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 EPA is warning that Gulf Coast residents are at risk of headaches, nausea, and other ill health effects; the culprit is air pollution from the oil burns that response teams are conducting to try to keep the big slick away from coastlines."
Although BP has said it will compensate victims, "lawmakers and Gulf Coast residents began questioning whether the company will take full responsibility for the economic losses stemming from the spill. ... A law passed after the 1989 Exxon Valdez spill requires companies to pay for cleanup costs but no more than $75 million for other damage."
The $2 billion in federal stimulus money was welcomed in southeastern Washington, where the government has been working for decades to clean up the Hanford nuclear complex. But newly hired workers on the project may be facing dangers because of inadequate training and precautions for the threat of deadly beryllium dust.
"National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration officials last fall warned the Department of Interior, which regulates offshore oil drilling, that it was dramatically underestimating the frequency of offshore oil spills and was dangerously understating the risk and impacts a major spill would have on coastal residents."
Dispersants used on the Gulf oil spill may have toxic effects and harm ecosystems -- raising questions about whether the cure is worse than the disease. Companies refuse to disclose some of the ingredients, saying they are trade secrets.
"Engineers and welders successfully rejoined two huge water pipes inside a muddy crater early this morning, and state officials said they hope to restore clean water within days to 2 million residents of Greater Boston."
"A stack of lawsuits is piling up against the federal government in response to Interior Secretary Ken Salazar's April 28 decision to approve the Cape Wind project, America's first offshore wind farm."
Federal agencies and BP were embarrassed when their lowball estimates of the volume of oil spilling into the Gulf were corrected by a small, independent environmental group analyzing federal satellite data from their West Virginia office. The finding called into question the credibility of federal and company statements.
"Heavy winds continued to whip up high waves on the Gulf of Mexico on Saturday, thwarting attempts to contain the growing slick that's washing ashore in southern Louisiana and threatening the Mississippi and Alabama coasts. Rough waves rolled over containment booms, pushing oil-slicked water closer to shore, where wetlands and other fragile ecosystems stand at risk."
"A historic environmental protection bill is in danger after a massive oil spill put a new focus on the perils of offshore drilling, a feature that was supposed to win wider support for the legislation."
"The federal government is pressing forward with a policy that could require trees to be stripped from California levees, eliminating what shade and wildlife habitat remain along the state's rivers."
"The Center for Biological Diversity has formally notified the predator control branch of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Wildlife Services, that it will file a lawsuit over Wildlife Services' traps, snares, and poisons, which risk injuring or killing endangered jaguars and ocelots in the Southwest."