Today’s Essential Reads
Earthquakes, contaminated water and other pollution – not to mention complex calculations about its implications for global warming (not as clean as claimed) – make for fracking anxieties everywhere where people are at liberty to express their views. And it’s not just in Pennsylvania.
The Environmental Protection Agency is seeking scientists to volunteer for what promises to be a closely watched job: reviewing its politically explosive report about groundwater contamination from hydraulic fracturing in a Wyoming natural-gas field.
It’s meant to be encouraging to say that every night brings a new dawn. But today, officials with New York State’s Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) probably wished they could stay in bed, safely hidden by darkness. Instead, as the public comment period on the guidelines for developing natural gas from Marcellus and Utica shale ended, they awoke to confront an astounding number of letters (early estimate: 40,000) and reams of supporting documentation—all awaiting their review and analysis.
Residents of a small northeastern Pennsylvania town at the center of the political fight over natural gas drilling are disappointed that they traveled to Philadelphia but did not get to make their case directly to the head of the federal Environmental Protection Agency.
BP OIL SPILL:
A $50 billion, 50-year proposal aspires to stop coastal land loss in Louisiana, build new levee systems to protect cities and even begin to slowly reverse the trend of eroding marsh that has turned the entire southern portion of the state into one of the nation’s most vulnerable regions to sea level rise.
Wind and water constantly change the 18 to 20 miles of sand dunes on Baldwin County beaches. “The dunes are our first line of defense against any kind of storms any kind of wave action.” According to Brandan Franklin with the city of Gulf Shores, they took a beating during the BP oil spill. “With the number of access points a lot of our clean up crews have had to use a lot of our dunes have been destroyed.”
BP’s chief environmental scientist assigned to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill on Thursday said the company, working with state and federal trustees, remains on a fast pace aimed at restoring resources damaged during the 2010 spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Briefing reporters by phone in advance of a month-long series of hearings on proposed “early restoration projects” along the Gulf Coast, Robin Bullock said the formal Natural Resource Damage Assessment process required under federal law has developed “the largest set of environmental data at one point in time associated with an oil spill incident within the Gulf of Mexico.”
New research suggests that oil and gas belching from BP’s blown-out well during the Deepwater Horizon disaster disappeared more quickly than expected because of the northern Gulf of Mexico’s geography.
The Fukushima-Daiichi accident in Japan has shown a number of areas where a regulator such as the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) could improve its reaction to major events, the commission’s chairman has said.