EJToday: Top Headlines
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"Coal operators in Southern West Virginia are not restoring large strip-mining sites to their 'approximate original contour,' despite a state policy change meant to require such reclamation, according to a previously unpublished federal government report."
Fumes from long-ago industrial activity are still seeping into the homes of some Baltimore-area residents. Those fumes include cancer-causing chemicals like trichloroethylene and perchloroethylene. The site was one of the first Superfund cleanups, but the cleanup was not thorough enough.
"The environmental damage caused by mountaintop removal mining across Appalachia has been well documented. But scientists are now beginning to understand that the mining operations’ most lasting damage may be caused by the massive amounts of debris dumped into valley streams."
"West Virginia regulators and coal operators have not properly implemented state rules meant to keep strip mining from contributing to flooding during heavy rains over narrow mountain hollows, according to a new federal report."
"More than 30 people -- including actress Daryl Hannah and NASA climate scientist James Hansen -- were arrested Tuesday in the latest protest in a growing civil disobedience campaign against mountaintop removal in Southern West Virginia."
West Virginia's "Environmental Protection Secretary Randy Huffman said Wednesday his agency is continuing to allow coal slurry to be injected underground at 13 locations in West Virginia, despite being unable to tell lawmakers if the process is safe."
American shad are struggling with little success to make a comeback in Virginia's James River. Historically abundant, this "founding fish" disappeared for years because its spawning was blocked by dams.
"The thick, milky white liquid looks like Elmer's glue, though it's greasy to the touch. It has a sweet, alcohol smell. It's not your father's heating oil, to be sure. But it will do the same job, says Cary J. Claiborne, and a lot more cleanly.
Claiborne is president and chief executive officer of New Generation Biofuels, a Florida-based startup that's producing fuel from vegetable and soybean oil at a small production plant it set up this year in southern Baltimore.
Zebra mussels, which have caused an estimated $5 billion in damage to the Great Lakes, have been found in a Maryland tributary of Chesapeake Bay. If they spread, they could threaten the less-salty waters of the Bay.
West Virginia's environmental agency says it's OK for fish there to contain more mercury than the federal EPA recommends -- because West Virginians consume less fish than the national average.