Environmental Policy

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."

Time to Get to Know!
February 9, 2011 10:24 PM - Editor, ENN and Get to Know

The 2011 Canadian Wildlife Federation Robert Bateman Get to Know Contest begins April 10. Renowned wildlife artist Robert Bateman invites youth aged 5-18 to go outside and "get to know" their wild neighbors by creating art, writing, digital photography, and video entries. The goal: to engage the power of art to help youth become more connected with nature. Last year, twenty two winners of the Robert Bateman Get to Know Contest attended the Get to Know Art & Nature Camp at the Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park on August 23-27. Hosted by Parks Canada, the kids took part in workshops (led by local artists from Alberta and Montana), discovered local species and ecosystems, and worked on a video project encouraging young people across North America to enter the new video category of the Get to Know Contest.

Victory for the Jersey Shore: Governor Vetoes Offshore LNG Port
February 9, 2011 09:20 AM - David A Gabel, ENN

For the past few years, Liberty Natural Gas has been trying to construct an offshore port for the delivery of liquefied natural gas (LNG). The port would be located about 15 miles off the coast of Asbury Park, NJ, and a gas pipeline would be constructed along the sea floor that would deliver an estimated 1.2 cubic feet per day to the region's hungry energy market. However, the project has serious environmental, social, and economic implications which could not be overlooked. The decision has finally been made by Governor Chris Christie: there will be no offshore LNG port off the coast of New Jersey.

Year of the Tiger ends with roadmap to save species
February 7, 2011 08:49 AM - Editor, World Wildlife Fund

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia — The Year of the Tiger in the Chinese lunar calendar comes to an end on Wednesday having yielded big results for its namesake — an unprecedented swell of public and government support to save tigers in the wild, including a historic global recovery programme.

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