The telecom giant said in a court filing that it wanted to allow for additional testing for lead and “maintain the Lake Tahoe cables in place while working cooperatively with regulators and other stakeholders on an appropriate risk assessment.” 19 July 2023.
“EPA must prioritize the immediate removal of lead-sheathed cables accessible to children or strung overhead between telephone poles,” said Tom Neltner, senior director for safer chemicals at EDF. “These cables pose the greatest exposure risk to lead, and they can be easily fixed. For the underwater cables, EPA should assess the risk, prioritizing those in sources of water protected for drinking.” 17 July 2023.
In a letter Monday to the EPA, the groups asked the federal agency to ensure the “immediate removal” of all abandoned aerial lead-covered cables hung up on poles and lead infrastructure accessible to children from the ground. The groups also asked the EPA to assess the risks of underwater cables, giving priority to those in areas the regulator designates as important to protect drinking water supply. 17 July 2023.
The lead, which those workers handled for decades, is a potential health risk for communities across the U.S. The cables sheathed in the toxic metal are the subject of a Wall Street Journal investigation that has detailed how AT&T, Verizon and other telecom giants left behind a sprawling network of cables, many of which are leaching lead into the environment. Children are especially vulnerable to the effects of lead exposure. 14 July 2023.
For decades, AT&T, Verizon and other firms dating back to the old Bell System have known that the lead in their networks was a possible health risk to their workers and had the potential to leach into the nearby environment, according to documents and interviews with former employees. 12 July 2023.
Lawmakers are demanding that telecom firms act to ensure that Americans are safe after a Wall Street Journal investigation revealed that phone companies have left behind a network of cables covered in toxic lead, tainting water and soil in some locations. 11 July 2023.
Southern Louisiana’s 125-mile-long Bayou Teche flows through a region particularly dense with cables. Southern Bell filed permits with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers starting in the 1930s to place more than a dozen cables across the bayou. 10 July 2023.
How did the Journal figure this out? The phone companies aren’t required to disclose this information and both federal and state environmental agencies have largely been unaware of the risk. A team of reporters, with the help of experts in the field, used among other things a pile of ancient permits, machine-learning algorithms and an instrument called an X-ray fluorescence analyzer. 9 July 2023.
Researchers Seth Jones and Monique Rydel Fortner, from the environmental consulting firm Marine Taxonomic Services, collected lead, soil and water samples at the Journal’s request—a process that included diving expeditions at some locations. They have become experts in lead cables since they discovered them under Lake Tahoe more than 10 years ago and have advocated for their removal. 9 July 2023.
Aquatic invasive species (AIS), introduced to Tahoe by humans, have taken over areas of Lake Tahoe and are changing the Lake we love. They are degrading water quality, disrupting the Lake’s ecology and opening the door for more invasive species to take hold. Warming waters caused by climate change are creating additional habitat along Tahoe’s shoreline for AIS to take over. Learn more about our current programs below.
The discovery of the invasive plant is not entirely new to Southern California. In 2000, small patches of another invasive Caulerpa species were found in Huntington Harbor and San Diego’s Aqua Hedionda Lagoon. At that time, a group of researchers known as the Southern California Caulerpa Action Team was formed. The team worked on a plan to remove the plant and by 2006, it had been eradicated.
Divers set out from China Cove Beach on Wednesday morning to extract the plant from the seafloor using vacuum pumps. The algae collected is then brought onshore and placed in a container where it and other solids are filtered out of the water. Once the filtering process is complete, the water is discharged back into the harbor.
The process will take four or five days to complete and much longer until scientists can determine the algae is gone for good. So far, it’s been confined to a roughly 1,000-square-foot (90-square-meter) area not far from a small but popular beach. But tiny fibers can easily break off and take hold elsewhere.
“The main goal of the Elk Point Marina bubble curtain is to keep aquatic invasive species plant fragments from entering the marina where they could establish new plant infestations, and to collect and dispose of the plant fragments,” said Charles Jennings, vice president of the Elk Point Country Club Homeowners Association