EJToday: Top Headlines
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"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."
"The U.S. Interior Department issued its first shallow-water drilling permit since offshore exploration companies were required to meet two sets of new safety regulations in response to the BP oil spill, a department official said on Monday."
"It's simply known as 'the wall,' a steel-and-concrete structure costing about $22 million that will be pounded deep into the floor of the Elizabeth River near one of the worst toxic-waste sites in Hampton Roads."
"A lead congressional committee investigating the Gulf of Mexico oil spill has broadened its inquiry, now checking if tens of thousands of abandoned oil and gas wells are leaking or even being monitored for leaks."
"Before a fillet of grouper, fresh oyster or piece of shrimp from the Gulf of Mexico lands in the grocery seafood aisle, state and federal agencies have weighed in on its safety. ... However, no one is testing seafood to tell whether it has absorbed the toxic compounds found in the nearly 1.8 million gallons of dispersants BP has poured into the water to break up the oil."
More immediate than the Gulf oil spill to the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection are the gushers, spills, and accidents from the gas drilling boom in the state.
"The Army Corps of Engineers wants to use ash cast off from coal-fired electrical generation to shore up dozens of miles of Mississippi River levees, drawing fire from environmentalists worried that heavy metals from the filler might make their way into the river."
"Last March, President Obama promised he'd have a strategy for restoring scientific integrity to the federal government on hand by July 29. A full year later, federal agencies still have not received any new directives and some government scientists say that conditions have not improved noticeably since Obama took power."
"Companies with a financial interest in a weed-killer sometimes found in drinking water paid for thousands of studies federal regulators are using to assess the herbicide’s health risks, records of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency show. Many of these industry-funded studies, which largely support atrazine’s safety, have never been published or subjected to an independent scientific peer review."
"New Orleans, which managed to escape the oil from the BP spill for more than two months, can't hide any longer. For the first time since the accident, oil from the ruptured well is seeping into Lake Pontchartrain."
"OTTAWA - Federal politicians from the government and opposition benches have mysteriously cancelled an 18-month investigation into oilsands pollution in water and opted to destroy draft copies of their final report."
Just as harmful to the Gulf of Mexico as the BP oil spill is the annual "dead zone" whose increase in recent years has been driven by nitrogen fertilizer used to produce corn ethanol in the U.S. heartland.
"More than 27,000 abandoned oil and gas wells lurk in the hard rock beneath the Gulf of Mexico, an environmental minefield that has been ignored for decades. No one — not industry, not government — is checking to see if they are leaking, an Associated Press investigation shows."
When Ray Hott bought a strip of land in DeKalb, Illinois, he did not know that it had been contaminated by toxic chemicals from a gas plant a century before.
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.