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Tribal advocates keep up legal pressure for fair political maps; 12-member jury sworn in for Trump's historic criminal trial; the importance of healthcare decision planning; and a debt dilemma: poll shows how many people wrestle with college costs.

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Civil rights activists say a court ruling could end the right to protest in three southern states, a federal judge lets January 6th lawsuits proceed against former President Trump, and police arrest dozens at a Columbia University Gaza protest.

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Wyoming needs more educators who can teach kids trade skills, a proposal to open 40-thousand acres of an Ohio forest to fracking has environmental advocates alarmed and rural communities lure bicyclists with state-of-the-art bike trail systems.

Investments Urged to Protect ME Water Infrastructure from Climate Change

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Monday, August 14, 2023   

More work and investment are needed to ensure all waters in Maine are safe for swimming, according to a new report.

At least 36 beaches in the state were potentially unsafe for swimming at some point during 2022.

John Rumpler, clean water director for Environment Maine, said polluted runoff and failing sewer systems are putting swimmers' health at risk.

"That's why we came together as a nation under the Clean Water Act and vowed that all of our waterways would be safe for swimming," Rumpler pointed out. "Let's commit ourselves to the task. We can get this done."

The federal bipartisan infrastructure law allocated more than $13 million to Maine for sewage and stormwater projects but Rumpler said the increase in climate-related weather events means more funds will be needed to ensure everyone can enjoy a day at the beach.

The Environmental Protection Agency estimates America's wastewater and stormwater systems will require an investment of more than $270 billion over the next twenty years, and it may be a conservative estimate when it comes to the threat of climate change.

Rumpler contended investing in nature-based infrastructure could help.

"Wetlands and meadows and forests of Maine all help absorb stormwater and prevent the problem of runoff," Rumpler explained. "We need to protect our natural areas as well."

Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, recently helped win the approval of $1.5 billion for the coming year to improve clean-water infrastructure, but the House just voted to cut two thirds of the total. Rumpler emphasized it will take bipartisan political will to ensure our waterways are safe for swimming.


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