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Vol. 12, No. 2 – 2015
USGS scientist colecting a water-quality sample from Zollner Creek, Oregon

First National-Scale Reconnaissance of Neonicotinoid Insecticides in United States Streams

Neonicotinoid insecticides (neonicotinoids) were present in a little more than half of the streams sampled across the United States and Puerto Rico, according to a new U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) study. This is the first national-scale study of the presence of neonicotinoids in urban and agricultural land use settings across the Nation and was completed as part of ongoing USGS investigations of pesticide levels in streams. ...


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Two scientists on an electrofishing boat

Long-Term Study Finds Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals in Urban Waterways

USGS scientists determined that endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) were present in wastewater treatment plant effluent, water, and fish tissue in urban waterways in the Great Lakes and upper Mississippi River Regions (Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, and Ohio) during 1999 through 2009.

 

Urban waterways provide critical functions, including water supply, wastewater disposal, transportation, and aquatic habitat. ...

 

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USGS Scientist collecting water samples in a stream

Assessing Environmental Chemical Mixtures in United States Streams

USGS and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency are collaborating on a field-based study of chemical mixture composition and environmental effects in stream waters affected by a wide range of human activities and contaminant sources.

 

Scientists sampled 38 streams spanning 24 States and Puerto Rico. ...


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USGS scientists collecting a water-quality sample

Federal and State Partnerships Advance Understanding of Contaminants in a Human-Health Context

Partnerships between the USGS and the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) enhance the State's ability to evaluate human-health risks from chemicals of concern (CECs). MDH considers CECs for toxicological review and development of drinking-water guidance. The human-health information generated by the MDH puts the chemical data into an environmental health context. ...


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Girl drinking water

Groundwater Quality in Principal Aquifers of the United States, 1991—2010

A new USGS report summarizes the major findings of national and regional assessments of groundwater quality in 40 Principal Aquifers in the United States. Knowledge of contaminant occurrence and the factors that control contaminant concentrations can ensure the availability and quality of this vital natural resource in the future. ...


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USGS sceintists sampling groundwater

Personal Care Products, Pharmaceuticals, and Hormones Move from Septic Systems to Local Groundwater

Pharmaceuticals, hormones, personal care products, and other contaminants of concern associated with everyday household activities were found in adjacent shallow groundwater near two septic system networks in New York and New England. Factors influencing movement to shallow groundwater and the types of chemicals found include population served by a septic system, site conditions such as soil permeability, and the properties of the chemicals. ...


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Black-capped chickadee with beak deformity

Environmental Contaminants and Beak Deformities in Alaskan Chickadees

A recent study by the USGS provides some of the first environmental contaminants data for a species of passerine bird (perching birds) in Alaska, but leaves unanswered questions as to the cause of widespread beak deformities in this region. Beginning in the late 1990s, biologists and members of the public reported an unusual number of beak deformities among black-capped chickadees (Poecile atricapillus) in south-central Alaska. ...


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Scientist holding an adult Pacific lamprey

Pesticides, Flame Retardants, and Mercury in Tissues from Columbia Basin Pacific Lamprey

Pesticides, flame retardants, and mercury were present in Pacific lampreys (Entosphenus tridentatus) at levels that may be contributing to their overall decline in the Columbia River Basin. These findings are based on the largest available dataset of contaminants measured in lamprey tissues and lamprey habitats by the USGS and the Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission. ...


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Prior water-quality sample colection from stream

Potential Exposure to Bacteria and Viruses Weeks after Swine Manure Spill

Manure spills may be an underappreciated pathway for livestock-derived contaminants to enter streams. Scientists from the USGS and Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health studied an Iowa stream after the release of a large volume of swine manure (a manure spill). The scientists observed an increase in viruses and bacteria, which have the potential to cause human or swine disease, in the stream water and bed sediment. ...


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Three sample bottels with cultures of hydrogen sulfide-producing bacteria

Microbiology and Chemistry of Waters Produced from Hydraulic Fracking—A Case Study

A new USGS study determined that the microbiology and organic chemistry of produced waters varied widely among hydraulically fractured shale gas wells in north-central Pennsylvania.

 

Hydraulically fractured shales are an increasingly important source of natural gas production in the United States. ...


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Photo showing the installation of a sealed domestic well cap and monitoring instruments

Public Perception Impedes Prevention of Arsenic Exposure

One of the biggest challenges in preventing arsenic exposure from drinking water may be public perception, according to a recent special section of "Science of the Total Environment." In this special section of 13 papers report on new understanding of arsenic hydrogeochemistry, performance of household well water treatment systems, and testing and treatment behaviors of well users in several states of the northeastern region of the United States and Nova Scotia, Canada. ...


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Sample graphic from the water quality tracking tool

New Online Tool Tracks Water Quality in the Nation's Rivers and Streams

A new online graphical data tool that provides annual summaries of nutrient and sediment concentrations and loads and streamflow information is now available from the USGS. ...


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Patricia R. Bright, Managing Editor
Michael J. Focazio, Managing Editor
Carol U. Meteyer, Editor
Kathy E. Lee, Editor
David W. Morganwalp, Coordinating Editor

09/21/2015

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