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• The Associated Press reports that Coca-Cola and the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) have signed a deal "to restore watersheds that have been damaged or altered by development, wildfires and agriculture as part of an initiative to slow runoff and replenish groundwater on federal lands."

It is part of a broader effort by Coke to address water-related issues in areas where it uses water for production of its various products. According to the piece, "Such efforts are increasingly important to corporations and farmers who rely on water and to tens of millions of people whose drinking water originates in the national forest system, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said. But federal budget cuts and the wide scope of the problem have the USDA turning to partnerships with nonprofit groups and corporations for help."

• The Denver Post reports that the City Council there has moved a step closer "to approving a fee for plastic and paper bags at grocery and convenience stores, narrowly giving initial approval to the 5-cent fee that would be charged at the register."

The vote was 7-6 in favor of the bill, though Mayor Michael Hancock has suggested that he may veto it if the legislation comes to his desk.

A final City Council vote is scheduled to take place on September 30 after a public hearing.
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