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 plan to cut $60 billion from the federal budget targets environmental programs so widely it appears to be as much an ideological gambit as a budgetary one. 'The sheer scope of it is overwhelming,' a UCLA environmental law expert says."
"Groups representing 40,000 researchers and clinicians are urging federal agencies responsible for the safety of chemicals to examine the subtle impact a chemical might have on the human body rather than simply ask whether it is toxic."
"The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's ability to protect citizens from premature death and other health problems would be gutted if Congress slashes funding as threatened by Republican lawmakers, its chief said on Wednesday."
A new report from the Royal Society of Canada provides a mixed verdict on the environmental impacts of oil sands extraction in Alberta.
"As [Maine] Gov. Paul LePage continued to weather national fallout for recently saying women could develop 'little beards' if exposed to bisphenol-A, or BPA, questions continue to mount about the motives behind the governor's proposal to reverse a ban on the substance."
"The Obama administration scaled back toxic air rules on heavy industrial boilers, a sign it may be willing to compromise with businesses and Republicans on future air pollution rules."
After a December 2008 spill of toxic coal ash at the Tennessee Valley Authority's Kingston plant, EPA vowed to bring the ubiquitous waste under regulation. First, industry got to the Obama White House to sandbag the effort. Now, GOP lawmakers heavily funded by electric utilities have slipped a rider into the House stopgap spending bill to quash EPA's effort to protect the public altogether.
"The electromagnetic radiation emitted by a cellular phone's antenna appears to activate nearby regions of the brain to unusually high levels, according to a study published Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Assn. that is likely to spark new concerns about the health effects of wireless devices."
"Early [Saturday] morning, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a funding bill that environmentalists say amounts to the biggest attack on clean air and clean water in recent history."
"State lawmakers soundly criticized the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Thursday as two legislative panels approved different measures to shield Kentucky coal mining from federal pollution rules."
"The United States' reliance on coal to generate almost half of its electricity, costs the economy about $345 billion a year in hidden expenses not borne by miners or utilities, including health problems in mining communities and pollution around power plants, a study found."
"President Obama’s budget, released Monday, essentially treads water on energy and the environment, trying to maintain momentum for alternative energy research even as it cuts deeply into some environmental protection programs."
"Many agricultural pesticides – including some previously untested and commonly found in food – disrupt male hormones, according to new tests conducted by British scientists. The researchers strongly recommended that all pesticides in use today be screened to check if they block testosterone, which is critical to men’s and boys’ reproductive health. Thirty out of 37 pesticides tested by the University of London altered male hormones, including 16 that had no known hormonal activity until now. Most are fungicides applied to fruit and vegetable crops, including strawberries and lettuce."
"A growing number of livestock, such as cows and pigs, are fuelling new animal epidemics worldwide and posing more severe problems in developing countries as it threatens their food security, according to a report released on Friday."
"An extended study of the long-term effects of exposure to defective Chinese drywall on people whose homes contained it is not necessary, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control has determined."