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.
"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."
"Pinpointing the amount of oil lingering in the Gulf of Mexico continues to be a source of frustration for journalists and scientists alike, with multiple, contradictory — if not necessarily 'dueling' —research reports having been published on the subject over the last few weeks."
"Chesapeake oysters are a succulent treat that for centuries have been loved almost to extinction. But some scientists and business people are making headway in bringing back the bivalve, for the sake of oyster lovers and the bay."
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.
"The BP oil spill was a massive 'failure' in government oversight and administrations should be forced to consult with experts in the field before making expansive drilling policy, top officials of the White House's oil spill commission said on Wednesday."
"A deal that secured Senate Republicans' support for a bill to clean up the Chesapeake Bay has undermined the legislation and could weaken water-pollution protections nationwide, according to four law professors who helped write the original measure."
"Cruise ships and large commercial ships will be banned from dumping any kind of sewage -- even highly filtered wastewater -- along California's coast out to three miles from shore, under new rules from the Obama administration."
"Romeo Michaud looked at the Androscoggin River on Friday, remembering how he fished for hornpout as a boy. Over time, he and others stopped eating the fish they caught as the river became among the most polluted in the country."
"In the end, Gov. Charlie Crist’s effort to buy huge swaths of sugar company land for the Everglades restoration was just too much: too much money, too much land to handle, and too much of a fight with critics and the courts."
Scientists are now studying the effects of Prozac in water on shrimp. After being secreted by humans, drugs like Prozac find their way through sewage systems and into waterways. Their effects on shrimp could be fatal.
"Farmers and other pesticide users would not need to secure Clean Water Act (CWA) permits before spraying over water under Senate legislation offered late last week in response to a pivotal federal court ruling."
"With a startling report that some researchers call more spin than science, the government said Wednesday that the mess made by the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is mostly gone already."
"Locals clamored for information Saturday, asking state and local authorities what sort of chemicals spilled into the North Oconee River, which turned greenish-blue and began to give off fumes that irritated eyes and throats."
"Pacific oysters in the wild on Washington's coast haven't reproduced in six seasons. Scientists suspect ocean-chemistry changes linked to the fossil-fuel emissions that cause global warming are helping kill these juvenile shellfish. The oceans are becoming more acidic, and that corrosive water is finding its way into Puget Sound."
"Western Lake Erie could be on the verge of one of its worst algae outbreaks in years."