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.
"What happens when the fox builds the hen house?"
"With efforts to reduce lead poisoning among children at a crossroads, Maryland lawmakers are wrestling with proposals to expand state regulation of home sales, rentals and repairs to reduce youngsters' exposure to the toxic metal."
"HAGERSTOWN, Md. -- A 2009 federal study that concluded groundwater contamination from Fort Detrick was unlikely to have harmful health effects was flawed, a national scientific panel said Monday, prompting two U.S. senators to demand a faster cleanup of the Superfund site in Frederick [MD]."
"For years, the wastes from burning coal and producing copper have enjoyed a second life, used in sand-blasting to remove paint, rust and grime from ship's hulls, storage tanks, bridge trusses and other surfaces. Painting contractors, shipyard workers and thousands of others in Baltimore and across the country are said to use the black, gritty material called slag. Now, though, questions have been raised about whether those who do blasting with ground-up coal or copper slag may be unwittingly exposing themselves to toxic contaminants that could damage their health."
"WINFIELD, W.Va. -- A proposed settlement has been reached in a huge class-action lawsuit where Nitro residents say the chemical giant Monsanto unsafely burned dioxin wastes and spread contaminated soot and dust across Nitro, polluting homes with unsafe levels of the chemical."
"The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is investigating whether specific Marcellus Shale drilling and compressor station operations in Washington County have caused environmental damage that violates federal regulations."
"Maryland biologists studying box turtles rescued from the bulldozers on the Intercounty Connector construction site have made a grisly find: An alarming number of the tiny turtles later died, and biologists say their demise appears to be unrelated to the highway."
"Chicken farmers nationwide have stopped feeding their flocks a drug containing arsenic since a 2011 government study suggested the cancer-causing metal may be tainting poultry, but Maryland lawmakers are still struggling with whether to ban the once-widespread practice."
The Central New York Oil & Gas Co. assured residents and regulators it would avoid using eminent domain to lay its pipeline in Pennsylvania's pristine Endless Mountains. But 2 days after FERC granted approval, the company went to court to condemn nearly half the properties along the route.
"CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- A federal judge has sided with Alpha Natural Resources in the company's effort to keep testimony about West Virginia University studies linking mountaintop removal to birth defects and cancer among coalfield residents out of a legal challenge to one of Alpha's new mining permits."
"Children living near DuPont’s plant in West Virginia are exposed to much higher concentrations of an industrial chemical than their mothers, according to a newly published study."
"Members of Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett’s administration routinely insist their Marcellus Shale drilling policy is based on science. But documents obtained by StateImpact Pennsylvania, as well as interviews with more than a dozen people who work both inside and out of state government, highlight top-level decisions to diminish or defund drilling-related scientific research in the commonwealth."
"The longtime head of the citizens advisory committee that has oversight of the state's parks and forests was fired Friday by the Corbett administration, a termination that council members say was illegal and raises concerns about reduced public accountability of Marcellus Shale gas drilling in state forests."
"CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- As this year's legislative session begins, a state advisory council is again urging lawmakers to increase a coal production tax that funds abandoned mine cleanups and a scathing new audit says mismanagement by the Department of Environmental Protection could leave the state responsible for 'immense amounts of monies' for reclamation."
Ongoing controversy over Pennsylvania's oversight (or lack thereof) of fracking for gas in the Marcellus Shale has brought a lot of readers to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's "Pipeline" reporting portal. The Post-Gazette offers interactive maps of drilling data from the Department of Environmental Protection. One big problem: "DEP's production data ... says there are 495 more wells producing gas, or ready to produce gas, than DEP has recorded as ever being drilled, and 182 of those wells don't even show up on the state's Marcellus Shale permit list."