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.
"If there is one policy left over from the Corzine administration that has been fully and enthusiastically embraced by Gov. Chris Christie, it is a program privatizing the cleanup of the tens of thousands of contaminated waste sites in New Jersey."
"The Department of Energy and Washington State Department of Ecology have reached agreement on a consent decree that sets new court-enforced deadlines for emptying Hanford tanks of radioactive waste and treating the waste."
"Fed up with sending their kids' dirty diapers to the local landfill, three Bay Area families launched a business two years ago aimed at turning soiled diapers into compost for farms, golf courses and plant nurseries."
"The contamination of many First Nations by unregulated landfills and dumps is a dirty story that has yet to be fully told. Aside from the mess you can see – and smell – the risk of groundwater pollution is probably the most severe environmental impact from these waste sites. Add an improperly engineered garbage dump and the results are more than toxic."
"The problem is old electronics, or e-waste -- computers, cellphones and other gadgets that people toss because they've found something newer and shinier."
Three environmental groups have issued a report detailing some 39 cases across the U.S. where pollution from the ash left from coal-burning electric power plants has cause pollution that often threatens human health. Now as EPA moves to close the electric utilities' longtime exemption from hazardous waste laws, industry lobbyists may have quietly put the fix in at the White House Office of Management and Budget.
"Hundreds of people packed a public hearing Wednesday in Dallas to sound off on a federal proposal to label the ash from coal-burning power plants a hazardous waste."
"A federal judge has ordered Patriot Coal Corp. to spend millions of dollars to clean up selenium pollution at two surface coal mines in West Virginia. Environmental groups said it was the first time a court had demanded restrictions on selenium, a trace mineral commonly discharged from Appalachian surface mines, where the tops of mountains are blown away to expose coal."
The application of sewage sludge (renamed "biosolids" by industry PR) to fields has created worries about smell, disease, and toxic contaminants. Federal efforts to track sludge problems have been fragmented, haphazard, and delayed -- which does not inspire confidence in industry-backed federal assurances that sludge is safe. The assurances have preceded the evidence that would support them.
"A study released on Thursday finds that 39 sites in 21 states where coal-fired power plants dump their coal ash are contaminating water with toxic metals such as arsenic and other pollutants, and that the problem is more extensive than previously estimated."
"Chemtura Corp, a producer of specialty chemicals, will pay $26 million to clean up 17 contaminated sites located in 14 U.S. states, under an agreement announced Tuesday by the U.S. Department of Justice."
"In the first case settled under the U.S. EPA's national enforcement push into the mining and mineral processing industry, a Florida fertilizer manufacturer will spend $12 million to reduce and manage hazardous wastes from its Plant City phosphoric acid and ammoniated fertilizer manufacturing facility."
"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."
"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."