Posted on July 14, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Polluters are asking a federal court to roll back protection for important wetlands. @bberwyn photo.
U.S. Chamber of Commerce leads effort to overturn Waters of the U.S. rule
By Bob Berwyn
FRISCO — A new federal wetlands rule that helps protect water quality and important wildlife habitat will face a federal court challenge from groups representing some of the country’s biggest polluters.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the National Federation of Independent Business, and the Portland Cement Association last week filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Oklahoma, seeking to overturn the so-called Waters of the U.S. rule. Continue reading
Filed under: Environment, rivers, water, water quality, wetlands | Tagged: Environment, pollution, water quality, waters of the U.S., wetlands | 3 Comments »
Posted on May 13, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
A new study raises more questions about public health risks in oil and gas development zones.
Findings confirm health risks to people living near oil and gas wells
FRISCO — Careful air sampling near active natural gas wells in Carroll County, Ohio showed the widespread presence of toxic air pollution at higher levels than the Environmental Protection Agency considers safe for lifetime exposure, according to scientists from Oregon State University and the University of Cincinnati.
The study reinforces the need for more extensive air quality monitoring in fracking zones around the country, where exposure to the poisonous emissions are likely to lead to increased risk of cancer and respiratory ailments. Continue reading
Filed under: energy, Environment, fracking, gas drilling, oil drilling | Tagged: air pollution, fracking, Ohio, oil and gas, PAHs, pollution, public health | 5 Comments »
Posted on May 5, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Fracking substances found almost two miles away from faulty drilling operation
FRISCO — Scientists in Pennsylvania said they’ve been able to track pollution from fracking as the source of contamination in drinking water wells more than 1 mile from the fracked shale gas wells.
The stray natural gas and wastewater moved laterally along shallow to intermediate depth fractures to the source of the homes’ well water. The chemicals foamed from water faucets in three homes near a reported well-pad leak. The homes were sold to the gas company as part of a legal settlement in 2012, but scientists received samples before the transfer.
Previous studies had not been able to identify the cause of the foaming, but the new analysis found a chemical compound, 2-BE, and an unidentified complex mixture of organic contaminants, both commonly seen in flowback water from Marcellus shale activity. Continue reading
Filed under: energy, Environment, fracking, gas drilling, water, water quality | Tagged: drinking water, energy, Environment, fracking, Marcellus shale, pollution, public health, water quality | 1 Comment »
Posted on April 25, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
A Cooper’s Hawk. Photo courtesy USFWS.
Cooper’s hawk in Vancouver area tainted with flame-retardant chemicals
FRISCO — Better living through chemistry may — or may not — be an apt motto for people. But it definitely doesn’t hold true for wild animals, who, to their detriment, ingest the toxic remnants of our industrialized society on a daily basis.
This trickle-down effect was recently illustrated once again as Canadian scientists announced that they found what they called “the most polluted wild bird that has been found anywhere in the world.” Continue reading
Filed under: biodiversity, Environment, wildlife | Tagged: Cooper's hawk, Environment, PBDEs, pollution, wildlife | Leave a comment »
Posted on April 15, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
100 days of pain …
FRISCO — A furious assault on the environment during the first 100 days of a GOP-controlled Senate has environmental advocates on the defensive.
Instead of making progress on climate change and other key conservation issues, progressives are in the position of trying to hold the line on gains they made during the first six years of the Obama administration.
According to a coalition of advocacy groups, Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell has made it clear that his top priority is protecting polluters and dismantling clean air and public health protections. Continue reading
Filed under: air quality, Democracy, Environment | Tagged: climate change, coal, Environment, environmental politics, Mitch McConnell, pollution, U.S. Senate | Leave a comment »
Posted on April 14, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Off the road, into the stream … Photo courtesy U.S. Department of Transportation.
Coal-tar sealant fingered as highly damaging to DNA
FRISCO — New research led by U.S. Geological Survey scientists shows that pavement sealants made with coal tar are highly toxic. Runoff from surfaces treated with such sealants can kill fish and other stream organisms for months after it’s applied, the researchers concluded in a pair of recent studies.
Pavement sealant is a black liquid sprayed or painted on the asphalt pavement of parking lots, driveways and playgrounds to improve appearance and protect the underlying asphalt.
Pavement sealants that contain coal tar have extremely high levels of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). Coal tar is a known human carcinogen; several PAHs are probable human carcinogens and some are toxic to fish and other aquatic life. Continue reading
Filed under: Environment, rivers, water, water quality | Tagged: blacktop, coal-tar sealant, Environment, highways, PAHs, pollution | Leave a comment »
Posted on April 13, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Study finds that some Persistent Organic Pollutants are ‘pervasive’ in the environment around Antarctic base
FRISCO — Antarctica is often described as one of the last pristine environments on Earth, but that may be changing as human activity increases.
Researchers with the Australian Antarctic Division recently said they tracked pollutants from common household sources dispersing from a research station into the surrounding environment. As a result, the scientists are rethinking how they store and dispose of materials that could be the source of pollutants. Continue reading
Filed under: Antarctica, Environment | Tagged: Antarctica, Environment, Persistent organic pollutants, pollution | Leave a comment »