What We're Watching This Week

Rio opening ceremony

Here are some of the top stories, events and other environmental controversy on our radar this week.

'Climate Change in Your Face' at the Great Barrier Reef

The world's largest coral reef system is facing environmental stresses from coal mining, agricultural runoff, shipping and sugar cane production. But the greatest challenge may be rising ocean temperatures. One expert says part of the reef is “almost unrecognizable,” and calls what's happening off the Australian coast “climate change in your face.” We've got a special report coming.

Rio Watch

We recently explained some of the major environmental issues facing athletes at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.  The Games are underway, and we're keeping an eye on what's developing there. If pollution becomes an issue for athletes, Bloomberg BNA correspondent Michael Kepp in Rio will be there.  

With all eyes on Rio, the city snapped up the opportunity in Friday’s opening ceremony to send a message about climate change and global warming in a video narrated by Academy-Award winning actress Judi Dench. The Huffington Post and Washington Post covered the story and Twitter reaction from all sides of the issue.    

EPA Rejects Petitions on Mercury Rule Startup Provisions

The Environmental Protection Agency, in a Federal Register announcement today, says it won't reconsider toxic emissions control requirements for power plants during periods of startup under its Mercury and Air Toxics Standards. Bloomberg BNA reporter Patrick Ambrosio is keeping watch.

Donald Trump and His Plans to Boost the Economy

Donald Trump will release today his policy plans for boosting the American economy during a speech at the Detroit Economic Club. The plan that could include mentions of increasing fossil fuel production on federal lands and bringing back coal mining jobs, parts of Trump’s previously stated energy policies. Bloomberg BNA reporter Rachel Leven is following.

The Latest From Flint, Mich., and Its Drinking Water Crisis

The federal emergency declaration for Flint, Mich., ends this week. Under the declaration, the federal government had provided more than 20 million liters of water and more than 243,000 water filter replacement cartridges to the city after lead was discovered in its drinking water. On Aug. 14, Michigan will begin paying the total cost of water supplies and will continue giving filters, bottled water, at-home water testing kits and certain other supplies. Rachel Leven is watching.

FDA and Food Additives

The Food and Drug Administration is expected to issue a final rule on food additive regulation by the end of this month. Bloomberg BNA reporter David Schultz is following the story.  

Businesses Say California Needs 2030 Climate Target

Several businesses and investment companies are pushing California lawmakers to extend the state's signature climate policy--Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 (A.B. 32)--before Aug. 31, the end of the current two-year legislative session. Bloomberg BNA correspondent Carolyn Whetzel is on it.

Pennsylvania and Farms in Chesapeake Bay Watershed

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection sent letters on Friday to 41 county conservation districts in the Chesapeake Bay watershed, asking them to clarify whether they will help carry out agricultural inspections related to bay restoration efforts. Bloomberg BNA correspondent Leslie Pappas is on the story and reports that the districts have until Aug. 31 to respond.