EJToday: Top Headlines
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Maryland is struggling with a backlog of water pollution violations.
"Long-awaited revisions to the Delaware River Basin Commission's proposed rules that would govern natural-gas development in the watershed were released Tuesday."
"At the Conowingo Hydroelectric Dam in northeast Maryland, the barbarians are at the sluice gates.
Sediment, millions of tons of it, has flowed down the 440-mile Susquehanna River for more than 80 years and massed at the dam. And now a reservoir built to hold it is filling up.
"Efforts to reduce pollution of the Chesapeake Bay are starting to pay off, a major new study says, finding that despite weather-driven ups and downs, the 'dead zone' that stresses fish and shellfish every summer has actually shrunk, on average, in recent years."
"Maryland's highest court struck down Monday a key provision of state law that shielded owners of older rental housing from civil lawsuits -- and potentially costly payments to victims -- if they took precautions to protect children in their units from lead-paint poisoning."
"ALLENTOWN, Pa. — Pennsylvania environmental regulators said Wednesday they have given permission to a natural-gas driller to stop delivering replacement water to residents whose drinking water wells were tainted with methane. Residents expressed outrage and threatened to take the matter to court."
EPA's official investigation of a massive 2009 fish kill in West Virginia's Dunkard Creek ended by blaming the pollution squarely on Consol Energy's Blacksville No. 2 mine. But an EPA biologist said that coal mine drainage alone was not enough to explain the problem -- and that contamination of mine pools by methane and water from the Marcellus Shale formation was possibly an additional cause.
"LANCASTER COUNTY, Pa. -- An Amish farmer examines young trees and shrubs he planted last fall along the stream running through his farm. A few trees are starting to peak from shelters built to protect them from pests and 'green death,' when new trees are swallowed up by old growth. When the trees and shrubs are fully grown, they'll form a buffer to keep grazing animals and stormwater carrying manure fertilizers out of the water."
"FREDERICK -- Randy White had just buried a daughter, dead at 30 with a brain tumor. Now his other daughter had been diagnosed with growths in her abdomen. When doctors told White in 2009 that their conditions were likely caused by something in their environment, the Frederick native thought of Fort Detrick. His children had grown up near the Army base."
"WAYNESBURG, Pa. -- A surge in mining damage to waterways, houses and roads has sparked a fierce debate in southwestern Pennsylvania's coal region about whether regulations are strong enough to protect property and natural resources."
"The Housing Authority of Baltimore City often cites a lack of funds to explain its refusal to pay nearly $12 million in court-ordered judgments to former public housing residents who suffered permanent lead-paint poisoning as children. But the city's public housing agency has paid private lawyers about $4 million since 2005 to defend against those lead-paint claims. In May and June alone it spent $228,000 on legal fees, a total that works out to more than $5,000 per day, including expenses."
Despite confident assurances from leaders in the go-go shale gas industry that pollution problems don't exist, records from Pennsylvania's environmental agency show that faulty casings and cement do indeed cause pollution of drinking water.
"At the recent Shale Gas Insight conference in Philadelphia, the CEO of one of the largest Marcellus Shale drilling companies in Pennsylvania was unequivocal in his message that methane contamination of drinking water supplies from faulty gas wells is at an end.
"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."