Pollution

Study to focus on pollution potential of oil and gas wastewater spread on roads
February 24, 2017 11:54 AM - Pennsylvania State University

Understanding the environmental impact of using oil and gas wastewater as a road treatment may lead to safer water resources and stricter government regulations, according to Penn State researchers.

William Burgos, professor of environmental engineering, and Lara Fowler, senior lecturer at Penn State Law and assistant director of the Institutes of Energy and the Environment, will study this impact through research funded by the United States Geological Society.

“In the northwest corner of Pennsylvania, gravel road aggregate has a lot of clay and when you drive over it, it tends to kick up a lot of dust, so they need to use dust suppressants,” Burgos said. “It just so happens that the northwestern portion of the state also has had a lot of oil and gas activity.”

Major Gold Mine Project in the Amazon Temporarily Suspended
February 24, 2017 11:17 AM - E360

A Brazilian judge temporarily suspended plans to open what would be the largest gold mine in the Brazilian Amazon this week, saying the Canadian company behind the project illegally obtained land and did not adequately address concerns from indigenous communities, according to news reports.

New Study Helps Explain How Garbage Patches Form in the World's Oceans
February 24, 2017 06:40 AM - University of Miami

A new study on how ocean currents transport floating marine debris is helping to explain how garbage patches form in the world’s oceans. 

Researchers from the University of Miami (UM) Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science and colleagues developed a mathematical model that simulates the motion of small spherical objects floating at the ocean surface. 

Researchers find new clues for nuclear waste cleanup
February 23, 2017 05:31 PM - Washington State University

A Washington State University study of the chemistry of technetium-99 has improved understanding of the challenging nuclear waste and could lead to better cleanup methods.

The work is reported in the journal Inorganic Chemistry. It was led by John McCloy, associate professor in the School of Mechanical and Materials Engineering, and chemistry graduate student Jamie Weaver. Researchers from Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), the Office of River Protection and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory collaborated.

Oil and Gas Wastewater Spills, including Fracking Wastewater, Alter Microbes in West Virginia Waters
February 23, 2017 08:46 AM - Todd B. Bate via Rutgers University

Wastewater from oil and gas operations – including fracking for shale gas – at a West Virginia site altered microbes downstream, according to a Rutgers-led study.

The study, published recently in Science of the Total Environment, showed that wastewater releases, including briny water that contained petroleum and other pollutants, altered the diversity, numbers and functions of microbes. The shifts in the microbial community indicated changes in their respiration and nutrient cycling, along with signs of stress.

Sediment Flows into Galveston Bay Studied to Help Understand Health of Watershed
February 23, 2017 08:14 AM - United States Geological Survey (USGS)

A better understanding of sediment and freshwater flow into Galveston Bay is now available from a new U.S. Geological Survey report, done in cooperation with the Texas Water Development Board, and the Galveston Bay Estuary Program.

Sediment Flows into Galveston Bay Studied to Help Understand Health of Watershed
February 23, 2017 08:14 AM - United States Geological Survey (USGS)

A better understanding of sediment and freshwater flow into Galveston Bay is now available from a new U.S. Geological Survey report, done in cooperation with the Texas Water Development Board, and the Galveston Bay Estuary Program.

The invisible clean-up crew: Engineering microbial cultures to destroy pollutants
February 22, 2017 07:59 AM - University of Toronto

University of Toronto engineering professor Elizabeth Edwards is internationally recognized for using biotechnology to clean up industrial solvents in soil and groundwater. Her technique earned her the prestigious Killam Prize in 2016 and has already been used to restore more than 500 sites around the world.

Winners, losers among fish when landscape undergoes change
February 21, 2017 04:41 PM - University of Washington

As humans build roads, construct buildings and develop land for agriculture, freshwater ecosystems respond - but not always in the ways one might expect.

Researcher Unveils Tool for Cleaner Long Island Sound
February 21, 2017 11:56 AM - Kim Krieger via University of Connecticut

A new model released this week by UConn ecologist Jamie Vaudrey pinpoints sources of nitrogen pollution along Long Island Sound, and shows municipalities what they might do to alleviate it. Vaudrey presented her research Feb. 19 at the AAAS annual meeting in Boston.

Long Island Sound is an estuary of the Atlantic Ocean bordered by Connecticut to the north, New York City to the west, and Long Island to the south. The Sound is home to dozens of species of birds, 170 species of fish, and more than 1,200 species of invertebrates. Historically it has supported rich recreational and commercial fisheries for lobster, oysters, blue crabs, scallops, striped bass, flounder, and bluefish.

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