Scientists: Asian Carp Breeding In Great Lake Tributaries

by Scott Neuman

October 28, 2013 7:43 PM
Tommy Goszewski, a technician with the U.S. Geological Survey, holds a grass carp taken from a pond at an agency lab in Columbia, Mo., in spring 2013.

Tommy Goszewski, a technician with the U.S. Geological Survey, holds a grass carp taken from a pond at an agency lab in Columbia, Mo., in spring 2013.

AP

Scientists have confirmed for the first time that at least one variety of Asian carp is living and breeding in the Great Lakes watershed, where it threatens stocks of native fish.

A U.S. Geological Survey and Bowling Green State University study published Monday says Asian carp taken from the Sandusky River in Ohio show the fish are “the result of natural reproduction within the Lake Erie basin.” Continue reading “Scientists: Asian Carp Breeding In Great Lake Tributaries”

How Much Water Actually Goes Into Making A Bottle Of Water?

by Thomas Andrew Gustafson

October 30, 201311:09 AM
The amount of water to make the bottle could be up to six or seven times what's inside the bottle, according to the Water Footprint Network.

The amount of water to make the bottle could be up to six or seven times what’s inside the bottle, according to the Water Footprint Network.

Steven Depolo/Flickr

Environmental activists have long claimed that bottled water is wasteful. Usually, they point to the roughly 50 billion (mostly plastic) bottles we throw away every year.

The International Bottled Water Association, ever sensitive to criticism that it’s wasting precious resources, has commissioned its first ever study to figure out how much water goes into producing one liter. The , released this month, show that for North American companies, it takes 1.39 liters to make one liter of water.

That’s less than the global averages of a liter of soda, which requires 2.02 liters of water. A liter of beer, meanwhile, needs 4 liters of water, wine demands 4.74 liters. Hard alcohol, it turns out, is the greediest, guzzling 34.55 liters of water for every liter. Continue reading “How Much Water Actually Goes Into Making A Bottle Of Water?”

PROTECTION FOR POLLINATORS: Conservation Groups and Scientists Push USDA to Save Wild Bumble Bees

Environmental News: Media Center

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Press contact: Josh Mogerman, NRDC,  (312) 651-7909 ; Scott Hoffman Black, The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation,  (503) 449-3792 ; Haley McKey, Defenders of Wildlife,  (202) 772-0247
If you are not a member of the press, please write to us at nrdcinfo@nrdc.org or see our contact page

PROTECTION FOR POLLINATORS: Conservation Groups and Scientists Push USDA to Save Wild Bumble Bees

SAN FRANCISCO (October 29, 2013) – Leading conservation and science voices renewed their call today for a key federal agency to protect bumble bees in light of numerous threats contributing to population declines. The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation, Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), Defenders of Wildlife and Dr. Robbin Thorp asked the Secretary of Agriculture to take action on a petition to regulate the movement of commercial bumble bees in order to help control the spread of parasites and pathogens to wild bumble bees—at least one species of which may have already been driven to extinction.

“It has been almost four years since we filed our petition asking that APHIS regulate the movement of commercial bumble bees,” said Sarina Jepsen, endangered species program director of the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation. “Several species of bumble bees are in steep decline and it is urgent that APHIS take action soon to protect these important pollinators.” Continue reading “PROTECTION FOR POLLINATORS: Conservation Groups and Scientists Push USDA to Save Wild Bumble Bees”

Americans Want Safer Chemical Facilities, but the Shutdown Stalled Reform Efforts

Americans Want Safer Chemical Facilities, but the Shutdown Stalled Reform Efforts

by Sofia Plagakis, 10/22/2013

A new poll released Oct. 11 found that a majority of Americans want the federal government to require facilities to use safer chemicals and processes to prevent chemical disasters like the explosion in West, TX in April. However, an effort to better coordinate the work of three federal agencies was stalled thanks to the government shutdown. Now that the agencies are all functioning again, we hope they will meet their target deadlines for recommending new policies to improve the safety of facilities handling or storing large quantities of hazardous chemicals.

A Majority of Americans Support Federal Requirements to Use Safer Chemicals

Fifty-five percent of likely voters believe that “the federal government should require chemical facilities to use safer chemicals and processes,” according to a new survey released by a coalition of more than 100 labor, community, environmental, and public interest organizations. Only seven percent of likely voters opposed the idea.

