Pollution

EPA Evaluates Ocean Acidification as a Threat to Water Quality Under Clean Water Act

The United States Environmental Protection Agency announced steps to protect U.S. waters from the threat of ocean acidification under the Clean Water Act. Today, EPA issued a notice of data availability to be published in the Federal Register that calls for information and data on ocean acidification that the agency will use to evaluate water-quality criteria under the Clean Water Act. The notice responded to a formal petition and threatened litigation from the Center for Biological Diversity that sought to compel the agency to impose stricter pH criteria for ocean water quality and publish guidance to help states protect American waters from ocean acidification. EPA's notice marks the first time that the Clean Water Act will be invoked by the agency to address ocean acidification.

Biomass energy 'could be harmful'
April 14, 2009 10:49 AM - BBC News

Biomass power - such as burning wood for energy - could do more harm than good in the battle to reduce greenhouse gases, the Britain's Environment Agency warns.

Chemical Firm Invista in Largest-ever Settlement for Self-Reported Environmental Violations
April 14, 2009 10:37 AM - Environmental Leader

After self-reporting environmental violations at 12 facilities in seven states, Invista will spend up to $500 million to correct the problems, on top of a $1.7 million civil penalty.

Groups File Suit to Block State Air Pollution Permit for Unneeded South Carolina Coal Plant
April 14, 2009 09:36 AM - Southern Environmental Law Center

South Carolina’s environmental agency illegally permitted an unneeded coal-fired power plant on the Great Pee Dee River that would emit 31 times more toxic mercury than the legal limit and millions of tons of costly carbon pollution, according to a lawsuit filed today by the Southern Environmental Law Center on behalf of several advocacy groups.

The Dire Fate of Forests in a Warmer World
April 14, 2009 06:27 AM - Bryan Walsh, TIME

It's not easy to kill a full-grown tree — especially one like the piñon pine. The hardy evergreen is adapted to life in the hot, parched American Southwest, so it takes more than a little dry spell to affect it. In fact, it requires a once-in-a-century event like the extended drought of the 1950s, which scientists now believe led to widespread tree mortality in the Four Corners area of Utah, Colorado, New Mexico and Arizona. So, when another drought hit the area around 2002, researchers were surprised to see up to 10% of the piñon pines die off, even though that dry spell was much milder than the one before. The difference in 2002 was the five decades of global warming that had transpired since the drought in the 1950s.

San Francisco Pilots Cisco’s Carbon-Tracking Tool
April 13, 2009 04:05 PM - by Zaher Karp, Matter Network

Networking company Cisco is spearheading efforts to develop technology that can manage energy conservation and carbon footprints by collecting and processing field data. The company uses wireless networking to monitor the changing environment to track emissions from the threatened Brazilian rainforest to the Golden Gate Bridge.

Jackson: EPA Seeks Clarity in Rules, May Regulate Animal Waste
April 13, 2009 06:02 AM - Water & Wastewater News

Lisa Jackson, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency administrator, asserted at a forum for the PBS Frontline documentary Poisoned Waters that new legislation is needed to strengthen EPA's authority to control pollution and protect local rivers, streams, and wetlands. Jackson, speaking at the National Press Club, said that court decisions had left "murkiness" about EPA's authority to enforce some mandates of the Clean Water Act. She said EPA would seek new legislation to "clarify" its authority to take action on smaller waterways.

Obama's energy czar visits Oakland program
April 12, 2009 11:09 AM - Josh Richman, Oakland Tribune

President Barack Obama's energy and climate-change czar seemed to like what she saw at a green-jobs training program Friday in West Oakland. "It is so impressive what you all are doing," Carol Browner said while visiting the Cypress Mandela Training Center on Poplar Street, noting this was her first solo field trip in her capacity as head of the White House Office of Energy and Climate Change"

Climate change 'own goal': Laws to combat acid rain are DRIVING Arctic warming, claims Nasa
April 12, 2009 11:00 AM - Cher Thornhill, Daily Mail

It is widely recognised that humans are their own worst enemies when it comes to global warming. But the latest research from Nasa suggests laws created to preserve the environment are causing much of the damage. Legislation to improve air quality and cut acid rain has accounted for a shocking half of Arctic warming over the past three decades, the space agency reports.

Obama climate adviser open to geo-engineering to tackle global warming

The global warming situation has become so dire that Barack Obama's chief scientific adviser has raised with the president the possibility of massive-scale technological fixes to alter the climate known as 'geo-engineering'. John Holdren, who is a member of the president's cabinet, said today the drastic measures should not be "off the table" in discussions on how best to tackle climate change. While his office insisted that he was not proposing a dramatic switch in policy, Holdren said geo-engineering could not be ruled out.

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