"Maryland is failing to ride herd on water pollution in the state because of serious funding shortfalls and its own flawed enforcement practices, according to a Washington-based think tank."
"A federal study of hydraulic fracturing set to begin this spring is expected to provide the most expansive look yet at how the natural gas drilling process can affect drinking water supplies,... . The oil and gas industry strongly opposes this new approach."
"Environmentalist Jeff Spoelstra says an 80-mile stretch of the Kalamazoo River that runs through toxin-laced land in southwestern Michigan was on its way to becoming safe again. ...Then, in January 2009, Lyondell Chemical Co. filed for bankruptcy protection. The Houston-based petrochemical giant argued in court that as it reorganized, it could avoid what the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said were about $2.5 billion in cleanup costs...."
"Environmentalists demanded Tuesday that Puerto Rico's government order new tests to determine whether coal ash being used for home and road construction in the U.S. island's south is free of toxic material."
"Alleging that a Brandywine landfill is discharging toxic pollutants into local waterways, the Maryland Department of the Environment filed suit against the site's operator Friday in federal court. ... The landfill stores the waste byproducts of coal combustion from Mirant's Chalk Point Generating Plant in Aquasco."
The bad economy is thwarting municipalities trying to upgrade their sewage treatment plants to comply with the Clean Water Act. "Chris Hornback, senior director of regulatory affairs for the National Association of Clean Water Agencies (NACWA), said factory closings typically hit smaller communities harder than larger communities where larger numbers of users can make up for lost revenue more easily."
"Japan on Monday settled a suit by more than 2,000 victims of mercury poisoning, half a century after the country's worst industrial pollution disaster hit the fishing town of Minamata."
As the gas boom stampedes landowners in New York to lease rights to drill the Marcellus shale formations beneath their farms and homes, many worry the drilling could pollute wells permanently.
"Cinders are dirty. Cinders are cheap. Cinders increase traction on snow- and ice-covered roads. What remains unclear is whether they do significant harm to the environment."
"BP America Inc. and two other oil and gas companies are lobbying for the new Senate climate and energy bill to recommend against federal regulation of hydraulic fracturing." A draft would bar public disclosure of chemicals in fracturing fluid, some of which are toxic.