Pollution

US Organic Fraud Protection Program Launched
October 5, 2007 10:36 AM - Paul Schaefer, ENN

IOWA CITY, Iowa – In a move designed to stop fraud in organics, the powerful National Cooperative Grocers Association (NCGA) has announced it's creating the organic industry’s first system-wide, retailer-based organic fraud detection and prevention program.

The Iowa-based group is partnering with Hanover Co-op Food Stores, PCC Natural Markets and Unified Grocers on a pilot program. They'll be exploring the implementation of a fraud protection plan.

China Tightens Environment Rules for Coast Projects
October 5, 2007 07:33 AM - Reuters

BEIJING  - China has amended regulations to require environmental impact assessments for coastal construction projects, the official Xinhua news agency reported on Friday.  The amendment, which takes effect on January 1, requires reports on the marine impact of all coastal projects, including rebuilding and expansion projects, before they win environmental approval.

Vast African Dump Poisons Children: U.N
October 5, 2007 07:30 AM - Reuters

NAIROBI - Willis Ochieng, 10, scavenges through smoking refuse piled as high as a house at one of Africa's biggest rubbish mountains, his friends sitting nearby sucking on dirty plastic bottles of noxious yellow glue. Located near slums in the east of the Kenyan capital Nairobi, the open dump receives some 2,000 tons of garbage daily. A U.N. study published on Friday says it is seriously harming the health of children and polluting the city.

U.S. Recalls over 1/2 Million Toys for Lead Levels
October 4, 2007 03:35 PM - Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - More than half a million toys ranging from key chains to Winnie the Pooh bookmarks and Baby Einstein color blocks are being recalled because of excessive lead levels, the Consumer Product Safety Commission said on Thursday.

Among the recalled toys, all made in China, were key chains with words like "truth" or "believe" engraved on them that have "high levels" of lead, the commission said in a statement.

Dollar General Merchandising Inc sold 192,000 of the key chains for $1, the CPSC said.

Lead is toxic in large amounts. A 4-year-old Minneapolis boy died of lead poisoning in 2006 when he swallowed a small charm. In smaller amounts, lead can cause developmental delays and behavioral problems.

Shell sued over 2004 pollution
October 4, 2007 09:46 AM -

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - The Dutch public prosecutor is suing Royal Dutch Shell for not notifying authorities swiftly when one of its Dutch plants released a cloud of ethylene oxide into the atmosphere in March 2004.

Oil major Shell said the emission of the substance, which is highly flammable and can lead to explosions, took place by accident during the start up of the Moerdijk plant after a major turnaround.

A Shell spokesman said the firm initially thought the emission was less than 100 kilograms of the substance -- the threshold for informing authorities - but an investigation later showed between 1,000 and 2,000 kilograms was released.

Kazakh Oil Venture to Fight Environmental Fine
October 4, 2007 07:48 AM - Reuters

ALMATY - A Chevron-led oil venture in Kazakhstan will challenge a $609 million fine imposed on it for environmental law violations at the huge Tengiz oilfield, a spokeswoman said on Thursday. The fine was announced on Wednesday by Ecology Minister Nurlan Iskakov who cited the group's slow progress in removing open air sulfur stocks at the oilfield in the west of the vast and sparsely populated Central Asian state.

Scientists Get $1 Million To Demonstrate How Restored Prairies Filter Water, Produce Bioenergy
October 3, 2007 07:44 PM -

MINNEAPOLIS / ST. PAUL - University of Minnesota researchers Clarence Lehman, John Nieber and David Tilman and colleagues have been awarded a $1.07 million grant to show how restored prairie areas can act as buffers to filter water polluted by agriculture while simultaneously producing bioenergy.

The strategy will also conserve prairies, expand areas available for wildlife habitats, reduce the amount of water needed for biofuels, enhance biodiversity in Minnesota and reduce Minnesota's greenhouse gas emissions by sequestering carbon.

Coal "Whipping Boy" For Greens Complaims Coal Exec
October 3, 2007 03:35 PM - Steve James, Reuters

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The coal industry has become the "whipping boy" of environmentalists who fail to come up with realistic alternatives for energy, the head of one of America's biggest coal producers said.

Brett Harvey, chief executive of Consol Energy Inc (CNX.N: Quote, Profile, Research) also suggested a surcharge on electricity use to help pay for development of technology that makes coal burn off less carbon dioxide and converts the fossil fuel into liquids and gas.

"If you're not going to use coal anymore what are you going to use?" he said he asks anti-coal advocates. "Well, they respond to you: new technology, solar and wind.

EPA Urged To Limit CO2 Pollution From Cargo And Cruise Ships
October 3, 2007 12:04 PM -

Washington, D.C., - A US supreme court decision has cleared the way for the Environmental Protection AGency to order shipping companies to lower the pollution caused by ships.

Today a coalition of environmental advocates filed a petition today with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), asking the agency to set pollution rules for large, ocean-going marine vessels. These vessels include cargo and cruise ships. Earthjustice, the leading U.S. public interest environmental law firm, filed this first ever petition on behalf of Oceana, Friends of the Earth and the Center for Biological Diversity.

California Attorney General Edmund G. “Jerry” Brown, Jr. also filed a petition to U.S. EPA Administrator Stephen L. Johnson on behalf of the state of California today, with a similar request.

The petitions would require the EPA to assess ships’ contributions to global warming, seek public comment and issue rules to reduce this pollution or explain why it will not act. 

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