Pollution

EPA Envirofacts
May 18, 2010 01:18 PM - Andy Soos, ENN

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has just added more than 6,300 chemicals and 3,800 chemical facilities regulated under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) to a public database called Envirofacts. The Envirofacts database is EPA’s single point of access on the Internet for information about environmental activities that may affect air, water and land in the U.S and provides tools for analyzing the data. It includes facility name and address information, aerial image of the facility and surrounding area, map location of the facility, and links to other EPA information on the facility.

The Myth of Mountaintop Removal Reclamation
May 18, 2010 08:57 AM - National Resources Defense Council

WASHINGTON (May 17, 2010) -- Roughly 1.2 million acres, including 500 mountains, have been flattened by mountaintop removal coal mining in the central Appalachian region, and only a fraction of that land has been reclaimed for so-called beneficial economic uses, according to new research by environmental groups. A study by Appalachian Voices, which analyzed recent aerial imagery of eastern Kentucky, southern West Virginia, southwest Virginia and eastern Tennessee, confirms for the first time the extent of mountaintop removal throughout the region; nearly half of which has taken place in Kentucky.

BP says progress in effort to contain oil spill
May 17, 2010 06:35 AM - Steve Gorman, Reuters

Energy giant BP was making some progress on Monday with its efforts to contain the oil gushing forth from a ruptured well in the Gulf of Mexico, But the stakes are high amid fears of an ecological and economic calamity along the U.S. Gulf Coast. Investors have already knocked around $30 billion off BP's value and its share price will be closely watched this week. After several tough weeks, this is shaping up to be another rough one for the company. A U.S. Labor Department official told the Financial Times that BP has a "systematic safety problem" at its refineries. "BP executives, they talk a good line. They say they want to improve safety," Jordan Barab, a senior official at the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, told the paper.

BP tries again to contain oil spill
May 16, 2010 06:41 AM - Steve Gorman, Reuters

Energy giant BP made a new attempt to siphon gushing oil from an offshore well as political pressure and public outrage increased over the company's slow progress at stopping environmental disaster. London-based BP Plc admitted on Saturday that its latest attempt to contain the spill had failed but a top executive expressed optimism that the tricky undersea effort to redirect the flow of oil would be operational overnight. The latest fix involves guiding undersea robots to insert a small tube into a 21-inch (53-cm) pipe, known as a riser, to funnel the oil to a ship at the surface.

Oil leak closes in on marsh, BP keeps trying
May 15, 2010 07:45 AM - Steve Gorman, Reuters

Energy giant BP scrambled on Saturday to make good on its latest attempt to contain oil from a ruptured wellhead in the Gulf of Mexico as the government approved the use of dispersants underwater, at the source of the seabed gusher. With crude oil pouring unchecked from a blown-out well a mile deep on the floor of the Gulf, London-based BP was struggling to guide robots to insert a narrow tube wrapped in a rubber flange into the 21-inch pipe spewing the oil -- and to funnel that oil to a drill ship at the surface. "That work is currently underway and we hope to begin operations overnight," BP Chief Operating Officer Doug Suttles told reporters on Friday afternoon.

Dolphin, turtle deaths eyed for links to oil spill
May 14, 2010 06:24 AM - Steve Gorman, Reuters

Scientists are examining the deaths of at least six dolphins and over 100 sea turtles along the U.S. Gulf Coast in recent weeks to see if they are victims of the giant oil spill in the region, wildlife officials said on Thursday. All of the deaths are being looked at as possible casualties of the oil gushing unchecked since April 20 from a ruptured wellhead on the floor of the Gulf off Louisiana because of their proximity in time and space to the spill. But none of the dolphins or turtles examined showed any obvious visible signs of oil contamination.

EPA Announces Thresholds for Greenhouse Gas Permitting Requirements
May 13, 2010 12:57 PM - Roger Greenway, ENN

U.S. EPA Assistant Administrator Gina McCarthy held a press conference today to discuss the EPA's final rule to address greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from the largest stationary sources, while shielding millions of small sources of GHGs from Clean Air Act permitting requirements. The phased-in, common-sense approach will address facilities like power plants and oil refineries that are responsible for 70 percent of the greenhouse gases from stationary sources. "After extensive study, debate and hundreds of thousands of public comments, EPA has set common-sense thresholds for greenhouse gases that will spark clean technology innovation and protect small businesses and farms," said EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson.

Air Quality Awareness Week Focuses on Reducing Exposure to Ozone, Particle Pollution / Keep your eye on the AQI
May 13, 2010 10:51 AM - US Environmental Protection Agency

WASHINGTON – EPA, state and local air agencies across the country are marking Air Quality Awareness Week by reminding Americans to stay "Air Aware" to reduce their exposure – and their contribution – to air pollution. By following recommendations of the Air Quality Index (AQI), people can take simple steps to reduce the amount of pollution they breathe in. The AQI is EPA’s color-coded tool for reporting daily air quality and forecasts for common air pollutants, including ozone (smog) and particle pollution.

New Senate Climate bill unveiled
May 13, 2010 05:56 AM - Richard Cowan and Timothy Gardner, Reuters

Senator John Kerry ratcheted up the fight to pass legislation to combat global warming on Wednesday, unveiling a bill as the Gulf of Mexico oil disaster complicates the measure's already difficult prospects this year. Kerry, a Democrat, and Senator Joseph Lieberman, an independent, took the wraps off their bill as two important deadlines loom. Congressional elections are less than six months away and with Democrats facing losses, June or July could be the last chance for them to pass a climate bill this year, before the political atmosphere gets too overheated.

Who is Who in World Carbon Emissions
May 12, 2010 02:45 PM - Andy Soos, ENN

India’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions rose by 58 per cent between 1994 and 2007 with the energy sector contributing over half of the emissions, a new government report said. India’s emissions are up from 1.2 billion tons in 1994 to 1.7 billion tons of carbon dioxide equivalent in 2007. The country now ranks fifth globally in total GHG emissions, behind the United States, China, the European Union and Russia in 2007. The emissions of the United States and China are four times that of India in 2007.

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