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.
"Declining industrial electricity demand and an abundance of cheap natural gas will threaten coal's status as the dominant U.S. fuel to generate electric power, even after the economic recession ends" say electric industry executives and analysts.
"Northrop Grumman Corp on Thursday reached a settlement with U.S. environmental regulators that requires the aerospace giant to spend about $21 million to clean up groundwater pollution dating from World War II manufacturing through the 1980s."
Another allegedly grass-roots PR campaign funded by the coal industry has been embarrassed by the revelation that photos of the "real" people who support coal were obtained from a commercial stock-photo outfit.
The Justice Department and Illinois are suing Midwest Generation, charging the utility company with evading the Clean Air Act by not installing pollution controls when modernizing its plants. The move marks an Obama administration reversal of Bush policies.
"Fire crews were battling to save hundreds of homes that were threatened by two wildfires burning in dry, explosive brush near La Cañada Flintridge and on the Palos Verdes Peninsula."
"The Nuclear Regulatory Commission ... is urging nuclear plants to embrace a more systematic approach to assessing fire risk -- one that relies on a computer program."
The Washington City Paper tested 27 public pools in the nation's capital and 37 percent of them came up positive for bacteria that can lead to outbreaks of Cryptosporidium, Giardia, Shigella, norovirus, E. coli infection and other recreational water illnesses.
"If you've been waiting all season for that quintessential taste of summer -- a juicy, ripe tomato from the garden -- you might be disappointed. This year a tomato blight has swept across the Northeast and is moving into Midwestern gardens and farms."
Bayer's plant at Institute, West Virginia, said that it would reduce by 80 percent its production of methyl isocyanate, the highly toxic chemical that killed thousands in the 1984 Bhopal disaster.
Laboratory researchers are pursuing technologies for skipping the burning of coal altogether, and producing electricity directly from carbon via fuel cells.
The Local Food Hub in the Charlottesville, Va., area is an example of a new trend: nonprofit distribution enterprises that aggregate food produced by small-scale local farmers and move it quickly to local customers such as restaurants, schools, and retirement homes.
"Federal environment officials investigating drinking water contamination near the ranching town of Pavillion, Wyo., have found that at least three water wells contain a chemical used in the natural gas drilling process of hydraulic fracturing."
"Billions of tons of carbon are buried in the frozen Arctic tundra, now heating up because of human-caused climate change. To measure which greenhouse gases are being released and in what quantities, government scientists are flying instrument-laden planes over the tundra from now through November."
"The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has agreed to set limits on nutrient pollution blamed for turning Florida’s waters into algae-choked messes."