Aug. 8, 2004: The London Independent reports on information from the U.K. Environment Agency that the antidepressant drug Prozac is being found in rivers and groundwater throughout the country. When drugs like Prozac are taken and partially excreted, they pass through sewage treatment plants that are not designed to filter them out. Other studies later find more pharmaceuticals, as well as caffeine, present in U.S. and U.K. waterways.
Aug. 8, 2004: While many people would love to get close to a rock band, this was probably not what 100 tourists on a Chicago River boat had in mind. A tourbus driver for the Dave Matthews Band unloads the bus’s sewage tank while passing over the steel-mesh Kinzie Avenue bridge and onto the sightseeing boat below. The driver gets probation, and the band pays $100,000 to local charities and another $200,000 to settle a civil lawsuit.
Aug. 8, 2010: A Canadian court places an injunction on seismic testing in Lancaster Sound and other areas in the Northeastern Canadian Arctic. Seismic testing in which sound waves are blasted at the ocean floor can be a precursor to discovering and drilling for oil and gas. The sound waves may also cause damage to sound-sensitive marine mammals and other creatures. Lancaster Sound is home to the bulk of the world’s narwhal population.