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 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.
"Concerns about large-scale marine pollution, fuelled by the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, are set to be heightened by a new development in exploitation of the oceans: deep-sea mining." The Gulf spill has raised concern about other oil and gas operations as well.
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."
"The Environmental Protection Agency proposed tough pollution caps for the Chesapeake Bay Thursday, requiring Maryland and other mid-Atlantic states to do more to clean up the troubled estuary than previously thought necessary."
"The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Wednesday officially overturned a 16-year-old Texas air permitting program it says violates the Clean Air Act, leaving some of the country's largest refineries in a state of limbo."
"A U.S. appeals court rejected on Tuesday a legal challenge by General Electric Co to the federal Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) orders that direct companies to clean up hazardous waste."