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Photo of The Day: Coal Ash Sludge

February 2, 2015 5:05 pm | by Meagan Parrish, Editor, Chem.Info | News | Comments

The toxic sludge created by a coal ash spill in the eastern U.S. may have settled to the river’s floor — but the debate about how much the company responsible for the spill should now pay is just heating up. A year ago, the collapse of an old drainage pipe owned by Duke Energy Eden triggered the third largest coal ash spill in U.S. history.

As Global Plastic Production Rises, Recycling Efforts Fall Behind

January 29, 2015 4:47 pm | by Meagan Parrish, Editor, Chem.Info | Articles | Comments

While plastics boast numerous social benefits, such extending the shelf life of food and reducing waste, efforts to keep it from impacting the environment have failed to keep pace with its use. It’s estimated that in the U.S., only 9 percent of post-consumer plastic was recycled in 2012...

Industry Groups, Companies Criticize Proposed EPA Chemical Rule

January 28, 2015 12:21 pm | by Andy Szal, Chem.info | News | Comments

Numerous industry groups and manufacturers and have taken issue with a proposal by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to regulate the use of 15 chemicals. The groups argued those chemicals have been used by manufacturers for decades and remain in production currently, and therefore cannot be subject to a new EPA significant new use rule, or SNUR.

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After Spill, Pipeline Company Says New Line Will Be Safer

January 23, 2015 3:25 pm | by MATTHEW BROWN, Associated Press | News | Comments

A Wyoming company says it will replace a pipeline that broke and spilled oil into the Yellowstone River with a new line buried more deeply to protect against future accidents. The spill contaminated the water supply for 6,000 residents of Glendive, Montana. Officials said Friday that city water was certified safe to drink after tests revealed it no longer had harmful levels of chemicals.

Magnificent Blue Glow of Hong Kong Seas Also Disturbing

January 22, 2015 5:06 pm | by SETH BORENSTEIN, AP Science Writer | Articles | Comments

Eerie fluorescent blue patches of water glimmering off Hong Kong's seashore are magnificent, disturbing and potentially toxic, marine biologists say. The glow is an indicator of a harmful algal bloom created by something called Noctiluca scintillans, nicknamed Sea Sparkle.

Past, Future Effects of Oil Argued in BP Penalty Trial

January 22, 2015 4:58 pm | by KEVIN McGILL, Associated Press | Articles | Comments

The 2010 BP oil spill's long-term effects on Gulf of Mexico sea life and coastal marshes remain uncertain, an environmental expert testified Wednesday as federal attorneys laid out their case for penalties against the oil corporation that could hit $13.7 billion.

Ex-Freedom Industries President Faces New Fraud Charge

January 22, 2015 4:49 pm | by PAM RAMSEY, Associated Press Writer | News | Comments

A federal grand jury in Beckley handed up a superseding indictment on Wednesday against former Freedom President Gary Southern and three other former executives. The indictment charges Southern with a new count of fraud by interstate commercial carrier and restates the original indictment's charges against him and the others.

Senate Republicans Changing Their Stance on Global Warming? Not Quite.

January 22, 2015 4:41 pm | by Meagan Parrish, Editor, Chem.info | Videos | Comments

In a move that shocked many Democrats and environmentalists, the Senate overwhelmingly voted 98-1 on Wednesday to approve an amendment stating that climate change is “real and not a hoax.” Even one of the most notorious global warming deniers, Republican Sen. Jim Inhofe of Oklahoma, signed on to the amendment, which was offered during a debate over the Keystone XL Pipeline bill.

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Mysterious Goo Blamed in Bay Area Bird Deaths; Tests Planned

January 20, 2015 3:52 pm | by Associated Press | News | Comments

A mysterious sticky substance has been found coating the feathers of about 300 seabirds in the San Francisco Bay Area in the past few days, and wildlife officials blame it for dozens of deaths. Fish and Wildlife spokesman Andrew Hughan said analysts already know it is not a petroleum-based substance.

Drinking Water Trucked Into Montana City After Oil Spill

January 20, 2015 10:15 am | by MATTHEW BROWN, Associated Press | News | Comments

Truckloads of drinking water were being shipped to the eastern Montana city of Glendive on Monday after traces of a major oil spill along the Yellowstone River were detected in public water supplies, raising concerns about a potential health risk.

The Magnetic Wand That Cleans up Oil Spills

January 6, 2015 10:15 am | by Meagan Parrish, Editor, Chem.info | Videos | Comments

You don't have to think hard to imagine why cleaning up an oil spill would be daunting — millions of gallons of oil floating in miles of ocean waters, dispersed by waves, weather and wildlife. The good news is that oil gathers in plumes, and one scientist is working on a way to remove those plumes from the water more efficiently. His secret? Magnets.

Mississippi Groups Attack Carbon Dioxide Limits

January 2, 2015 3:58 pm | by JEFF AMY, Associated Press | News | Comments

Mississippi regulators and utilities are savaging the federal government's proposal to force Mississippi power plants to cut carbon dioxide emissions. In comments filed in December, leaders of utilities, state agencies and business groups called the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Clean Power Plan illegal, infeasible and economically unbearable.

