Environmental Protection


Electronic Atlas Maps U.S. Renewable Energy Resources

A new geospatial application developed by the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), the U.S. Department of Energy's primary national laboratory for renewable energy and energy efficiency research and development, allows users to easily and accurately map potential renewable energy resources in the United States.

Scientists Study How Nature Cleans Uranium From Colorado Aquifer

Rifle, Colo., is a small town on the Colorado River, in the heart of the Rocky Mountains, that's big on natural resources. It attracts hunters, fishermen, hikers, rock climbers. Its striking scenery attracted husband-and-wife environmental artists Christo and Jeanne-Claude as well; they stretched the Valley Curtain, a 200,200-square-foot orange sheet of nylon, across 1,250-foot-wide Rifle Gap. The curtain lasted only 28 hours before another of the area's natural resources, wind, began to tear it down.

Reuse of Municipal Wastewater Has Potential to Augment Future Drinking Water Supplies

With recent advances in technology and design, treating municipal wastewater and reusing it for drinking water, irrigation, industry and other applications could significantly increase the nation's total available water resources, particularly in coastal areas facing water shortages, says a new report from the National Research Council.

Lake Erie Algae, Ice, Make a Nice Mix in Winter

Clarkson University Biology Professor Michael R. Twiss has been working with colleagues and students from Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Ontario, to study Lake Erie over the past five winters during mid-winter, a time when the lake is more than 70 percent covered by ice.

EPA, State of Colorado, Childrens Hospital Highlight Benefits of New Mercury and Air Toxics Standards

At Children’s Hospital Colorado in Aurora, Colo., representatives from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) joined the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, Trout Unlimited, and ADA Environmental Solutions, Inc. to highlight the benefits of EPA’s newly issued Mercury and Air Toxics Standards, the first national standards to protect American families from power plant emissions of mercury and toxic pollutants such as arsenic, acid gas, nickel, selenium and cyanide.

Massachusetts Landlords Fined for Failing to Notify Holyoke Area Tenants about Lead Paint

The owners and manager of 11 housing units at 10 properties in the Holyoke area have agreed to pay a total of $16,000 to resolved claims by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that they violated the federal lead paint disclosure law.

U.S. EPA Orders World’s Largest Metals & Electronics Recycler to Immediately Cease Illegal Discharge of Toxic Pollutants to San Francisco Bay

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has ordered Sims Metal Management, located at the Port of Redwood City, Calif., to comply with federal Clean Water Act laws following inspections that found evidence of unlawful discharges of PCBs, mercury, lead, copper and zinc into San Francisco Bay.

Mercury Deposition Greater Near Major U.S. Cities

Atmospheric deposition of mercury is about four-times higher in lakes near several major U.S. cities compared to lakes in remote areas, according to a new study by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS).

Dramatic Links Found Between Climate Change Elk, Plants and Birds

Climate change in the form of reduced snowfall in mountains is causing powerful and cascading shifts in mountainous plant and bird communities through the increased ability of elk to stay at high elevations over winter and consume plants, according to a groundbreaking study in Nature Climate Change.

Soil Microbiologists Discover Aberdeen Microbe of Global Agricultural Significance

Organisms that oxidize ammonia were first discovered in 1890. Although a natural process, a major consequence of the activities of such organisms in soil is the transformation and loss of nitrogen fertilizers used to improve crop production, resulting in groundwater and atmospheric pollution.

Franklin Foundry and Company President Pleaded Guilty to Illegally Storing Hazardous Waste

John R. Wiehl and the company, Franklin Non-Ferrous Foundry, Inc., pleaded guilty to unlawfully storing hazardous waste under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA).

Triad Mining Agrees to Resolve Clean Water Act Violations and Restore Affected Waterways in Indiana

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) announced that Triad Mining Inc., the owner and operator of 31 surface mines in Appalachia and Indiana, has agreed to pay a penalty and restore affected waterways for failing to obtain the required Clean Water Act (CWA) permit for stream impacts caused by its surface mining operation in Indiana

Satellite Tracking Helps Russian Tanker Navigate Critical Sea Duck Habitat

On its way to deliver emergency fuel to Nome, Alaska, the Russian tanker Renda will move through an area used by wintering spectacled eiders, a federally threatened sea duck

The Nuclear, Biological and Climate Threat - 2011 reviewed

In this special issue of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, published by SAGE, experts reflect on 2011 and highlight what to look out for in 2012 in the areas of nuclear energy, nuclear weapons, biosecurity, and climate change. Topics that have made the headlines during the previous 12 months, including the increased tension surrounding Iran's nuclear programme, the aftermath of the Fukushima incident, and the state of U.S. policy on climate change, are analyzed in detail in this special issue.

Study Suggests Colorado Mountain Hail May Disappear in a Warmer Future

Summertime hail could all but disappear from the eastern flank of Colorado's Rocky Mountains by 2070, according to a new modeling study by scientists from NOAA and several other institutions.

Study Finds a Better Way to Gauge The Climate Costs of Land Use Changes

Those making land use decisions to reduce the harmful effects of climate change have focused almost exclusively on greenhouse gases – analyzing, for example, how much carbon dioxide is released when a forest is cleared to grow crops. A new study in Nature Climate Change aims to present a more complete picture – to incorporate other characteristics of ecosystems that also influence climate.

Saving on Energy Bills: Meeting Families in The Middle

A recent study released by researchers at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) identifies steps that energy efficiency program managers can take to deliver significant savings on home energy bills to middle-income households.

European Research Suggests Climate Change is Altering Mountain Vegetation at Large Scale

The decade from 2000 to 2009 was the warmest since global climate has been measured, and while localized studies have shown evidence of changes in mountain plant communities that reflect this warming trend, no study has yet taken a continental-scale view of the situation – until now.

Another Outbreak of Coral Disease Hits Reefs of Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii

The disease called acute Montipora White Syndrome (MWS) has reappeared and is again killing corals in Kaneohe Bay, Oʻahu.

What The Mining Debate is Missing

As mining is resurging in North America, debates across the continent over mines are simplified: “Do we prioritize jobs or the environment? Companies or communities?” These are worthy debates. Yet should the issue of mining really be reduced to “pro-con” statements?

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