Environmental Policy

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.

All Aboard for High-Speed Rail
February 3, 2011 08:54 AM - Patrick Burns, Policy Innovations

The Obama administration has given passenger rail the strongest federal push since the days of Abraham Lincoln in hopes of spurring job growth and keeping pace with a rising China. In early 2010, Washington allotted $8 billion in stimulus cash to fund 13 high-speed rail systems spread across 31 states, including projects in Florida, the Midwest, California, and the Northeast. "Within 25 years, our goal is to give 80 percent of Americans access to high-speed rail," said President Obama during the 2011 State of the Union address.

Brazil Approves Construction of the Belo Monte Dam Project
February 2, 2011 11:07 AM - David A Gabel, ENN

The proposed Belo Monte Dam in northern Brazil would be the third largest hydro-electric dam in the world in terms of electrical output. The dam would be 3.75 miles long and generate over 11,000 megawatts, which could power up to 23 million homes. Government officials say that the dam is an essential step in supplying energy to the nation's growing population. However, the project is rife with environmental conflicts. The project requires the clearing of 588 acres of Amazon jungle, the displacement of over 20,000 indigenous people, flooding a 193 square mile area, and drying up a 62 mile stretch of the Xingu River.

World Bank offers to save Serengeti from bisecting road
February 1, 2011 08:57 AM - Jeremy Hance, MONGABAY.COM

The World Bank has offered to help fund an alternative route for a planned road project that would otherwise cut through Tanzania's world famous Serengeti National Park, according to the German-based NGO Nature and Biodiversity Conservation Union (NABU). When announced last year, the road project raised protests from environmentalists, scientists, and Tanzanian tour companies, but the Tanzanian government refused to shift plans to an alternative southern route for the road, thereby bypassing the park.

Little Progress Disposing of 34 Metric Tons of Surplus Weapons Grade Plutonium
January 28, 2011 09:12 AM - Celia Sampol, NRNS

Too slow, too expensive, too risky: the multi-billion dollar Mixed Oxide Fuel (MOX) program, under construction at the Savannah River Site, continues to be controversial. A technology chosen by the United States in the mid-1990s to contribute to the nonproliferation of nuclear weapons, today it is being held out as a solution for America's energy future.

Obama sets 2035 clean electricity target
January 26, 2011 06:39 AM - Timothy Gardner, Reuters, WASHINGTON

President Barack Obama set a target for power plants to produce mostly clean electricity by 2035 -- including power from sources like clean coal and natural gas -- in his State of the Union address on Tuesday. Obama also called for investment in clean technologies and urged Congress to eliminate billions of dollars in subsidies for oil companies. "I don't know if you've noticed, but they're doing just fine on their own," Obama said about oil company profits. "So instead of subsidizing yesterday's energy, let's invest in tomorrow's." Such a move, which Obama has repeatedly urged since taking office in 2009, would hit U.S. operations of oil majors such as Exxon Mobil, British Petroleum and ConocoPhillips. In last year's budget Obama had called for an end to nearly $40 billion in subsidies for oil, gas and coal companies, a proposal that failed.

Nepal Translocates First Wild Tiger to New Home
January 24, 2011 08:52 AM - Editor, World Wildlife Fund

WASHINGTON, DC, January 22, 2011 — A wild tiger fitted with satellite-collar was successfully translocated from Nepal's Chitwan National Park to Bardia National Park for the first time today, according to World Wildlife Fund. The translocation was led by the Government of Nepal with support from World Wildlife Fund Nepal (WWF-Nepal) and the National Trust for Nature Conservation during the last days of the Year of the Tiger. It will further Nepal’s goal of doubling wild tiger numbers by 2022, the next time the Chinese calendar celebrates the endangered species.

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