Pollution

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.

Norway seeks land power for offshore fields
November 9, 2007 12:24 PM - By Wojciech Moskwa

OSLO (Reuters) - Norway's centre-left government pushed ahead on Friday with controversial plans to power some offshore oil and gas platforms by electricity produced on land, in an effort to cut carbon emissions by the oil industry.

The Energy and Petroleum Ministry linked its approval for BP's Skarv field development with pledges by field partners to help develop technology that brings electrical power to offshore platforms or floating production vessels.

Large cleanup after San Francisco oil spill
November 9, 2007 08:31 AM - Adam Tanner -Reuters

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - A growing number of San Francisco area beaches closed on Thursday as officials tried to clean up 58,000 gallons of fuel that leaked into the San Francisco Bay from a damaged container ship.

"The oil spill in San Francisco Bay is a cause for grave concern by all who value the resources of our marvelous bay and Pacific coastline," Nancy Pelosi, speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives who represents San Francisco, said in a statement.

SF Bay Oil Spill: Vessel Traffic Lanes Threaten National Marine Sanctuaries, Expert Says
November 8, 2007 05:43 PM - Robert Ovetz, Phd, Director of Seaflow.org

This commentary is provided by Robert Ovetz, Ph.D., Executive Director of Seaflow. Seaflow is an educational nonprofit organization working internationally to protect whales, dolphins and all marine life from active sonars and other lethal ocean noise pollution. Dr Ovetz urges state and federal governments to address the dangers of allowing large vessels into or near protected areas.

 

 

Sausalito, California — Marine conservation organization Seaflow is warning that the bunker fuel spill by the Cosco Busan container ship yesterday is a symptom of allowing traffic lanes for large cargo vessels and oil tankers in our National Marine Sanctuaries and State Marine Protected Areas. Immediate action by the state and federal governments to address the heightened risk to the marine environment from oil spills as well as ship strikes and rising levels of ocean noise pollution from large vessels is needed.

 

 

“The federal government is running a superhighway through our Yosemite on the sea. Every cargo vessel and oil tanker that enters San Francisco Bay passes right through at least one of our three contiguous National Marine Sanctuaries and through or alongside critical state marine protected areas,” warned Robert Ovetz, Ph.D., executive director of Seaflow.

 

California sues EPA over car emissions
November 8, 2007 04:32 PM - By Adam Tanner, Reuters

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - California sued the Environmental Protection Agency on Thursday, demanding a quick federal decision that would allow the nation's most populous state to limit greenhouse gas emissions from vehicles.

"California is ready to implement the nation's cleanest standards for vehicle emissions, but we cannot do that until the federal government grants a waiver allowing us to enforce those standards," Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said.

The long-threatened legal action follows a 2005 California law requiring new vehicles to meet tighter standards for emissions, starting with 2009 models introduced next year.

San Francisco oil spill larger than thought
November 8, 2007 04:14 PM - By Adam Tanner, Reuters

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Many beaches in the San Francisco area remained closed on Thursday as officials tried to clean up 58,000 gallons of fuel that spilled into the West Coast city's famous bay the day before.

"This is a major spill," said Wil Bruhns, a division chief at the San Francisco Bay Regional Water Quality Control Board. "It certainly has the potential to cause damage to birds, fish and other wildlife."

The Cosco Busan struck a tower of the Bay Bridge on Wednesday morning in dense fog, creating a long slash along the ship that allowed bunker fuel to spill into the water.

Childrens Toy Contains Date Rape Drug, Millions Recalled
November 8, 2007 12:36 PM - By Karey Wutkowski, Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Toy maker Spin Master Ltd of Toronto recalled its Aqua Dots toys from North American retailers after a similar line of toys called Bindeez was recalled in Australia. At least three children were hospitalized in Australia after swallowing beads from the toy that contain a chemical that converts into the sedating drug GHB when swallowed.

GHB is also known as the "date rape" drug. Spin Master, which distributes Aqua Dots in North America, said in a statement it stopped shipping the item and was trying to identify any shipments that could be included in a recall by U.S. and Canadian officials.

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