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Illinois Community College to Offer Degree in Fracking

January 15, 2015 5:37 pm | by Associated Press | Comments

 The school said the new degree program will focus on horizontal fracking practices and will prepare students for jobs in planning, development and the operation of oil and natural gas extraction and processing facilities.

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Drug Use at Large Gathering Causes Spike in Water Contaminants

January 15, 2015 5:32 pm | by Andy Szal, Chem.in | Comments

Research shows a large music festival in Taiwan resulted in a spike in a slew of chemical contaminants — both over-the-counter and illicit — in nearby waterways. The findings underscore the potential impact of pharmaceuticals and recreational drugs on the environment — along with the lack of regulations needed to address those threats.

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California Unveils Strictest Rules on Pesticide

January 15, 2015 9:56 am | by SCOTT SMITH, Associated Press | Comments

The restrictions announced Wednesday target chloropicrin, a pesticide injected into the ground before planting crops such as strawberries, tomatoes and almond orchards. In recent years, the chemical has caused hundreds of people to suffer from irritated eyes, coughing fits and headaches, state officials said.

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Study Finds Elevated Contaminant Levels at Fracking Sites, Conventional Wells

January 14, 2015 4:46 pm | by Andy Szal, Chem.info | Comments

A newly released study found water discharged from energy drilling operations in the U.S. poses risks to human health and the environment,calling for additional government regulations on the practices.

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Obama Moves to Create First Methane Limits For Gas Drilling

January 14, 2015 9:37 am | by JOSH LEDERMAN, Associated Press | Comments

The Obama administration laid out designs Wednesday to issue the first regulations to cut down on methane emissions from new natural gas wells, aiming to curb the discharge of a potent greenhouse gas by roughly half. Obama's intention to eventually force industry to cut methane emissions has long been part of his broader strategy on climate change.

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Worker Dies After Found Unconscious at Citgo Unit in Texas

January 14, 2015 9:32 am | by Associated Press | Comments

A worker has died after being found unconscious at a Citgo Petroleum Corp. refinery in South Texas. Citgo officials on Wednesday did not immediately release the name of the worker who died following the accident at a plant in Corpus Christi.

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Poll: An Appetite For Labeling Genetically Modified Foods

January 14, 2015 9:22 am | by MARY CLARE JALONICK, Associated Press | Comments

A large majority of Americans support labeling of genetically modified foods, whether they care about eating them or not. Currently, the FDA doesn't require labeling of GMOs, saying those on the market are safe. Consumer advocates backing labeling say shoppers have a right to know what is in their food.

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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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