Environmental Protection

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EPA Proposes Wastewater Discharge Permits for Oil and Gas Exploration in Alaska

EPA is now seeking input on two draft wastewater discharge permits for oil and gas exploration activities in Alaska’s Beaufort and Chukchi Seas.

Major Electric Utility Buys 2011 U.S. Solar Decathlon Home

WaterShed, the international-prize-winning solar house built by University of Maryland students, faculty and professional partners, has found a buyer and a permanent site. Electric service provider Pepco is purchasing the high-tech building, and plans to locate it at one of its facilities in Montgomery County, Md.

Sea Cucumbers Could Be Key to Preserving Coral Reefs

Tropical sea cucumbers could play a key role in saving coral reefs from the devastating effects of climate change, say scientists at One Tree Island, the University of Sydney's research station on the Great Barrier Reef.

Australia's Moreton Bay Ecosystem Still At Risk

No-fishing zones implemented to protect the Moreton Bay ecosystem have proven their worth in light of last year’s flooding however the coral reefs and seagrass habitats are still at risk.

Researchers Suggest Biodiversity Enhances Ecosystems Global Drylands

An international team of researchers including Dr. Bertrand Boeken of the Jacob Blaustein Institutes for Desert Research at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev suggest in a new study that plant biodiversity preservation is crucial to buffer negative effects of climate change and desertification in drylands.

Injecting Sulfate Particles Into Stratosphere Won't Fully Offset Climate Change

As the reality and the impact of climate warming have become clearer in the last decade, researchers have looked for possible engineering solutions -- such as removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere or directing the sun's heat away from Earth -- to help offset rising temperatures.

Maryland Study Demonstrates Mid-Atlantic Offshore Wind Capacity

Offshore wind farms could generate more than enough energy to meet Maryland’s annual electricity consumption, according to a just-published study by researchers at the University of Delaware. The potential power output is nearly double current energy demands for the state, even when taking into account various limitations on where to place equipment in the Atlantic.

Making Poisonous Plants and Seeds Safe and Palatable

Every night millions of people go to bed hungry. New genetic technology can help us feed the world by making inedible seeds more edible, researchers say.



Long-term Response Plan for Possible Cuban Oil Spill

Nova Southeastern University (NSU) and Florida International University (FIU) researchers have drafted a plan to best prepare South Florida for an oil spill off the coast of Cuba.

NASA: Green Aircrafts in the Works

Leaner, greener flying machines for the year 2025 are on the drawing boards of three industry teams under contract to the NASA Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate's Environmentally Responsible Aviation Project.

Report Taps into Innovative Financing to Secure Future for Sustainable Water Infrastructure

Innovative financing and pricing flexibility are key to preparing the nation’s aging freshwater systems to handle growing demand and environmental challenges, according to a Charting New Waters report recently released by The Johnson Foundation at Wingspread, American Rivers and Ceres.

Scientist Claims Temperate Freshwater Wetlands are Forgotten Carbon Sinks

A new study comparing the carbon-holding power of freshwater wetlands has produced measurements suggesting that wetlands in temperate regions are more valuable as carbon sinks than current policies imply, according to researchers.

Classifying Solar Eruptions

Solar flares are giant explosions on the sun that send energy, light and high speed particles into space. These flares are often associated with solar magnetic storms known as coronal mass ejections (CMEs). While these are the most common solar events, the sun can also emit streams of very fast protons -- known as solar energetic particle (SEP) events -- and disturbances in the solar wind known as corotating interaction regions (CIRs).

How Seawater Could Corrode Nuclear Fuel

Japan used seawater to cool nuclear fuel at the stricken Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear plant after the tsunami in March 2011 -- and that was probably the best action to take at the time, says Professor Alexandra Navrotsky of the University of California, Davis.

Prescribed Fires Promote Long-term Preservation of Texas Grasslands

The effects of burning on rangelands have long been debated. Although it is desirable to remove woody plants and invasive species, fire may also eliminate the native grasses that are important for raising cattle. Studying the effects of burning over a span of years can inform land managers how rangelands will respond to this type of management.

Potato Company Pays EPA Penalty for Failing to Report Ammonia Release

Oregon Potato Company failed to report an anhydrous ammonia release at their facility in Warden, Wash., and will pay the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) a $66,235 penalty.

Detecting Detrimental Change in Coral Reefs

Over dinner on R.V. Calypso while anchored on the lee side of Glover's Reef in Belize, Jacques Cousteau told Phil Dustan that he suspected humans were having a negative impact on coral reefs. Dustan—a young ocean ecologist who had worked in the lush coral reefs of the Caribbean and Sinai Peninsula—found this difficult to believe. It was December 1974.

Asthma Rate and Costs from Traffic Pollution Higher

A research team led by University of Massachusetts Amherst resource economist Sylvia Brandt, with colleagues in California and Switzerland, have revised the cost burden sharply upward for childhood asthma and for the first time include the number of cases attributable to air pollution, in a study released in the online version of the European Respiratory Journal.

Dallas-area Habitat for Humanity is First to Install Solar Array

The solar array is the first-ever installed on the office building and ReStore location for any Habitat for Humanity affiliate in the United States.

Extreme Droughts Could Increase by 15 Percent in Spain by 2050

A team at the Polytechnic University of Cartagena has designed a new method for calculating drought trends. Initial results suggest that by the year 2050 there could be a 15 percent increase compared to the droughts seen in 1990 in the Segura river basin.

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