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.
Fuel Spill Closes San Francisco Beaches
November 8, 2007 08:43 AM - Reuters
SAN FRANCISCO - A container ship bound for China struck a fog-shrouded tower of San Francisco's Bay Bridge on Wednesday morning, causing a fuel spill and forcing the closure of several San Francisco beaches, officials said. People near the spill reported suffering headaches and nausea as they breathed air containing vaporized oil, but public health officials said the fumes were not likely to have long-term health effects.
Beijing ups Surveillance of Water Supply
November 8, 2007 08:25 AM - Reuters
BEIJING - Beijing, host of next year's summer Olympics, has pledged to protect its water supply and add state-of-the-art surveillance systems around Games sites, state media said on Thursday, quoting officials. In 2001, when it won the right to host the Olympics, Beijing promised that it would be treating 90 percent of the 2.78 million cubic metres of waste water produced every day in the city and recycling half of the resultant effluent.
Safety agency issues new batch of toy recalls
November 7, 2007 10:13 PM - By Karey Wutkowski, Reuters
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - More recalls of lead-tainted toys made in China were announced on Wednesday by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, including 380,000 toy cars sold at Dollar General stores.
Other warnings included smaller recalls of Dizzy Ducks music boxes, Winnie-the-Pooh spinning tops, "Big Red" wagons, Dragster and Funny Car toys, and Duck Family collectible wind-up toys, all because of paint with unsafe levels of lead.
Millions of similar toy recalls, most involving Chinese-made products, have alarmed American consumers in recent months. Lead is toxic and can pose serious health risks to children, including brain damage.
Ship Emissions Seen Causing 60,000 Deaths a Year
November 7, 2007 10:05 PM - By Lindsay Beck
BEIJING (Reuters) - Emissions from ocean-going ships are responsible for about 60,000 deaths a year from heart and lung-related cancers, according to research published on Wednesday that calls for tougher fuel standards.
Shanghai, Singapore and Hong Kong, three of the world's five busiest ports, were likely to suffer disproportionate impacts from ship-related emissions, said the study, published in Environmental Science and Technology, a journal of the American Chemical Society.
"For a long time there's been this perception that ship emissions are out there in the ocean and they don't really affect anyone on land and I think this study shows that this is clearly false," said David Marshall, senior counsel at the Boston-based Clean Air Task Force, which co-commissioned the study.
Ocean Garbage Gets Attention From US
November 7, 2007 05:21 PM -
With 174 coastal national wildlife refuges – including those bordering the Great Lakes – the National Wildlife Refuge System faces significant challenges in managing marine debris – man-made objects that has been discarded or abandoned in the water and on the shorelines. The newly-launched federal Marine Debris Initiative, a national and international program that focuses on preventing, identifying and reducing the problem, presents a multifaceted approach.
Bill Clinton, Green Building Council Launch Effort To Green US Schools
November 7, 2007 04:44 PM - Paul Schaefer, ENN
Chicago - Today at the world’s largest green building exposition in Chicago, Greenbuild 2007, former President Bill Clinton announced a joint commitment to green all of America’s schools within a generation.
Earth Day Network (EDN) – a Clinton Climate Initiative (CCI) and Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) partner – and the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) joined former President Clinton in making this announcement to the American public and media.
Today’s event formally kicked-off Earth Day Network’s national Green Schools campaign, which includes three major initiatives: greening all new and existing school structures within a generation; developing and building healthier play areas and recreational facilities for all students; and working to greatly improve the food children eat in K-12 schools. Along with USGBC and the Clinton Foundation, Earth Day Network will expand the green schools movement through legislation, education, and corporate and community volunteer greening efforts.