Pollution

Study: States short on some Chesapeake Bay goals

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — States in the Chesapeake Bay watershed have made strides in reducing pollution in the nation's largest estuary, but many jurisdictions in the six-state region are falling short in implementing practices that cut contaminants from agriculture as well as urban and suburban runoff, a study by environmentalists has concluded.

The study, which is being released Wednesday by the Chesapeake Bay Foundation and the Choose Clean Water Coalition, focuses on two-year commitments made by neighboring states and the District of Columbia. Advocates say the report marks the first time in the history of efforts to restore the bay that they can measure and evaluate how well states have done on short-term commitments — their two-year milestones.

They say the milestones allow the states and the federal Environmental Protection Agency to identify shortcomings and take action before deadlines near for goals to further reduce pollutants in 2017 and 2025.

Administration looks to Supreme Court ruling to dismiss Camp Lejeune claims

Source: 
E&E

After the Supreme Court ruled in favor of industry in a North Carolina groundwater pollution case, the Justice Department urged an Atlanta appeals court to reject claims filed by Marines and their families seeking damages for illnesses linked to groundwater pollution at Camp Lejeune, E&E reports.

Oil

Supreme Court: BP must pay claims during appeal

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The U.S. Supreme Court says BP must continue paying claims from a fund established after the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill while the company appeals terms of its settlement with some businesses.

The justices on Monday let stand without comment lower court refusals to halt payments while BP PLC appeals lower court rulings that businesses don't have to prove they were directly harmed by the spill to collect money.

The 5th Circuit and a district court have ruled that BP must stand by its agreement to pay such business claims without requiring strict proof that the spill caused losses.

Senate Environment subcommittee hearing on Superfund progress

Washington, June 10, 2014, 2:30 pm

Senate Environment and Public Works Oversight Subcommittee hearing, "Protecting Taxpayers and Ensuring Accountability: Faster Superfund Cleanups for Healthier Communities." EPA witnesses to testify.

Supreme Court rejects pollution case in N.C.

Source: 
E&E

The Supreme Court rejected a bid by North Carolina landowners to force CTS Corp. to clean up groundwater pollution, ruling that the landowners waited too long to file their complaint, E&E reports.

Scientists explore using trees to clean pollution

FREEPORT, Texas (AP) — Before Houston and its suburbs were built, a dense forest naturally purified the coastal air along a stretch of the Texas Gulf Coast that grew thick with pecan, ash, live oak and hackberry trees.

It was the kind of pristine woodland that was mostly wiped out by settlers in their rush to clear land and build communities. Now one of the nation's largest chemical companies and one of its oldest conservation groups have forged an unlikely partnership that seeks to recreate some of that forest to curb pollution.

The plan drafted by Dow Chemical and the Nature Conservancy is only in its infancy and faces many hurdles. But it envisions a day when expensive machines used to capture industrial pollutants might be at least partially replaced by restoring some of the groves of native trees that once filled the land.

Chinese official lowers expectations for speedy carbon cuts

Source: 
Reuters

The top climate official in China's National Development and Reform Commission said the country likely wouldn't impose absolute limits on greenhouse gas emissions in the near future, saying any such standards would allow for some emissions growth, Reuters reports.

NYC launches programs to protect its water supply

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Wary of more big storms washing out towns and churning up debris around its distant reservoirs, New York City will buy homes and businesses in flood zones and reduce local hazards.

The one-two punch of tropical storms Irene and Lee in late summer 2011 has prompted an additional $70 million of spending by the city to combat flood hazards. Though not universally embraced among the rural upstate communities, city officials say the programs will protect the water consumed by 9 million people while helping the towns that participate.

USDA funds public-private partnerships to improve water

Source: 
The Hill

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack traveled to Michigan Tuesday to launch his department's $1.2 billion water conservation and improvement program, which it hopes will attract an equal amount of money from the private sector, The Hill reports.

Senators push for action on Great Lakes program

RAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) — U.S. senators from the Great Lakes region are pushing for action on legislation that would continue a wide-ranging cleanup program for five more years.

The Obama administration established the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative in 2009. It has provided more than $1 billion for projects to make progress on the region's biggest environmental threats, such as invasive species, toxic pollution, habitat loss and toxic algae.

Pending legislation would authorize continued funding of the initiative through 2018.

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