Environmental Protection

Research and Technology


Long-Lasting Nitrate in Streams Disturbs Water Quality

Hydrologic researchers from the USGS found that nitrate from fertilizers takes decades to travel through groundwater and into streams, disturbing the water quality of streams and even large rivers for many more years to come.

Billions of Cicadas May Soon Swarm Eastern U.S.

The East Coast of the U.S. may soon be swarmed with billions of cicadas, outnumbering people from North Carolina to Connecticut by 600 to 1. But not to worry, even though the insects may be a nuisance, they’re not a threat to anything but a few shrubs.

People in India, Indonesia, and Philippines Affected by Toxic Waste Sites

A Mount Sinai researcher has found that the health of people living near toxic waste sites in India, Indonesia, and the Philippines are directly affected, causing them to miss out on healthy years of life.

Solar-Powered Nanofilters Remove Antibiotics from Waterways

Researchers have developed solar-powered nanofilters that can remove antibiotics from waterways more efficiently than existing practices.

Enzyme Research Could Lead to Less Expensive Biofuels

New research from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has discovered two approaches in which enzymes could break down cell walls more quickly and lead to less expensive biofuels for the transportation industry.

A New Additive to Make Wastewater Treatment More Efficient

Wastewater sludge is a semi-solid material that accounts for 50 percent of operating costs and about 65 percent of environmental impact in order to purify the water. After being tested in 50 wastewater treatment plants in various countries, a new additive called LODOred may be able to purify the sludge more efficiently.

Measuring the Floods in Illinois

Crews from the USGS are measuring the floods of rivers and streams in Illinois. It’s estimated that current conditions of the waterways are the highest levels in over 20 years for the state.

How Pesticides Affect Reproduction of Aquatic Organisms

In a new study conducted by the North Carolina State University, researchers have found that pesticide exposure can affect the reproduction abilities of “water fleas”, causing them to produce more male offspring and creating reproductive issues in females.

A New Way to Capture Methane

Since methane is more harmful than CO2 and is very influential in climate change, researchers have found a new way to capture the greenhouse gas.

Nuclear Fuel Storage Research Gets More Funding

The Energy Department will be investing $15.8 million over the next five years on a new dry storage research and development project that should result in safe and secure storage of used nuclear fuel.

The Annual U.S. Greenhouse Gas Inventory Now Available

Earlier today, the EPA released the 18th annual report of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, which shows that emissions decreased by 1.6 percent in 2011 from 2010.

AgriLife Research Scientist Hopes Soapy Water Testing Lathers Up Statewide Interest

AgriLife Research Scientist Hopes Soapy Water Testing Lathers Up Statewide Interest

Research on gray water use for home irrigation has been getting positive initial results.

High Levels of Lead Found in Imported Rice

In a meeting at the American Chemical Society, it was revealed that high levels of lead have been found in rice that’s been imported to the U.S. from certain countries. According to their research, baby food contained some of the highest levels of lead.

CO2 Emissions Continue to Decrease

According to the Energy Information Administrations (EIA), CO2 emissions have managed to decrease each year since 2007, and 2012 had the lowest emissions since 1994.

Severe Precipitation Caused by Global Warming

As greenhouses gases in the atmosphere continue to rise, intense precipitation will become even more intense, according to a new NOAA-led study that has been published in Geophysical Research Letters.

High Temperature Superconducting Technology for Next-Generation Power Generation a Success

GE’s superconductive technology research offers advantages in efficiency, size, mass, and weight reductions when compared with conventional machines. The impact on energy production from alternative energy sources could be substantial.

New Environmentally Friendly Chemicals for Oil and Gas Production

By studying new classes of low-dosage hydrate inhibitors, a researcher from the University of Stavanger (UiS) developed new and more environmentally-friendly chemicals that can be used in oil and gas production.

NREL Economic Study Identifies Benefits Relative to Transmission and Generation Infrastructure across State Lines

The Wyoming Project shows how transmission and generation infrastructure originating in Wyoming could result in significant benefits for Colorado.

Tiny Sea Creatures Keeping Marine Ecosystems Healthy

In a new study from the Virginia Institute of Science and the USGS, small sea creatures that are about the size of a thumbtack help protect seagrasses and other sea life from an overpopulation of algae.

The Effects of Pharmaceutical Pollution on Water Quality

A new study suggests that more research is needed in order to find the complete impacts pharmaceutical pollution has on aquatic life and water quality.

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