EJToday: Top Headlines
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"The Interior Department released its new scientific integrity policy last week, but scientists and advocacy groups are miffed at what they view as an incomplete and disingenuous set of rules."
People who live on the Gulf beaches of Alabama say that winds from the South are bringing in an oil sea mist that coats metal objects, sunglasses, and people's hair. Not trusting the government or BP to investigate it scientifically, they are hiring their own independent scientists.
The first World Congress on Environmental Health will begin Sunday in Vancouver, B.C. "About 500 delegates from 40 countries will attend the five-day conference organized by the International Federation of Environmental Health and the Canadian Institute of Public Health Inspectors. It will cover topics ranging from food safety to disaster preparedness to communicable diseases."
"The Department of Interior issued a new draft policy on scientific integrity on Tuesday, a long overdue addition to the agency's manual outlining the rules and regulations for employees when it comes to ensuring that their decisions are based on sound science."
"An Albemarle County [Va.] Circuit Court judge has set aside a subpoena issued by Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli to the University of Virginia seeking documents related to the work of climate scientist and former university professor Michael Mann."
"Five out of nine members of a scientific panel that advises [California] state on toxic chemicals have been fired in recent weeks, following disputes with the chemical industry and a conservative group that targets environmental laws."
"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."
"The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change 'needs to fundamentally reform its management structure and strengthen its procedures,' finds a report issued today by the InterAcademy Council, an Amsterdam-based organization of the world's science academies."
The UK's Telegraph newspaper apologized to IPCC head Rajendra Pachauri and retracted an entire article accusing him of conflict of interest after an independent audit cleared him. The news discredited voices in the fossil-fuel-funded climate denial movement, who have promoted smears against climate science as the mainstream media have unskeptically echoed them.
"A Virginia Circuit Court is hearing oral arguments today in the fight between Virginia's Attorney General and the University of Virginia over the records of a former professor."
"The company that owned the oil rig that exploded in the Gulf of Mexico is accusing BP of withholding critical evidence needed to investigate the cause of the worst offshore oil spill in U.S. history, according to a confidential document obtained by The Associated Press. BP called the claims a publicity stunt."
The New Orleans-area citizens' group Louisiana Bucket Brigade has been conducting a survey of the Gulf oil spill's possible health effects that may pave the way for larger and more scientific federal studies yet to be started.
"White House claims that the worst of the BP oil spill was over were undermined [Thursday] when a senior government scientist said three-quarters of the oil was still in the Gulf environment and a research study detected a 22-mile plume of oil in the ocean depths."
"Lawmakers have criticized BP PLC for attempting to 'muzzle' scientists researching the Gulf of Mexico oil spill with confidentiality agreements and blocking the 'open exchange of scientific data and analysis.' But the government is employing similar tactics itself."