Friday, August 11, 2006

Mercury Boomerang

What goes around, comes around: recycled mercury exported from the US is returning in the form of drifting air pollution -- undermining our efforts to eliminate mercury from the environment.  CT mercury article 

Tons of toxic mercury from U.S. recycling programs are funneled each year to loosely regulated industries in developing countries, where much of the hazardous metal is released into the atmosphere.  Scientists say some of that air pollution can drift back to this country and contaminate lakes and rivers, undercutting aggressive efforts to keep mercury out of the environment.  The federal government estimates that U.S. firms exported at least 276 tons of mercury last year. It moves overseas through a little-known network of purifiers and brokers that operates without government oversight and faces few questions about what happens to the silvery metal once it is sold.  Environmental regulators acknowledge they know more about used motor oil and scrap tires than they do about the mercury trade, in part because it is considered a commodity and isn't subject to the same handling and tracking laws as hazardous waste.  But as policymakers become more aware of the dangers of mercury exposure, particularly for young children and women of childbearing age, they are focusing more attention on curbing sources of mercury pollution.

Last month, U.S. Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) introduced legislation that would bar American mercury exports.  "This is a problem that is impacted by things happening all over the world," Obama said in a recent interview. "But we can make an enormous difference."  Combined with a European Union proposal to block mercury exports, the U.S. effort could shrink global supplies of the metal and drive up the cost enough to encourage alternatives, Obama said. 

Continue reading

August 11, 2006 in Air Quality, Economics, Energy, EU, Governance/Management, International, Legislation, Sustainability, Toxic and Hazardous Substances, US | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (1)

Wednesday, August 2, 2006

Welcome to Environmental Law Prof Blog

WELCOME to Environmental Law Prof Blog.  Please feel free to use this post as an open thread to raise issues relevant to environmental law, policy, science, and ethics.                                                                        

The royalties from this blog and my other professional royalties are devoted to assuring that everyone in the world has clean safe drinking water.  This is my part helping meet the Millenium Development Goals.  Our children's children will thank you if you find a way to achieve the MDGs.  Even now, they are watching.... Eyes_hispanic_1

Find YOUR way to make the Millenium Development Goals reality!

Places to Start:
ONE: www.one.org
MILLENIUM PROMISE: www.millenniumpromise.org
MILLENIUM CAMPAIGN: www.millenniumcampaign.org

August 2, 2006 in Africa, Agriculture, Air Quality, Asia, Australia, Biodiversity, Cases, Climate Change, Constitutional Law, Economics, Energy, Environmental Assessment, EU, Forests/Timber, Governance/Management, International, Land Use, Law, Legislation, Mining, North America, Physical Science, Social Science, South America, Sustainability, Toxic and Hazardous Substances, US, Water Quality, Water Resources | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Sunday, July 30, 2006

No Comment Required

Lebanon_qana_rubble_3

The US blocks a UN resolution deploring the Qana attack, softening the language. The US opposes an immediate, unconditional cease-fire.  Lebanon says thanks, but no thanks to a visit by US Secr. of State Rice. Deadly Israeli Air StrikeDove_w_1

July 30, 2006 in Africa, Agriculture, Air Quality, Asia, Australia, Biodiversity, Cases, Climate Change, Constitutional Law, Economics, Energy, Environmental Assessment, EU, Forests/Timber, Governance/Management, International, Land Use, Law, Legislation, Mining, North America, Physical Science, Social Science, South America, Sustainability, Toxic and Hazardous Substances, US, Water Quality, Water Resources | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Bird Flu Blues: Ain't No Cure, But Perhaps a Vaccine

NYTimes reported today [NYTimes article] that GlaxoSmithKline has developed a more effective bird flu vaccine that works at a far smaller dose, so it might be manufactured rapidly enough to respond to a pandemic.  Sanofi Pasteur's vaccine developed last year and stockpiled by the government requires such large doses (90 v. 4 ugm) that it could not keep up with a pandemic spread of bird flu.  GSK expects to seek approval FDA approval this year.  The vaccine will sell for the same price as a standard flu shot, which is an average of $8 to $12 a shot.  GlaxoSmithKline’s current production capacity for seasonal flu vaccine is 60 million to 70 million doses a year, and that it could make an equal amount of the bird flu vaccine. By 2008, GSK expects to expand its production capacity to 150 million doses a year. 

