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.
"In 2005 the U.S. Bureau of Land Management offered up thousands of acres of federal land in Colorado to drilling. Because the land was in the heart of an area that supplies drinking water to 55,000 people in the western part of the state, the plan drew stong opposition from local communities."
"As environmental concerns threaten to derail natural gas drilling projects across the country, the energy industry has developed innovative ways to make it easier to exploit the nation's reserves without polluting air and drinking water." But are they used?
"As a result of the largest environmental bankruptcy in U.S. history, $1.79 billion has been paid to fund environmental cleanup and restoration under a bankruptcy reorganization of American Smelting and Refining Company, ASARCO, federal officials announced today."
After decades of putting hazardous and toxic waste into the Parker Street Dump, the city of New Bedford Massachusetts built a high school and middle school on the site. Today, the city is dealing with the toxic legacy.
"If taxpayers end up paying only 1 percent of the cost of cleaning up PCB contamination in the Fox River, that could be between $10 million and $15 million. If the taxpayer obligation reaches 10 percent, the figure becomes $100 million or more."
"NEW YORK -- Coal miner Consol Energy Inc launched an attack on environmentalists on Tuesday, blaming ecological "activism" for forcing it to idle two mines in West Virginia that employ nearly 500 workers." Activists countered that the coal company's violations were egregious and that Consol should follow the law.
"Frequent accidents at 10 of the state's biggest refineries resulted in the release of millions of pounds of toxic chemicals into the air and millions of gallons of polluted water into state water courses between 2005 and 2008, according to a report to be released this morning by the Louisiana Bucket Brigade."
"Selenium is an essential nutrient, but excess amounts can be dangerous to wildlife and people. Now the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is preparing a new regulation that would require more than 600 coal-fired power plants to clean up -- perhaps even eliminate -- wastewater discharged into lakes, rivers and other waterways."
"The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is on schedule to release federal guidelines for the disposal of coal ash some time this month, but a potential loophole in the new rules has some worried they will leave Iowans unprotected."
"BP Plc on Tuesday began cleaning up an oil spill from a leaky Alaskan pipeline, but said it has not determined what caused the leak or how much material spilled onto the snow-covered tundra."
Cleanup of polluting runoff from abandoned mines in Colorado and elsewhere is stalled by a legal paradox.
"Concerns about toxics discharged from an unlined coal ash waste dump in suburban Washington, DC have prompted four environmental groups to give formal notice that they intend to sue Mirant MD Ash Management, LLC and Mirant Mid-Atlantic, LLC Corporation of Atlanta, Georgia for Clean Water Act violations in Maryland."
Despite tens of billions spent under the 1972 Clean Water Act to upgrade the sewage-handling systems of U.S. cities, many have reached capacity and are unable to handle wet-weather flows. The result is that many are "violating the law by dumping untreated or partly treated human waste, chemicals and other hazardous materials into rivers and lakes."