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.
"NO wonder they are called conveniences. Flush toilets swirl human waste down the drain quickly and neatly. But the convenience comes with a rising price for all that follows the flush — a cost that is often paid by municipal water and sewage treatment systems.
Now some groups are rethinking the venerable technology of the flush toilet, particularly for regions that lack such systems or for places where waste water treatment plants, many of them aging, are overburdened by the demands of fast-growing populations.
"If you've ever wondered what type of tree was nearby but didn't have a guide book, a new smartphone app allows users with no formal training to satisfy their curiosity and contribute to science at the same time."
As a kids' plaything, it's called oobleck -- a cornstarch suspension that flows at slow speeds but freezes into a solid when you try to move it fast. Washington University scientist Jonathan Katz has just published an article saying it might have succeeded in a "top kill" of the Deepwater Horizon Gulf well where ordinary drilling mud failed.
"Green roofs have become increasingly popular in the United States as a way to beautify and insulate buildings and reduce heat pollution in urban areas, but last week one drew attention for a far different reason: it collapsed."
"Images and data on climate, earthquakes and much more is now available in a new mobile application that offers users simplified access to libraries that until now were tapped mainly by earth and environmental scientists."
Some transnational technology corporations see billions of dollars of business opportunity in China's rollout of a "smart grid" energy infrastructure in the next five years. No plans of comparable scale exist in the U.S.
"The Federal Communications Commission has changed its guidance to cellphone users worried about the health effects of wireless devices, dropping a long-standing recommendation that concerned consumers purchase phones with lower levels of radiation emissions."
"The Interior Department tightened its rules on offshore oil and gas operations on Thursday but left in place the moratorium on deepwater drilling that has left oil executives frustrated and Gulf Coast officials fuming."
"According to recently leaked documents, the Pennsylvania Office of Homeland Security has been tracking anti-gas drilling groups and their meetings — including a public screening of the film 'Gasland,' a documentary about the environmental hazards of natural gas drilling."
"The National Aeronautics and Space Administration has a 'critical responsibility' to the flying public to develop environmentally responsible solutions to the nation's most pressing aviation problems, NASA Administrator Charles F. Bolden Jr. said Wednesday."
"Even as lighting companies report advances in LED technology, consumers are being warned that some LED lighting products do not live up to the hype."
Eight small earthquakes in central West Virginia since April have Chesapeake Energy and the state Department of Environmental Protection discussing the possibility of seismic monitoring near a disposal well for gas-drilling fluids."
"U.S. health officials are set to rule on whether a faster-growing, genetically engineered fish is safe to eat in a decision that could deliver the first altered animal food to consumers' dinner plates."