The survey of a set of nationally representative voters found support for federal safety requirements increases with more information. When respondents were told that over 100 million Americans live near high-risk chemical plants and that hundreds of plants have already switched to safer alternatives, support for new federal requirements increased to almost two-thirds across all groups, including a majority of Republicans. Support stayed strong even when the language was posed against industry messaging arguing that new requirements could cost jobs or increase prices of consumer products. Almost 60 percent of likely voters agreed that more needed to be done to protect the public by switching to safer process when available and reasonable; only 22 percent supported the idea that requiring such changes is unnecessary government bureaucracy and too expensive. Continue reading “Americans Want Safer Chemical Facilities, but the Shutdown Stalled Reform Efforts”

States Taking the Lead to Curb Toxic Chemical Exposure

States Taking the Lead to Curb Toxic Chemical Exposure

by Katie Greenhaw, 10/22/2013

A new state law addressing toxic flame retardants recently enacted in California is the latest in a string of successful state efforts to improve chemical safety. In response to insufficient federal controls on toxic chemicals, many states have passed or proposed their own policies to protect residents from the risks posed by hazardous chemicals. In the absence of comprehensive national protections, it is imperative that states take the lead in addressing risks to health and safety.

The Toxic Substances Control Act of 1976 (TSCA), the nation’s primary and outdated chemical safety law, has proved inadequate for regulating chemicals and ensuring that products are safe for the public. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) currently does not have sufficient authority to test and regulate the more than 80,000 chemicals now in use. Despite widespread acknowledgement of TSCA’s shortcomings, efforts to improve the federal toxics law have failed thus far. Another federal law, the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act, limits the amount of lead and bans certain chemicals known as phthalates in children’s products, but it does not restrict the use of other toxic substances in consumer goods. Continue reading “States Taking the Lead to Curb Toxic Chemical Exposure”

Petcoke Problems: Tar Sands Waste Piling Up On Chicago’s Southeast Side

Natural Resources Defense Council

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Press contact: Josh Mogerman, NRDC,  312-651-7909
If you are not a member of the press, please write to us at nrdcinfo@nrdc.org or see our contact page

Petcoke Problems: Tar Sands Waste Piling Up On Chicago’s Southeast Side

Neighbors Concerned About Health Threats Associated with the Millions of Tons of Oil Refining Waste That Will Pass Through

CHICAGO (October 18, 2013) – In recent months massive piles of petroleum coke (or petcoke) have built up along the banks of the Calumet River on Chicago’s Southeast Side. BP’s highly-controversial refinery in Whiting, IN is completing a massive expansion to process increased amounts of Canada’s ultra-heavy tar sands oil, which will result in a tripling of its petcoke production. The powdery black material is often used as an even dirtier coal alternative in energy and industrial facilities.

Massive uncovered petcoke piles in Michigan made news earlier this year when photos showed huge clouds of dust blowing across the Detroit River. Southeast Side residents have reported similar problems and concerns about the impact of particulate matter on the health of the surrounding community in Chicago. Continue reading “Petcoke Problems: Tar Sands Waste Piling Up On Chicago’s Southeast Side”

Petcoke Problems: Tar Sands Waste Piling Up On Chicago’s Southeast Side

Natural Resources Defense CouncilEnvironmental News: Media Center

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Press contact: Josh Mogerman, NRDC, 312-651-7909
If you are not a member of the press, please write to us at nrdcinfo@nrdc.org or see our contact page

Petcoke Problems: Tar Sands Waste Piling Up On Chicago’s Southeast Side

Neighbors Concerned About Health Threats Associated with the Millions of Tons of Oil Refining Waste That Will Pass Through

CHICAGO (October 18, 2013) – In recent months massive piles of petroleum coke (or petcoke) have built up along the banks of the Calumet River on Chicago’s Southeast Side. BP’s highly-controversial refinery in Whiting, IN is completing a massive expansion to process increased amounts of Canada’s ultra-heavy tar sands oil, which will result in a tripling of its petcoke production. The powdery black material is often used as an even dirtier coal alternative in energy and industrial facilities. Continue reading “Petcoke Problems: Tar Sands Waste Piling Up On Chicago’s Southeast Side”