Pollution

First Low Carbon Fuel Standard in U.S. Brings Cleaner Air to California
April 24, 2009 10:29 AM - NRDC

The California Air Resources Board overwhelmingly approved the nation’s first Low Carbon Fuel Standard that will reduce carbon pollution and provide cleaner air for Californians.

Fire is an important and under-appreciated part of global climate change
April 24, 2009 07:33 AM - National Science Foundation

Fire must be accounted for as an integral part of climate change, according to 22 authors of an article published in the April 24 issue of the journal Science. The authors determined that intentional deforestation fires alone contribute up to one-fifth of the human-caused increase in emissions of carbon dioxide, a heat-trapping gas that increases global temperature.

Rise in dust storms spurs environmental fears
April 23, 2009 06:57 AM - MSNBC from Washington Post

An increasing amount of airborne dust is blanketing the West, affecting how fast the snowpack melts, when local plants bloom and what quality of air residents are breathing. The dust storms are a harbinger of a broader phenomenon, researchers say, as global warming translates into less precipitation and a population boom intensifies the activities that are disturbing the dust in the first place.

Increasing levels of rare element found worldwide
April 22, 2009 07:51 AM - Dartmouth College

Dartmouth researchers have determined that the presence of the rare element osmium is on the rise globally. They trace this increase to the consumption of refined platinum, the primary ingredient in catalytic converters, the equipment commonly installed in cars to reduce smog.

Atmospheric engineering scheme to combat global warming could diminish solar power
April 20, 2009 06:23 AM - Environmental Science & Technology

A widely discussed "atmospheric engineering" scheme intended to combat global warming could have unanticipated consequences in reducing the effectiveness of certain kinds of solar power around the Earth, a new study has concluded. It is appears in the current issue of ACS' Environmental Science & Technology, a semi-monthly journal. In the study, the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration's Daniel M. Murphy examines a proposal to minimize climate change by enhancing the stratospheric aerosol layer, which reduces sunlight to Earth by scattering it to outer space. But this approach has considerable implications on the ability to concentrate solar power, Murphy says. For example, the increased aerosols resulting from the 1991 eruption of Mt. Pinatubo in the Philippines reduced global sunlight by less than three percent but decreased output from some solar generating plants by about 20 percent.

Chesapeake Bay Group Wants EPA to Be Aggressive
April 20, 2009 06:10 AM - Water & Wastewater News

With its 10th annual State of the Bay report continuing to show no significant progress, Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) President William C. Baker on April 15 challenged the U.S.Environmental Protection Agency to use its regulatory authority to take aggressive new action to reduce pollution. "That the Chesapeake Bay, a national treasure, remains in critical condition is outrageous. It is a national disgrace," said CBF President Will Baker. "Who are we kidding? It is 2009 and this national treasure is still getting trashed, while government refuses to use every possible tool available to stop it. When will EPA exercise its regulatory authority under the Clean Water Act to set a strict pollution reduction mandate and enforce it? Do laws mean nothing when it is only nature that is getting injured?"

CA to Secretary Salazar: No Offshore Drilling, More Renewable Energy
April 20, 2009 06:01 AM - , Triple Pundit

Last week, Secretary of the Interior, Ken Salazar, hosted the last of 4 public forums around the country to gather input on offshore drilling and offshore renewable energy development. Choosing to end in San Francisco means he is going back to Washington with a resounding “No” in his ears. “No” to offshore drilling and “Yes” to investing in renewable energy, and any other new green technology San Francisco start-ups can figure out.

First Wind Files Permit Application to Build a Proposed 51 Megawatt (MW) Wind Project in Maine
April 19, 2009 07:01 AM - Green Progress

First Wind today announced that it has filed a permit application with the Maine Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to build a proposed 51 megawatt (MW) wind project in the town of Oakfield in Aroostook County. The proposed Oakfield Wind project will consist of up to 34 GE 1.5 MW turbines that can produce enough energy to power more than 20,000 homes. "Maine continues to foster the development of renewable energy, and we are excited to continue work to provide indigenous renewable and clean wind power,” said Matt Kearns, First Wind’s Vice President of Development for New England. “In addition to its many environmental and renewable energy attributes, the Oakfield Wind project will offer significant economic benefits to the state, Aroostook County, and most importantly to the Oakfield community. We are looking forward to working with members of the community to advance this project."

EPA Finds Greenhouse Gases Pose Threat to Public Health, Welfare / Proposed Finding Comes in Response to 2007 Supreme Court Ruling
April 18, 2009 07:36 AM - U. S. Environmental Protection Agency

After a thorough scientific review ordered in 2007 by the U.S. Supreme Court, the Environmental Protection Agency issued a proposed finding Friday that greenhouse gases contribute to air pollution that may endanger public health or welfare. The proposed finding, which now moves to a public comment period, identified six greenhouse gases that pose a potential threat. "This finding confirms that greenhouse gas pollution is a serious problem now and for future generations. Fortunately, it follows President Obama’s call for a low carbon economy and strong leadership in Congress on clean energy and climate legislation,” said Administrator Lisa P. Jackson. “This pollution problem has a solution — one that will create millions of green jobs and end our country’s dependence on foreign oil."

Water Fight
April 17, 2009 09:11 AM - Bryan Walsh, TIME

The Songhua river in northeastern China doesn't have the history of the Mekong, the spirituality of the Ganges or the sheer power of the Yangtze. But in November 2005, this 1,200-mile (2,000 km) waterway made headlines when a chemical plant in the Chinese city of Jilin spilled massive amounts of the toxic chemical benzene, creating a 50-mile (80 km) noxious slick.

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