water pollution

The tap water in a small Colorado town has been contaminated with THC, the mind-altering ingredient of marijuana, local authorities have told residents.

Hugo, Colo. — about 100 miles from Denver, in Lincoln County — warned residents not to drink, cook with or bathe in the local water supply.

The Hugo Public Works detected "evidence of THC," the Lincoln County Sheriff's Office told the public. A few hours later the county sheriff said there were "no symptoms" in the town, and tests so far had found "no level of concentration."

Oklahoma’s budget crisis has forced the state’s primary environmental regulator to delay cleanup projects across the state, KOCO’s Crystal Price reports.

President Obama is on his way to Flint, Mich., to get a firsthand look at federal efforts to help people in the city where dangerous levels of lead were discovered in the tap water last year.

Obama will meet with Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder as well as 8-year-old Mari Copeny, who's better known as "Little Miss Flint."

Thousands of children in Flint, Mich., have been exposed to high levels of lead in their drinking water, creating problems that could last a lifetime.

A new effort is trying to help those most at risk.

For weeks, teachers and other volunteers from the Genesee Intermediate School District have been knocking on doors in Flint, trying to recruit kids for early childhood education programs that are critical for the youngest victims of Flint's lead-tainted tap water.

Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Brooke Hall has lived in the Parkway Mobile Home Park most of her life. She’s never really liked the taste of the water that comes from the park’s wells, but she didn’t think it could be dangerous until she was in the hospital giving birth to her son.

“Doctors and nurses told me I needed to stop breastfeeding while they did blood work and tested for lead because they were afraid that, because I was drinking the water, that it would be passed through to him,” she says.

A sample of an Oklahoma prison's drinking water had more than 12 times the allowable amount of lead when it was tested last year - an amount so high that officials question whether it could really be that bad or if the test could have been misleading.

Residents in Flint, Mich., are still living in a state of emergency, waiting for answers about the safety of their water.

After almost two years of bad drinking water, it can be hard for them to trust researchers and officials – except for a group of independent researchers from Virginia Tech who exposed the problem last summer.

"So we trust them. We don't trust nobody else," says Bishop Bernadel Jefferson, a resident of Flint.

At Southwest Baltimore Charter School, preparing lunch takes a few extra steps.

"We don't use the water from the building for cooking, not at all," say cafeteria worker LaShawn Thompson, shaking her head.

Her colleague, Christine Fraction, points to a large water bottle sitting on the counter of a stainless steel sink.

"We having greens or something like that, we having vegetables, we'll just turn it over into the pan and then put it on the stove," she says.

Attorneys representing seven families who've been affected by lead-poisoned water in Flint, Mich., filed a lawsuit Monday that cites federal environmental laws and seeks class-action status for what they call wide-reaching negligence.

Attorney Hunter Shkolnik says the court papers were filed Monday morning, and that the suit eventually could include the estimated 8,000 young people who may have been exposed to lead-tinged water in Flint. The suit cites the Safe Drinking Water Act and other federal laws, Shkolnik says.

Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Oklahoma has hundreds of abandoned oil and gas wells, the byproduct of a century of petroleum production. Left unrepaired, many of these wells can endanger people and the environment. The state has a fund to plug abandoned wells, but some of that money has been diverted due to budget cuts.

Jack Romine discovered natural gas without spending a dime on exploration, drilling or production.

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