Pollution

Judge to allow Okla. AG to intervene in emissions suit against EPA

Source: 
The Associated Press

A federal judge granted Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt the ability to intervene in a lawsuit brought by Wild Earth Guardians against the Environmental Protection Agency that would order the agency to require nitrogen dioxide emission enforcement plans from Oklahoma and other states, The Associated Press reports.

CNPC blacklisted on air pollution violations

Source: 
Reuters

For the second time in six months, China's Ministry of Environmental Protection has blacklisted the China National Petroleum Corporation for violating pollution regulations at one of its refineries, Reuters reports.

China announces $1.6 billion air pollution fund

BEIJING (AP) — China's Cabinet has announced that 10 billion yuan ($1.6 billion) has been set aside this year to reward cities and regions that make significant progress in controlling air pollution, highlighting how the issue has become a priority for the leadership.

The fund will be set up to reward rather than offer subsidies for the prevention and control of air pollution in the key areas, according to a statement released after a Wednesday meeting of the State Council led by Premier Ki Keqiang. It said controlling pollutants such as particulate matter in the air should be a key task.

The statement said the consumption of coal should be controlled and also called for increased efforts to promote high-quality gasoline for vehicles, energy saving in construction and the use of environmentally friendly boilers.

China to develop $1.65B fund to fight air pollution

Source: 
Bloomberg

China's State Council today announced the development of a $1.65 billion fund to help cut air pollution in large cities by limiting the use of fossil fuels, promoting efficiency and offering subsidies for cleaner forms of energy, Bloomberg reports.

Duke starts dredging river as coal ash deal dumped

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Duke Energy said Tuesday it plans to begin dredging coal ash out of a North Carolina river as the state's environmental agency moved to scuttle a previously proposed settlement with the company over pollution leaking from waste dumps at its power plants.

Lawyers for the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources asked a judge late Monday to disregard its own proposed settlement with the nation's largest electricity provider. Under the deal, Duke would have paid fines of $99,111 for pollution that leaked from two coal dumps like the one that ruptured Feb. 2, spewing out enough toxic sludge into the Dan River to fill 73 Olympic-sized pools. The deal proposed over the summer covered plants near Asheville and Charlotte, while this month's spill was near the town of Eden.

The state dumped the settlement one day after a story by The Associated Press in which environmentalists criticized the arrangement as a sweetheart deal aimed at shielding Duke from far more expensive penalties the $50 billion company might face under the federal Clean Water Act.

EU to implement carbon market fix in March

Source: 
Reuters

The European Commission said it would begin implementing a recently approved plan to limit the supply of permits available in its carbon market in mid-March as part of an effort to boost permit prices, Reuters reports.

China turns down $19.5B in projects in anti-pollution push

Source: 
Reuters

In an effort to limit industrial-scale pollution, China's Ministry of Environmental Protection turned down as many as 32 industrial projects worth $19.5 billion last year, Reuters reports.

NC dumps coal ash deal with Duke

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina's environmental agency sought late Monday to delay its own settlement with Duke Energy a week after a busted pipe at one of the company's coal ash dumps spewed enough toxic sludge into the Dan River to fill 73 Olympic-sized pools.

Lawyers for the state Department of Environment and Natural Resources asked a judge to disregard their proposed settlement with the nation's largest electricity provider. Under the deal, Duke would have paid fines of $99,111 over groundwater pollution leaking from two coal dumps like the one that ruptured Feb. 2.

The state's letter came one day after a story by The Associated Press in which environmentalists criticized the arrangement as a sweetheart deal aimed at shielding Duke from far more expensive penalties the $50 billion company might face under the federal Clean Water Act. The settlement would have required Duke to study how to stop the contamination, but included no requirement for the company to actually clean up its dumps near Asheville and Charlotte.

EU moves on support plan for carbon market

Source: 
The New York Times

European Union lawmakers moved quickly to approve a plan to help support the bloc's faltering carbon market by reducing the number of permits sold and distributed, The New York Times reports.

NC river turns to gray sludge after coal ash spill

ON THE DAN RIVER, N.C. (AP) — Canoe guide Brian Williams dipped his paddle downstream from where thousands of tons of coal ash has been spewing for days into the Dan River, turning the wooden blade flat to bring up a lump of gray sludge.

On the river bank, hundreds of workers at a Duke Energy power plant in North Carolina scrambled to plug a hole in a pipe at the bottom of a 27-acre pond where the toxic ash was stored.

Since the leak was first discovered by a security guard Sunday afternoon, Duke estimates up to 82,000 tons of ash mixed with 27 million gallons of contaminated water has spilled into the river. Officials at the nation's largest electricity provider say they cannot provide a timetable for when the leak will be fully contained, though the flow has lessened significantly as the pond has emptied.

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