Pollution

Russian PM takes charge of oil spill clean-up
November 13, 2007 07:29 AM - Chris Baldwin -Reuters

Russian Prime Minister Viktor Zubkov flew to the Black Sea coast on Tuesday to oversee efforts to clean up an oil slick that coated beaches with a thick black sludge and left birds poisoned and blinded. Officials said 2,000 tonnes of heavy fuel oil had now escaped from a tanker which broke up in a once-in-a-century storm on Sunday that also swamped other ships and drowned at least three seamen.

New Standard For Sustainable Carpets
November 12, 2007 07:05 PM - Glenn Hasek, Green Lodging News

CHICAGO—Architects, designers and end users will now have one Standard to identify carpets that have a reduced environmental impact. The first multi-attribute American National Standards Institute (ANSI)-approved Standard—NSF 140-2007, Sustainable Carpet Assessment Standard for environmentally preferable building materials—was introduced at Greenbuild 2007.

The unified Standard for sustainable carpet is voluntary, inclusive, based on life cycle assessment (LCA) principles, and offers three levels of achievement for attaining various levels of reduced environmental impact (silver, gold and platinum). By defining environmental, social and economic performance requirements, the Standard provides benchmarks for continual improvement and innovation within the building industry.

Waste Water Plus Bacteria Make Hydrogen Fuel: Study
November 12, 2007 06:20 PM - By Deborah Zabarenko, Environment Correspondent, Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Bacteria that feed on vinegar and waste water zapped with a shot of electricity could produce a clean hydrogen fuel to power vehicles that now run on petroleum, researchers reported on Monday.

These so-called microbial fuel cells can turn almost any biodegradable organic material into zero-emission hydrogen gas fuel, said Bruce Logan of Penn State University.

This would be an environmental advantage over the current generation of hydrogen-powered cars, where the hydrogen is most commonly made from fossil fuels. Even though the cars themselves emit no climate-warming greenhouse gases, the manufacture of their fuel does.

Global Agreement on Mercury Pollution Focus of International Meeting
November 12, 2007 04:53 PM - UNEP

Governments need to accelerate the effort to deliver an international agreement on the poisonous heavy metal mercury Achim Steiner, Executive Director of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) said today.

Experts are becoming increasingly concerned that increased burning of coal-naturally contaminated with mercury-is leading to releases to the air in some parts of the world from where it can spread around the globe. 

 

 

Oil spill threatens Black Sea environment
November 12, 2007 03:38 PM - WWF

Gland, Switzerland – The full environmental impacts of yesterday’s oil spill in the Black Sea would not be known for some time, says WWF.At least four ships sank, including one tanker believed to be carrying about 1200 tonnes of oil, and four others were in danger of breaking up after a severe storm hit the Sea of Azov and the Black Sea on Sunday.

 

Russia tackles oil spill after storm wreaks havoc
November 12, 2007 08:06 AM - Chris Baldwin

Russian rescue helicopters searched for five missing seamen on Monday after a storm in the northern mouth of the Black Sea, while a slick of oil from a sunken tanker began washing onto beaches.

Rescue officials said three people died in the storm that struck the narrow straits between the Black Sea and the Azov Sea on Sunday, sinking a small oil tanker and at least four freighters and leaving other ships stranded on the shoreline.

Clean-up expands for San Francisco Bay oil spill
November 11, 2007 10:13 PM - Reuters

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Clean-up efforts for a 58,000-gallon (220,000-liter) oil spill in San Francisco Bay expanded on Sunday as federal officials assessed damage that has closed beaches, threatened the crabbing season and killed scores of birds.

"This is an incident which, in my view, should not have happened," said Sen. Dianne Feinstein, a former San Francisco mayor, at a news conference after touring the affected areas.

"I think we can improve the system to manage shipping traffic in and out, in all kinds of weather conditions."

The Cosco Busan container ship struck a tower of the Bay Bridge on Wednesday in fog, slashing a nearly 100 foot gash that allowed bunker fuel to spill.

Toyota Eyes the Plug-in Prius
November 10, 2007 06:10 PM - By Bernie Woodall

TORRANCE, California (Reuters) - Toyota Motor Corp on Friday detailed plans to study U.S. consumer demand for a version of its hot-selling Prius hybrid that could be recharged at a standard outlet and run on electric power only.

A senior Toyota executive declined to say when a plug-in Prius would be launched or whether it could beat rival General Motors Corp to market with a technology seen as capable of slashing fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions.

Bob Carter, who heads the Toyota brand in the United States, said it was more important for Toyota to understand consumer expectations and hone the battery-centered technology behind plug-in cars than to race to bring them to showrooms.

Schwarzenegger declares Bay oil spill emergency
November 10, 2007 05:53 PM - Reuters

San Francisco, California - California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger declared the oil spill in San Francisco Bay an emergency on Friday as workers intensified clean-up efforts and part of a popular weekend race was canceled.

Schwarzenegger visited the region and pledged all possible resources for cleaning up a container ship's fuel spill after it struck the Bay Bridge in thick fog on Wednesday.

More than 200 workers and officials were cleaning up the fuel that leaked after the Cosco Busan container ship hit a base of the Bay Bridge near Treasure Island. The Coast Guard expected the clean-up force to double on Saturday.

Tobacco deaths to reach 10 mln a year by 2030: group
November 9, 2007 12:34 PM - Wendell Roelf, Reuters

CAPE TOWN (Reuters) - Tobacco-related deaths are expected to double to 10 million a year by 2030, with most fatalities in developing countries, a senior World Lung Foundation (WLF) official said on Friday.

Judith Longstaff Mackay, the organization's global tobacco control program coordinator, said while cigarette markets were getting smaller in advanced economies, the opposite was true for developing states, where the number of smokers and the volume each consumes is growing.

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