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Indian Point tritium leak 80% worse than originally reported

Indian Point worse than thoughtNew measurements at the Indian Point nuclear power plant in upstate New York show levels of radioactive tritium 80 percent higher than reported last week. Plant operator insists the spill is not dangerous, as state officials call for a safety probe.

Entergy, which operates the facility 25 miles (40 km) north of New York City, says the increased levels of tritium represent “fluctuations that can be expected as the material migrates.”

“Even with the new readings, there is no impact to public health or safety, and although these values remain less than one-tenth of one percent of federal reporting guidelines,” Entergy said in a statement.

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Ohio fracking tax not on legislative leaders' agenda

Fracking tax not on Ohio agendaRepublican and Democratic leaders of the state legislature say now is the not the time to change Ohio's tax on oil and gas drillers, saying it could be problematic to the industry.

A severance tax increase has been a priority of Republican Gov. John Kasich (KAY'-sik) for years. He contends the tax is too low, and he's wanted to use proceeds of a tax hike on hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, to help cut the state's income-tax rate.

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Flint counsel says manslaughter charge harshest possible

Flint waterFlint’s water crisis, after a switch in the source allowed dangerous levels of lead and potentially caused deadly cases of Legionnaires’ disease, could result in criminal charges as serious as involuntary manslaughter, a top investigator said today.

The emergency will prompt Gov. Rick Snyder to propose another $195 million in aid in his annual budget proposal on Wednesday, including $25 million to potentially replace old lead and copper pipes. Snyder also plans to call for $165 million in funding for infrastructure needs across Michigan in the 2016-17 budget.

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Supreme court to halt enforcement of Obama's sweeping climate change plan

Climate change plans haltedThe supreme court agreed to block the enforcement of Barack Obama’s clean power plan on Tuesday, raising fears that the centerpiece of his climate-change plan could be overturned.

In a surprise move, the judges put a temporary freeze on the plan until a Washington DC circuit court of appeals hears challenges from a coalition of industry officials and more than two dozen mainly Republican states. Arguments are scheduled for 2 June.

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Tap water runs brown in impoverished northeast Louisiana

Brown water in Louisiana“I’m scared to take a bath,” said Ethel Strum, who lives in St. Joseph, a community of barely 1,000 people in northeast Louisiana.

She turned on the tap in the bathroom sink of her tidy one-story home and the water flowed clear for a second before fading to a milky brown. In her kitchen, a few cases of bottled water, which she uses for everything from brushing her teeth to cooking, are stacked on the table.

“I drive to Newellton to shower. It’s a 20-minute drive but I can do it in 12,” she laughed.

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65,000% Spike In Reported Radioactivity After Tritium Leaks At Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant

Tritium spike at Indian Point ground waterTwo years after being fined for falsifying safety records, nine months after a transformer exploded at the Indian Point Nuclear Reactor just 37 miles from midtown Manhattan, and two months after Entergy - the plant's operator - shut down the Unit 2 reactor after a major power outage cut power to several control rods (when the company assured that no radioactivity was released into the environment), this afternoon NY Governor Andrew Cuomo said he learned that "radioactive tritium-contaminated water" had leaked into the groundwater at the nuclear facility in Westchester County.

Cuomo, in a letter Saturday to the state Health Department and the Department of Environmental Conservation, called for the probe into the Indian Point NPP after he said Entergy, the plant's owner, reported "alarming levels of radioactivity" at three monitoring wells, with one well’s radioactivity increasing nearly 65,000 percent.

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The Atlantic Ocean Is Acidifying at a Rapid Rate

Acidification of oceansOver the past 10 years, the Atlantic Ocean has soaked up 50 percent more carbon dioxide than it did the decade before, measurably speeding up the acidification of the ocean, according to a new study.

The paper, published Saturday in the journal Global Biogeochemical Cycles, “shows the large impact all of us are having on the environment,” Ryan Woosley of the University of Miami said in a statement. “Our use of fossil fuels isn’t only causing the climate to change but also affects the oceans by decreasing the pH.”
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NGOs sound alarm on heavy fuel oil used in Arctic shipping

NGO's sound alarm on Arctic Fuel OilAs Arctic Council delegates convened for a three-day environmental working group meeting in Sweden on Monday, representatives of 15 NGOs released a letter calling on the Council’s eight member states to pursue a ban on heavy fuel oils in the region.

“The risks to the marine environment, the climate, and public health are too great to permit the continued use of [heavy fuel oil] in Arctic shipping,” the letter says.

Cargo shipping in the Arctic region has increased in recent years as firms take advantage of shorter routes that are usually clogged by sea ice. Some of these ships are powered by or are transporting heavy fuel oil, which the letter asserts is a grave environmental threat to the Arctic’s delicate ecosystem.

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Californians let their guards down as El Niño rains drenched state

California el Nino rainWhoever thought that, in the middle of California’s historic drought, a little bit of rain could pose a problem?

But that was the message Tuesday from the state water resources control board and some environmentalists.

Yes, Californians continue to shorten their showers and deny their lawns in this, the fifth year of what is being described as the worst drought in modern times. But in December, they let their guard down as El Niño rain fell in parts of the state, snow accumulated in the mountains and huge waves battered the coast.

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