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NC cites 5 Duke Energy plants for lacking permits

Duke energy ncNorth Carolina regulators have cited five more Duke Energy power plants for lacking required storm water permits after a massive spill at one of the company's coal ash dumps coated 70 miles of the Dan River in toxic sludge.

The state Department of Environment and Natural Resources announced Monday that Charlotte-based Duke Energy had been issued formal notices of violation for not having the needed permits, which are required to legally discharge rainwater draining from its plants into public waterways.

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Sunken Great Lakes oil pipeline raises spill fears

greatlakes pipelineEnvironmental activists and some members of Congress are concerned about two oil pipelines beneath a waterway linking Lakes Michigan and Huron.

The pipes owned by Enbridge Energy Partners cross the bottom of the Straits of Mackinac in northern Michigan, a popular resort area. They're part of a line that carries oil between North Dakota and several Upper Midwestern states.

The lines were laid in 1953. The company says they've never leaked and are safe.

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EPA announces new sulfur emission limits

EPA announces sulfur emission limitsThe Environmental Protection Agency on Monday issued stricter emissions standards for cars and trucks that limit the amount of sulfur that can be used in gasoline.

EPA officials hailed the new standards, which they said would prevent as many as 2,000 respiratory deaths per year while imposing minimal costs on refiners and automakers.

The American Petroleum Institute (API), however, said the standards would raise gas prices while providing little environmental gain. The group also said a 2017 deadline for meeting the standards could cause an interruption in supply.

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Hundreds arrested at White House Keystone protest

Keystone protestsMore than 300 anti-Keystone XL protesters were arrested Sunday afternoon outside the White House in the latest push by environmentalists to convince the Obama administration to reject the Canadian oil pipeline.

The student-led protest, organized by XL Dissent, started with a rally at Georgetown University. The students marched from there to the White House — with a stop at Secretary of State John Kerry’s house along the way.

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Are Washing State nuclear waste tanks seriously flawed?

Nuclear waste tankWhile one of the newer double-walled nuclear waste storage tanks at a Washington state complex has leaked, six others have "significant construction flaws" that could lead to additional leaks, according to documents obtained by The Associated Press.

The 28 double-walled tanks at Hanford nuclear waste complex hold some of the worst radioactive waste at the nation's most contaminated nuclear weapons site.

One of those giant tanks was found to be leaking in 2012. But subsequent surveys of the other double-walled tanks performed for the U.S. Department of Energy by one of its Hanford contractors found at least six shared defects with the leaking tank that could lead to future leaks, the documents said. Thirteen additional tanks also might be compromised, according to the documents.

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EPA halts Alaska mine, says it would devastate salmon

EPA halts Alaska mineThe Environmental Protection Agency is putting the brakes on the massive Pebble Mine project in Alaska, saying it endangers the finest wild salmon run on earth.

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy said Friday her agency will look for ways to protect the salmon. In the meantime, the Army Corps of Engineers won’t be allowed to issue a permit for the mine.

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Marylanders Arrested at Cumberland Courthouse in Protest Aimed at Stopping Cove Point Fracked Gas Exports

Cove Point protestsA local Unitarian minister and three western Maryland residents were arrested just before noon today outside the Allegany County Courthouse in Cumberland for peacefully protesting Virginia-based Dominion Resources’ plan to build a liquefied natural gas export facility at Cove Point in southern Maryland.

The protesters blocked the courthouse entrance to demand justice in the controversial federal handling of the massive $3.8 billion project, which would take nearly a billion cubic feet of gas per day from fracking wells across the Appalachian region, liquefy it on the Chesapeake Bay, and export it to Asia.

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