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EPA 189 articles

Trial underway to determine liability in TVA coal ash spill litigation

U.S. District Judge Thomas Varlan began preliminary matters Thursday in Knoxville, Tenn., regarding the massive coal ash spill that dumped 5.4 million cubic yards of sludge from a TVA storage pond into the Emory River and surrounding community on Dec. 22, 2008. The toxic tidal wave poured from a breached containment pond at the Kingston Plant and affected hundreds of people who made their home in nearby Roane County, Tenn. This trial will determine liability in the case, but will not address damages at this time. According to a news report by the Associated Press, “The Environmental Protection Agency has ... Read More

FDA, EPA raise concerns about BPA found in plastic bottles, metal cans

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is considering whether to require new toxicity testing and environmental sampling of bisphenol A, or BPA, a commercial chemical used in many hard plastic bottles and metal-based food and beverage cans since the 1960s. This announcement comes just months after the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced it is collaborating with the National Toxicology Program to carry out in-depth studies to answer key questions and clarify uncertainties associated with BPA. The EPA says it was moved to address BPA following concerns that have been raised about the potential environmental and human health effects of the ... Read More

U.S. issues new recommendations for dealing with toxic Chinese drywall

The U.S. government has revised its list of recommended measures to take when dealing with “problem drywall,” which it estimates to be installed in tens of thousands of homes throughout the United States. Thousands of homeowners who purchased homes built from 2005 to 2008, mostly in Florida and other parts of the Southeast, have complained of noxious fumes emitting from their walls, rendering their homes unlivable and unsellable. The problem has been linked to drywall imported from China, which contains a high percentage of sulfuric compounds harvested from industrial waste. The drywall releases hydrogen sulfide gas, which causes a range ... Read More

Natural gas drilling turns rural state into smog factory

If you had to guess where the most polluted air in the United States could be found, you might guess Los Angeles or maybe New York. How about Detroit? Atlanta? If you picked any of the country’s large, industrial, traffic-congested cities, you’d have to guess again. But would you ever guess Wyoming – the least populated state in the country – would have the worst air quality? A booming natural gas industry in the Cowboy State has left towns in the once-pristine Green River Basin with toxic smog that has exceeded the levels of ozone in America’s largest cities on their ... Read More

Two years after spill EPA unsure how to classify toxic coal ash

Two years after an impoundment pond containing toxic coal ash at a Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) fossil fuel plant broke, spilling a billion gallons of sludge onto 300 acres of rural east Tennessee, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) still isn’t sure whether to recommend that coal ash be classified as a hazardous material. Shortly after the spill, the agency was charged with recommending a classification for the material as part of a federal investigation into the environmental disaster. More than 400 people have filed a total of 55 lawsuits against the TVA. Several hundred more people are said to be ... Read More

Enormous mass of dead fish troubles scientists and Louisiana residents

Oceanographers and scientists have been warning that only time will reveal how much damage BP’s massive oil spill and its use of chemical oil dispersants in the Gulf of Mexico have done to the environment and marine ecology. This week a troubling sign has emerged in the form of an astonishingly large mass of floating dead fish just west of the Mississippi River in Plaquemines Parish, Louisiana. Masses of dead fish surfacing in the Gulf of Mexico are unfortunately  common events, especially near the mouth of the Mississippi River where oxygen-depleted dead zones created by miles of fertilizer runoff frequently choke ... Read More

Concern grows over effects of oil dispersants in the Gulf

In recent days a lot of media attention has shifted from the oil that gushed into the Gulf of Mexico for weeks to the chemical dispersants BP used to break the sludge down into smaller particles. But many scientists are now saying that Corexit, the primary chemical BP dumped into the Gulf to disperse the oil, and similar chemicals are much more toxic than the oil itself. BP has sprayed the Gulf waters with more than a million gallons of Corexit and it has shot an undetermined amount of the chemical into the cloud of crude that gushed uncontrollably from ... Read More

Lower maximum speed equals more mileage, less pollution, safer roads

The formula for making deliveries as profitable as possible and adding more money to the bottom line seems easy enough: More weight + higher speed = more deliveries / month. The only problem is that there are limits on weight and speed, and exceeding those limits is both illegal and unsafe for commercial carriers. However, slowing down not only saves money, it saves lives and drastically reduces emissions.  “Fuel savings can be achieved and pollution reduced immediately if you order speed governors already installed on big trucks to be set at 65 mph,” wrote Steve Owings, President and co-founder of Roadsafe ... Read More

3 signs the Government is still in bed with BP

As the disaster in the Gulf has played out over the last 47 days, it has become painfully obvious just how much control big business has over our federal government. BP and its employees have given more than $3.5 million to federal candidates during the past 20 years. Obama has received a total of $77,051 from the oil giant and is the top recipient of BP money in the past 20 years, according to financial disclosure records. On top of that, the oil giant has spent millions each year on lobbying — including $15.9 million last year alone — as ... Read More

How has the federal government responded to BP's oil spill?

As frustration escalates over BP’s inability to cap and contain its massive oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico, more and more people are directing their anger at the federal government for not doing more to curb the catastrophe and stem the economic impact the spill is having throughout the Gulf. Neither the U.S. nor BP has ever faced an environmental disaster of this magnitude, so nearly every response carries an element of the unknown with it. And along with the unknown comes an element of fear that the fix could do more damage than the oil itself. President Obama’s ... Read More