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ENN Community Launches
February 23, 2011 03:50 PM - Editor, ENN
Great news today! We've launched a brand new community for ENN! This feature brings a whole new dimension to our site by creating a vibrant space for our readers and environmental enthusiasts to interact with each other and weigh in with YOUR opinions about topics related to our news articles. That's right, it's your turn at the mic! Time to jump in and start sharing. We are really excited to have you all begin posting your thoughts and tips -- you can start by rating your favorite environment topics, and then begin to share tips and reviews as well. You can also check out the latest reviews from fellow readers to share your comments and compliments. There are lots of ways to get the most out of our new community -- take a few polls and see some of the badges that you can unlock, too. Have fun checking out the newest part of ENN and thanks for helping us kick off a thriving reader community!
WWF calls for more intensive beef production in Brazil
February 22, 2011 09:40 AM - Editor, Ecologist
More intensive beef production can limit deforestation in Brazil where the space used to rear cattle is ten times what you see in other countries, according to WWF Brazil CEO Denise Hamu.
EU to ban six toxic chemicals in household plastics
February 20, 2011 07:21 AM - EurActive
The European Union will ban six toxic chemicals within three to five years, three of which are commonly used in plastic household items, the European Commission said on this week. After years of heated debate, EU lawmakers agreed in 2006 on a far-reaching proposal to review the way chemicals are approved in Europe. The EU regulation on "Registration, Evaluation and Authorisation of Chemicals" (REACH), aims to make chemicals safer for human health and the environment by placing the burden on businesses to prove their products are safe before they can be placed on the market. In January last year, the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) identified 29 substances that present the greatest cause for concern regarding public health and the environment. These need to go through special scrutiny before they are authorised. A roadmap agreed by the EU executive and ECHA is expected to increase the number of chemicals on the list to 135 by 2012. Among the compounds are three plastic softening phthalates, a musk fragrance, a flame retardant and a hardener for epoxy resin, the Commission said. Although the most toxic phthalates have been banned in children's toys since 1999, a survey last October showed some are commonly found in products on supermarket shelves, including items regularly used by children, such as pencil cases and erasers. The decision is being taken under the REACH regulation on chemicals, adopted in 2006 in what has been billed as the most epic lobbying battle in the EU's history.
EU Household Plastics Banning
February 18, 2011 12:58 PM - Andy Soos, ENN
The European Union will ban six toxic chemicals within three to five years, three of which are commonly used in plastic household items. Among the compounds are three plastic softening phthalates, a musk fragrance, a flame retardant and a hardener for epoxy resin. Although the most toxic phthalates have been banned in children's toys since 1999, a survey last October showed some are commonly found in products on supermarket shelves, including items regularly used by children, such as pencil cases and erasers. The decision is being taken under the REACH regulation on chemicals, adopted in 2006 after major debate and discussion.
DOE Transportation Budget Is All About EVs
February 18, 2011 08:13 AM - John Gartner, Matter Network
The 2012 Department of Energy budget submitted to Congress on Monday includes a 20-page section on Vehicle Technologies (VT), and nearly every word of it refers to vehicle electrification. In language of funding dollars, the VT budget jumps by 80 percent from $325 million to $588 million.
Oil Shale Development
February 16, 2011 09:59 AM - Andy Soos, ENN
Oil shale, which is an organic-rich fine-grained sedimentary rock, contains significant amounts of kerogen (a solid mixture of organic chemical compounds) from which liquid hydrocarbons can be extracted. Kerogen requires more processing to use than crude oil, which increases its cost as a crude-oil substitute both financially and in terms of its potential environmental impact. US Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar and Bureau of Land Management Director Bob Abbey announced today that they will take a fresh look at commercial oil shale rules and plans issued under the previous Administration and, if necessary, update them based on the latest research and technologies, to account for expected water demands in the arid West and to ensure they provide a fair return to taxpayer.
Q: What would have happened without the Clean Air Act?
February 16, 2011 09:18 AM - Editor, Environmental Economics
Today, EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson testified before the House Energy and Commerce Committee. In her testimony the Administrator highlighted the agency's ongoing efforts to develop sensible standards that update the Clean Air Act, while ensuring that the landmark law continues to provide Americans the protections from dangerous pollution that they deserve. These reasonable steps will ensure that the air our children breathe and the water they drink is safe, while also providing certainty to American businesses.
Serengeti World Heritage Site in Grave Danger as Tanzanian Government Moves Forward With Highway
February 15, 2011 08:17 AM - Christina Filipovic, Justmeans
Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete directly contradicted his own government's study by claiming that a planned highway in the Serengeti National Park will not be the environmental disaster conservationists and scientists are claiming it to be.
Arizona Haze and NOx
February 14, 2011 12:19 PM - Andy Soos, ENN
Four Corners Power Plant is one of the largest coal-fired generating stations in the United States. The plant is located on Navajo land in Fruitland, New Mexico, about 25 miles west of Farmington. It is located to the west of the Grand Canyon and many other national parks. It was the first mine-mouth generation station to take advantage of the large deposits of sub-bituminous coal in the Four Corners region. The plant’s five units currently generate 2,040 megawatts. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced a supplemental proposal to reduce emissions from the Four Corners Power Plant. The new proposal will reduce nitrogen oxides (NOx) emissions from approximately 45,000 tons per year to 5,800 tons per year, 3,200 tons less than EPA’s initial proposal. The proposal will also work to protect public health in the area by ensuring residents have cleaner air with fewer harmful pollutants. It will also reduce atmospheric haze and promote viability.
Cemex to Pay $1.4 Million for US Clean Air Act Prevention of Significant Deterioration & Operating Permit Violations
February 11, 2011 07:06 AM - Roger Greenway, ENN
Yesterday the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Justice Department announced that Cemex, Inc., one of the largest producers of Portland cement in the United States, has agreed to pay a $1.4 million penalty for Clean Air Act violations at its cement plant in Fairborn, Ohio. In addition to the penalty, Cemex will spend an estimated $2 million on pollution controls that will reduce emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx) and sulfur dioxide (SO2). "Emissions of harmful pollutants like sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides can lead to a number of serious health and environmental problems, including premature death and heart disease," said Cynthia Giles, assistant administrator for EPA's Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance. "Today’s settlement will help keep harmful air pollution out of Ohio communities, protect children with asthma and prevent region-wide public health problems."