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.
"Federal officials are launching efforts today in Maryland, Pennsylvania and Virginia to enlist farmers in targeted watersheds in a concerted effort to curb pollution running off their land."
"A key piece of the state's approach to controlling water pollution from Pennsylvania's fast-expanding natural gas drilling activity cleared a major hurdle Thursday."
Despite a huge and detailed hearing and investigative record of BP corner-cutting on well-control and safety operations leading up to the Gulf blowout, explosion, and spill, BP's Tony Hayward is poised to tell a Congressional committee today that he has no idea why it happened. The interrogation may be harsh.
Petrochemical companies like BP won a key battle in achieving unpoliced self-regulation early in the Bush administration -- when they got friends in Congress and the White House to shut EPA out of chemical safety and security oversight. As public health advocates point to possible disasters more lethal than the Gulf spill, there may be an opportunity to reverse the federal government's decisions not to protect the public from petrochemical disasters.
"Though she has stayed behind the scenes for most of the federal response to the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, U.S. Geological Survey Director Marcia McNutt has emerged in the past week as a bold, forthright translator of the web of numbers and scientific estimates surrounding the spill."
"Kenneth R. Feinberg ... . named Wednesday by President Obama as the independent administrator of a $20 billion fund set up by BP to compensate victims of the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, may not have the powers of a king. But he does seem to specialize in Solomon-like decisions."
"Under intense pressure from President Barack Obama, BP Plc agreed on Wednesday to set up a $20 billion fund for damage claims from its huge Gulf of Mexico oil spill and suspended dividend payments to its shareholders."
"As arguments rage over how to clean up the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, an examination of toxicity tests reveals flaws in the data used to determine the safety of dispersants."
Promises from BP and the Coast Guard of improved news media access to Gulf spill operations have done little to curtail the obstacles and intimidations journalists face trying to cover the story. Now a top AP editor has asked White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs for help.
"Elected officials should consider imposing ethics rules on oil and gas companies that do business with the federal government, the Interior Department's acting inspector general plans to tell the House Natural Resources Committee on Thursday."
"Dolphins and sharks are showing up in surprisingly shallow water just off the Florida coast. Mullets, crabs, rays and small fish congregate by the thousands off an Alabama pier. Birds covered in oil are crawling deep into marshes, never to be seen again."
Hurricanes could generate strong waves and underwater currents that could damage some of the 31,000 miles of underwater pipeline in the Gulf of Mexico, causing damaging oil spills, a newly published scientific study says.
"Federal agencies responding to the BP Deepwater Horizon oil disaster should do a better job of targeting communities that have historically been underrepresented in disaster response, including people of color and Native Americans, members of the National Environmental Justice Advisory Council said Tuesday."
The CEOs of 5 oil giants admitted to a House panel that their spill-response plans for gulf drilling relied on the same boilerplate, inadequate but reassuring, used by BP to claim it could handle a Gulf spill. The Minerals Management Service approved the plans.