EJToday: Top Headlines
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"A decade after landmark toxic-air monitoring prompted a city crackdown on chemical emissions, a new analysis shows significant improvement in some areas — but still cause for concern in neighborhoods near western Louisville’s Rubbertown industries."
"WASHINGTON -- Oil and gas companies will have to capture toxic and climate-altering gases from wells, storage sites and pipelines under new air quality standards issued on Wednesday by the Environmental Protection Agency. The rule is the first federal effort to address serious air pollution associated with the natural gas drilling process known as hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, which releases toxic and cancer-causing chemicals like benzene and hexane, as well as methane, a powerful greenhouse gas."
"On Tuesday, the Environmental Protection Agency is expected to announce the first national rules to reduce air pollution at hydraulically fractured -- fracked -- wells and some other oil and gas industry operations. The agency estimated that the plan it proposed in July would reduce smog-forming, cancer-causing and climate-altering pollutants from the natural gas industry by about one-fourth."
"After dropping for two years during the recession, emissions of the gases blamed for global warming rose in 2010 as the economy heated up, the Environmental Protection Agency reports. Output of carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping gasses were up 3.2 percent from 2009 as the nation climbed slowly out of the deepest economic downturn since the Great Depression, the E.P.A. said."
"Durham School Services will pay a $90,000 federal fine and do environmental projects worth $348,000 to settle charges that it routinely allowed its school buses to idle excessively in Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts. The company operates in 30 states and has one of the largest school-bus fleets in the nation."
"The nonprofit group Friends of the Earth filed a lawsuit against the Environmental Protection Agency today to force the regulation of lead emissions from general aviation aircraft under the Clean Air Act."
"Chicago's two coal-fired power plants will shut down sooner than expected under a deal to be announced today by Mayor Rahm Emanuel and environmental groups."
"Most of the biggest polluting industrial boilers are in manufacturing states east of the Mississippi River, but 68 dot the West coast states."
"U.S. environmental regulators have proposed a new rule that limits requirements for factories to hold permits for greenhouse gas carbon emissions to the largest sources such as big coal-fired power plants and big manufacturers."
"For years, the wastes from burning coal and producing copper have enjoyed a second life, used in sand-blasting to remove paint, rust and grime from ship's hulls, storage tanks, bridge trusses and other surfaces. Painting contractors, shipyard workers and thousands of others in Baltimore and across the country are said to use the black, gritty material called slag. Now, though, questions have been raised about whether those who do blasting with ground-up coal or copper slag may be unwittingly exposing themselves to toxic contaminants that could damage their health."
"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.