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 Obama administration late last week quietly approved one of six major mountaintop removal permits that were said to be undergoing close scrutiny by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency."
"A U.S. court on Wednesday blocked an attempt by the Obama administration to overturn a Bush administration rule that made it easier for coal mining companies to dump mountaintop debris into valley streams."
In Appalachia, where coal is king, the terribly destructive method of mountaintop removal mining is common. Environmentalists have been reluctant to use one of their most powerful weapons -- the Endangered Species Act -- to fight it. The reasons involve legal loopholes and politics.
"The American pika could become the first animal in the continental U.S. listed under the Endangered Species Act because of climate change. The cute relative of the rabbit lives in the mountain West, and researchers say warmer temperatures put it at risk for extinction."
"U.S. EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson has ordered her staff to fully cooperate with the investigative efforts of the agency's internal auditors, a stark reversal from the agency's policy under the George W. Bush administration."
News Web sites that allow reader comments are experiencing "climate spam" -- generic, marginally relevant comments on climate news stories denying that human activities are causing climate change or the need to do anything about it. The same comments are posted verbatim on multiple sites. The comments repeat the talking points of PR firms paid by fossil fuel industries -- and they are anonoymous.
After years of complaints, federal agents raided the CES Environmental Services waste-processing facility in southeast Houston.
"In rural west Michigan, food processors have sprayed so much wastewater onto fields that heavy metals seeped into groundwater, contaminating wells."
"As it races to replenish phosphate supplies for its weed-killing cash machine Roundup, Monsanto Co. insists its history of polluting southeastern Idaho’s high country shouldn’t prevent it from digging fresh open pits here."
The Obama EPA, like the Bush EPA, is cleaning up fewer Superfund hazardous waste sites -- saying the remaining sites are getting harder to clean up. Unline Bush, however, Obama is seeking to reinstate the lapsed tax on petrochemical companies that originally funded the cleanup of abandoned sites.