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 National Mining Association, which represents most major U.S. coal mining companies, on Tuesday filed suit against the Environmental Protection Agency, saying it was unlawfully obstructing permits for coal mining operations in Central Appalachia."
"Four years after tragedies in Kentucky and West Virginia prompted sweeping mine safety changes, a House panel Tuesday split along party lines over the need for additional reforms."
Clean-looking sand is being dumped on the beaches of Grand Isle, and some of it is layered over asphalt-like oil residue, according to several reports based on photo and video documentation. But whether this is being done to fortify beaches or to hide oilspill damage is impossible to say -- because of a BP-Coast Guard media blackout threatening $40,000 fines to anyone who tries to get close enough to tell.
"The Obama administration has given its tentative approval to a new mountaintop removal permit, provided the Logan County operation makes changes federal regulators say are needed to protect downstream water quality."
"An Indian tribe, an indigenous rights support group and a mining watchdog group have failed in their joint court bid to block the expansion of a gold mine in northeastern Nevada."
A new report makes the myth-busting assertion that the coal industry costs the state of West Virginia more in expenses than it brings in economic benefits.
"Proponents and critics of electric vehicles both talk about how a global shortage of lithium might hinder adoption of battery-based auto technologies. But experts say new lithium finds are largely irrelevant to advanced battery production, as concerns over a shortage of the material are overblown."
"The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers today suspended the use of a fast-track nationwide permit, Nationwide Permit 21, for mountaintop removal mining operations in the six states of the Appalachian region."
"The Quebec government is breathing new life into Canada's dying asbestos industry. The province is close to backing a loan of $58 million to reopen a mine in the town of Asbestos, a cash injection that could keep it operating for the next 25 years."
"The United States has discovered nearly $1 trillion in untapped mineral deposits in Afghanistan, far beyond any previously known reserves and enough to fundamentally alter the Afghan economy and perhaps the Afghan war itself, according to senior American government officials," the New York Times reports. Those officials include the general running the Afghan war. Other news reports say the discoveries are not new and imply they may be hyped to justify the floundering U.S. war in Afghanistan.
"Hawaii Governor Linda Lingle today issued an executive order to establish surfing reserves at two of Hawaii's most important and well-known surfing areas. Both reserves are located in the state waters of the island of Oahu."
Oil-soaked pelicans in some coastal marshes, coated with oil from the Gulf spill, can no longer fly. The number of miles of shoreline smothered in oil continues to grow, and the oil pushes further inland.
"The fight over oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge heated up Tuesday over the possibility that a new management plan could put the refuge and its billions of barrels of crude off-limits for good."