Nov 16 2012

News This Week: Preventing Flooding in Sandy’s Aftermath and BP Reaches a Settlement

Published by under News

Photo by Kelci Block

EDITOR’S NOTE: Normally, this post would be served by posting a digest from the Twitter feed at @WMELSBlog. However, presumably due to the API changes Twitter made, the add-on that creates that digest is not working. So, keep an eye on the twitter feed for all the stories we’re posting and in the meantime, I’ll be making these shorter collections of big news stories from the week.

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BP, the oil company responsible for the Deepwater Horizon spill in the Gulf, will plead guilty to the 14 criminal charges leveled against it  and pay over $4 billion in penalties. This settlement does not cover any federal civil charges that may be pending, including those for damage to natural resources. It also does not include fines under the Clean Water Act, which could amount to over $21 billion. [New York Times]

It goes almost without saying that sound levees are important, especially during hurricanes. Surprisingly, however, in New Jersey there is no state agency in charge of overseeing the levees and the levees would have to get to an incredible state of disrepair before the federal government would step in to fix them. [NPR]

New York City is considering building a movable steel barrier to keep future flooding, like what happened during Hurricane Sandy, out of low-lying areas. The project could cost up to $29 billion dollars including having to shore up the areas around the barrier. [New York Times]

Evidence suggests that the world needs to reduce its carbon emissions more and faster to avoid the catastrophic warming of the globe. One estimate found that even if we doubled the current rate of reduction, we will experience a 6 degree warming before the end of the century. [Scientific American]

In other NYC flooding news, the Gowanus Canal flooding has caused concerns about health and safety problems in the neighborhood. Gowanus Canal is one of the most contaminated bodies of water in the country and a Superfund site. [New York Times] Continue Reading »

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Sep 21 2012

Twitter Link Round-Up: Makers of Pink Slime Sue and Elephant Slaughter on the Rise

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Photo by Kelci Block

Afraid you missed something interesting in the world of environmental law?  Read on for a (non-comprehensive) list of articles posted on our Twitter feed @WMELSBlog.

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Sep 14 2012

Twitter Link Round-Up: Solar Power on the Rise and Isaac Washes Tar Balls on Gulf Shores

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Photo by Kelci Block

Afraid you missed something interesting in the world of environmental law?  Read on for a (non-comprehensive) list of articles posted on our Twitter feed @WMELSBlog.

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Mar 09 2012

Twitter Link Round-Up: Shell Files Pre-Emptive Suit and Antarctica Explorers Bring Invasive Species

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Photo by Kelci Block

Afraid you missed something interesting in the world of environmental law?  Read on for a (non-comprehensive) list of articles posted on our Twitter feed @WMELSBlog.

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Aug 12 2011

Twitter Link Round-Up: EPA Halts Sale of Tree-Killing Chemical and Fracking Panel Calls for Study of Environmental Impacts

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Ophrys apifera, flower Picture taken by BerndH, via wikimedia

Afraid you missed something interesting in the world of environmental law?  Read on for a (non-comprehensive) list of articles posted on our Twitter feed @WMELSBlog.

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Feb 16 2011

Fracking Regulation: The EPA Makes Plans to Study Drilling Technique

Published by under Energy

Texas Barnett Shale gas drilling rig near Alvarado, Texas, via wikimedia

As natural gas takes a center stage in the push to move away from coal, the methods used to draw the raw material out of the ground are coming under greater scrutiny. The process is called hydraulic fracturing and is also known as frac’ing or “fracking.” It involves pumping millions of gallons of water mixed with chemicals into a drilled well in order to fracture the shale below and allow natural gas to flow out more easily. A loophole in the Safe Drinking Water Act has allowed natural gas drillers to be exempt from disclosing the chemicals they use in fracturing fluid. In 2010, a documentary called “Gasland” displayed the impacts fracturing was having on drinking water across the nation and drew attention to potential dangers, the most striking scene showing a man setting his tap water on fire. The cities of Pittsburgh, PA and Buffalo, NY have both banned the practice and the state of New York is considering a bill that would ban fracking as well. Currently, the EPA has drafted a plan for studying fracking and the impact it has on drinking water.  The EPA’s Draft Plan can be found here (pdf).  Below are more articles on the EPA’s Draft Plan and the results of previous studies on the effects of fracking on drinking water. Continue Reading »

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