAL) and Research Institute Hospital del Mar, along with a scientist from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, released three papers that correlate certain byproducts of chlorine sanitizers with bladder cancer. The chemicals are common sanitation byproducts, and the studies have focused on the potential health effects of their presence in the water of indoor pool and spa facilities. One of the papers also finds ties between regular indoor pool use and respiratory problems. The results were headlined in a front-page article on the popular health Website WebMD.com…

The culprit in the cancer issue is the chemical compound class called trihalomethanes, or THMs. Above certain exposure levels, these compounds have been scientifically shown to lead to cancer in people and animals, Lightcap said. “In humans, bladder cancer seems to be the most common manifestation,” [Ed Lightcap, a senior account manager at DuPont Chemical in Wilmington, Deleware] noted. Though water-transmitted THMs have been linked to bladder cancer in previous studies, Lightcap said, “typically [it’s discussed] in relation to shower water. Lately, some research has been focusing on pools, too.”

Several past studies also have correlated asthmatic symptoms and lung damage with inhalation of chloramines in indoor pool environments. Because THMs are byproducts of chlorine sanitization, researchers in one of the studies determined that the presence of THMs in samples of exhaled air indicated the presence of chloramines in those swimmers’ lungs.

The scientists also tracked a certain substance in the body, known as CC16, that can pass from the lungs into the bloodstream at a variable rate. “The more that’s passing through the lung membrane into the blood, the more damage to the liner of the lungs that’s indicating,” Lightcap said.

More water treatment coverage here.

2010 Colorado elections: Proposition 101, Amendments 60 and 61

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From the Estes Park Trail Gazette (N. Mark Richards):

T he Larimer County Board of Health passed a resolution on Aug. 25 expressing its opposition to Amendments 60 and 61 and Proposition 101 that are scheduled to appear on the 2010 general election ballot. The board has determined that, if passed, these amendments will severely damage the ability of state and local governments and special districts to protect the well-being of Larimer County residents. These amendments constitute a clear threat to the health of our community.

Amendments 60 and 61 will weaken or eliminate many public programs that improve the health of individuals and families and prevent illness in county residents.

Amendment 61 will dramatically impair Larimer County`s ability to finance long-term capital improvements such as water and wastewater treatment plants. The safety of drinking water and potential pollution of ground water will become an increasing problem in the future.

Many aspects of Amendment 60 will overturn the election decisions made by voters over the past eighteen years, creating financial chaos for local communities.

[Proposition] 101 will severely restrict the county`s ability to insure public safety and maintain safe roadways and bridges, resulting in an increase in traffic injuries. Traffic injuries are one of the leading causes of death and disability in young persons.

Passage of these three measures will significantly damage the ability of state and local governments and special districts to fund their most basic level of services related to safety, public health, fire protection, education, hospital services, rural health care, and transportation. The cumulative destructive effect of these three measures will ensure that Colorado will surrender its competitive standing to attract large and small businesses, resulting in little to no economic growth for the state, a steady decline in property values, an erosion of the state and local tax base, and an inability to take advantage of federal dollars that require a state or local match.

More from the Wet Mountain Tribune editorial board:

Superficially, each has the mass-appeal of reducing the burden on Colorado’s taxpayers. But the three are wolves in sheep’s clothing which would economically eviscerate local government bodies, create incredible financial woes for a state government already reeling under recessionary pressures, and place unreasonable burdens on small businesses, property owners, the state agriculture industry and the needs of our communities.

Among the cockamamie elements of the proposals: property taxes for school districts would be cut in half with the state required to make up the difference (how that would be accomplished is conveniently not mentioned); taxes and fees on vehicles and tele-communications would be eliminated; local governments and special districts would not be able to take on any kind of debt; any previous approval by local voters to eliminate or reduce TABOR restrictions would be rescinded. Combined, these measures would virtually eliminate a community’s ability to build or expand infrastructure including roads, schools, medical centers, libraries, water and sewer systems and the like.

More 2010 Colorado elections coverage here.

Streamflow update

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From The Pueblo Chieftain (Chris Woodka):

DOW purchased 1,000 acre-feet of water for $25,000 from Colorado Springs Utilities, but won’t begin releasing it until Saturday. In the meantime, State Parks continues to release water to keep flows up. The DOW released about 35,000 9-inch fish to Lake Pueblo and 6,000 to Lake Granby from the fish hatchery [Due to low flows]. Normally, the state waits until the fish are 10 inches or longer to release them, but the decision was made to save all the fish if possible.

Releases from Pueblo Dam into the river Thursday were about 71 cubic feet per second on Wednesday, and only 18 cfs of that was native water. While about 200 cfs are flowing into Lake Pueblo, much of it is diverted into the Bessemer Ditch, the Pueblo water system or the fish hatchery. All exchanges into Pueblo were curtailed Tuesday after river levels fell.

By closing the raceways, the hatchery will be able to divert some of its water through the river outlet in order to help fish in the first three-quarters of a mile from the dam, where water from the hatchery empties into the river. “Without a constant supply of water, tens of thousands of fish could be threatened,” said biologist Doug Krieger, who explained that warm temperatures complicate the problem of low water supply.

No large releases of agricultural water are scheduled until Oct. 4, when the Catlin Canal plans to run water stored in its account at Lake Pueblo. The combined releases from State Parks and DOW will keep river flows up until then. “We’re grateful to Colorado Springs Utilities, State Parks and the Division of Water Resources for helping us get through this,” Prenzlow said. “I guess the larger issue is whose responsibility it should be to prevent situations like this. We had a whole lot of people working fast to deal with this.”

Energy policy — nuclear: Health effects of the Lincoln Park/Cotter Mill superfund site public meeting recap

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From The Pueblo Chieftain (Tracy Harmon):

“If you drink water from your contaminated well over a long period of time, you could expect harmful health effects,” [Teresa Foster, of the Agency on Toxic Substances and Disease Registry] said. “Because of the molybdenum in the water, you could experience increase in gout-like conditions so if you have a (contaminated) private well, please don’t use it for household purposes.”

Vivi Abrams of the agency said such conditions would go away once the well user stopped drinking the water…

Canon City resident Paul Carestia asked whether the study incorporated data for 1958 to 1980. Agency health physicist Michael Brooks said it did not because there was “virtually none” from that time period…

Lincoln Park residents also should limit their use of contaminated well water to irrigate vegetables. Exposure to molybdenum through locally grown vegetables irrigated with private well water is not thought to be at levels that would harm people’s health, however, as a precaution the vegetables should be thoroughly cleaned prior to eating them…

Air emissions of particle-bound radionuclides have not resulted in exposures to the public at levels that could cause (adverse) health effects, Brooks said. “Even in the worst case scenario we did not find anyone who would be exposed at a level of concern. It would not be enough to make them sick,” Brooks explained…

Public comment on the report will be accepted until Nov. 9. The 212-page public health assessment is available at the Canon City Public Library, 516 Macon Ave., and online. Written comments should be sent via e-mail to ATSDRRecordsCenter@cdc.gov or mailed to Rolanda Morrison, Lincoln Park Cotter Uranium Mill site, ATSDR Records Center, 4770 Buford Highway, NE, Atlanta, GA 30341.

More nuclear coverage here and here.