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.
"The Environmental Protection Agency on Tuesday proposed the nation's first federal rules for the disposal of contaminant-laden ash from coal-fired power plants, but delayed a decision for at least three months on whether coal ash should be regulated as a hazardous substance."
"British fish stocks have dropped by 94 percent in the past 118 years and commercial fishing has profoundly changed seabed ecosystems, leading to a collapse in numbers of many species, scientists said on Tuesday."
"The Interior Department exempted BP's calamitous Gulf of Mexico drilling operation from a detailed environmental impact analysis last year, according to government documents, after three reviews of the area concluded that a massive oil spill was unlikely."
"Trader Joe’s is known for its Hawaiian shirts, good deals and quirky mix of products—many of which come with environmental claims. But the grocer's eco-conscious consumers are often dismayed to find that it's owned by a global corporation run by one of the richest tycoons in the world. Those in the green business world find it even more surprising that while the company’s stores attract plenty of eco-minded consumers, it spends no money marketing the stores as 'green.' So how did the Monrovia, Calif.–based company that started in 1969 as a chain of Los Angeles–based convenience stores rise to the top of environmentally conscious customers’ lists?"
"In a closed-door briefing for members of Congress, a senior BP executive conceded Tuesday that the ruptured oil well in the Gulf of Mexico could conceivably spill as much as 60,000 barrels a day of oil, more than 10 times the estimate of the current flow."
"Anti-drilling Democrats pledged on Tuesday to block any climate and energy bill that would pave the way for new oil and gas drilling off the coasts of the United States, stepping up the heat on what was already a contentious issue in the Senate debate."
"For 100 years, Mexico City has flushed its wastewater north to irrigate the farmland of Hidalgo State. This foul cascade, which the farmers call 'the black waters,' flows through a latticework of canals and then trickles over the fields. So when word got out that the government was finally going to build a giant wastewater treatment plant, one might have expected the farmers around here to be excited. Instead, they were suspicious."
"If U.S. officials had followed up on a 1994 response plan for a major Gulf oil spill, it is possible that the spill could have been kept under control and far from land. The problem: The federal government did not have a single fire boom on hand."
The $2 billion in federal stimulus money was welcomed in southeastern Washington, where the government has been working for decades to clean up the Hanford nuclear complex. But newly hired workers on the project may be facing dangers because of inadequate training and precautions for the threat of deadly beryllium dust.
Dispersants used on the Gulf oil spill may have toxic effects and harm ecosystems -- raising questions about whether the cure is worse than the disease. Companies refuse to disclose some of the ingredients, saying they are trade secrets.
"Engineers and welders successfully rejoined two huge water pipes inside a muddy crater early this morning, and state officials said they hope to restore clean water within days to 2 million residents of Greater Boston."
"Scientists say the Gulf oil spill could get into the what's called the Loop Current within a day, eventually carrying oil south along the Florida coast and into the Florida Keys." After that, it could continue into the Gulf Stream.
GOP pundits and politicos -- as well as some Democrats -- are spewing
a mess of sayings that some call "irresponsible" in response to the Gulf oil
spill. Hate-talker Rush Limbaugh accused 'environmentalist wackos' of having
blown up the rig, and former White House spokesperson Dana Perino echoed him.
Neither presented any evidence for the insinuations.