UN Climate Talks Deadlocked

December 15, 2014 10:16 am | by KARL RITTER, Associated Press | News | Comments

The main goal for the two-week session in Lima was relatively modest: Reach agreement on what information should go into the pledges that countries submit for a global climate pact expected to be adopted next year in Paris. But even that became complicated as several developing nations rebelled against a draft decision they said blurred the distinction between what rich and poor countries can be expected to do.

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Study Estimates Nearly 270,000 Tons of Plastic Floating in World's Oceans

December 11, 2014 10:53 am | by Associated Press | News | Comments

A new study estimates nearly 270,000 tons of plastic is floating in the world's oceans. Studying the amount of plastic in the ocean will help scientists understand how the material is affecting fish, seabirds and the larger marine ecosystem.

Bangladesh Salvages Sunken Tanker as Leaking Oil Threatens Rare Wildlife

December 11, 2014 10:43 am | by Press Trust of India | News | Comments

Bangladesh today retrieved an oil-leaking sunken tanker, two days after it capsized in a river at the Sundarbans, as the oil overnight spread in 34,000 hectares at the world's largest mangrove forest, which is home to dolphins, rare acquatic animals and Royal Bengal tigers.

Small Number Of Wells Responsible For Most Methane Emissions

December 9, 2014 11:20 am | by Max B. Baker, Fort Worth Star-Telegram | News | Comments

A small number of natural gas wells are responsible for the majority of the methane gas being released into the atmosphere during production, but at higher levels than previously estimated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, according to a new study.  

Drinking From Chemical-Laden Cans May Raise Blood Pressure

December 9, 2014 10:08 am | by Press Trust of India | News | Comments

A common coating used in soft drink cans could cause high blood pressure and put heart patients at risk, a new study has warned. The consumption of BPA, a chemical used as an epoxy lining for cans and plastic bottles, has been associated with high blood pressure and heart rate variability. Previous studies have shown that BPA can leach into foods and drinks.

Dangerous, Toxic Chemicals Lie Underground For Decades

December 9, 2014 9:53 am | by Wes Wolfe, The Free Press, Kinston, N.C. | Articles | Comments

Take one look at an old coal and gas energy site and the content filling Sunday’s “60 Minutes” episode on CBS doesn’t look shocking. It looks par for the course. Duke Energy, both in the episode segment on the Dan River coal ash spill and in media and politics since the spill, has the spotlight on it for problems with industrial waste pollution.

Coal Ash Spill: A Billion Barrels of Muck

December 9, 2014 9:39 am | by CBS News, 60 Minutes | Videos | Comments

From the archives: A massive coal ash spill turned a Tennessee town into an "apocalyptic moonscape," Lesley Stahl reported in 2009. Is coal ash a hazardous waste or are the risks overstated? The coal industry is pushing for a solution that involves recycling.

Report Calls For More Study of Pavillion Disposal Pits

December 3, 2014 12:31 pm | by By BENJAMIN STORROW, Star-Tribune staff writer; Casper, Wyo. | News | Comments

Regulators need to study 20 natural gas disposal pits to determine if a link exists between Pavillion's gas field and the area's contaminated drinking water, according to a draft report by the Wyoming Oil and Gas Conservation Commission.

U.S. Judge: State to Try Suit Against Oil Companies

December 3, 2014 11:12 am | by The Times-Picayune; New Orleans | News | Comments

A federal judge has sent a Plaquemines Parish lawsuit against 19 oil and gas companies back to state court for trial. NOLA.com The Times-Picayune reports that U.S. District Judge Jay Zainey's ruling sets the stage for the return of 27 others suits to state courts in Plaquemines and Jefferson parishes.

Mine Dust Continues To Worry Residents

December 1, 2014 11:56 am | News | Comments

A gap in Indiana regulations says that state officials must personally see dust to take action against the mine. Bear Run provides the region with an economic boost of 625 jobs and more than $8 million in tax payments, while supplying a reliable source of cheap energy.

Homeowners Near Detroit Refinery Feel Neglected

December 1, 2014 11:32 am | News | Comments

Neighborhoods bordering a Marathon oil refinery have been in decline - dealing with abandoned homes, increased crime and the odor, noise and dust that come with living near a refinery. Interstate 75 is nearby, along with a wastewater treatment facility and railroad tracks - all of which have driven down property values.

Court Rejects Appeal In Iowa Pollution Case

December 1, 2014 11:26 am | News | Comments

The justices have let stand an Iowa Supreme Court ruling that said residents could bring a nuisance lawsuit against Grain Processing Corp., which operates a corn processing plant in Muscatine.           

Supreme Court Reviewing EPA Mercury Limits

November 26, 2014 9:59 am | by Mark Sherman, AP | News | Comments

One judge on the appeals court complained that the EPA didn't consider costs in deciding whether regulation is appropriate. "The problem here is that EPA did not even consider the costs. And the costs are huge, about $9.6 billion a year."

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