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.
"July was the hottest the world's oceans have been in almost 130 years of record-keeping. ... Meteorologists said there's a combination of forces at work this year: A natural El Nino system just getting started on top of worsening man-made global warming, and a dash of random weather variations. The resulting ocean heat is already harming threatened coral reefs. It could also hasten the melting of Arctic sea ice and help hurricanes strengthen."
"Sierra Club and Environment Texas filed an air pollution lawsuit today in federal district court against Chevron Phillips Chemical Company LP. The groups claim that Chevron Phillips has repeatedly violated the Clean Air Act at its Cedar Bayou chemical plant in Baytown, Texas."
"A state board voted unanimously Thursday to approve an air quality permit for a $10 billion oil refinery that Hyperion Resources wants to build in southeastern South Dakota."
"In a long-awaited move designed to protect people from cancer, California officials on Thursday proposed a new health goal for chromium 6 in drinking water that is thousands of times lower than the amount contaminating some water supplies."
"As the credit freeze tightened its grip on the economy, the market for green construction -- at least in some respects -- remained strong overall, according to the U.S. Green Building Council and insurers of green construction projects. ...Still, as fewer and fewer banks proved willing to lend money for upfront construction costs, many smaller green builders have been forced to find new ways to see their projects through to completion."
"Car shoppers have until Monday night to take advantage of lucrative Cash for Clunkers rebates from the government, and the Obama administration is hoping for a smooth ending to a program that has spurred auto sales but created headaches for many auto dealers."
In the Yaak Valley of Montana, environmentalists have been talking to loggers, snowmobilers and other longtime opponents of wilderness protection about the future of public lands. Rick Bass writes of his involvement in a cooperative effort that could lead to the first wilderness-area designation in the state in a quarter-century.
"Hundreds of century-old trees lay snapped in half and uprooted throughout Central Park on Wednesday after a severe thunderstorm with winds as high as 80 mph barreled through the city overnight."
"News broke on Friday that the American Petroleum Institute is urging member companies to recruit their employees, retirees, vendors, and contractors to attend 'Energy Citizen' events across the country over the August congressional recess. Today, we have some updates to the story."
"Just as wild plants and animals have their environmental champions, so foodies are seeking to preserve the biodiversity of cultivated species and rescue rare delicacies such as California's Sebastopol Gravenstein apple. The big difference? With endangered foods, you save them by eating them."
"Oregon's top environmental agency plans to side with one of the state's biggest polluters in its effort to seek an exemption from tough new federal rules controlling the release of toxic mercury."
"Beetles and fire, twin plagues, are consuming northern forests in what scientists say is a preview of the future, in a century growing warmer, as the land grows drier, trees grow weaker and pests, abetted by milder winters, grow stronger. Dying, burning forests would then only add to the warming."
"No fish can escape mercury pollution. That's the take-home message from a federal study of mercury contamination released Wednesday that tested fish from nearly 300 streams across the country."