Currently — May 10, 2023: Midnight Rain (Taylor's version) and Indigenous water rights

The weather, currently.

Showers and thunderstorms are rolling through the South early this week. In Nashville, Monday night's Taylor Swift concert was delayed by four hours.

After wind and lightning arrived like "hi, I'm the problem, it's me" and lashed the crowd in conditions some called "hellish", Swift emerged to the Midnight Rain and played until 2 A.M.

"The dancers, band, crowd and I all pretty much turned into little kids joyfully jumping in puddles all night," Swift wrote on Twitter.

-Eric Holthaus

What you need to know, currently.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has (finally) extended protection to tribal waterways, giving more than 250 tribes—or 500,000 tribal citizens—clean water protections, the agency announced Wednesday.

Just 47 out of about 300 tribal nations have water that meets the health and safety standards the federal government put into place 50 years ago, often referred to as the Clean Water Act standards.

“We, the tribal representatives of the National Tribal Caucus, are charged with identifying and addressing regional and national environmental issues that affect Tribal Nations and Alaskan Native Villages,” said Gerald Wagner, National Tribal Caucus Chairman, in a press release.“As one of the four elements of life, it is critical that Tribes and Alaskan Native Villages are provided a reasonable means to protect their water resources and ensure the protection of tribal environmental health, aquatic ecosystems, and tribal beneficial use waters.”

Wagner continued: “We recognize that the national baseline water quality standards is one important step in ensuring the gap is closed for impaired waters to be protected, while providing the opportunity for Tribes to gain status toward establishing their own water quality standards. The National Tribal Caucus welcomes this unique start in recognizing the importance of water quality in the livelihood of tribal communities and we hope to see further meaningful advancements that integrate tribal identities.”

If finalized in September, this proposal would give the same water quality protection that all U.S. states—and those 47 other tribes—have. This proposal would set standards for 76,000 miles of rivers and streams and 1.9 million acres of lakes and other surface water.

The EPA will hold two online public hearings on this proposal. To learn more about them and the proposal itself, click here.

—Aarohi Sheth

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