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.
New EPA rules tightening pollution standards for Florida's streams, canals, lakes, and rivers are getting applause from environmentalists and opposition from the agriculture industry.
"More than 3.5 billion gallons of raw and partially treated sewage and industrial waste were dumped into metro Detroit lakes, rivers and streams because of heavy rains during the past month, leading to beach closures and high levels of contamination at the start of the swimming season."
Some Americans are expressing their anger about the Gulf oil spill by protesting against local BP gas stations. But the pain of boycotts in many cases is felt by independent franchisees, not BP.
"A multimillionaire House Republican who owns thousands of shares of BP stock has no plans to recuse himself from a congressional investigation related to the Gulf oil spill or from votes on Capitol Hill that could affect his investments in the oil company."
"The owners of a closed uranium mine near Golden have been ordered by the state health department to stop discharging polluted water into a creek that flows into a Denver-area reservoir."
"Lawyers for 10,000 workers claiming illnesses from rescue, recovery and debris removal after the Sept. 11 World Trade Center attack have agreed with New York City on a $712.5 million compensation fund to settle the cases."
"Scientists have found evidence suggesting that chemicals designed to prevent fires are getting into your children's blood and rewiring their brains, leading to attention deficit disorder, hyperactivity, hearing problems, slow mental development and, possibly, cancer. They're not great for adults either -- men with high blood levels of flame retardants had a decreased sperm count, and women took longer to conceive -- but because children's nervous systems are still developing, they are even more vulnerable."
BP has promised publicly to pay all "legitimate" claims by people and businesses damaged by the Gulf oil catastrophe. What exactly makes a claim "legitimate" is a matter for argument. It looks like BP will not be the only one who gets to decide.
"Three teams of scientists studying the flow of oil from the Deepwater Horizon blowout now say the oil released into the Gulf of Mexico ranged from 20,000 barrels a day to a little more than 40,000 barrels a day before the riser pipe was cut off on June 3, U.S. Geological Survey Director Marcia McNutt said Thursday."
"After focusing for weeks on the causes of the Gulf oil spill and its economic and environmental impact, Congress shifted its attention Thursday to the dangers it poses to human health. The Senate Health Committee tackled proposals to protect oil industry workers, while the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Energy panel heard from experts on potential problems associated with exposure to oil, a carcinogen."
"The Senate Thursday defeated 53-47 an effort to limit the Environmental Protection Agency's authority to regulate greenhouse gas emissions, and President Barack Obama said the vote was a reminder of the need to pass more comprehensive climate change legislation."
"U.S. EPA has quietly released a full list of ingredients in the two controversial dispersants BP PLC is using to combat the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, following weeks of complaints from members of Congress and public health advocates that the dispersant manufacturer had kept its complete formula a secret from the public."
"The disaster in the Gulf was preceded by ample warnings – yet the administration had ignored them. Instead of cracking down on MMS, as he had vowed to do even before taking office, Obama left in place many of the top officials who oversaw the agency's culture of corruption."