Disasters

"Pipeline Spills Put Safeguards Under Scrutiny"

"The little-known federal agency charged with monitoring the system and enforcing safety measures — the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration — is chronically short of inspectors and lacks the resources needed to hire more, leaving too much of the regulatory control in the hands of pipeline operators themselves, according to federal reports, an examination of agency data and interviews with safety experts."

Source: NY Times, 09/12/2011

"Texas Was Warned About Risk of Building in Backcountry"

"The series of fires that broke out in the Bastrop area last weekend and killed two people, destroyed 1,400 homes and upended the lives of countless residents may have been unexpected in scope and in their ferocity. Yet to anyone who has been paying attention, the potential of a massive fire such as Austin-area residents have witnessed billowing to the east could hardly be called a surprise."

Source: Austin American-Statesman, 09/12/2011

"A Decade After 9/11, Are Chemical Plants Still Vulnerable?"

After the 9/11 attacks, government and industry warned that chemical plants were a prime terrorist target that could kill thousands of Americans. They moved quickly to make it harder for the public to know how large a threat the plants posed to nearby communities. But a decade later, the nation has yet to adopt a comprehensive anti-terrorism program for chemical plants.

Source: Charleston Gazette, 09/12/2011

New Jersey Superfund Site Still Underwater Following Hurricane Irene

"BRIDGEWATER, NJ -- The floodwaters deposited by Hurricane Irene have submerged a chemical dump in Bridgewater — one of the most toxic sites in the nation — raising serious concerns and spurring several dozen contractors into action even though some sections remain 13 feet underwater."

Source: Newark Star-Ledger, 09/09/2011

"Toxic Chinese Drywall Brings Down Katrina Rebuilding Program"

"Operation Helping Hands, the Catholic ministry that employed thousands of volunteers to rebuild nearly 200 homes after Hurricane Katrina, said Wednesday it will shut down next summer, sooner than expected, because of its disastrous encounter with toxic Chinese drywall."

Source: New Orleans Times-Picayune, 09/09/2011

"Japan Official Ordered Nuclear E-Mails, Inquiry Finds"

"KYOTO, Japan — Investigators concluded Thursday that a nuclear plant operator that tried to manipulate public opinion with fake e-mails was acting under instructions from a high-ranking local government official, adding a new twist to a scandal that has hampered Japan's efforts to restart idled nuclear reactors after the Fukushima disaster."

Source: NY Times, 09/09/2011

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