Pollution

NY gov says nuclear plant fire produced river oil slick

BUCHANAN, New York (AP) — Part of a New York state nuclear power plant remained offline Sunday after a transformer fire created another problem: thousands of gallons of oil leaking into the Hudson River, officials said.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said emergency crews were out on the water near Buchanan trying to contain and clean up transformer fluid that leaked from Indian Point 3.

Feds offer exit plan for Montana town's asbestos cleanup

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — A long-delayed U.S. government cleanup plan for a Montana community where asbestos contamination has sickened thousands would leave the deadly material in the walls of houses, underground and elsewhere — stirring worries among residents and state officials about future exposures.

Tuesday's proposal, for the neighboring mining towns of Libby and Troy, calls for asbestos-containing vermiculite to be left in place where the Environmental Protection Agency says it presents minimal risk and can be safely managed.

EPA suggests triggers for warning of algae in drinking water

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is proposing guidelines to help state and local officials detect dangerous levels of algal toxins in drinking water.

EPA officials Wednesday released suggested thresholds that should prompt actions such as issuing do-not-drink warnings or taking steps to quickly reduce levels of two types of algal toxins. One set of trigger points was recommended for young children and another for the rest of the population.

Official: 'Significant' brine spill enters North Dakota lake

A 63,000-gallon saltwater spill that leaked from an underground pipeline entered a lake via a tributary in northwest North Dakota, a state Department of Health official said Wednesday. He said the spill will not affect any drinking water in the area.

Water Quality Director Karl Rockeman said it's unclear how much of the saltwater has entered Smishek Lake near the town of Powers Lake, which is about 75 miles northeast of the oil boomtown Williston. Saltwater, or brine, is an unwanted byproduct of oil production and is considered an environmental hazard by North Dakota. It is many times saltier than sea water and can easily kill vegetation.

Duke seeks delay in suit over North Carolina coal ash spill

DOVER, Del. (AP) — A Delaware judge is considering Duke Energy's request for a six-month halt of a shareholder lawsuit prompted by a massive coal ash spill in North Carolina while the company tries to resolve related lawsuits and finalize a $102 million settlement of a federal criminal investigation.

After hearing arguments Tuesday, Vice Chancellor John Noble of Delaware's chancery court, which specializes in business disputes, declined to rule immediately. He said he would await the outcome of a hearing in North Carolina next week in the U.S. Department of Justice criminal case, which involves nine alleged misdemeanor violations of the Clean Water Act from the 2014 spill.

Sierra Club has mixed motives for smog text alerts

Source: 
The Hill

By sending text alerts when smog pollution is at high levels, the Sierra Club says it’s doing its part to help asthma sufferers, but the environmental group is also encouraging people to support a proposal to lower permitted ozone levels, The Hill reports.

Cleanup of Superfund town would leave some asbestos behind

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — A long-delayed cleanup proposal for a Montana community where thousands have been sickened by asbestos exposure would leave the dangerous material inside some houses rather than remove it, as government officials seek to wind down an effort that has lasted more than 15 years and cost $540 million.

Details on the final cleanup plan for Libby, Montana, and the neighboring town of Troy were to be released Tuesday by the Environmental Protection Agency.

Study: Trace amount of drilling fluid found in water well

Toxic fluids used in drilling and hydraulic fracturing likely escaped an unlined borehole and migrated thousands of feet into a residential drinking-water supply in Pennsylvania, according to a study published Monday.

At least three water wells in Bradford County, located in the heart of the Marcellus Shale drilling boom, were found to be contaminated with dangerous levels of methane and other substances in 2010. The incident was one of several involving Chesapeake Energy that prompted state environmental regulators to levy a record $1 million fine against the driller in May 2011.

Oil

5th Circuit: 3 Mexican states cannot sue BP over 2010 spill

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A federal appeals court has upheld a lower court's dismissal of a lawsuit against BP and other companies by three Mexican states over the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeal upheld a 2013 district court ruling.

Study: Cutting carbon dioxide saves 3,500 US lives a year

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama Administration's hotly debated plan to reduce heat-trapping carbon dioxide from the nation's power plants will save about 3,500 lives a year by cutting back on other types of pollution as well, a new independent study concludes.

The study from Harvard and Syracuse University calculates the decline in heart attacks and lung disease when soot and smog are reduced — an anticipated byproduct of the president's proposed power plant rule, which aims to fight global warming by limiting carbon dioxide emissions.

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