Pollution

EPA Administrator to visit Gulf
May 23, 2010 07:41 AM - Matthew Bigg, Reuters

Lisa Jackson, EPA Administrator, the top U.S. environmental official was to visit the Gulf Coast on Sunday as energy giant BP Plc scrambled to contain a widening oil spill. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson planned to return to the Gulf to monitor the EPA's response, while Interior Secretary Ken Salazar was to travel to the BP Command Center in Houston to get an update from the federal science team working on the problem. The two Cabinet members' missions underscore the rising political and economic stakes for the Obama administration in dealing with the environmental disaster, which grows worse as oil gushes from a ruptured well on the sea floor.

More Gulf drilling only if ensure no more spills, Obama
May 22, 2010 09:05 AM - Matt Spetalnick, Reuters

President Barack Obama said on Saturday that offshore oil drilling could only go forward if there were assurances that a disaster like the massive Gulf of Mexico oil spill would not happen again. As Obama officially unveiled a commission to investigate the accident, he issued a stern message that while keeping pressure on firms involved in the still-uncapped spill -- BP, Halliburton and Transocean Ltd -- he would also hold Washington accountable for mending its ways. In his executive order announcing former Democratic Senator Bob Graham and former Environmental Protection Agency chief William Reilly would co-chair the panel, Obama also made his first reference to the possibility of a separate criminal probe into disaster.

Gulf Oil Threat to Florida Waning Fast
May 21, 2010 03:30 PM - Richard A. Kerr, Science AAAS

No one is lowering their guard just yet, but the chances are diminishing that significant amounts of oil from the ongoing Deepwater Horizon spill will soon make it to southern Florida. In part, it is the behavior of the Gulf of Mexico's increasingly infamous Loop Current that could lower the threat.

Emissions-based climate deal 'not possible'
May 21, 2010 06:38 AM - Editor, Ecologist

Current climate policy of emissions targets and trading will not suceed and should be replaced by a 'politically attractive' one based on providing cheap, non-carbon energy, says new paper An international agreement on reducing greenhouse gas emissions is doomed to failure and must be replaced by a drive towards low-cost green energy, says a group of academics and lobbyists.

North Sea Oil Well Evacuated
May 21, 2010 06:18 AM - Wojciech Moskwa and Gwladys Fouche, Reuters

Norwegian oil and gas producer Statoil said on Friday it had evacuated the Gullfaks C platform in the North Sea after changes in well pressure led to a fault on one of two valves designed to prevent a blowout. Environmental group Bellona said the situation was "very critical" and highlighted continued risks of offshore oil and gas exploration in the wake of BP's well blowout and environmental disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. "There are no leaks and no injuries," Statoil spokesman Gisle Johanson said. "The situation on the platform is stable and we are planning for further operations to normalize the situation."

Tax Fraud Plagues Carbon Trading Program
May 20, 2010 09:37 AM - Jeanne Roberts, Celsias, Clean Techies

According to Bloomberg New Energy Finance, tax fraud is the carbon trading market’s most egregious form of cheating, affecting about seven percent of this $125 billion market in 2009. In August 2009, seven people were arrested near London for not paying tax on the sale of carbon permits, for a total of £38 million (about U.S. $63 million). The taxes were levied as part of the European Union Greenhouse Gas Emission Trading System, created in January 2005 and based on Directive 2003/87/EC, which was enforced beginning Oct. 25, 2003.

Heavy oil from spill reaches Louisiana marshes
May 20, 2010 06:19 AM - Matthew Bigg, Reuters

Heavy oil from the Gulf of Mexico spill threatened Louisiana marshlands on Thursday after washing ashore for the first time since a BP-operated rig exploded a month ago, sparking ecological disaster. Calling it a "day that we have all been fearing," Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal said on Wednesday that heavy oil -- not simply tar balls or sheen -- had entered the state's prized wetlands. "It's already here but we know more is coming," he said. The marshes are the nurseries for shrimp, oysters, crabs and fish that make Louisiana the leading producer of commercial seafood in the continental United States. A large no-fishing zone in Gulf waters seen as affected by the spill has been imposed.

The Great No Fishing Area
May 19, 2010 12:45 PM - Andy Soos, ENN

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has extended the boundaries of the closed fishing area in the Gulf of Mexico into the northern portion of the loop current as a precautionary measure to ensure that seafood from the Gulf will remain safe for consumers. Though the latest analysis shows that the bulk of the oil remains dozens of miles from the loop current, the new boundaries address the possibility that a tendril of light oil has entered or will enter the loop current. Part of the Gulf Stream, the Loop Current is a warm ocean current in the Gulf of Mexico that flows northward between Cuba and the Yucatan peninsula, moves north into the Gulf of Mexico, loops west and south before exiting to the east through the Florida Straits.

Long-Lasting Sensory Loss in World Trade Center Workers from Airborne Toxins After 9/11 Attacks
May 19, 2010 08:57 AM - Science Daily

New research from the Monell Center and collaborating institutions reports that workers exposed to the complex mixture of toxic airborne chemicals following the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center in New York City had a decreased ability to detect odors and irritants two years after the exposure.

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.

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