Pollution

BP's U.S. Gulf project exempted from enviro analysis
May 6, 2010 06:34 AM - Jeffrey Jones and Jeff Mason, Reuters

U.S. regulators exempted BP Plc from a detailed environmental review of the exploration project that ultimately resulted in the deadly Gulf of Mexico explosion and subsequent oil spill, documents show. The Minerals Management Service granted BP's project a "categorical exclusion" from full environmental analysis normally required under the National Environmental Policy Act, according to documents made available by the Center for Biological Diversity, an environmental group.

Calm U.S. Gulf weather aids spill fight
May 5, 2010 06:51 AM - Matthew Bigg, Reuters

Oil spill workers raced against time in the Gulf of Mexico, hoping to seize on at least one more day of calm in their fight to contain a huge and growing slick before winds turn against them. Cleanup crews along the U.S. shore have had a few days' reprieve as the slow-moving slick, from oil spewing from a damaged deep-water well, remained parked in waters that for now are placid. "The winds are helpful to us, but on Thursday they begin to be less helpful," Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal said in New Orleans.

New EPA Regulations Target Mercury and Other Toxic Emissions from Boilers and Solid Waste Incinerators
May 4, 2010 10:34 AM - David A Gabel, ENN

The US Environmental Protection Agengy (EPA) is currently issuing a new proposal to cut mercury emissions by more than half as well as other pollutants from boilers, process heaters, and solid waste incinerators. Toxic air emissions have been shown to cause cancer and other serious health problems for affected people. The main purpose of this proposal would be to reduce health and environmental risk in a cost-effective way. The EPA estimates that the new rules would yield more than $5 in health savings for every dollar spent in implementing the rules.

BP fights oil spill with welding torches, cash
May 4, 2010 05:30 AM - Matthew Bigg, Reuters

BP Plc sought to stem the damage from a giant oil slick in the Gulf of Mexico with technology, welding torches and money on Tuesday as crude kept spewing from an offshore oil well deep in the Gulf of Mexico that ruptured almost two weeks ago. The British oil company, under pressure from Washington to limit the damage, said it will try containing the crude with a massive metal, funnel-like structure. BP said it has offered the Gulf Coast states whose shores could be soiled with oil millions of dollars to move forward with recovery projects. The looming ecological and economic disaster has started to fuel high-level opposition to the Obama administration's push to open more waters to offshore drilling to bolster energy security. The White House has said the spill could force President Barack Obama to rethink plans to open more waters.

MERLEFEST 2010, big success, lots of fun!
May 3, 2010 03:53 PM - Roger Greenway, ENN

While MerleFest 2010, presented by Lowe's, is now officially another one for the history books, initial figures show that aggregate attendance over the festival's four days exceeded 76,000 people, who attended the celebration of "traditional plus" music on the campus of Wilkes Community College from Thursday, April 29 to Sunday, May 2. MerleFest is the primary fund-raiser for the college and funds scholarships, capital projects and other educational needs. A diverse and fully loaded schedule of artists as well as an unusual rain-free four days, encouraged attendance. Thursday’s attendance was the highest in the festival's history, and the remaining days are estimated to be in the top three of festival history. Festival officials are also proud to announce that a goal set at the close of the 2009 event, to reverse the trend of unpaid tickets comprising a greater percentage of total attendance, has been met. "What a weekend this has been!" exclaimed festival director Ted Hagaman. "With over 100 artists playing on 15 stages, representing everything from bluegrass and blues, to gospel, country and Americana, we feel that we succeeded again in giving our festival guests a great value for their entertainment dollars. We deeply appreciate the support of the great folks of Wilkes County, everyone who works here at the college, and of course our volunteers and fans, for making this all possible."

Fishing off the Coast of Louisana
May 3, 2010 03:47 PM - Andy Soos, ENN

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is restricting fishing for a minimum of ten days in federal waters most affected by the BP oil spill, largely between Louisiana state waters at the mouth of the Mississippi River to waters off Florida’s Pensacola Bay. The closure is effective immediately. The off shore fisheries provide food and a number of jobs. The questions of testing and monitoring seafood quality will be watched carefully by NOAA, local state agencies and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

U.S. presses BP to stop gushing Gulf Coast oil leak
May 3, 2010 06:45 AM - Matthew Bigg, Reuters

A huge oil slick caused by an underwater leak continued to creep toward the U.S. Gulf Coast on Monday as the Obama administration pressed energy giant BP Plc to stem the oil gushing from its ruptured offshore well. The direction of the slick has been pushed around by strong winds in the Gulf of Mexico while the likely economic and environmental costs of the accident mounted. President Barack Obama visited affected communities on Sunday, pledging a "relentless relief effort" but keeping the focus on the British oil giant BP. "Let me be clear: BP is responsible for this leak. BP will be paying the bill," Obama said. "We are dealing with a massive and potentially unprecedented environmental disaster."

Obama to visit Gulf Coast to see oil slick first hand
May 2, 2010 07:05 AM - Matthew Bigg, Reuters

President Barack Obama will visit the U.S. Gulf Coast on Sunday as his administration aims to deflect criticism that it could have responded more quickly to a huge oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico that threatens to become an economic and ecological catastrophe. The incident could ultimately rival the 1989 Exxon Valdez disaster in Alaska, the worst U.S. oil spill ever. Efforts to contain the spill and protect the sensitive coastline continued on Saturday, but were limited due to rough seas kicked up by heavy winds, authorities said.

U.S. pressures BP as Gulf oil slick spreads
May 1, 2010 07:15 AM - Matthew Bigg, Reuters

The U.S. government pressured energy giant BP to avert an environmental disaster as a huge, unchecked oil spill reached coastal Louisiana, imperiling fish and shrimp breeding grounds and vulnerable wetlands teeming with wildlife. With oil gushing unchecked from a ruptured deepwater well in the Gulf of Mexico off Louisiana, President Barack Obama's administration piled pressure on London-based BP Plc, the owner of the blown-out well, to do more to shut off the flow and contain the spreading slick.

EPA Toxicity Information On Line
April 30, 2010 01:32 PM - Andy Soos, ENN

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is making it easier to find chemical information online. EPA is releasing a database, called ToxRefDB, which allows scientists and the interested public to search and download thousands of toxicity testing results on hundreds of chemicals. ToxRefDB captures 30 years and $2 billion of federal required testing results. In this day and age this is a handy regulatory and technical tool and simplifies at leash some of the required toxicity investigation research.

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