Posted on December 10, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
Honeybees may get some relief from deadly pesticides.
Conservation advocates hopeful that agency will propose new restrictions
FRISCO — Conservation advocates say the EPA may be close to cracking down on systemic neonicotinoid pesticides suspected of playing a key role in the decline of honeybees.
According to Friends of the Earth, a top EPA regulator discussed the agency’s stance on neonicotinoids at a Dec. 8 meeting of state pesticide regulators. The agency was charged with assessing the effects of the pesticides under June 2014 presidential memorandum.
At this point, there is no formal proposal for new pesticide restrictions, which would come in the form of a proposed rule subject to public input. Continue reading
Filed under: agriculture, biodiversity, Environment | Tagged: EPA, honeybee decline, neonicotinoids, pesticides, pollinator crisis | Leave a comment »
Posted on December 2, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
A NASA satellite image shows air pollution along the East Coast and over the Atlantic.
New rule would more than pay for itself in health care savings
FRISCO — As more and more studies show the harmful health effects of smog, or ground-level ozone, the EPA wants to set new standards to help clean up the air.
Last week the agency unveiled its proposal to lower the standard from 75 parts per billion to as low as 60 ppb, pending completion of a review and comment period, including public hearings.
The Clean Air Act requires EPA to review the standards every five years by following a set of open, transparent steps and considering the advice of a panel of independent experts. EPA last updated these standards in 2008, setting them at 75 ppb. Continue reading
Filed under: air quality, Environment | Tagged: air quality, Environment, EPA, New EPA smog standard, ozone, smog | Leave a comment »
Posted on November 6, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
Enviro groups gear up for major fight
FRISCO — Climate activists and environmental groups came out with both guns blazing in reaction to the 2014 election, vowing to confront what they describe as the new radically anti-environmental political landscape in Congress.
Of major concern is that one of the Senate’s most vocal anti-science members — Oklahoma Republican James Inhofe — will chair the key environment committee. Inhofe is on record as totally rejecting the idea that the atmopsheric carbon dioxide buildup in the atmosphere is affecting global climate.
The Keystone XL Pipeline is also still on the table, and people on both sides of the issue are busy counting votes in the Senate to see if new fossil-fuel backed leadership can push through approval of the controversial project that would transport tar sands crude oil from Canada into the U.S. heartland.
https://twitter.com/350/status/530101938554425344 Continue reading
Filed under: climate and weather, Environment, global warming | Tagged: climate policy, election 2014, Environment, EPA, global warming, greenhouse gases | 1 Comment »
Posted on October 24, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
Activists challenge EPA approval of new herbicides.
Chemical-agricultural death spiral continues …
FRISCO — A coalition of farmers and environmental groups claim the EPA didn’t adequately analyze the human health and environmental impacts of a powerful new herbicide before authorizing for use on genetically engineered corn and soybean crops.
Activists said they will sue the agency over the approval, explaining that use of Dow’s Enlist Duo, a blend of glyphosate and 2,4-D, will only foster more weed resistance.
“The voices of independent family farmers are being drowned out by the revolving door of corporate and government agency heads,” said Mississippi farmer Ben Burkett. “It’s time for our government to pay attention to the farmer concerns about the negative impacts of herbicide-resistant GMO on our food supply,” said Burkett, president of the National Family Farm Coalition. Continue reading
Filed under: Environment | Tagged: 2, 4-D, Enlist Duo, Environment, EPA, genetically engineered crops, glysophate, herbicides, pesticides | 1 Comment »
Posted on October 20, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
All-out remediation effort targets acid mine drainage near Keystone Ski Area
By Bob Berwyn
FRISCO — For decades, the abandoned Pennsylvania Mine has been oozing heavy metals — zinc, manganese, cadmium, lead and and arsenic — into the waters of Peru Creek, a small tributary of the Snake River near Keystone, Colorado. The site has been the focus of intensive study during the past 15 years with the goal of improving water quality downstream.
Last week, engineers and environmental experts took a big step toward trying to staunch that flow by blocking one of the mine tunnels. If all goes well, the new bulkhead could reduce the direct discharge from the mine by about two-thirds, said Jeff Graves, a remediation expert with the Colorado Division of Reclamation Mining and Safety.
Graves explained that the new plug should force the water back into its natural underground pathways, trickling and percolating down through layers of rock and earth, and not as prone to the oxidation that’s key in the formation of acid mine drainage. Essentially, the work will restore the groundwater flow to more natural, pre-mining conditions, he said. Continue reading
Filed under: Environment, rivers, water, water quality | Tagged: abandoned mine pollution, acid mine drainage, EPA, Pennsylvania Mine, Peru Creek, Snake River Colorado, Snake River watershed task force | Leave a comment »
Posted on October 7, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
Methane emissions: up, up … up.
EPA report shows the greenhouse gas dragon is far from tamed
FRISCO — The EPA may be putting lipstick on the methane pig by claiming that methane emissions dropped during the past year, according to watchdog groups who say the numbers put forth by the federal agency are misleading.
Overall, the EPA reported Sept. 30 that greenhouse gas emissions from large industrial facilities climbed by 20 million metric tons in 2013, up 0.6 percent from the previous year. Continue reading
Filed under: air quality, climate and weather, energy, Environment, fracking, gas drilling, global warming, oil drilling | Tagged: climate change, EPA, greenhouse gases, methane emissions | Leave a comment »
Posted on September 27, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
Salmon fisheries at risk with open-pit mine proposal
The EPA will be allowed to do a thorough evaluation of the impacts of a proposed copper mine in Alaska’s Bristol Bay, a federal judge has ruled.
By Bob Berwyn
FRISCO — A federal judge Friday ruled that the EPA can proceed with an environmental review of a proposed copper mine in Alaska’ pristine Bristol Bay.
U.S. District Court Judge H. Russel Holland rejected arguments that the EPA exceeded its authority by starting the review process in the absence of a specific permit application, and that the review violates the Alaska Statehood Act.
At issue is the proposed Pebble Mine, which would, according to environmental groups, become the largest copper mine in the world, potentially tainting huge areas of productive salmon habitat with dredged material and other pollutants. Continue reading
Filed under: Environment, rivers, water, water quality, wetlands | Tagged: 404 permit, Bristol Bay Alaska, Environment, EPA, mining, Pebble Mine, salmon | 1 Comment »