News Round-Up: March 12, 2012

Today’s Essential Reads

FRACKING:

Groundwater: It’s Fracking Important

Today marks the start of National Ground Water Awareness Week—sandwiched between National Sleep Awareness Week and National Poison Prevention Week.

Court Rulings Encouraging to Hydrofracking Opponents

Recent court rulings upholding local bans on hydrofracking have bolstered the anti-fracking movement.

Council Awaits Suit in Ban of Fracking-Water Treatment

When the City Council this week put to rest fears that truckloads of polluted water from a controversial gas-drilling process would be treated in the city, residents gave the Council two standing ovations.

Ohio Government Confirms Earthquakes Caused by Fracking-Related Injection Wells

In addition to drinking water contamination, earthquakes can now be added to the harmful consequences of the controversial practice of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, according to the Ohio state government.

BP OIL SPILL:

BP’s Influence Peddling In Congress Bears Fruit Two Years After Gulf Spill

As millions of barrels of oil began pouring into the Gulf of Mexico in April 2010, Democratic lawmakers began asking the question: what was the proper amount of money that the company responsible for the spill should have to pay?

BP’s Oil Slick Set To Spill Into Courtroom

Docks on the Bon Secour River sit idle nearly two years after the BP oil spill. The small fishing village of Bon Secour, Ala., is still suffering the lingering effects of the spill, despite government monitoring and assurances that Gulf seafood is not contaminated. (Debbie Elliott / NPR)

BP oil spill health settlement details are still a mystery

In the BP oil spill case, the health settlement negotiated last weekend between BP and attorneys for private plaintiffs in the oil spill litigation makes tens of thousands of new people eligible for care and compensation from the disaster, and it could make a meaningful difference in the delivery of mental and physical health care in small coastal communities. But law professors, environmental health specialists and health care practitioners say it all depends on the yet-unknown details of the agreement, which is expected to be filed in court in mid-April.

Charter Fishermen Continue to Struggle After Oil Spill

Chip Seeber has been a charter boat captain 16 years, but over the past year or so, he has also driven trucks, done carpentry and mowed lawns — whatever he can do to supplement his dwindling income.

RADIATION:

Danger Zone: Aging Nuclear Reactors

Is it safe to extend the life of the aging US fleet of nuclear power plants — even those whose obsolete designs match those of the failed reactors at Fukushima?

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