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 US has given up hope of reaching a global climate change treaty at Copenhagen and is working towards a deal late next year, the Obama administration said today. The decision ends hopes of a legally binding deal being sealed next month."
"Over the last century, the intensive use of chemical fertilizers has saturated the Earth’s soils, waters, and atmosphere with nitrogen. Now scientists are warning that we must move quickly to revolutionize agricultural systems and greatly reduce the amount of nitrogen we put into the planet's ecosystems."
"Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Democrats quashed a three-day-long Republican boycott and passed global warming legislation today using a procedural move that could undermine support from moderate senators if the bill reaches the floor."
"Rapid changes already underway to the Earth's climate, ecosystems and land cover threaten the health of billions, undermining key human life-support systems and threatening the core foundations of healthy communities worldwide, according to a new report released Wednesday."
"Nearly two-thirds of the coal-ash dams across West Virginia might need repairs, and a quarter of them are ranked as being in poor or unsatisfactory condition, according to a report released Thursday by the state Department of Environmental Protection."
"An international fisheries group set up to protect Atlantic tuna has done the opposite and driven one species of the fish, the bluefin, to the edge of extinction, environmentalists said Thursday."
"The Environmental Protection Agency will set new nationwide emission standards for makers of polyvinyl chloride, commonly known as the plastic PVC, under a settlement with environmental groups announced Thursday."
Within weeks, Minnesota state agencies will be releasing a study on the safety of atrazine, a weedkiller widely used by corn growers. The Minnesota results will come as the U.S. EPA undertakes yet another review of its own.
"Draining and burning of the world's peat bogs accounts for about 5.5 percent of global carbon emissions but are currently excluded from governments' climate targets and U.N. talks, a study found on Wednesday."
"The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Office of Inspector General has decided to review the appropriateness of the EPA's program to promote 'beneficial uses' of coal combustion waste with the industries it regulates."
"Environmentalists are beefing up efforts to increase regulation of a controversial oil and gas drilling technique as interest grows in tapping vast natural gas fields across the country."
"The Obama administration's pick for chief agricultural trade negotiator defended himself on Wednesday against charges from environmental groups and others who said he would favor big agribusiness over small farms and organic farmers if confirmed."
Since the 2008 Farm Bill capped the program for re-establishing native grasses on lands once swept bare by erosion like the Dust Bowl, some 3 million acres have been taken out of "conservation reserve."
"Farm groups joined the manufacturer of the popular herbicide atrazine Tuesday in accusing the Obama administration of bowing to environmentalist pressure in initiating a review of the chemical's safety."
California lawmakers ended months of negotiations with final agreement on a historic water package. The legislation now goes to Governer Schwarzenegger, and an $11.1-billion bond measure goes before the voters.