EPA Proposes New Maximum Achievable Control Technology Standards for Boilers and Incinerators
July 13, 2010 09:47 AM - David A Gabel, ENN

The EPA has published new rules in the Federal Register regarding new Maximum Achievable Control Technology (MACT) for boilers and incinerators. The target of the new rules is to limit toxic emissions and mercury, which is known to be extremely harmful to human health. The Federal Register is available to the public, and the EPA will be accepting public comments on these rules through August 3, 2010.

BP to test new cap on leaking well
July 13, 2010 06:47 AM - Alexandria Sage and Kristen Hays, Reuters

BP prepared on Tuesday to try sealing off its runaway well with a new cap that it says could for the first time in 12 weeks finally arrest the flow of oil spewing from the floor of the Gulf of Mexico. The British energy giant has suffered numerous setbacks in its struggle to control the 85-day-old gusher that stands as the worst offshore oil spill in U.S. history. And BP cautioned that tests of its latest containment system were not sure to succeed.

BP starts work to install new cap on gushing well
July 11, 2010 09:39 AM - Kristen Hays and Alexandria Sage, Reuters

BP Plc removed a containment cap from its stricken Gulf of Mexico oil well on Saturday in the first step toward installing a bigger cap to contain all the crude gushing into the sea and fouling the coast. The maneuver released a torrent of oil that will spew unrestrained into the Gulf for four to seven days -- the time BP says it will take to put in place a bigger cap and seal. Officials say the new cap would capture all the oil leaking from the well and funnel it 1 mile upward to vessels on the water's surface. The new solution, 82 days into the worst oil spill in U.S. history, would not allow crude to billow out the bottom and the top, as the current cap does, said Kent Wells, senior vice president of exploration and production for BP. "The difference is one completely seals and the other didn't," Wells said.

India's Poor Risk 'Slow Death' Recycling E-Waste
July 7, 2010 09:03 AM - Elizabeth Roche, AFP, Discovery News

Young rag-pickers sifting through rubbish are a common image of India's chronic poverty, but destitute children face new hazards picking apart old computers as part of the growing "e-waste" industry. Asif, aged seven, spends his days dismantling electronic equipment in a tiny, dimly-lit unit in east Delhi along with six other boys.

BP boss in MidEast talks as relief well advances
July 7, 2010 06:45 AM - Amena Bakr and Kristen Hays, Reuters

BP's boss met officials from an Abu Dhabi state fund on Wednesday as hopes for fresh investment and progress toward closing a leaking U.S. oil well lifted the company's battered shares. A United Arab Emirates official said Chief Executive Tony Hayward had met officials from Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA) during a routine visit. He spoke as speculation mounted of a stake purchase by a Middle East or Asian sovereign wealth fund to help BP ward off takeovers and pay the rising costs of the worst oil spill in U.S. history. The UAE official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Hayward's visit was a scheduled one mainly for discussion of BP's concessions with Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC).

BP shares rise as company says no plan to issue stock
July 6, 2010 06:59 AM - Sarah Young, Reuters

Stock in BP rose on Tuesday as the British oil major ruled out a share issue and talk persisted of sovereign wealth fund interest, while its Gulf of Mexico oil slick spread to the Texas coast. BP shares were up 3.7 percent after hitting their highest in two weeks. They at one stage had lost more than $100 billion in value in the 78 days following its April 20 oil rig explosion that unleashed the massive spill. Backing came from Royal Bank of Scotland, which upgraded the stock to 'buy' from 'hold'. The shares have drawn some support from talk that the company is a takeover target and has approached sovereign wealth funds with offers of a stake to ward off hostile bids.

BP eyes stake sale as spill cost tops $3 billion
July 5, 2010 06:57 AM - Raji Menon and Eman Goma, Reuters

Shareholders in British oil company BP balked at reports it would seek urgent investment from a wealthy Middle East or Asian country as clean-up costs for its U.S. oil spill topped $3 billion. Over the weekend, while U.S. Independence Day holidaymakers shunned Gulf of Mexico beaches tarred by the leaking well, media reports said BP was looking for a strategic investor among the sovereign wealth funds of the Middle East and Asia. An investor would help ward off a takeover and raise funds for the liabilities racking up behind the worst oil spill in U.S. history, the reports said.

Trees a 'low-cost' solution to air pollution and biodiversity loss in cities
July 4, 2010 09:50 AM - Editor, Ecologist

Native woods and trees in urban areas, including gardens, provide haven for wildlife, reduce air pollution, surface run-off and flooding Reversing the declining numbers of native trees and woods in cities would provide numerous benefits at 'relatively little cost', says a report from the Woodland Trust. As well as access to green space, the report, 'Greening the Concrete Jungle', says trees provide a wide range of free ecosystem services including reducing the risk of surface water flooding and improving air quality that could save millions in flood defence and healthcare costs.

Tests start on "super skimmer" for Gulf oil spill
July 4, 2010 08:34 AM - Matthew Bigg, Reuters

A supertanker adapted to scoop up oil from the BP spill in the Gulf of Mexico began tests on Saturday amid a report that some major investors expect the energy giant to replace its top executives. The vessel named "A Whale" and dubbed a "super skimmer" is operating just north of the blown out well as part of a two-day test watched by the U.S. Coastguard, said Bob Grantham, spokesman for TMT Shipping Offshore, which owns the ship. If all goes to plan TMT hopes to sign a clean-up contract for the ship, which can remove up to 500,000 barrels (21 million gallons) of oil and water mix from the sea surface a day, according to crew members.

Sea Turtles and Gulf oil burns
July 3, 2010 09:21 AM - Mary Rickard, Reuters

Environmental groups, BP and the U.S. Coast Guard reached tentative agreement on Friday on measures to prevent sea turtles from being incinerated alive in controlled burns of spilled oil in the Gulf of Mexico. The deal would settle a lawsuit accusing BP of violating the U.S. Endangered Species Act and terms of its lease with the federal government for the deep-sea well that ruptured on April 20, unleashing the worst offshore spill in U.S. history.

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