EJToday: Top Headlines
EJToday is SEJ's selection of new and outstanding stories on environmental topics in print and on the air, updated every weekday. SEJ also offers a free e-mailed digest of the day's EJToday postings, called SEJ-beat. SEJ members are subscribed automatically, but may opt out here. Non-members may subscribe here. EJToday is also available via RSS feed. Please see Editorial Guidelines for EJToday content.
"High levels of winter ozone air pollution have been recorded in a Utah oil and gas field — after the phenomenon was seen in Wyoming — raising concerns that such pollution could become more widespread."
"Fine atmospheric particles — smaller than one-thirtieth of the diameter of a human hair — were identified more than 20 years ago as the most lethal of the widely dispersed air pollutants in the United States. Linked to both heart and lung disease, they kill an estimated 50,000 Americans each year. But more recently, scientists have been puzzled to learn that a subset of these particles, called secondary organic aerosols, has a greater total mass, and is thus more dangerous, than previously understood."
"The compromise agreement to extend the payroll tax cut does not include a provision to delay and soften Environmental Protection Agency boiler pollution regulations, according to a Capitol Hill aide familiar with the final deal."
"A long road for environmental groups appears to have ended Tuesday when the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency released final rules on regulating pollution from plants producing polyvinyl chloride."
"Around the world, breathing a variety of air pollutants – in some cases for a single day – increases the chance that people will suffer heart attacks, according to a new analysis published Tuesday. For the first time, scientists analyzed previous studies from five continents to verify and quantify the links between air pollution and heart health. They found that short-term exposure – less than seven days – to all major air pollutants except ozone was associated with an increase in heart attacks.
"When US government scientists began sampling the air from a tower north of Denver, Colorado, they expected urban smog — but not strong whiffs of what looked like natural gas. They eventually linked the mysterious pollution to a nearby natural-gas field, and their investigation has now produced the first hard evidence that the cleanest-burning fossil fuel might not be much better than coal when it comes to climate change."
"Religious-right leaders are slamming a green evangelical group for casting support for Environmental Protection Agency rules to cut power plant mercury emissions as a 'pro-life' position." (EPA says the new standards "will avert up to 11,000 premature deaths, 4,700 heart attacks and 130,000 asthma attacks every year.")
"TEHACHAPI, Calif. -- At the end of an empty road just north of Highway 58 and past the outfield wall of an abandoned high school looms the towering Lehigh Southwest Cement plant -- a behemoth kiln that belches mercury and other toxics into the air, as it has for decades."
"The Chinese government said on Monday it will ban the country's airlines from participating in a European Union scheme to charge for carbon emissions from flights into and out of Europe and ban airlines from charging customers extra because of the EU plan."
"California approved aggressive new rules on Friday to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by requiring automakers to put many more electric and hybrid vehicles on the Golden State's roads by 2025. The regulations were approved unanimously by nine members of the state's powerful air-quality regulator, the California Air Resources Board, at a meeting in Los Angeles."
"In a move that could reshape the American automobile industry, California regulators Thursday are expected to approve sweeping new rules requiring that 15 percent of new cars sold in California by 2025 run on electricity, hydrogen or other systems producing little or no smog."
"WASHINGTON, DC -- The DC Circuit Court of Appeals has rejected the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's administrative stay on a rule that sets air toxics standards for boilers and commercial solid waste incinerators."
"FRESNO, Calif. — This is the time of year when residents who often live with the nation's worst pollution often can draw a breath of fresh air. But this winter has not been kind to people who want to play outside in California's Central Valley."
"BALTIMORE — As operators of coal-fired power plants around the country welcome a court-ordered delay on tighter pollution rules, the owner of a retrofitted plant here says that the rules cannot come too soon. The company, Constellation Energy, says it is an issue of fairness. A little more than two years ago, it completed an $885 million installation that has vastly reduced emissions from two giant coal-burning units at its Brandon Shores plant here, within view of the city’s downtown office towers."
"A U.S. federal appeals court on Friday issued a last-minute order to delay the January 1 implementation of stricter federal limits on pollution from coal-fired plants, providing a temporary win for utilities worried about the cost of implementation. In a blow to environmental groups, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit granted a request to stay the Environmental Protection Agency's Cross-State Air Pollution Rule, pending further court review."