Pollution

Indonesian peatlands seen playing key climate role
August 28, 2007 07:37 AM - Sugita Katyal -Reuters

To the average person, they are just ordinary swamps or bogs. But peatlands across the world are more than just simple marsh land: they are one of the largest carbon stores on earth and play a significant role in the regulation of greenhouse gas emissions and global climate change. Not for long, perhaps.

China to Give "Green" Legislation More Teeth
August 28, 2007 07:28 AM - Jiaquan Wang -Worldwatch Institute

In recent years, Chinese authorities have waged a series of “green storms”—harsh crackdown campaigns against polluters—to check the nation’s worsening environmental deterioration, while also promoting a “green credit” system to deny polluting industries access to bank loans. Now, the nation is seeking to further improve its environmental and ecological situation through the adoption of more biting green legislation.

U.S. Seeks Home For Research On Fearsome Diseases
August 27, 2007 06:12 PM - Charles Abbott, Reuters

WASHINGTON - A federal laboratory off Long Island, known as the "Alcatraz for animal disease," may move to the U.S. mainland as part of a new $450 million research center. Plans for the next-generation National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility, slated to go online by 2013, include biosafety labs where scientists, clad in outfits resembling spacesuits and tethered to air supplies, would research diseases that can spread to people from animals.

Study: SUV's Bigger Polluters
August 27, 2007 01:03 PM - Ohio State University

COLUMBUS , Ohio — The pollution produced by light trucks, SUVs and minivans is only half a percent higher than that produced by conventional cars, based on a recent study. But a new study shows that this tiny difference becomes enormous when considering the number of light trucks moving along the nation's highways.

As Coal-Fired Plants Clear the Air, Landfills Grow
August 27, 2007 10:49 AM - Anna Jo Bratton, Associated Press

More than one-third of the ash generated at the country's hundreds of coal-fired plants is now recycled -- mixed with cement to build highways or used to stabilize embankments, among other things.

Beijing Traffic Restriction Not a Silver Bullet for Air Pollution
August 27, 2007 07:31 AM - Ling Li - Worldwatch Institute

A recent traffic restriction that limited driving in China’s capital city during the four-day “Good Luck Beijing” Olympic test games initially resulted in a measurable improvement in the city’s haze, according to Beijing officials. But over the full period of the restriction, air pollution levels in fact showed a slight increase, The Washington Post reported. Zhao Yue, vice director of the Beijing Environmental Protection Bureau, noted on the agency’s Web site that humid, windless conditions had trapped particulate matter in the city, preventing greater improvement.

China Drafts Laws To Curb Pollution
August 26, 2007 04:29 PM - Lindsay Beck, Reuters

BEIJING - China began deliberating a draft law aimed at boosting energy saving and emissions reductions on Sunday, its latest effort to curb widespread resource waste and degradation.

Smog Smothers Japan, Experts Point to China
August 24, 2007 07:07 AM - Reuters, Chisa Fujioka

Smog is menacing Japanese cities for the first time in 30 years and cropping up in rural areas for the first time ever, alarming the government and prompting experts to point the finger at neighboring China. Warnings for high levels of hazardous smog have been issued in a record 28 prefectures so far this year, from sparsely populated isles in southern Japan to Niigata, western Japan, where 350 people have suffered stinging eyes and throats.

U.S. Panel Sets Sept 19 Hearing On Lead-Tainted Toys
August 23, 2007 09:37 PM - Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A U.S. congressional committee has demanded information from Mattel Inc, Target Corp and 17 other companies that recalled lead-tainted children's products made in China this year, the panel said on Thursday. The U.S. House subcommittee on commerce, trade and consumer protection will also hold a September 19 hearing on how to protect U.S. children from toys, jewelry and other imported products with lead paint.

Pa. Governor Signs Law To Expand Alternative Energy Use, Solar Industries
August 23, 2007 08:11 PM - Paul Schaefer, ENN

ERIE, Pa. - The Governor of Pennsylvania signed a bill today to grow the alternative energy industry in that state. He did it while visiting an Erie County middle school that is adding a 30-kilowatt photovoltaic system as part of its renovation. The solar panels were funded with a $250,000 grant through the state's Energy Harvest program.

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