Pollution

Pakistan says no threat of bird flu pandemic
December 19, 2007 08:59 AM - Reuters

ISLAMABAD (Reuters) - Pakistan said on Wednesday there was no threat of a pandemic from bird flu, as World Health Organization experts visited the country's northwest which reported the first human death from the virus. Pakistani authorities confirmed at the weekend eight human bird flu cases, including the one death, that the WHO said were likely a combination of infections from poultry and limited person to person transmission due to close contact.

UNEP deploys team of experts to help with oil spill in Republic of Korea
December 19, 2007 08:44 AM - UNEP

Nairobi/Daejon, 18 December 2007 - An emergency response plan has been activated by the United Nations Environment Programme to help the Republic of Korea respond to the worst oil spill in its history. On 7 December, the oil tanker Hebei Spirit collided with a barge 100km south of Seoul, releasing 10,500 metric tonnes of crude oil into the sea. The oil slick is affecting approximately 160 km of coastline near an important habitat for birds.

Mom-and-Pop Toy Store Takes the Lead on Lead
December 18, 2007 07:12 PM - Paul Schaefer, ENN

NEWTON, Mass. - In light of recent recalls and concerns about toy safety, award-winning toy store Green Planet Kids undertook to test their entire product line for lead, and is offering free screening for toys their customers purchased elsewhere. Green Planet Kids owners Annabelle Ship and John Sanders had their entire toy store tested with a state-of-the-art XRF scanner. "We're not aware of any other toy store in the country that has taken this step to ensure that their products are safe," said Ship. "Our customers were asking questions. We didn't want to trust anyone else in the supply chain. We wanted to witness the testing so that we could respond with confidence to our customers' concerns," said Ship.

Texas vows to attract other carbon-capture plants
December 18, 2007 06:59 PM - Reuters

HOUSTON (Reuters) - A Texas regulator said Tuesday that while the state was not able to land a $1.5 billion "near-zero" emission coal plant, he wants to find ways to attract other projects that seek to capture and store carbon dioxide, a gas blamed for global warming. Mattoon in central Illinois was named Tuesday as the home for the proposed FutureGen coal plant, beating out Jewett and Odessa, Texas, and another Illinois site in a national competition.

Pittsburgh's New Year's Ball Ornament Eco-Friendly
December 18, 2007 06:58 PM - Paul Schaefer, ENN

PITTSBURGH - Did you know that Pittsburghers ring in a green New Year? Again this year, Highmark's "The Future of Pittsburgh" ball, which is made from environmentally friendly materials, will light the sky in downtown Pittsburgh as part of the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust's First Night celebration.

Alberta orders Suncor to solve emission problems
December 18, 2007 06:34 PM - Reuters

CALGARY, Alberta (Reuters) - The Alberta government said on Tuesday it ordered Suncor Energy Inc to come up with a plan to cut emissions of deadly hydrogen sulfide at its oil sands operations after several reports of high concentrations this year.

US Calls For Protection For Seabirds in New Zealand, Fiji, Ecuador, New Guinea and Solomon Islands
December 18, 2007 06:32 PM - Paul Schaefer, ENN

Washington DC - Six species of seabirds native to New Zealand, Fiji, Ecuador, Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands would be protected by the Endangered Species Act under a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service proposal published in today?s Federal Register. The species proposed to be classified as endangered include the Chatham petrel (Pterodroma axillaris), and magenta petrel (Pterodroma magentae), of New Zealand, and the Fiji petrel (Pterodroma macgillivrayi), of Fiji. Cook's petrel (Pterodroma cookii), also of New Zealand; the Galapagos petrel (Pterodroma phaeopygia), of the Galapagos Islands, Ecuador; and the Heinroth's shearwater (Puffinus heinrothi), native to Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands, are proposed to be classified as threatened.

Got fleas? Get the vacuum
December 18, 2007 04:25 PM - Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Vacuum cleaners kill fleas just as well as any poison, surprised researchers said on Tuesday. They said a standard vacuum cleaner abuses the fleas so much it kills 96 percent of adult fleas and 100 percent of younger fleas. So no need to worry that a vacuum cleaner bag may turn into a fleabag breeding ground for the pesky, biting creatures, said Glen Needham, associate professor of entomology at Ohio State University. Needham studied the cat flea, or Ctenocephalides felis, the most common type of flea found in households.

Ecuador Amazon plantiffs fight Chevron over dumping
December 18, 2007 01:35 PM - Alonso Soto, Reuters

SAN CARLOS, Ecuador (Reuters) - After a 14-year court battle, Ecuadorean jungle dwellers expect a verdict next year in their lawsuit charging Chevron with polluting the Amazon and vow to fight more delays by the U.S. oil giant. Peasants and Indians are suing Chevron Corp for $6 billion in a local court over accusations its Texaco unit polluted the jungle and damaged their health by dumping 18 billion gallons of contaminated water from 1972 to 1992.

Major US electric vehicle manufacturing plant announced
December 18, 2007 12:38 PM - Paul Schaefer, ENN

Tyne & Wear, UK - Smith Electric Vehicles, the world's largest manufacturer of road-going electric vans and trucks, is to establish a major production facility in the USA.The factory will have the capacity to produce up to 10,000 zero emission vehicles per year, from 2010.

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