EJToday: Top Headlines
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Some nations like Saudi Arabia, with more money and less arable land compared to much of the world, are seeking to outsource food production by buying up farmland in less-developed parts of the world like Africa.
Despite tens of billions spent under the 1972 Clean Water Act to upgrade the sewage-handling systems of U.S. cities, many have reached capacity and are unable to handle wet-weather flows. The result is that many are "violating the law by dumping untreated or partly treated human waste, chemicals and other hazardous materials into rivers and lakes."
NIEHS Director Linda Birnbaum says she is concerned that as U.S. manufacturers shift away from toxic chemicals in consumer goods to alternative chemicals, "we kind of jump from the proverbial fry pan into the fire."
"One of the great mysteries about North America is what killed off woolly mammoths and other exotic animals that roamed the land after the last ice age. Ideas have ranged from a comet impact and climate change to human hunters. A study published Friday in Science Magazine provides new clues about this — cleverly deduced from samples of a fungus that grew on the animals' dung."
"Trees along big city streets have a rough life. Between pollution, development, and vandalism, street trees die off at a pretty alarming rate. One New York artist thinks if people knew more about street trees, they’d appreciate them more -- and treat them better."
"The United States and China have agreed to cooperate on developing an inventory of China's greenhouse gas emissions, the Environmental Protection Agency announced Wednesday, an initiative that appears be a response to criticism of Beijing's data collection."
"With its gleaming red, blue and green feathers, the painted bunting is often described as the most beautiful migratory songbird in North America. After a 30 year decline and extirpation from parts of its U.S. range, the species appears to be recovering."
"Japanese whaling ships left port Thursday for Antarctic waters for their annual hunt of the ocean giants, Greenpeace said, setting the stage for high-seas confrontations with anti-whaling activists."
"In a 5-0 vote, The California Energy Commission today approved the country's first efficiency regulations for TVs of up to 58 inches. The new Appliance Efficiency Regulations will require new televisions sold in California to consume 33 percent less electricity by 2011 and 49 percent less electricity by 2013."
"Coal pollutants affect all major body organ systems and contribute to four of the five leading causes of mortality in the United States: heart disease, cancer, stroke, and chronic lower respiratory diseases, concludes a scathing report issued today by Physicians for Social Responsibility."
"In a groundbreaking decision, a federal judge ruled late Wednesday that the Army Corps of Engineers' mismanagement of maintenance at the Mississippi River-Gulf Outlet was directly responsible for flood damage in St. Bernard Parish and the Lower 9th Ward after Hurricane Katrina."
"The Obama administration on Wednesday announced plans to beef up federal strip-mining inspections and reviews of mining permits issued by state regulators like West Virginia's Department of Environmental Protection."