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 cause célèbre of plastic litter in the ocean is the Texas-sized, swirling island of plastic debris thousands of miles off the coast of California in the Pacific Ocean. But researchers from the Universities of Washington and Delaware and the Sea Education Association in Woods Hole, Mass., say the story is much bigger, and scarier, than that."
"Some worry that a water-diversion deal, sending farm irrigation water to sprawling San Diego, will spell doom for the Salton Sea – and exposure to toxins for humans and wildlife. Others say protections are in place to ensure that can't happen."
"The Sierra Club will try to use a 40-year-old legal settlement to scuttle plans by Dominion Resources Inc to convert a liquefied natural gas terminal in Maryland into a major export hub."
"SAN DIEGO — There are accusations of conspiracies, illegal secret meetings and double-dealing. Embarrassing documents and e-mails have been posted on an official Web site emblazoned with the words 'Fact vs. Fiction.' Animosities have grown so deep that the players have resorted to exchanging lengthy, caustic letters, packed with charges of lying and distortion. And it is all about water."
"KEY WEST -- In Cuba’s North Basin, the Spanish company Repsol has begun risky exploration for oil and natural gas on a semi-submersible rig, now just 77 nautical miles from Key West and even closer to the ecologically sensitive Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. In a month or so, Repsol expects its drilling through 5,600 feet of seawater and about 14,000 feet of layered rock will reach the reservoir. That’s frightening for many who live and work along the island chain."
Harbor porpoises began disappearing from San Francisco Bay during the height of Navy ship activity there during World War II. "We don't know why they disappeared. … It's very possible that they just abandoned the place because it became too hard to feed, reproduce and raise their young," said William Keener, a co-investigator and spokesman with the nonprofit Golden Gate Cetacean Research group. "Then all of a sudden, the porpoises were back."
"The Chesapeake Bay Foundation and other environmental groups have urged a Pennsylvania federal judge to dismiss a lawsuit challenging the federal government's plan for reducing pollution fouling the estuary."
"A 1974 memo from Dow Chemical describes several chemicals in a widely used farm fumigant as 'garbage.' Today, one of those useless chemicals threatens drinking water for more than 1 million people across the San Joaquin Valley. Now linked to cancer, the toxin was waste from a plastic-making process. Chemical companies often mix such leftovers to create other products to avoid the cost of disposal, says one long-time chemical engineer."
"The deaths of up to 20,000 migrating birds this year in a wildlife refuge near the Oregon border has renewed debate about resource management on the Klamath River, where myriad competing interests are fighting for water rights."
"Federal Fish and Wildlife Service officials say that a drought-induced bird die-off in the Lower Klamath National Wildlife Refuge along the California-Oregon border has ended. But they warn that unless proposals to reconfigure water distribution along the Klamath River are enacted, the problem could recur."
"New research shows that killer whales are inhaling bacteria, fungi and viruses once believed to be found only on land. Some of the pathogens are highly virulent. And some are even antibiotic-resistant."
"KOMODO ISLAND, Indonesia — Coral gardens that were among Asia’s most spectacular, teeming with colorful sea life just a few months ago, have been transformed into desolate gray moonscapes by illegal fishermen who use explosives or cyanide to kill or stun their prey."
"Two years after a blowout on BP’s Macondo well killed 11 men and triggered the largest oil spill in U.S. history, oil companies are again plying the waters of the Gulf of Mexico."
"The estimated multibillion-dollar settlement between BP and lawyers representing individual and business plaintiffs in the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill was fleshed out on Wednesday in hundreds of pages of motions and exhibits."
"In 2006, developers, mining companies and agribusinesses convinced the George W. Bush administration to scale back a proposal that would have widened federal protections for wetlands and waterways in the wake of a muddled Supreme Court ruling on Clean Water Act enforcement."