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.
"A major problem facing municipalities around Albany County: sewer systems that are often overrun by heavy rain and governments that don't have the millions of dollars needed to upgrade often antiquated systems."
As the final rounds on the climate bill approach, environmentalists seem to be coming late, disunited, and outgunned to a battle they had years to prepare for.
The Democratic Party of Japan, which won that nation's elections Sunday, is poised to slash Japan's greenhouse emissions by up to 25 percent, which could have an impact on climate treaty negotiations.
Perry County, Alabama, which is very poor and almost 70 percent black, is landfilling the coal ash from a spill in Tennessee in December 2008. County leaders are glad of the revenue and jobs it will bring, but some think the community "has been too easily persuaded to take on a wealthier, whiter community’s problem."
A dramatic rise of birth defects in India's Punjab breadbasket seems to be caused by uranium pollution, which in turn seems to be caused by ash from coal-burning electric power plants.
"The giant fire in Angeles National Forest continued its slow-motion rampage through the mountains Sunday, causing the deaths of two firefighters as it bore down on the semirural community of Acton and threatened to overrun Mt. Wilson."
With the proposed Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository now dead, "local leaders and lawmakers from the sites where the waste is now stored, however, are increasingly concerned that the Energy Department will leave it in place, even though that might violate legally binding cleanup agreements."
"Most Americans approve of the way President Obama is handling energy issues and support efforts by him and Democrats in Congress to overhaul energy policy -- including the controversial cap-and-trade approach to limiting greenhouse gas emissions."
A University of Tennessee at Chattanooga study shows that the metals and organic chemicals found in used cigarettes can leak out, contaminating water and killing microorganisms.
"The Environmental Protection Agency should move immediately to adopt enforceable limits on the release of nutrient pollutants -- such as fertilizer and sewage -- into rivers and streams to halt the creation of dangerously low oxygen areas in water bodies, and the dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico should be one of its first targets, the agency's Office of Inspector General said in a report made public today."
Shallow rivate wells in part of West Palm Beach, drilled illegally by contractors, may be exposing homeowners there to drinking water contamination. People there fear a possible cancer cluster.
Talking Points Memo has obtained a set of talking points and an example script given to employees of the Bonner PR firm working on the coal-funded campaigh against the climate bill. "The talking points specifically instructed employees to lie to the community organizations they were calling, telling them they were working with seniors/veterans groups and that other seniors/veterans groups had written the letter they would be signing. They were in fact working directly for a coal industry front group, and the letter was written by Bonner and associates."
"Evolution takes place over long stretches of time: millennia and epochs. But some new research shows that animals might be changing much faster than nearly anyone thought. ... Those changes ... seem to be linked to humans."
Another allegedly grass-roots PR campaign funded by the coal industry has been embarrassed by the revelation that photos of the "real" people who support coal were obtained from a commercial stock-photo outfit.
"A $774 billion plan to power Europe with Sahara sunlight is gaining momentum, even as critics see high risks in a large corporate project using young technology in north African countries with weak rule of law."