Continue reading

July 27, 2006 in Economics, Governance/Management, International, Physical Science, Toxic and Hazardous Substances | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, July 17, 2006

Corporate Social (ir)Responsibility

A study by Clark to be published in Environmental Research in September found that major countries, including India, China and Malaysia, produce and sell consumer paints with dangerously high lead levels.  Clark's study demonstrates that new paint in many unregulated Asian countries greatly exceeds U.S. safety levels.  The study analyzed 80 consumer paint samples from four countries—India, Malaysia, China and Singapore—to determine the amount of lead and compare them with U.S. standards.  About 50 percent of the paint sold in China, India and Malaysia—none of which regulate lead in paint—had lead levels 30 times higher than U.S. regulations.  More than 75 percent of the consumer paint tested from countries without controls had levels exceeding U.S. regulations. Singapore, on the other hand, has well-enforced regulations similar to U.S. standards and only 10 percent of paint samples were above U.S. regulations, with the highest exceedence being six times the U.S. limit.

Clark was quoted by Science Daily as saying: “Paint manufacturers are aggressively marketing lead-based paints in countries without lead content restrictions...In some cases, companies are offering the same or similar products, minus the lead, in a regulated country...There is a clear discrepancy in product safety outside the United States, and in today’s global economy, it would be irresponsible for us to ignore the public health threat for the citizens in the offending countries—as well as the countries they do business with.”
Crumbling lead-based paint on playground equipment in Mangalore, India (photo: University of Cincinnati)

July 17, 2006 in Asia, Governance/Management, International, Law, Physical Science, Sustainability, Toxic and Hazardous Substances, US | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Friday, July 7, 2006

Environmental Case Law Summaries

U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals

Frazier v. Pioneer Ams. LLC (07/06/06 - No. 06-30434)
Plaintiffs have the burden to show the applicability of the Class Action Fairness Act's sections 1332(d)(3)–(5) exceptions when jurisdiction turns on their application. In a case involving alleged seepage of mercury from defendants' facility, denial of putative class plaintiffs' motion to remand to Louisiana state court is affirmed over plaintiffs' claim that the case was not removable under CAFA.
http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/data2/circs/5th/0630434cv0p.pdf

U.S. 8th Circuit Court of Appeals

Falk v. US (07/05/06 - No. 05-2566)
Judgment in favor of defendant-agency in a declaratory judgment action challenging decisions made by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service affecting the use of plaintiffs' land for goose hunting is affirmed where defendant's determinations were not arbitrary and capricious, and its interpretation of regulations was not plainly erroneous.
http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/data2/circs/8th/052566p.pdf

U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals

Pakootas v. Teck Cominco Metals, Ltd. (07/03/06 - No. 05-35153)
Denial of defendant's motion to dismiss is affirmed where: 1) because CERCLA liability is triggered by an actual or threatened release of hazardous substances, and because a release of hazardous substances took place within the U.S., the suit at hand involved a domestic application of CERCLA; and 2) defendant-Canadian company's contention that it was not liable under a particular CERCLA provision because it disposed of hazardous substances itself is rejected.
http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/data2/circs/9th/0535153p.pdf

Oregon Trollers Ass'n v. Gutierrez (07/06/06 - No. 05-35970)
In an action brought by fishermen and fishing-related businesses and organizations against the National Marine Fisheries Service and other governmental entities challenging certain management measures undertaken to protect a type of salmon, summary judgment for defendants is affirmed over claims that the measures conflicted with a number of substantive and procedural requirements set forth in the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act.
http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/data2/circs/9th/0535970p.pdf

New York Court of Appeals

In the Matter of Eadie v. Town Bd. of the Town of N. Greenbush (07/05/06 - No. 99)
In an action arising out of the rezoning of a large area of land to permit retail development: 1) the rezoning did not require a three-fourths majority vote of the Town Board under Town Law section 265; 2) the challenge to the rezoning under the State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA) was timely brought; and 3) the Town complied with SEQRA.
http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/data/ny/cases/app/99opn06.pdf


