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.
Local officials in Carlsbad, Calif., see salvation for their water-starved community in a huge proposed desalination plant. Poseidon Resources, the company hoping to build it, says building it won't cost taxpayers and ratepayers a dime. But tough investigative reporting shows that southern Californians would pay at least $640 million over 30 years for the project.
"A whistleblower filed a lawsuit [Monday] to force the federal government to halt operations at another massive BP oil platform in the Gulf of Mexico, alleging that BP never reviewed critical engineering designs for the operation and is therefore risking another catastrophic accident...."
"Federal authorities on Tuesday expanded the no fishing zone associated with the BP oil spill to encompass 19% of the Gulf of Mexico."
"The Minerals Management Service did not adequately regulate safety devices and procedures for offshore drilling before the massive Gulf of Mexico disaster, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said [Tuesday]."
"An obscure family of chemicals -- important to the metalworking industry but virtually unknown to the public -- is suddenly the subject of scrutiny from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency."
"The Upper Big Branch mine in West Virginia was plagued by persistent problems with airflow in the weeks and months before a massive and deadly explosion in April, an NPR News investigation has found. NPR has also learned that the FBI is focused both on the airflow problems and on possible tampering with safety monitors as part of its criminal probe."
"The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said Monday it will impose restrictions on spraying three agricultural pesticides to keep them out of salmon streams after manufacturers refused to adopt the limits voluntarily."
"Chrys Oynes, the associate director of Offshore Energy and Minerals Management at the Minerals Management Service will retire May 31, reports The Washington Post."
"President Obama will establish an independent commission to investigate the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, an administration official said Monday, as the federal government came under increasing scrutiny for regulatory failures that might have contributed to the April 20 explosion on the Deepwater Horizon rig."
"Fifteen organizations, including Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth, the Center for Biological Diversity, and the Friends Committee on National Legislation, which is a Quaker lobbying group, have formed the Climate Reality Check coalition to oppose the legislation, released last week by Sens. John Kerry (D-Mass.) and Joseph Lieberman (I-Conn.)."
"New satellite images show oil starting to enter the Gulf Loop current, which would pull it through the Florida Keys, into the Gulf Stream and up to Palm Beach County, according to a scientist tracking the oil spewing into the Gulf."
"[Peter] Gleick, a freshwater expert, is the author of Bottled and Sold: The Story Behind Our Obsession with Bottled Water. In the book, he examines how drinking water was commodified and branded over the past 30 years, turning what was once a free natural resource into a multibillion-dollar global industry — while raising questions about the taste and safety of drinking tap water."
"Coal ash, a byproduct of coal-fired power plants, which the federal government is about to start regulating, is sloshing and settling in 10 ponds around Alabama that eventually could store more than 81 million cubic yards of the toxic stuff."
In a rush to complete the well it was drilling with the Deepwater Horizon, BP and other companies pushed ahead to complete the well despite multiple warnings that conditions were unsafe. CBS Interviews with explosion survivor Mike Williams and Berkeley engineering professor Bob Bea bring to light new information not yet available to the panels investigating the spill. At least five congressional hearings are scheduled on the spill this week.