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 blaze is one of more than 680 wildfires in the state this year — about 200 more than average."
"Winds that weather experts said normally arrive in force in the late fall fueled flames in the Springs fire that quickly chewed through 6,500 of acres of dry brush."
"Europe and Australia long ago recognized the benefits of a fertilizer formula that doesn’t blow up. Here, the chemical industry fought back."
"An independent study co-published by the Faulkner County Citizens Advisory Group and Global Community Monitor reveals that, in the aftermath of ExxonMobil's Pegasus tar sands pipeline spill of over 500,000 gallons of diluted bitumen (dilbit) into Mayflower, AR, air quality in the area surrounding the spill has been affected by high levels of cancer-causing chemicals."
"The Texas fertilizer plant that blew up on April 17, killing at least 15 people, appears to have been claiming an arcane exemption that allowed it to avoid targeted workplace inspections and safety requirements and enter a 'streamlined prevention program' with environmental regulators, a government spokesman confirmed."
"Louisiana will receive $340 million from BP in early Natural Resource Damage Assessment money for four projects to restore barrier islands and to finance two coastal science centers, Gov. Bobby Jindal announced Tuesday in a news conference in Jean Lafitte. The money comes from $1 billion that BP set aside in 2011 to build early projects to compensate for damages to natural resources resulting from the three-month flow of oil resulting from the blowout of BP's Macondo well in April 2010."
"Scientists say waste-treatment plants must follow subways and power stations in being protected against climate change."
"The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) said on Tuesday it will increase oversight of Exelon Corp's 805-megawatt Three Mile Island nuclear power plant in Pennsylvania, to ensure that safety equipment is protected from flooding."
"Senator Barbara Boxer said on Tuesday she plans to investigate the explosion at a Texas fertilizer plant earlier this month that killed 15 people and injured scores more."
"Six months after Superstorm Sandy plowed through the Northeast, restoration efforts continue to move forward. New Jersey's Seaside Heights boardwalk is set to reopen Memorial Day, and some of the homes that were destroyed are starting to be rebuilt."
"WASHINGTON -- Eighteen years after a domestic terrorist murdered 168 people in Oklahoma City with an ammonia nitrate bomb, the federal government and the chemical industry are still jockeying over how to regulate a volatile and plentiful fertilizer that contributed to the devastating plant explosion in West.
At least five federal agencies enforce a patchwork of overlapping and sometimes conflicting regulation of chemical plants. The system is reliant on voluntary reporting by industry, and by nature is largely reactive to complaints or catastrophes.
"Federal officials are cautioning nuclear-powered plants that store spent fuel in dry casks to be on the lookout for water damage."
"Flood-weary residents of North Dakota bracing for a possible record inundation got their first touch of good news on Wednesday when officials said the swollen Red River would crest at lower than anticipated levels next week."
"With two schools near a plant storing ammonium nitrate -- the fertilizer used in the Oklahoma City bombing -- West, Texas, Superintendent Marty Crawford said he had always worried about an explosion like the one that happened last week."
"The Homeland Security Department program charged with the security of chemical facilities like the former West Fertilizer Co. plant has been riddled with problems so severe since its creation five years ago that federal investigators recently wondered publicly 'whether it can achieve its mission, given the challenges the program continues to face.'"