Pollution

Chesapeake Bay Acid Affected Oysters
June 10, 2010 02:08 PM - Andy Soos, ENN

The Chesapeake Bay is the largest estuary in the United States. It lies off the Atlantic Ocean, surrounded by Maryland and Virginia. In its waters are abundant marine life but the environment is changing. The shells of young oysters in Chesapeake Bay are not getting as thick as they've been in the past, and higher acidity levels seem to be to blame.

LEED Us Not into Health Problems
June 10, 2010 10:25 AM - BC Upham, Triple Pundit

Weaknesses in the way LEED certification measures adverse health impacts of building materials gives a false impression of the safety of "environmentally friendly" buildings, according to a new study. The study, "LEED Certification: Where Energy Efficiency Collides with Human Health," by non-profit Environment and Human Health, Inc., recommends that LEED certification be measured separately in different categories.

BP stock plunges, U.S. threatens new penalties
June 10, 2010 06:15 AM - Tom Bergin and Anna Driver, Reuters

The shares of BP Plc continued falling on Thursday on concerns about the costs the British company will face in the massive Gulf of Mexico oil spill. The shares opened trading in London 11 percent down before recovering to trade down 4.0 percent, one day after BP depositary shares plummeted to a 14-year low in New York. President Barack Obama's administration ratcheted up its demands on Wednesday that BP cover all the costs stemming from the disaster, including millions of dollars in salaries of workers laid off due to a drilling moratorium in the Gulf. With polls showing public disapproval over Obama's handling of the worst oil spill in U.S. history, the prospect of new government penalties has sapped investor confidence in BP.

Down Deep in the Gulf of Mexico
June 9, 2010 12:51 PM - Andy Soos, ENN

By now most know about the oil gushing out in the Gulf of Mexico. Certainly it is floating on the surface but what is the effect underwater? One way is to measure the relative concentrations of PAHs (Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons). National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) independent analysis of water samples collected during the May 22-28 research mission of the University of South Florida’s R/V Weatherbird II confirmed the presence of very low concentrations of subsurface oil and PAHs (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons) at sampling depths ranging from 50 meters to 1,400 meters.

BP siphons off more oil from well
June 9, 2010 06:59 AM - Kristen Hays and Ayesha Rascoe, Reuters

BP Plc said on Tuesday it was capturing more oil from its ruptured Gulf of Mexico well while U.S. scientists tried to figure out just how much crude was still pouring out. The London-based company's share price closed down 5 percent in London after U.S. President Barack Obama said he wanted to know "whose ass to kick" over the massive spill. The on-going disaster remains at the top of Obama's crowded domestic agenda, a point underscored by his strong comments and Tuesday's announcement that he will head back to the Gulf coast next week to inspect efforts to contain the spill. Obama will visit Mississippi, Alabama and Florida during a two-day trip beginning on Monday, the White House said.

EPA withdraws rule excluding certain fuels from RCRA regulations
June 8, 2010 03:57 PM - Roger Greenway, ENN

In December 2008, the US EPA excluded certain fuels derived from hazardous secondary materials which, when burned in industrial boilers under specified conditions generated air pollutant emissions comparable to those produced by burning fuel oil in those boilers. The 2008 conditional exclusion provided a regulatory compliance break for industrial facilities that were able to use potentially hazardous secondary materials as fuel in their boilers since they could do so without the burden of full RCRA documentation on the materials burned. They also, of course, saved money on fuel oil, and on disposal costs of the secondary materials if not burned. On June 8th, the agency changed its mind, and determined that these secondary materials that could be used a s fuels need to be classified as hazardous wastes

Aerosols
June 8, 2010 02:43 PM - Andy Soos, ENN

What are aerosols? In this case they are tiny particles of dust, soot, salts, mist and all sorts of small stuff suspended in the air. This is what causes a hazy day, light scattering and sun light absorption. Aerosols have a great effect on climate but little is known about them.

Solar Power Has Its Day
June 8, 2010 02:00 PM - Andy Soos, ENN

There is Sunday of course which was originally and literally Sun's day as a vaguely religious observance. Now there is Solar Day which is not so much a day set aside to honor solar (power) but a day to show how solar power has grown and can be used. This is to be June 19 and will be an annual day of recognition for the growth of clean, solar energy. The premise of Solar Day is simple: a national day of recognition for solar energy, energy independence and protection of the planet.

Indian court convicts seven in Bhopal chemical plant disaster
June 8, 2010 06:50 AM - Editor, Ecologist

A twenty-five year wait for first convictions relating to the gas leak at Bhopal chemical plant in India ends, but the contamination of the local environment and population continues An Indian court has convicted seven people for their part in one of the world's worst industrial disasters - the gas leak at the US-owned Union Carbide pesticide plant in Bhopal, Central India in 1984.

The Dead Zone in the Gulf of Mexico
June 7, 2010 02:45 PM - Andy Soos, ENN

While the Deepwater Horizon oil gusher continues to mire the Gulf of Mexico, another threat could be growing below the oil slicked surface. This is the "Dead Zone". Currently the most well known dead zone is about 8,500 square miles in size and lies in the Gulf of Mexico, where the Mississippi River dumps high nutrient runoff from its vast drainage basin, which includes the heart of the U.S. agriculture business from the Midwest. This is equivalent to a dead zone the size of New Jersey. Dead zones are hypoxic (low oxygen) areas in the world's oceans, the observed incidences of which have been increasing since oceanographers began noting them in the 1970s.

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