Study: Oceans more tainted with man-made mercury

WASHINGTON (AP) — In much of the world's oceans, levels of the metal mercury are double to triple what they were before the industrial revolution, a new study says.

Researchers found there's more mercury from human sources — mostly burning fossil fuels and mining for gold — than scientists had thought.

The study assessed inorganic mercury, which in the ocean gets converted into the toxic methylmercury found in seafood. When pregnant women, nursing mothers and young children eat too much methylmercury-tainted seafood, there's an increased risk of nervous system problems in the developing child.

Ad targets Murkowski for backing Pebble Mine

The Hill

Tribal advocacy group Nunamta Aulukestai is running an ad across Alaska for a week, targeting the state’s Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski for her support of the controversial Pebble Mine project in Bristol Bay, The Hill reports.

Next Pebble Mine move officially rests with EPA’s McLerran


Even though debate about barring the proposed Pebble Mine in Alaska has gone all the way to the White House, the official recommendation to Environmental Protection Agency water officials about the project's future will come from EPA's Region 10 Administrator Dennis McLerran, E&E reports.

Mining deaths on rise, 22 in first half of 2014

ARLINGTON, Va. (AP) — Twenty-two miners were killed in accidents during the first half of 2014, compared to 18 in the first half of 2013 and 19 for the same period in 2012.

The U.S. Department of Labor's Mine Safety and Health Administration on Monday released its mid-year summary of fatal accidents. The report shows eight coal miners died in the first half of the year. While that number is about on par with recent years, the number of workers killed in other types of mining, 14, prompted safety officials to launch a new training and enforcement effort in May.

House Natural Resources subcommittee hearing on critical minerals

Washington, July 23, 2014, 2:00 pm

House Natural Resources Energy and Mineral Resources Subcommittee hearing, "American Metals and Mineral Security: An examination of the domestic critical minerals supply and demand chain." Expert witnesses. 

EPA proposes to block Alaska mine over salmon risk

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency proposed restrictions Friday that would essentially block development of a planned massive gold-and-copper mine near the headwaters of a world premier salmon fishery in Alaska.

The announcement came as the EPA was being sued by Pebble Limited Partnership, the group behind the proposed Pebble Mine, and the state of Alaska for allegedly exceeding its authority.

Remade Alcoa earnings report buoys Wall Street

NEW YORK (AP) — Alcoa Inc. (AA) on Tuesday reported a second-quarter profit of $138 million, reversing a year-ago loss, and the results beat analysts' expectations.

The company reported strong results in its engineered-products business, which makes parts for industrial customers, while looking to cut costs in its aluminum-smelting segment.

Lawsuits seek to stop work at mines in 3 states

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Coal industry representatives say lawsuits against mines in three Western states could have consequences across the U.S. as environmentalists seek changes in how mining is approved on federally owned reserves.

In civil cases unfolding in Colorado, New Mexico and Montana, the group WildEarth Guardians asserts coal companies benefited from lax oversight by federal regulators.

The group says the U.S. Department of Interior approved mining plans without enough public involvement, and gave little heed to the pollution caused by digging, shipping and burning coal. The group asked the courts to stop mining until the plans are re-done.

17 coal miners die after blast in west China

BEIJING (AP) — Seventeen coal miners have died after being trapped by a weekend gas explosion in northwestern China, an official news agency reported Monday.

The miners were trapped Saturday by the explosion at a mine 120 kilometers (70 miles) from Urumqi, the capital of the Xinjiang region, the Xinhua News Agency said. It said Monday they had died and the cause of the incident was under investigation.

China has the world's deadliest mines, although the safety record has improved as regulators strengthen enforcement of safety rules.

Murray Energy pledges fight on EPA carbon rule

The Hill

While not committing to a lawsuit against the Environmental Protection Agency, a Murray Energy Corp. spokesman said the mining company is prepared to fight the agency's proposed limits on carbon emissions at existing power plants, The Hill reports.


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