Saturday, December 3, 2011

In Case You Missed It - The Week of November 27-December 3

* The New York Times reported that the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry has proposed names for two new elements (elements 114 and 116) on the periodic table of elements, suggesting flerovium and livermorium. 

* At least 340,000 electricity customers lost power in Southern California windstorms, as reported by the LA Times.

* The New Yorker reported on hydraulic fracturing and Americans' obsession with fossil fuels, concluding, "The way things now stand, there’s nothing to prevent us from getting wasted mountains [from coal] and polluted drinking water, and a ruined climate to boot."

* The EPA released proposed new rules for criteria and toxic pollutants from industrial boilers and incinerators, as reported by Greenwire.

* LaFarge, North America Inc., "one of the largest suppliers of construction materials in the United States and Canada" according to the EPA, agreed to pay a $740,000 penalty and implement two supplemental environmental projects for unpermitted discharges of stormwater in violation of the Clean Water Act.

* St. Louis, Missouri won the EPA's National Award for Smart Growth Achievement -- Overall Excellence for its revitalization of the "Old North" historic neighborhood. 

* A new, comprehensive Tribal Consultation Policy for the Department of the Interior was announced.  Consultation issues have been the subject of recent lawsuits, such as Quechan Tribe v. U.S. Department of the Interior (S.D. Cal. 2010), in which the tribe successfully argued that the DOI had not adequately consulted with it under the National Historic Preservation Act regarding destruction of cultural resources by a planned solar farm.  

* The Department of the Interior hosted an Alaska science workshop "to discuss how to facilitate the delivery of relevant scientific information to officials responsible for making decisions related to energy development in Alaska."

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