The assessments, expected late January 2012, could have wide-ranging direct and indirect effects in realms such as toxic site cleanups, brownfield development, manufacturing processes, domestic food production and sales, and international trade of food and possibly other goods.
- SEJ Publication Types:Visibility:
The searchable database is finally being published online for the first time after Congress mandated it in a rider to the 2008 omnibus appropriations bill. EPA compromised after protests from industry, limiting it to only the largest emitters. Pick only emitters in certain states. Focus on emissions of each of the six greenhouse gases it includes — or to customize views according to size of emission or emitting industry.
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Shortly before EPA's deadline to finalize its new rules on toxic emissions from US power plants, the tri-national Commission for Environmental Cooperation released its report on emissions from 3,144 power plants in Canada, the US, and Mexico.
Colorado, which adopted its disclosure rules December 13, 2011, joins Texas, Pennsylvania, and several other states in requiring some disclosure by drillers of the chemicals they pump into shale formations under high pressures to release natural gas. Scores of chemicals, some very toxic, may be involved.
The agency plans to publish by the end of 2011 the first round of annual data reported, for 2010, on emissions from about 7,000 large stationary sources in 28 industry sectors. This data should provide a useful tool for media coverage on sources, impacts, and mitigation efforts, if any.
The culprits often are one or more significant lead emitters such as smelters, iron or steel foundries, waste incinerators, utilities, or lead-acid battery manufacturers. Piston-engine planes using leaded aviation gasoline are another source.
On Nov. 9, 2011, EPA signed a consent decree that requires the agency to receive from and approve a State Implementation Plan for DC, VI, and 43 states that don't have a fully approved one. Each state can determine how it wants to reduce haze. In some cases, the plan will rely on actions already taken, such as reductions in emissions from power plants or vehicles.
Attorneys for some 30 utilities suing Syngenta over atrazine pollution of their drinking water supplies charged the company directed employees to send copies of all correspondence on atrazine to corporate attorneys so that attorney-client privilege could be claimed.
There are 464 facilities on the list of Clean Air Act violators. The Center for Public Integrity's iWatch News and National Public Radio got the list using the FOIA and published a powerful feature package: "Poisoned Places: Toxic Air, Neglected Communities." But they did not tell all the stories. They left some for you.