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.
"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."
"CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- As the trial begins in a major toxic pollution lawsuit against Monsanto Co., jurors won't be allowed to tackle a key issue: Should the company pay to clean up dioxin it allegedly spewed across the city of Nitro?
Experts won't testify about the need for property remediation. Lawyers won't argue about the issue. Jurors won't be asked to force Monsanto to spend the hundreds of millions of dollars such a project could cost.
"OAKLAND, Md. -- The first natural gas well has yet to be drilled into the Marcellus shale deposits underlying Western Maryland, but ripples already are being felt here from an industry that has brought wealth — and controversy — in neighboring states where drilling has proceeded apace."
"WINFIELD, W.Va. -- Putnam County jurors chosen to sit in the upcoming case against Monsanto, a former Nitro chemical plant, will have to decide whether thousands of current and former Nitro residents should be periodically tested for disease at the expense of the company."
"RICHMOND, Va. -- A company lobbying lawmakers to unearth in Southside Virginia what is thought to be the nation's largest uranium deposit needs to overcome significant health and environmental obstacles before the site is mined, according to a long-awaited study released Monday."
"Heavy rains routinely trigger big sewage overflows in Baltimore, but there is growing evidence that chronic leaks from the region's aging, cracked sewer lines are a bigger threat to public health."
"MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — A $35 million settlement between Massey Energy and some 600 southern West Virginia residents who blamed the mining company for poisoning their wells with coal slurry finally has court approval."