The Ohio legislature cleared a fracking bill May 24, 2012 that increases inspections of wells and requires drillers to hold liability insurance. But Reuters reports: "Many Democrats said the bill paves the way for the industry to hide information about toxic chemicals that could contaminate groundwater."
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A Chicago Tribune investigative series on flame retardant chemicals helps illustrate how federal agency control of what scientists say to reporters can help the chemical and tobacco industries. By reporter Michael Hawthorne.Topics on the Beat:
After backroom lobbying by gas and oil industry groups, the Obama White House watered down the promised fracking-fluid disclosure requirement promised earlier this year — imposing it only after completion of the fracking operation, when the information may have little effect (such as public pressure on BLM to deny a drilling permit).
EPA's upcoming rulings on confidentiality for data going into the companies' GHG calculations will be important. Those determinations may impact whether companies' reporting is accurate — and whether they can ever be held accountable for their emissions.
Stormwater becomes a big media story during disasters such as floods and hurricane surges, and it's essential to cover the basics then. But there are dozens of related issues that can contribute to the disaster, and covering them in advance can help your audience understand ways of possibly preventing the peak crises.
This user-friendly tool will help you understand and analyze discharges from point sources such as factories, sewage treatment plants, power plants, airports, and feedlots. EPA consolidated data from a number of inventories, making it easier to see who is dumping what, when, and where, and who is known to be in violation of their permit.
The confidential National Air Quality Site Assessment Tool helps the livestock owner/operator figure out how changing on-site practices can reduce emissions of ammonia, methane, volatile organic compounds, hydrogen sulfide, fine particulates, and odors. This may be useful for journalists; whether an owner/operator will discuss the details of their operation or not, there's a story.
One day, EPA may propose rules for regulating greenhouse gas emissions from power plants and petroleum refineries. But the process continues to drag out, with the consent of the state and local governments and environmental advocacy groups that have been litigating for about five years to make the agency take action.
Most current fracking operations happen on non-federal lands. But on federal lands, things are different — Obama intends to require disclosure of fluids as a condition of new leases for fracking on federal lands. If it takes place, this could push the ingredient lists further into the open.Region:
CDC's Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry has been investigating a Navy cover-up of cancer-causing drinking water at its Lejeune, NC, base. Now, Project on Government Oversight has released a January 5, 2012, letter from Marine Major General J.A. Kessler asking ATSDR to redact its report in the name of "force protection."