water pollution

Aboard a vessel run by the environmental group Riverkeeper, oceanographer Joaquim Goes of Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory (left) and PhD. student Ye Li filter water from New York harbor. They were on a mission to study the prevalence of plastic microbeads.  (Photos: Kevin Krajick, unless otherwise credited.)

New York’s Waterways Are Swimming in Plastic Microbeads

Plastic microbeads, common in soap, toothpaste and other consumer products, are flooding waters. A team from Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory is doing the first large-scale assessment of their impact on New York’s waterways.

by |August 16, 2017
Photo: Archives of the International Allies Against Mining in El Salvador

Does El Salvador’s Metal Mining Ban Suggest a Global Trend?

A number of national and local governments are tightening environmental regulations and shutting down specific mining projects, or in some cases the entire industry, due to environmental risks, including those related to water use and pollution.

by |May 2, 2017
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Disaster Experts: A Journalist’s Guide

An all-purpose guide for journalists covering disasters, natural and manmade.

by |February 14, 2017

Spring 2017 Undergraduate Research Assistant Opportunities

Undergraduates from Columbia and Barnard will be able to serve as research assistants on research projects related to sustainable development and the environment with distinguished faculty and researchers at the cutting edge of this burgeoning field.

by |December 28, 2016
Pollution from the Summitville gold mine in Colorado led the federal Environmental Protection Agency to declare the mine, whose owner had declared bankruptcy in 1992, a Superfund cleanup site.

Comments to SEC Encourage Environmental Risk Disclosure

Earlier this summer, the Securities and Exchange Commission proposed changes to their disclosure requirements for publicly listed mining companies. The Columbia Water Center was among those submitting comments on the proposed new rules.

by |October 3, 2016
Left: EPS Faculty/Earth Institute Research Scientist Joshua Fisher and Professor Sarah Knuckey from the Columbia Law School work with a translator to explain the results of an independent environmental assessment during a community consultation in December 2015.

Uncovering Impacts of Gold Mining in Papua New Guinea

From late December 2015 through January, a team of Earth Institute scientists and human rights lawyers from Columbia University worked in the highlands of Papua New Guinea to deliver the results of an independent study of water quality and human rights to the indigenous communities living near an industrial gold mine.

by |February 5, 2016
Geochemist James Ross of Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory installs an air-quality monitor in a home neighboring a hydraulic-fracturing drill pad. CLICK FOR A SLIDESHOW

Hospitalizations Increase Near Fracking Sites, Study Shows

People living in areas of Pennsylvania where hydraulic fracturing is booming are suffering increasing rates of hospitalization, a new study says. The study is one of a small but growing number suggesting that the practice could be affecting human health.

by |July 16, 2015
Simpson-H-James crop

H. James Simpson; Tracked Pollutants in the Hudson and Far Beyond

H. James Simpson, a geochemist who pioneered important studies of water pollutants in the Hudson River and abroad, died May 10. He had been affiliated with Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory for 50 years. The cause was Parkinson’s disease, said his family; he was 72.

by |May 26, 2015
drinking water

How Much Arsenic is Too Little?

Five hundred utilities in the U.S. provide drinking water with unsafe levels of arsenic, the Environmental Protection Agency says. But how many people are getting too much arsenic in their water is much less clear, according to a study conducted in part by the Columbia Water Center.

by |August 29, 2014
FEMA saving wildlife in Louisiana

Nature’s Toxic Crusaders

Can mushrooms help clean up oil spills? Can oysters filter sewage pollution? Industrial waste is being injected into the planet’s soil and water as a result of human activity. Pioneers in the field of conservation and sustainability are employing nature’s own biological task force to help clean up.

by |September 12, 2012