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.
EPA added Brooklyn's long-polluted Gowanus Canal to the Superfund National Priority List -- along with nine other sites. The designation means that EPA will oversee the cleanup. New York City Mayor Bloomberg had been pushing for a city-run cleanup.
"Federal law forces companies to provide detailed information to U.S. EPA about the toxicity of the chemicals they use. But there is a catch. The same law -- the 1976 Toxic Substances Control Act, or TSCA -- prohibits the agency from sharing that information with the public or even with state and local authorities. States are demanding that the law be changed."
"More than a year after President George W. Bush created a vast marine national monument near the Northern Marianas Islands, the federal government has yet to make good on promised investments in the islands."
"Sylvatic plague -- a close cousin of the dreaded disease that killed one-third of all European residents in the six years between 1347 and 1353 -- persists in rodents in the American West even when the disease does not erupt into epidemic form, new research demonstrates."
The Pacific "ring of fire" -- the zone where tectonic plates crunch -- doesn't stop at the equator. It extends through the U.S. Pacific Northwest, which is also vulnerable to intense quakes. States like Oregon are just beginning to retrofit potentially lethal buildings, and the seismic clock is ticking.
"Drought-stricken farmers and cities across California were granted a measure of relief on Friday when federal and state officials said they expected to supply significantly more water this year than last."
"A new study has found that male frogs exposed to the herbicide atrazine -- one of the most common man-made chemicals found in U.S. waters -- can make a startling developmental U-turn, becoming so completely female that they can mate and lay viable eggs."
"The U.S. arm of chemical giant LyondellBasell is in negotiations to settle its environmental cleanup liabilities — which include the Kalamazoo River Superfund site — with the U.S. government, according to a company spokesman."
"Hopes for a nuclear revival, fanned by fears of global warming and a changing political climate in Washington, are running into new obstacles over a key element -- money. A new approach for easing the cost of new multibillion-dollar reactors, which can take years to complete, has provoked a backlash from big-business customers unwilling to go along."
"In the early 1980s, the cancer deaths of four little girls — whose bodies were so tiny they could fit in shoe boxes — forced Hazel Johnson to shift the focus of an organization she'd recently founded."
"Thousands of the nation's largest water polluters are outside the Clean Water Act's reach because the Supreme Court has left uncertain which waterways are protected by that law, according to interviews with regulators."
"A new report shows predictions for a warming climate could be devastating to duck production in the Prairie Pothole Region."
"Animal manure, a byproduct as old as agriculture, has become an unlikely modern pollution problem, scientists and environmentalists say."