Pollution

Santa Barbara Reshifts, Now Opposing Drilling
April 8, 2009 06:15 AM - FELICITY BARRINGER, The New York Times

It seemed like a symbolic tipping point for the nation in August when, in the midst of record high gasoline prices and a presidential campaign, the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors abandoned its longtime opposition to offshore oil drilling. With offshore oil drilling platforms in the distance, children played in the surf early this year in Santa Barbara County, Calif. But six months later, with oil prices less than half what they were last summer, the board met on the issue again on Tuesday and reverted to its traditional stance, approving a resolution against offshore drilling in federal waters by a 3-to-2 vote.

Ship smokestacks emit unexpected pollutants

Exhaust plumes from ships at sea emit a different mix of pollutants than previously thought, according to research recently published in the Journal of Geophysical Research—Atmospheres. The measurements indicate that compared with previous data, ship emissions contain twice as much black carbon and add more pollutants and climate-changing particulate matter to the atmosphere.

Airline group backs global emissions trading scheme
April 6, 2009 10:25 AM - David Fogarty, Rueters

Four of the world's top airlines have backed a global scheme to curb carbon emissions and hope the proposal will be included in a broader U.N. pact to fight climate change. It is the first time airline firms have banded together to make recommendations to U.N. climate change officials on how to tackle the sector's carbon emissions.

Oil Sands Could Threaten Millions of Migratory Birds
April 6, 2009 09:16 AM - Ben Block, Worldwatch Institute

An anonymous tip last April alerted Canadian officials to the fact that 500 ducks had mistaken an oil sands company's pollutant-filled reservoir in Alberta as a safe place to land. To the public's dismay, only three birds survived.

10-Year Study Uncovers Toxic Aspects of DBPs
April 6, 2009 05:25 AM - Water & Wastewater News

University of Illinois geneticist Michael Plewa said that disinfection byproducts (DBPs) in water are the unintended consequence of water purification. "The process of disinfecting water with chlorine and chloramines and other types of disinfectants generates a class of compounds in the water that are called disinfection byproducts. The disinfectant reacts with the organic material in the water and generates hundreds of different compounds. Some of these are toxic, some can cause birth defects, some are genotoxic, which damage DNA, and some we know are also carcinogenic."

Flame Retardant Chemicals Taint All U.S. Coastal Waters
April 2, 2009 10:43 AM - KMTR.com

Chemicals used as flame retardants in consumer products since the 1970s now are found in all U.S. coastal waters and the Great Lakes, with elevated levels near urban and industrial centers, according to a federal government report issued Wednesday.

Decision to renew nuclear plant's 20-year operating license dismays opponents
April 2, 2009 10:04 AM - Brian T. Murray, The Star Ledger

The Oyster Creek Nuclear Generating Station, the nation's oldest nuclear power plant, was granted clearance yesterday for a new 20-year operating license despite claims from conservationists, watchdog and citizens groups that the Ocean County facility poses a danger to the public and wildlife.

Highlights of draft bill to curb global warming
April 2, 2009 06:38 AM - Macon.com from The Associated Press

House Democratic leaders released a first draft of legislation to curb emissions from global warming. Here are the highlights: CAP-AND-TRADE PROGRAM RENEWABLE ELECTRICITY STANDARD COAL MEASURES

US sues BP unit over Alaska oil spills
April 1, 2009 10:51 AM - Reuters

The U.S. government has filed a civil complaint against BP Exploration (Alaska) Inc (BP.L)(BP.N) alleging that the Alaska-based company violated U.S. clean air and water laws, the U.S. Justice Department said on Tuesday.

New EPA Review Prompts Anxiety Over Mining Jobs
April 1, 2009 09:18 AM - Scott Finn, NPR

A federal judge in West Virginia issued a ruling Tuesday that dealt another blow to the controversial mining practice known as mountaintop removal. The process involves blasting away the tops of mountains to expose coal seams underneath. The resulting tons of rock and dirt are typically dumped into valleys and streams. U.S. District Judge Joseph R. Goodwin in Charleston blocked the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers from issuing so-called "nationwide" permits, which streamline the process of getting permission to mine. Goodwin also ruled that more detailed plans for each individual mine must be submitted before permits are approved.

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