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Photo of The Day: NY to Ban Plastic Food Containers From Restaurants

January 8, 2015 4:30 pm | by Kari Imberg, Associate Editor, Food Manufacturing | Comments

Starting this summer, New York City will join the environmental sustainability trend by banning restaurants and other food establishments from using plastic foam containers. Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Thursday morning that he will fulfill an initiative that was first suggested by his predecessor, Michael Bloomberg.

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Judge Keeps Most of Gag Order in Former W.Va. Coal Exec Case

January 8, 2015 9:43 am | by JONATHAN MATTISE, Associated Press | Comments

A judge is upholding most of a gag order in a criminal case against ex-Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship, who was in charge of the Upper Big Branch mine when it exploded and killed 29 men. U.S. District Judge Irene Berger wrote that she needs much of the gag order intact to maintain a fair trial with unbiased prospective jurors in southern West Virginia.

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MeadWestvaco Plans to Spin Off Specialty Chemicals Business

January 8, 2015 9:20 am | by Associated Press | Comments

"The separation of specialty chemicals will establish two strong companies that are better positioned to compete and profitably grow in their targeted markets," Chairman and CEO John A. Luke Jr. said in a statement on Thursday.

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Thousands of Indian Coal Workers End Strike

January 8, 2015 9:16 am | by Associated Press | Comments

They ended their protest late Wednesday after Coal and Power Minister Piyush Goyal assured them that Coal India, which accounts for 80 percent of India's coal production, would not be privatized and the interests of workers would be protected.

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Keystone Pipeline Odds Remain Long Following Veto Threat

January 7, 2015 5:18 pm | by Andy Szal, Chem.info | Comments

Control of the United States Senate changed hands this week, but that appears unlikely to change the fortunes of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline following a veto threat from the White House. Shortly after the introduction of a new Senate bill to authorize construction of the pipeline, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said the president would not support the current measure.

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Inspectors Confident Chlorine Gas Used in Syrian Villages

January 7, 2015 10:34 am | by EDITH M. LEDERER, Associated Press | Comments

Chemical weapons investigators concluded "with a high degree of confidence" that chlorine gas was used as a weapon against three opposition-controlled villages in Syria last year, affecting between 350 and 500 people and killing 13.

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Shell, Villagers Agree to $83.5 Million For Huge Oil Spill

January 7, 2015 10:26 am | by MICHELLE FAUL, Associated Press | Comments

Oil giant Shell has agreed to pay a Nigerian fishing community 55 million pounds (about $83.5 million) for the worst oil spill in Nigeria, an unprecedented settlement that experts say could open a floodgate of litigation there and abroad.

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Monsanto Earnings Fall 34 Percent on Lower Corn Seed Sales

January 7, 2015 10:12 am | by Associated Press | Comments

Monsanto said Wednesday that its earnings fell 34 percent in its first fiscal quarter as South American farmers cut back on planting corn, reducing demand for the company's biotech-enhanced seeds.U.S. farmers harvested record crops of soybeans and corn last year, sending prices on those food staples to their lowest levels in years.

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Pharmaceuticals, Personal Care Products Could Taint Swimming Pools

January 7, 2015 9:22 am | by Purdue University | Comments

A new study suggests pharmaceuticals and chemicals from personal care products end up in swimming pools, possibly interacting with chlorine to produce disinfection byproducts with unknown properties and health effects. A research group led by the Georgia Institute of Technology, has developed an analytical technique that identifies and quantifies 32 pharmaceuticals and personal care products in water.

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US Home Prices Coasting Upward

January 6, 2015 10:35 am | by JOSH BOAK, AP Economics Writer | Comments

U.S. home values rose at a measured pace in November, a sign that demand remains weak as many buyers have been priced out of the market. The housing market faces an affordability crunch. Many potential buyers were sidelined by double-digit home price gains in 2013, which eclipsed average wage growth of roughly 2 percent.

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California Governor Toughens Climate-Change Goals

January 6, 2015 10:18 am | by JUDY LIN, Associated Press | Comments

As he was sworn in for a record fourth term, Gov. Jerry Brown charted an ambitious new goal on Monday for California in its fight against climate change, challenging the nation's most populous state to increase renewable energy use to 50 percent in the next 15 years.

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Regulators Weigh Proposal to Close Part of New Mexico Plant

January 5, 2015 5:58 pm | by SUSAN MONTOYA BRYAN, Associated Press | Comments

New Mexico regulators began taking testimony Monday on a plan that calls for shutting down part of an aging coal-fired power plant that provides electricity to more than 2 million people in the Southwest. Dozens braved frigid temperatures to talk about asthma, cancer and other health concerns.

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US Oil Falls Below $50 For 1st Time Since 2009

January 5, 2015 5:50 pm | by JONATHAN FAHEY, AP Energy Writer | Comments

The price of oil plunged again Monday and fell below $50 a barrel for the first time since April 2009 as evidence mounted that the world will be oversupplied with oil this year. The Energy Department estimates the drop in gasoline prices will save U.S. households $550 this year.

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US Calls For Improved Ventilation at Troubled Nuclear Dump

January 5, 2015 5:44 pm | by Associated Press | Comments

The U.S. Department of Energy says more needs to be done to improve ventilation for workers at the federal government's underground nuclear waste dump in southern New Mexico. Air filters used to remove particles following a radiation leak in February have restricted the airflow...

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Carmakers Finish Strong in 2014, Are Even Better Days Ahead

January 5, 2015 10:07 am | by TOM KRISHER, AP Auto Writers; DEE-ANN DURBIN, AP Auto Writers | Comments

Buoyed by a resurgent economy, holiday sales, cheap gasoline and low interest rates, Americans headed to car dealers in droves last month, pushing full-year sales to what's likely to be the highest level since 2006. Fiat Chrysler, Nissan and Honda all reported strong December and annual U.S. sales early Monday, with Nissan and Honda hitting record numbers for the year.

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