Spain criticized for towing burning fishing boat out to sea

MADRID (AP) — Greenpeace on Thursday criticized Spain's government for towing a burning Russian fishing boat full of fuel out to sea after it caught fire in a Canary Islands port, saying the fuel oil in the ship that ended up sinking poses an environmental threat.

The group demanded that Spain make plans to extract about 1,400 metric tons of thick fuel oil from the Russian trawler Oleg Naydenov, which caught fire in port Saturday and was towed to sea as a precaution.


Secrecy shrouds decade-old oil spill in Gulf of Mexico

OVER THE GULF OF MEXICO (AP) — A blanket of fog lifts, exposing a band of rainbow sheen that stretches off the coast of Louisiana. From an airplane, it's easy to see gas bubbles that mark the spot where an oil platform toppled during a 2004 hurricane, triggering what might be the longest-running commercial oil spill ever to pollute the Gulf of Mexico.

Yet more than a decade after crude started leaking at the site formerly operated by Taylor Energy Company, few people know of its existence. The company has downplayed the leak's extent and environmental impact.

Vietnamese villagers block traffic to protest pollution

HANOI, Vietnam (AP) — Hundreds of villagers in central Vietnam blocked traffic on the country's main artery for hours to protest pollution from a coal-fired thermo power plant, a local official said Thursday.

Nguyen Thanh Sang in Binh Thuan province said Thursday that the villagers threw rocks, bricks and gasoline bombs at riot police who were trying to direct traffic Wednesday night. About 10 policemen suffered minor injuries.


$5 billion in BP oil spill settlement payments so far

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The man who oversees settlement payments to people and businesses claiming economic losses as a result of BP's 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill says more than $5 billion has been paid out.

Patrick Juneau announced the milestone in a Wednesday news release, five days ahead of the disaster's fifth anniversary.


Exxon: $8.9B sought in New Jersey pollution case 'not real'

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — Exxon Mobil's top lawyer said Wednesday that a heavily criticized $225 million pollution settlement with New Jersey was reasonable and that the nearly $9 billion initially sought by the state shouldn't be used as a barometer because it was calculated using faulty methodology.

The settlement announced in March has drawn criticism from environmentalists and lawmakers in both parties who have said the state should have waited for a judge's ruling instead of settling for what they have a characterized as pennies on the dollar.

Advocates for expanded Hudson River dredging renew call

GREEN ISLAND, N.Y. (AP) — A group of environmentalists and elected officials renewed their call Tuesday for a broader cleanup of the upper-Hudson River as a final year of dredging looms.

General Electric Co. is scheduled to begin its sixth and expected final season of PCB dredging next month as part of a $2 billion federal Superfund project. Long-running calls for GE to dredge PCB "hot spots" outside the project's boundaries are taking on urgency because the company will dismantle the sprawling facility that treats the contaminated river sediments after dredging ends.


Mexico oil spill affects drinking water for Tabasco city

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Mexico's Gulf coast state of Tabasco has set up an emergency plan to supply drinking water to the capital of Villahermosa after oil thieves punctured a pipeline, contaminating rivers that normally supply the city.

The spill late last week sent workers with the state-owned oil company scrambling to limit damage, and four of Villahermosa's water treatment plants were shut down as a precaution.

Guatemalan mine manager jailed for alleged river fouling

GUATEMALA CITY (AP) — The general manager of a Guatemalan mine has been jailed following a 2012 complaint about contamination of a river with mining residue.

General manager Carlos Roberto Morales was jailed on a judge's order Monday, pending further investigation. The San Rafael mine said in a statement that it does not negatively impact the environment and would appeal the judge's decision.

Dirty air, Sahara dust blankets parts of Britain in smog

LONDON (AP) — Traffic fumes, dirty air blown in from Europe and Sarahan dust are combining to coat parts of Britain in smog.

The environment department says air pollution is "high" across much of the country Friday and could reach the top designation of "very high" in southeast England.

Canadian crews work to contain fuel spill in Vancouver bay

VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) — A fuel spill has spread over areas of Vancouver's picturesque English Bay, coating waters in an oily sheen, a Port Metro Vancouver spokesman said Thursday.

John Parker-Jervis said a bulk vessel that carries grain appears to have been the source of fuel that spilled into the bay Wednesday. The bay is surrounded by apartments, businesses and the city's jewel, Stanley Park.


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