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 story of hexavalent chromium, a carcinogen, in drinking water is not over, even though Erin Brockovich's legal victory was vaunted in a film 13 years ago. Groundwater near Hinkley, Calif., is still polluted. The story of how industry clout has kept EPA delaying regulation of chromium in drinking water is a tale of the chemical industry's ability to manipulate regulation by sowing doubt. But recent highly dramatized stories on chrome-6 in drinking water may not have helped much, to the extent that they downplayed natural background levels, the importance of dose, and the statistical problems in identifying cancer clusters. The whole saga raises key issues about public relations, lobbying, regulatory politics, the legal system, environmental journalism, and the protection of public health.
"By the time today's K-12 students grow up, the challenges posed by climate change are expected to be severe and sweeping. Now, for the first time, new federal science standards due out this month will recommend that U.S. public school students learn about this climatic shift taking place."
"President Barack Obama’s nominee for energy secretary is drawing criticism for leading a study that minimized risks of natural gas while failing to disclose that some of its researchers had financial ties to the industry."
"Canada's Harper Administration is allegedly restricting what environmental information government scientists can share with journalists, according to academics and media watchdogs. Host Steve Curwood learns more from Tyler Sommers, coordinator of Democracy Watch."
"Russian scientists believe they have discovered new life forms sealed off for millions of years in a subglacial lake deep under the Antarctic ice, the RIA news agency reported on Thursday."
"In storm-battered Virginia, the Republican candidate for governor still doubts the science."
"The federal budget sequester took effect on March 1 with a number of likely environmental impacts. With $1.2 trillion in cuts over the next decade and $85 billion through the end of the fiscal year in September, layoffs and difficulties in enforcing the nation's environmental regulations are expected."
"For Jesslyn Brown, sequestration could not come at a worse time of the year."
"A team of state scientists has outlined serious concerns about the damage South Carolina will suffer from climate change – threats that include invading eels, dying salt marshes, flooded homes and increased diseases in the state’s wildlife."
"WASHINGTON, DC -- If Congress does not act this coming week, automatic federal spending cuts, called the sequester, will go into effect March 1 that will impact the environment. Funding for parks, energy development, travel, clean air and water, fish and wildlife protection, pollution prevention, and disaster readiness will be cut."
"Limited data and unreliable estimates on air pollution from oil and natural gas production is hindering the Environmental Protection Agency's efforts to police the drilling boom, the agency's internal watchdog said in a report released Thursday."
"A former Texas state oil and gas regulator outlined in 2011 how two Range Resources Corp. wells outside Fort Worth could have leaked natural gas into the water supply of nearby homes."