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human health 6 articles

EPA Plans Clean Power Plan Repeal

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt said Monday that the agency will repeal the Clean Power Plan, a sweeping Obama-era measure that strived to improve air quality for human health and reduce dangerous greenhouse gases. Mr. Pruitt, a longtime friend of the fossil fuel industry and outspoken foe of environmental protections, gave a puzzling explanation for the planned repeal, indicating the Clean Power Plan overstepped the EPA’s regulatory authority by playing favorites. “When you think about what that rule meant, it was about picking winners and losers. Regulatory power should not be used by any regulatory body to pick ... Read More

Radioactive waste packed in unstable mixture has nuclear sites on high alert

LOS ALAMOS, N.M. — Federal officials are scrambling to contain hundreds of barrels of radioactive nuclear waste at two sites in New Mexico and one site in Texas after discovering that they were packed in a potentially explosive mixture of cellulose from wheat-based organic kitty litter and nitrate salts. Investigators suspect that the combination of the two compounds is to blame for blowing the lid off a drum of nuclear waste at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) site in Carlsbad, N.M., in February, causing a radioactive leak that contaminated 22 workers and the surrounding land. On May 20, the ... Read More

Workers at New Mexico nuclear waste facility test positive for radioactive contamination

Thirteen employees of a New Mexico nuclear waste dump who were at work when a radioactive leak was detected Feb. 14 have tested positive for radiation contamination. The workers, employees of the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) in Southeastern New Mexico, were tested as a precautionary measure after the “radiological event” occurred and air monitors in the area began registering radioactive particles on Feb. 15. WIPP’s Radiological Control Program collected biological samples from each of the employees present at the site during the leak.  A part of the testing called a bioassay, used to determine whether radioactive contamination from outside ... Read More

New Mexico nuclear waste dump remains closed amid radiation leaks

CARLSBAD, N.M.–U.S. regulators say that radiation leaking from a nuclear waste dump in southeastern New Mexico does not pose a threat to human health and safety, but so far officials have been unable to determine the source of the leak. Radioactive isotopes have been detected in the air a half-mile from the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) site near Carlsbad, N.M., and an official from New Mexico State University’s Carlsbad Environmental Monitoring and Research Center confirmed that amounts of plutonium and americium have been found in an air filter monitor in an area northwest of the WIPP. The U.S Department ... Read More

NC oil recycler agrees to pay $19 million for toxic waste contamination

WILMINGTON, N.C. – A Wilmington man who has pleaded guilty to violating the federal Toxic Substances Act, making false statements, and failing to pay several years of taxes, has been ordered to pay $19 million in restitution, the U.S. Justice Department announced. Benjamin Franklin Pass, 60, and his Leland, N.C.-based business P&W Waste Oil Services, Inc., admitted to unlawful dumping of waste oil containing polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and other toxic substances that resulted in widespread contamination of land adjoining the Cape Fear River and a federally recognized, ecologically sensitive wetland. Pass, whose property held multiple tanks ranging from 20,000 gallons ... Read More

Government to study physical and psychological harm of BP oil spill

Working with teams of doctors, scientists, and public health experts, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is currently planning and developing a large-scale study of the short-term and long-term physical and psychological tolls the BP oil spill has had upon the cleanup workers and the larger population of the Gulf Coast. The federal agency expects the study to encompass several thousands of people in the five states adversely affected by the massive oil spill: Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas. For weeks, scientists and government agencies have struggled to predict what potential health consequences the oil spill in ... Read More