January 21, 2009–In one of many last-minute actions, the Bush administration delayed a decision on a drinking water standard for the contaminant perchlorate (used in rocket fuel, explosives, fireworks, and many other industrial products, and also occurs naturally), but issued a temporary advisory recommendation. This has immediate implications for at least 31 large US utilities, and perhaps hundreds more.
January 7, 2009–The December 2008 coal-ash spill at a Tennessee power plant has been making headlines for two weeks — but few journalists realize there are coal-ash stories to be unearthed in many communities. Here are some clues for finding them.
January 7, 2009–Concerns over emissions from formaldehyde in pressed-wood products have been building for many years. California's new rules addressing the problem went into effect Jan. 1, 2009. Now EPA is looking at following suit.
December 17, 2008–A series of drinking-water contamination incidents have raised doubts about EPA's safety claims regarding hydraulic fracturing in domestic gas wells. And it's hard for people to get to the bottom of those claims when the identity of the chemicals injected during the process is protected as a "trade secret."
November 26, 2008–As the current wars in Iraq and Afghanistan drag on, new light has been shed on the environmental health impacts of the 1991 Gulf War. On Nov. 17, 2008, the Congressionally-mandated Research Advisory Committee on Gulf War Veterans' Illnesses released a major report which concluded that from 175,000 to 210,000 of the nearly 700,000 U.S. veterans of the first Gulf War suffer from Gulf War illness.
November 26, 2008–The strategy of changing chemical processes at industrial facilities so they use less hazardous materials, and pose less of a threat from terrorism and accidents, gained little traction in the Bush administration after 9/11. But a number of organizations continue to push the idea.
October 1, 2008–Along with the usual spooky and spine-tingling sights we have come to expect in caves, another scary inhabitant is turning up — contaminants such as PCBs, pesticides, dioxins, gasoline, fertilizers, sewage, and caffeine.
These pollutants, which are leaching into caves from the surface and groundwater, can pose a threat to the delicate underground environments that are prized by many, and that provide benefits to people, plants, and animals on the surface. The presence of these contaminants underground also serves as a blunt reminder of how pervasive pollutants are.