December 14, 2012 |
WASHINGTON - The Obama administration announced a new air pollution standard Friday that would bring about a 20% reduction in microscopic particles of soot emitted by coal-fired power plants and diesel vehicles that contribute to haze and respiratory ailments. The new limit, fought by industry and welcomed by environmentalists, marks the first time the Environmental Protection Agency tightened the soot standard since it was established 15 years ago. "These standards are fulfilling the promise of the Clean Air Act," said EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson.
October 21, 2011 |
The Environmental Protection Agency said it planned to regulate wastewater discharged by companies producing natural gas from shale formations, including chemically laced water used in a controversial extraction process known as hydraulic fracturing. The EPA's initiative comes as water-intensive natural gas production has spread around the country, raising concerns about the effects on drinking-water supplies. The practice, also known as fracking, involves shooting water infused with chemicals and sand at high pressure into shale formations to unlock reservoirs of natural gas. The EPA will try to determine what to do with water used during fracking, as well as water that is already underground and flows back up the well.
April 8, 2011 |
Congressional negotiators struck a last-minute deal to fund the government for the rest of the fiscal year, congressional leaders and the White House said late Friday, averting a threatened shutdown. The House and Senate are expected to approve a seven-day stopgap measure to keep the government running until the final details of the agreement can be worked out. Talks continued deep into the evening until, finally, House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) met with his caucus to outline the details of the proposed compromise, one in which Republicans succeeded in securing nearly $38 billion in cuts from current spending levels.
April 7, 2011 |
The Obama administration and its Senate allies beat back a months-long drive by congressional Republicans to strip the Environmental Protection Agency of its ability to regulate greenhouse gases, the heat-trapping emissions that most scientists believe are the main contributor to global climate change. The Republican effort has focused on limiting the EPA's regulatory powers and its program to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from vehicles, power plants and oil refineries, the biggest emitters of greenhouse gases.
March 26, 2011
The damage caused by mercury in our air and water is no secret. The neurotoxin is especially dangerous to young children and developing fetuses, and is so pervasive that pregnant women are warned to limit the amount of swordfish and albacore tuna they eat. (The mercury levels in these and certain other fish are particularly high.) It's also no secret where most of the mercury released into the environment comes from: coal-fired power plants. Yet this country has been waiting nearly two decades for the Environmental Protection Agency to propose regulations for reducing mercury emissions.
March 18, 2011 |
A minuscule amount of radiation from the stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear reactor in Japan was detected in Sacramento but at such a low level that it posed no threat to human health, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said Friday afternoon. One station in Sacramento detected "minuscule quantities" of a radioactive isotope, xenon-133, that scientists said they believed came from the reactors at the stricken Fukushima plant. Photos: In Japan, life amid crisis But the level detected would result in a "dose rate approximately one-millionth of the dose rate that a person normally receives from rocks, bricks, the sun and other natural sources," according to an EPA statement.