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Herbicide Chemical in Drinking Water Could Pose Much Greater Danger to Health Than Previously Thought

Contamination of drinking water by a common herbicide poses a greater health threat than previously believed, according to a report issued by the nonprofit environmental organization Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC).

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Rulings Restrict Clean Water Act, Foiling E.P.A.

Thousands of the nation’s largest water polluters are outside the Clean Water Act’s reach because the Supreme Court has left uncertain which waterways are protected by that law, according to interviews with regulators. As a result, some businesses are declaring that the law no longer applies to them. And pollution rates are rising.

Companies that have spilled oil, carcinogens and dangerous bacteria into lakes, rivers and other waters are not being prosecuted, according to Environmental Protection Agency regulators working on those cases, who estimate that more than 1,500 major pollution investigations have been discontinued or shelved in the last four years.

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Large Iceberg Breaks Off Antarctica's Mertz Glacier

A joint Australian-French study has discovered the calving of a large iceberg from the Mertz Glacier in the Australian Antarctic Territory. The iceberg -- 78 kilometres long with a surface area of roughly 2,500 square kilometres, about the size of Luxembourg -- broke off the Mertz Glacier after being rammed by another iceberg, 97 kilometres long.

The Mertz Glacier had a large crack in it for two decades. A second crack developed opposite the first in the early part of the 21st century. The collaboration studied whether these two cracks would eventually meet, and the processes that would lead to the calving of an iceberg.

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Whaling worsens carbon release, scientists warn

A century of whaling may have released more than 100 million tonnes - or a large forest's worth - of carbon into the atmosphere, scientists say. Whales store carbon within their huge bodies and when they are killed, much of this carbon can be released.

US scientists revealed their estimate of carbon released by whaling at the Ocean Sciences meeting in Portland, US. Dr Andrew Pershing from the University of Maine described whales as the "forests of the ocean". Dr Pershing and his colleagues from the Gulf of Maine Research Institute calculated the annual carbon-storing capacity of whales as they grew.

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Asia-produced ozone making its way to U.S., study finds

A new study further bolsters concerns that pollution blowing across the Pacific Ocean from China and other rapidly developing Asian nations may swamp efforts to clean up the air in the Western United States and make it difficult for states and cities to meet federal standards.

The study, based on 100,000 measurements over 25 years and a computer model tracking air-flow patterns, found that during the spring, ozone from Asia reaches Washington, Oregon, California and other states west of the Rocky Mountains.

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Almost half of all primates face 'imminent extinction'

Almost half of the world's primate species – which include apes, monkeys and lemurs - are threatened with extinction due to the destruction of tropical forests and illegal hunting and trade.

In a report highlighting the 25 most endangered primate species, conservationists have outlined the desperate plight of primates from Madagascar, Africa, Asia and Central and South America, with some populations down to just a few dozen in number.

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World's top firms cause $2.2tn of environmental damage, report estimates

The cost of pollution and other damage to the natural environment caused by the world's biggest companies would wipe out more than one-third of their profits if they were held financially accountable, a major unpublished study for the United Nations has found.

The report comes amid growing concern that no one is made to pay for most of the use, loss and damage of the environment, which is reaching crisis proportions in the form of pollution and the rapid loss of freshwater, fisheries and fertile soils.

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