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 Atlantic Canyons off the Northeastern U.S. plunge as deep as 15,000 feet and harbor diverse and fragile marine ecosystems. Now, the Obama administration’s plans to consider offshore oil and gas exploration in the canyons is troubling conservationists."
"A new federal report finds toxic contamination remains widespread in the Chesapeake Bay, with severe impacts in some places, which health and environmental advocates say lends support to their push in Annapolis for legislative action on pesticides and other hazardous chemicals."
"NEW ORLEANS -- Inspectors taking the first-ever inventory of flood control systems overseen by the federal government have found hundreds of structures at risk of failing and endangering people and property in 37 states."
"HOUSTON -- Royal Dutch Shell’s Arctic drilling program is now officially in jeopardy and its prospects will depend on the findings of two continuing federal inquiries. One review is on the grounding of the Kulluk drill ship on New Year’s Eve after it was set adrift for five days in stormy weather, and the other is on the safety management of the entire Shell program."
"The drought that crippled many communities across the nation last year shows little sign of retreating, and the threat of persistent water scarcity is spurring efforts to preserve every drop."
"Shipping companies are making a case to Congress for more money to dredge Great Lakes ports and waterways. With water levels near a record low, ports are losing the battle against sediment."
"Crisis-weary developed countries' reluctance to help finance a ground-breaking international treaty to rein in the use of health-hazardous mercury is threatening the accord, UN officials warned Thursday."
"Citgo Petroleum Corp. reached an agreement with New Hampshire to be dismissed from an $816 million trial over groundwater contamination while a settlement is completed, as a witness testified that 2 percent of the state’s private wells are polluted with hazardous levels of the chemical MTBE."
"WEATHERFORD, Texas -- When a man in a Fort Worth suburb reported his family's drinking water had begun "bubbling" like champagne, the federal government sounded an alarm: An oil company may have tainted their wells while drilling for natural gas. At first, the Environmental Protection Agency believed the situation was so serious that it issued a rare emergency order in late 2010 that said at least two homeowners were in immediate danger from a well saturated with flammable methane. More than a year later, the agency rescinded its mandate and refused to explain why."
"A storm moving up the Mississippi River valley will help replenish the river, low in parts from drought, and ease concerns that shipping could be halted along a shallow stretch from St. Louis to Cairo, Illinois."
After years of disagreement, planners from California and Nevada seem to have finally agreed on a plan that will allow development while protecting Lake Tahoe's crystalline waters.
"AUSTIN, Tex. — There is usually no shortage of controversial and politically divisive issues for lawmakers to address in the opening days of a state legislative session, from abortion to immigration to gun rights. But throughout the opening of the 83rd Texas Legislature last week, one of the most frequently discussed topics had bipartisan support: improving the state’s water infrastructure as the population booms and a devastating two-year drought drags on."
"Lifeboats from an oil rig that was temporarily grounded on a small island in southern Alaska may have leaked as much as 272 gallons of diesel fuel into pristine waters along the shoreline, but that cannot be determined until a full inspection is completed, U.S. Coast Guard officials said."
"The dozen trapped orcas swam free after changing weather conditions cracked the sea ice in northern Canada."