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 devastating wildfires in Colorado have provided a showcase for the latest technology in mapping and tracking emergencies. ESRI and Google Maps are presenting maps of the fires that the two companies continuously update, demonstrating an increasingly popular method for disseminating emergency information."
"SAN ANTONIO — Drilling rigs in the midst of cow pastures are hardly a novelty for Texans. But on a warm May day at a site about 30 miles south of San Antonio, a rig was not trying to reach oil or fresh water, but rather something unconventional: a salty aquifer. After a plant is built and begins operating in 2016, the site will become one of the state’s largest water desalination facilities."
"Five of the biggest names in American business have formed a group to accelerate the development and use of plant-based plastic."
"In the menagerie of Craig Venter’s imagination, tiny bugs will save the world. They will be custom bugs, designer bugs -- bugs that only Venter can create. He will mix them up in his private laboratory from bits and pieces of DNA, and then he will release them into the air and the water, into smokestacks and oil spills, hospitals and factories and your house. "
"Adding bird detection systems could protect wind farms from litigation in case of deaths of threatened species."
"The White House appears to be blocking Environmental Protection Agency efforts to tighten oversight of engineered nanoscale pesticides and other chemicals, according to environmental and safety advocates."
"May is the month we see strawberries explode in the market. There are strawberry festivals in every corner of the nation celebrating the juicy ruby beauties, and Strawberry Queens crowned galore. Those traditional harvest time festivals make us think our strawberries are mostly grown on the farm just down the road. But in fact, one state — California — supplies 80 percent of America's strawberries, and the percentage is growing."
"Philadelphia's $2 billion plan to manage its storm water with green methods - porous pavement, green roofs, and a plethora of trees -- got the official nod Tuesday from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency."
Both President Obama and the GOP-controlled House are pushing infrastructure investment as a job-producing way of maintaining and upgrading U.S. roads, bridges, dams, waterways, airports, and quality of life. The big questions include how to do it -- a set of choices with huge environmental consequences.
"Despite billions of dollars spent on nanotechnology research and development over the past decade, the human and environmental safety of nanomaterials remains unclear. As a result, a new nanomaterials safety research strategy is needed, and new governmental oversight is required to ensure the essential research is carried out, according to a report released [Wednesday] by the National Research Council (NRC)."
"Carbon emissions from cement are set to grow explosively as developing countries such as India create a 'first-world' infrastructure. Scientists and entrepreneurs are struggling to push alternative technologies out of the lab and onto the street."
"DETROIT -- The Obama administration intends to open a new advanced battery research center this year, U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu told an audience at the Detroit Economic Club on Tuesday."
"An undercover law enforcement operation has resulted in charges being filed against 12 people in the Southland and Las Vegas who were allegedly trafficking endangered or illegal wildlife or products made from them."
"LOS ANGELES — After a five-year delay, an Earth-observing satellite will be launched to test new technologies aimed at improving weather forecasts and monitoring climate change."
"A breakthrough in oil cleanup technology allows crews to skim spilled oil off the water's surface at a much faster rate. The new device wasn't developed by Exxon, BP or any of the major oil companies — it's the work of Elastec/American Marine, based in Illinois. And the design won the company a rich prize from the X Prize Foundation.
Oil is attracted to plastic. And water is not. That, in essence, is the basis of Elastec's new skimmer.