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Indian State Targets Toxic Liquor Sales as Deaths Hit 38

January 13, 2015 5:08 pm | by BISWAJEET BANERJEE, Associated Press | Comments

Authorities in a north Indian state suspended 23 officials Wednesday in a crackdown on illegal liquor sales, as the death toll among villagers who drank from a bad batch of cheap alcohol climbed to 38. Doctors say the victims' symptoms indicate the drinks contained methyl alcohol, which despite being toxic is sometimes mixed with ethyl alcohol to make a cheaper brew.

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Feds Project Lower Crude Prices, Increased Production in 2015

January 13, 2015 4:49 pm | by Andy Szal, Chem.info | Comments

Federal officials estimate the prices of crude oil will fall slightly this year compared to late 2014 before rebounding in 2016. The U.S. Energy Information Administration's short-term energy outlook projects the average monthly price of crude on the Brent index at $58 per barrel in 2015, down from the December average of $62 per barrel.

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Recycling Plant Owner Admits Illegal Chemical Dumping

January 13, 2015 9:53 am | by Associated Press | Comments

The owner of an El Dorado plastics recycling company will be sentenced March 30 for dumping hazardous waste chemicals. Federal prosecutors say 41-year-old Brian Riley, of Andover, also was ordered to pay $118,000 to the Environmental Protection Agency. Riley pleaded guilty Monday to negligent exposure to a hazardous air pollutant.

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DuPont Workers May Have Been Exposed to Toxic Gas For Years

January 13, 2015 9:47 am | by Houston Chronicle | Comments

State records indicate that employees at a Houston-area pesticide plant where a poisonous gas leak killed four workers in November may have been periodically exposed to the dangerous fumes for years. Four employees at the DuPont plant died after being exposed to methyl mercaptan on Nov. 15. Federal officials and the state agency are investigating the deaths.

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Air Force Personnel May Have Been Exposed to Agent Orange After Vietnam

January 12, 2015 5:08 pm | by Andy Szal, Chem.info | Comments

A generation of American service personnel continues to deal with the effects of Agent Orange more than 40 years after the military ceased spraying the powerful herbicide during the Vietnam War. According to a recent federal report, military personnel working on Vietnam-era aircraft years after that campaign ended may have been exposed to dangerous levels of the harmful chemicals.

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Senate Moves Ahead on Keystone Despite Obama Veto Threat

January 12, 2015 3:11 pm | by Associated Press | Comments

The Republican-controlled Senate is moving ahead on a bill to construct the Keystone XL pipeline despite President Barack Obama's veto threat. The White House has threatened a presidential veto of the measure, saying it conflicts with longstanding presidential authority and his ability to make decisions on issues in the nation's interest.

Poland's Premier Helps in Stalled Talks With Striking Miners

January 12, 2015 3:08 pm | by Associated Press | Comments

Hundreds of angry coal miners in southern Poland staged an underground strike Monday to protest a plan to close four mines that the government says are losing money. Prime Minister Ewa Kopacz traveled to the area to sit down and talk with the protesting miners. Earlier negotiations broke down Sunday.

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Manufacturing Job Growth up in 2014

January 12, 2015 10:01 am | by Andy Szal, Chem.info | Comments

Manufacturing job growth increased dramatically in 2014 compared to the previous year, according to numbers from the federal Labor Department released Friday. The report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics showed the manufacturing sector added an average of 16,000 jobs per month last year, compared to gains of 7,000 jobs per month for 2013.

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EPA Proposes Limits to Chemicals Used in Consumer Products

January 12, 2015 9:54 am | by Andy Szal, Chem.info | Comments

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has announced steps allowing it to limit the use of toluene diisocyanate, a common chemical in commercial products which the agency said can cause asthma and lung damage. The EPA's move would require manufacturers and importers to notify the agency at least 90 days prior to starting or resuming use of TDI at certain levels.

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Work Expected to Resume at Damaged Iowa Plant in a Few Days

January 12, 2015 9:41 am | by Sioux City Journal; Sioux City, Iowa | Comments

Production is expected to resume in a few days at a northwest Iowa fertilizer plant that was damaged by a fire and subsequent explosion. The fire began around 6 p.m. Saturday at the Nulex plant in the Port Neal industrial area south of Sioux City. No injuries have been reported.

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Nitrogen Leak at LG Display Factory Kills 2, Sickens 4

January 12, 2015 9:33 am | by Associated Press | Comments

LG Display said Monday two people were killed and four others sickened by a nitrogen leak at its  factory north of Seoul. LG Display Co. said in a statement that the victims, employed by a LG contractor, were carrying out a regular repair and maintenance work when the nitrogen leak occurred not long after midday at the factory in Paju city.

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Texas City That Prepared For Oil Boom Now Waits For Bust

January 9, 2015 2:14 pm | by EMILY SCHMALL, Associated Press | Comments

Just two years ago, this Texas town known mostly for its annual rattlesnake roundup seemed to be on the brink of a transformation. Expecting a huge influx of oil workers, local leaders spent tens of millions of dollars to improve the courthouse, build a new law-enforcement center and upgrade the hospital. Hotels, truck stops and housing subdivisions were to follow, all catering to truck drivers and roughnecks.

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Oil Bust Will Hurt Housing in Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana

January 9, 2015 12:29 pm | by JOSH BOAK, AP Economics Writer | Comments

The oil boom that lifted home prices in Texas, Oklahoma and Louisiana is coming to an end. Crude oil prices have crashed since June, falling by more than 54 percent to less than $50 a barrel. That swift drop has started to cripple job growth in oil country, creating a slow wave that in the years ahead may devastate what has been a thriving real estate market.

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Obama Administration Sued Over Gulf of Mexico Fracking Info

January 9, 2015 12:25 pm | by JASON DEAREN, Associated Press | Comments

An environmental advocacy group sued the Obama administration in federal court on Thursday for refusing to release documents detailing the extent of fracking in the Gulf of Mexico. Samantha Joye, a marine sciences professor at the University of Georgia who studies effects of oil spills on the sea environment, said there have been no scientific studies looking at fracking chemicals in the ocean.

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House Poised to Pass Pipeline Bill as State Court Clears Way

January 9, 2015 12:20 pm | by DINA CAPPIELLO, Associated Press | Comments

As House Republicans prepared to pass legislation Friday to authorize construction of the Keystone XL oil pipeline, Nebraska's highest court removed a major obstacle to the project and a major reason behind President Barack Obama's opposition to the bill.

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