22
Thu, Feb

  • New Truck Emission Standards and Controls

    To those who drive behind diesel trucks, they know that these vehicles tend to be more slower moving and potentially smellier than other vehicles. Those who drive trucks know they are gasoline hogs (after all look at the weight they are hauling). They are a vital necessity for the US economy. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency ( EPA) and the U.S. Department of Transportation today announced the first national standards to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and improve fuel efficiency of heavy-duty trucks and buses. This comprehensive proposed national program is projected to reduce GHG emissions by nearly 250 million metric tons and save 500 million barrels of oil over the lives of the vehicles produced within the program’s first five years. Truck emissions have been going down for years but this is a major step forward. >> Read the Full Article
  • Great Marine Protection Areas

    The Pacific Island nation of Kiribati has established the world's largest marine protected area of coral reefs and fish populations, but both of which are threatened by overfishing and climate change. The Phoenix Islands Protected Area conserves one of the world's last intact coral reef archipelago ecosystems with eight coral reefs, two submerged reef systems and underwater mountains, over 415,000 square kilometers of nearly uninhabited islands with abundant marine and bird life. A Marine Protected Area (MPA) is a protected area whose boundaries include some area of ocean. "MPA" is often used as an umbrella term that describes a wide range of marine areas that restrict human activity to protect living, non-living, cultural, and/or historic resources. Protections in various areas range from limits on development, fishing gear types, fishing seasons, catch limits, moorings, to complete bans on removing marine life of any kind. >> Read the Full Article
  • Yemen's capital 'will run out of water by 2025'

    [SANA'A, YEMEN] Water shortages in Yemen will squeeze agriculture to such an extent that 750,000 jobs could disappear and incomes could drop by a quarter within a decade, according to a report. Poor water management and the enormous consumption of water for the farming of the popular stimulant khat are blamed for the predicted water shortages, which experts say could lead to the capital Sana'a running out of water by around 2025. >> Read the Full Article
  • Island nation announces Mongolia-sized sanctuary for whales and dolphins

    Dolphins, whales, and dugongs will be safe from hunting in the waters surrounding the Pacific nation of Palau. At the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) in Nagoya, Japan, Palau's Minister of the Environment, Natural Resources and Tourism, Harry Fritz, announced the establishment of a marine mammal sanctuary covering over 230,000 square miles (60,000 square kilometers) of the nation's waters, an area the size of Mongolia. >> Read the Full Article
  • Fences reduce water pollution

    There are plenty of high-tech ideas to tackle pollution, but recent research suggests that some of the biggest gains in keeping our waterways clean could come from a more traditional technology - fences. Simply fencing off streams and drainage ditches so farm animals can't deposit manure in and around them could cut levels of faecal pollution dramatically, according to scientists. >> Read the Full Article
  • Water Scarcity in American Southwest Gets Serious

    Water scarcity has always been a problem in the southwestern desert, with practically everyone relying on one river, the Colorado, to quench their thirst and the thirst of their crops. Increased water demands coupled with a long protracted drought in the Upper Colorado River Basin has created a potentially dire situation. The effects can be seen in Lake Mead, the giant lake along the border of Arizona and Nevada. Lake Mead has reached its lowest levels since 1937, the year the Hoover Dam was completed. >> Read the Full Article
  • New Superfund Sites

    U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 5 announced today that a contaminated aquifer in Milford, Ohio, is one of nine new hazardous waste sites proposed to be added to the Superfund section of the National Priorities List. Superfund is the federal program that investigates and cleans up the most complex, uncontrolled or abandoned hazardous waste sites in the country. There are a total of 1,343 final and proposed sites on the NPL at this time. In the case of the Milford site, the source of the contamination has not been tracked down despite years of effort. >> Read the Full Article
  • Maldives 'tourism boom' putting manta rays at risk

    Giant manta rays could be driven away from world-famous feeding site in five years because of disruption from tourist industry, warns leading marine biologist. Since being awarded MPA status in 2009 and receiving increased media interest, Hanifaru Bay in Baa Atoll has seen its tourism trade triple. >> Read the Full Article
  • EPA: Blowing Big Coal’s Top on Mountaintop Coal Mining

    If it were ever possible or even realistic to put the words Appalachia and victory in the same sentence, this might be one of those rare times: the Environmental Protection Agency's Region 3 Administrator Shawn Garvin has recommended the withdrawal of the mining permit for the nation's largest proposed mountaintop removal coal mine site, the Spruce No. 1 Mine in Logan County, West Virginia. >> Read the Full Article
  • White House Lifts Ban On Offshore Drilling

    The Obama administration announced this week that companies able to meet new safety standards will be allowed to drill in the Gulf of Mexico, ending a six-month moratorium that had been scheduled to end next month. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said the new rules imposed after the BP spill — the worst environmental disaster in the country's history — have strengthened safety measures and reduced the risk of another catastrophic blowout. "Operators who play by the rules and clear the higher bar can be allowed to resume" drilling, Salazar said at a Washington news conference. He added: "The oil and gas industry will be operating under tighter rules, stronger oversight, and in a regulatory environment that will remain dynamic as we continue to build on the reforms we have already implemented." >> Read the Full Article