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.
The Justice Department and Illinois are suing Midwest Generation, charging the utility company with evading the Clean Air Act by not installing pollution controls when modernizing its plants. The move marks an Obama administration reversal of Bush policies.
An aging fleet of coal-fired power plants continue to pollute many urban areas. They were exempted from pollution-control requirements of the 1977 Clean Air Act. Companies rebuild them over and over to avoid installing pollution-control equipment. "The clunkers of the power-plant world" may once again escape new rules and modern technology.
"In a victory for environmental groups, a Richmond judge on Tuesday invalidated a permit for a coal-burning power plant being built in southwestern Virginia."
"LONG BEACH -- More than a year after California was rebuffed in federal court for pursuing emission rules on freight ships, federal authorities are pushing to adopt similar restrictions that could prevent up to 33,000 premature deaths annually in the U.S. and Canada."
The Food and Drug Administration tested electronic cigarettes -- whose makers (most Chinese) tout them as safer than ordinary cigarettes. The FDA found that some e-cigarettes contained cancer-causing chemicals.
"The blue, cloudless skies over the Coachella Valley most days hide a darker truth: The area has serious, chronic air pollution challenges."
"A federal appeals court yesterday upheld nearly all U.S. EPA designations of areas where airborne soot concentrations exceed national standards, rejecting challenges from state and local governments and industry groups."
"Pollution from burning wood in stoves, fireplaces and elsewhere is the top cancer risk in Oregon's air, according to a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency analysis."
"A judge has ordered Chevron Corp. to stop work on its controversial oil refinery expansion in Richmond, [Calif.], handing environmentalists their biggest victory in a long fight over the project."
California this week put in place the toughest restrictions in the world on smog from ships, requiring reductions of more than 80 percent of soot from foreign and US ships out to 24 miles from shore. Tankers, cargo vessels and cruise ships burn bunker fuel, which has sulfur content as much as 1,000 times higher than on-road diesel. The US is moving forward to copy California's rules by 2015. Paul Rogers reports in the San Jose Mercury News.