Environmental Policy

GMO Labeling Law in Connecticut
December 20, 2013 07:33 AM - Jan Lee, Triple Pundit

Connecticut's new GMO-labeling law is a first – in more than one way. With ceremonious flourish last week, Governor Dannel Malloy signed into law a bill that would require labeling on all products meant for human consumption that contain genetically modified ingredients (GMO). The legislation was passed by voters in June and actually received the governor's formal endorsement at that time.

Good news for corn farmers worth millions of dollars
December 19, 2013 12:01 PM - Sara LaJeunesse, Penn State

Good news for corn farmers: a major corn crop pest, the European corn borer (ECB) has seen a significant population decline in the eastern United States. This information comes from Penn State researchers on the heels of reports of similar population declines in the Midwest. As a result, farmers will save millions of dollars in some parts of the country because they will no longer need to treat for this pest.

Damming the Congo
December 18, 2013 09:42 AM - Robin Blackstone, ENN

The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is looking to capture the more of powers of the Congo River in what will be the largest and most powerful hydroelectric dam in the world. The Grand Inga Hydropower Project will produce up to 40,000 megawatts of electricity, doubling current dam champion, Three Gorges in China. The dam will generate more than one third of the electricity currently produced in Africa as it captures the force of the 1.5 million cubic feet per second cascading into the Atlantic Ocean.

EPA settles an unsettling amount of reactive hazardous waste in Oregon
December 17, 2013 08:29 PM - Staff, ENN

Oregon Metallurgical of Albany and TDY Industries of Millersburg have agreed to pay a combined $825,000 to resolve alleged violations related to the improper storage, transportation, and disposal of anhydrous magnesium chloride, a reactive hazardous waste that poses fire and explosion threats. The EPA asserts that both companies must improve their hazardous waste management practices and upgrade their record keeping for wastes generated at their facilities to avoid potential injuries and accidents.

Rutgers University study looks at climate change and interrelated variables
December 17, 2013 07:38 AM - Roger Greenway, ENN

The changing climate is more complicated to model than we assumed. There are interrelated variables that work together to amplify the effects. For example, as summer sea-ice and snow shrink back in the Arctic, the number of summertime "extreme" weather events in the middle latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere is increasing, according to research published recently in Nature Climate Change by two Chinese scientists and their Rutgers colleague. "It's becoming increasingly clear, I think, that the loss of sea ice and snow cover is setting up the conditions that jump-start summer," said Jennifer Francis, research professor at the Institute of Marine and Coastal Sciences in Rutgers’ School of Environmental and Biological Sciences. "The soil dries out earlier and that allows it to get hotter earlier. This phenomenon is also changing circulation patterns in the atmosphere."

COLLEGIATE CORNER: Must we drink bottled water?
December 16, 2013 04:10 PM - Alyson Leppla, Earth Science Education, Class of 2015, University of Delaware

More than 780 million people lack access to safe drinking water, two and a half times the population of the United States. More than half of all Americans drink bottled water, yet almost every U.S. household has access to safe drinking water.

EU asks the U.S. to share the energy wealth
December 16, 2013 03:56 PM - Robin Blackstone, ENN

Taking note of the United States recoupment of natural gas, most specifically from shale, the EU is pressing its Washington counterparts to include energy exports in the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TIPP) trade pact currently being negotiated. The pact will account for half of the world's economy covering goods and services to include everything from agriculture to finance.

Human values and coral reef management
December 16, 2013 11:12 AM - Robin Blackstone, ENN

"Human values need to be considered in decision-making to improve long-term coral reef management," says Dr. Christina Hicks, research fellow from Stanford. Researchers from the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies (CoECRS) at James Cook University and Stanford University are linking social science to ecology in order to improve the environmental problems in these sensitive ecosystems. Currently little thought is given to the human community's needs including food and wellbeing for the more powerful economic interests, such as tourism, which drives coral reef management.

Good news for European rivers
December 16, 2013 08:12 AM - fred pearce, Yale Environment360

From Britain to the Czech Republic, European nations have been restoring rivers to their natural state — taking down dams, removing levees, and reviving floodplains. For a continent that long viewed rivers as little more than shipping canals and sewers, it is a striking change. From the industrial cities of Britain to the forests of Sweden, from the plains of Spain to the shores of the Black Sea, Europe is restoring its rivers to their natural glory. The most densely populated continent on earth is finding space for nature to return along its river banks.

Plastic In The Ocean Is Contaminating Your Seafood
December 14, 2013 08:25 AM - ELIZA BARCLAY - NPR

We've long known that the fish we eat are exposed to toxic chemicals in the rivers, bays and oceans they inhabit. The substance that's gotten the most attention — because it has shown up at disturbingly high levels in some fish — is mercury. But mercury is just one of a slew of synthetic and organic pollutants that fish can ingest and absorb into their tissue. Sometimes it's because we're dumping chemicals right into the ocean. But as a study published recently in Nature, Scientific Reports helps illuminate, sometimes fish get chemicals from the plastic debris they ingest.

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