What the hell are they thinking?
Several rural communities and counties in New York have received permission from state regulators—despite a state fracking moratorium and a warning from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency—to spread fracking waste brine on roads as a de-icer.
Environmental group Riverkeeper, which focuses on the health of the Hudson River, warns that the liquid can move into watersheds, a concern that led nine other counties in the state to ban the practice. And remember, this is mystery juice. The natural gas industry, the frackheads who inject the fluid into subterranean shale formations to force out natural gas, has kept the chemical makeup of the fluid a closely held industrial secret.
What the hell are they thinking?
First Gulf oil spill natural resource study reveals extensive damage in shoreline, deepwater habitats
The extensive damage caused by the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill and the ensuing cleanup efforts to natural resources along the shoreline and in deepwater habitats of the Gulf of Mexico were outlined for the first time Friday (Dec. 6) in a comprehensive environmental assessment.
The assessment, released by federal and state oil spill trustees, accompanies a plan for spending $627 million on 44 projects aimed at restoring some of the damage outlined in the report, or compensating the public for lost resources. That plan is the third batch of projects to be paid for with $1 billion set aside in 2011 by BP to build "early restoration" projects under the Natural Resource Damage Assessment process required by the federal Oil Pollution Act of 1990.
Hang on. Get Ready.
Those are at least two of the takeaways from a new report released by scientists in the National Academy of Sciences on Tuesday which says the sudden impacts of climate change this century and beyond are inevitable but warn that far too little has been done to prepare for them.
The report, Abrupt Impacts of Climate Change, looks at the issue of abrupt changes in climate, weather patterns, and the impacts that can occur in a matter of years or decades, not the lengthier scenarios that climate scientists sometimes focus on. (The full report can be read online here).
Since 2009, more than 200 magnitude-3.0 or greater earthquakes have hit the state's midsection, according to the Geological Survey. Many have been centered near Oklahoma City, the most populous part of the state.
The rate at which China's largest desert freshwater lake is shrinking has accelerated dramatically in the past four years, figures show.
Hongjiannao Lake, several hundred kilometres to the west of Beijing, has been disappearing since the 1970s, due to a combination of coal mining and climate change. But the speed at which it is losing area has increased rapidly since 2009, when it measured 46 square kilometres (sq km), down from 67 sq km in 1969.
Data released by local meteorological agencies on Thursday and reported by Chinese state media, shows the lake has now shrunk by almost one-third since 2009, to 31.16 sq km.
The Energy Department began cleaning up an environmental nightmare at the old Savannah River Site nuclear weapons plant here in 1996 and promised a bright future: Within a quarter-century, officials said, they would turn liquid radioactive bomb waste into a solid that could not spill or dissolve.
But 17 years later, the department has slowed the work to a pace that makes completion of the cleanup by the projected date of 2023 highly unlikely. Energy officials now say the work will not be done until well into the 2040s, when the aging underground tanks that hold the bomb waste in the South Carolina lowlands will be 90 years old.
An important new study measures actual methane levels in the U.S. atmosphere. This is a case where the total is definitely more than the previously imagined sum of its parts. The study, soon to be published in the Proceedings of the Natural Academy of Sciences (PNAS), found, in particular, that the EPA continues to greatly under-estimate methane emissions from shale gas production, as well as from fossil fuel extraction and processing in general.
Andrew Revkin, who wrote yesterday’s New York Times article, “New study finds U.S. has underestimated methane levels in the atmosphere,” also co-wrote a key analysis four years ago in the New York Times, revealing how serious the EPA’s under-estimation of methane emissions from gas wells was at that time.
Police in LeClaire, Iowa, said it was unclear how much fuel spilled into the Mississippi River when a towboat sank off the city's shoreline.
The U.S. Coast Guard said it received a report Monday afternoon of the sinking of the 144-foot towboat. Nine crewmembers were on board when the towboat hit a submerged object near LeClaire, Iowa. All aboard were able to get off the vessel safely.
The Coast Guard estimates 100,000 gallons of petroleum products, or about 2,300 barrels, were on board the sunken vessel.
The U.S. government's authority to regulate air pollution nationwide, often against the wishes of Republican-leaning states, could face new curbs when the Supreme Court takes on two high-stakes cases in coming months.
The cases focus on the broad-ranging power wielded by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) under the landmark Clean Air Act, first enacted in 1970.
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