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.
"In a class action lawsuit filed Thursday, Kennedy Krieger Institute is accused of exposing poor black children to 'dangerous levels' of lead as part of a housing experiment in the 1990s."
"Alexandria's controversial coal-burning power plant, once considered one of the largest single sources of air pollution in the Washington area, will probably close by October 2012, its owner and the city announced Tuesday.
The surprise announcement culminates a 12-year battle to close the six-decade-old Potomac River plant, which local activists and environmentalists blame for causing or contributing to dozens of cases of serious illness each year.
"The legacy of George Washington's centuries-old logging venture in the Great Dismal Swamp is contributing to the possible demise of a valuable ecosystem as a barely contained fire burns on the Virginia-North Carolina border, experts say."
"CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- West Virginia regulators should examine whether hundreds of additional abandoned coal mine sites need new water pollution treatment under a legal settlement announced last week, a member of a Department of Environmental Protection advisory committee said Wednesday.
Mining engineer John Morgan urged the Special Reclamation Fund Advisory Council to look into the matter in the wake of a deal between DEP and the West Virginia Highlands Conservancy to set pollution discharge limits at certain abandoned sites.
"CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- State officials are insisting that a huge Alpha Natural Resources coal-slurry impoundment in Raleigh County is safe, even as new tests that might confirm that analysis have continued to be delayed, records showed Monday."
West Virginia Gov. Tomblin's "administration weakened an executive order on the regulation of Marcellus Shale gas drilling just hours before the order was signed and publicly announced, according to records obtained under the Freedom of Information Act. ... The governor's office has refused to make public its correspondence with industry lobbyists who were helping craft state drilling policies."
"CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- The Governor's Office is refusing to make public correspondence between it and the oil and gas industry regarding potential new regulations on Marcellus Shale drilling operations."
"A giant underwater 'dead zone'in the Chesapeake Bay is growing at an alarming rate because of unusually high nutrient pollution levels this year, according to Virginia and Maryland officials. They said the expanding area of oxygen-starved water is on track to become the bay’s largest ever."
"Poverty in Appalachia is concentrated in the communities around mountaintop removal mines, and people living in those areas suffer greater risk of early deaths, according to a new scientific paper by a West Virginia University researcher."
"Documents and interviews reveal that one Pa. water utility has already leased its watershed to gas drillers — and many others are being courted."
"Federal environmental regulators are questioning the rationale of a proposed 39-mile natural gas pipeline that opponents say would damage 600 acres of pristine forests and streams in northern Pennsylvania's Endless Mountains region."
"West Virginia regulators will temporarily take the lead on regulating Marcellus shale drilling while lawmakers attempt to craft long-term rules for developing this rich natural gas reserve, acting Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin announced Tuesday."
"The Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission said it plans to lease portions of its 43,000 acres of waterways for natural gas exploration to generate money to rebuild more than a dozen dams that are in danger of collapse."
"In 2004, a flamboyant Oklahoma City multimillionaire took out his hefty checkbook for what you could call the political equivalent of a wildcat well - and he struck a gusher, right here in Pennsylvania. The $450,000 in campaign checks that energy mogul Aubrey McClendon wrote that fall helped elect a man he said he'd never even met - a relatively obscure GOP candidate for Pennsylvania attorney general, Tom Corbett."
"Researchers found 'significantly higher' rates of birth defects in areas with mountaintop removal mines than in non-mining regions in central Appalachia, according to a study released Tuesday."