July 7, 2006 in Biodiversity, Cases, Environmental Assessment, Governance/Management, Land Use, Law, Sustainability, Toxic and Hazardous Substances, US, Water Resources | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, July 3, 2006

WELCOME

WELCOME to Environmental Law Prof Blog.  Please feel free to use this post as an open thread to raise issues relevant to environmental law, policy, science, and ethics.                                                                           

The royalties from this blog and my other professional royalties are devoted to assuring that everyone in the world has clean safe drinking water.  This is my part helping meet the Millenium Development Goals.  Our children's children will thank you if you find a way to achieve the MDGs.  Even now, they are watching.... Eyes_hispanic_1

Find YOUR way to make the Millenium Development Goals reality.

Places to Start:
ONE: www.one.org
MILLENIUM PROMISE: www.millenniumpromise.org
MILLENIUM CAMPAIGN: www.millenniumcampaign.org

July 3, 2006 in Africa, Agriculture, Air Quality, Asia, Australia, Biodiversity, Cases, Climate Change, Constitutional Law, Economics, Energy, Environmental Assessment, EU, Forests/Timber, Governance/Management, International, Land Use, Law, Legislation, Mining, North America, Physical Science, Social Science, South America, Sustainability, Toxic and Hazardous Substances, US, Water Quality, Water Resources | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Sunday, July 2, 2006

Environmental Case Law Summaries

U.S. 1st Circuit Court of Appeals

EnergyNorth Natural Gas, Inc. v. Century Indem. Co.
(06/28/06 - No. 05-2149)
Judgment as a matter of law for plaintiffs in a suit over excess liability coverage for plaintiff's potential liability for environmental contamination is affirmed where the district court did not err in refusing to allow the case to go to the jury, in excluding some evidence, and in ordering defendant to reimburse plaintiff for certain costs and fees.
http://laws.lp.findlaw.com/1st/052149.html

U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals

Save Our Cumberland Mountains v. Kempthorne (06/29/06 - No. 05-5663)
In an action brought by environmental groups challenging an agency's environmental assessment and decision-making in connection with a coal mining permit, summary judgment for the agency is affirmed over claims that: 1) an environmental assessment was deficient in failing to consider sufficient alternatives to a proposal; 2) the agency acted arbitrarily and capriciously in issuing a finding of no significant impact; and 3) the agency should have made the environmental assessment available for public comment 30 days before its final decision.
http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/data2/circs/6th/055663p.pdf

U.S. 10th Circuit Court of Appeals

The Ecology Ctr., Inc. v. US Forest Serv. (06/29/06 - No. 05-4101)
Dismissal of a complaint, challenging a project which would allow logging in a certain area and claiming that the project's Record of Decision did not comply with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the National Forest Management Act, and the APA, is reversed in part as to the National Forest Management Act claim where defendant's "exclusive application of the 1982 Rules and the failure to consider or mention the 'best available science' standard amounted to conduct that is arbitrary and capricious."
http://laws.lp.findlaw.com/10th/054101.html

Supreme Court of California

Big Creek Lumber Co. v. County of Santa Cruz (06/29/06 - No. S123659)
County zoning ordinances relating to the permissible locations for timber operations are not preempted by state forestry statutes.
http://caselaw.findlaw.com/data2/californiastatecases/s123659.doc
http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/data2/californiastatecases/s123659.pdf

California Appellate Districts

Turlock Irrigation Dist. v. Zanker (06/26/06 - No. F047094)
Judgment partially against a town in litigation concerning the scope of its right to receive treated water for domestic use and other needs of the town is affirmed where the trial court correctly found that the districts must continue to provide water to the town, but the reasonable cost of treating the water to make it suitable for domestic use may be passed through to the consumer.
http://login.findlaw.com/scripts/callaw?dest=ca/caapp4th/slip/2006/f047094.html
http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/data2/californiastatecases/f047094.pdf

Save Our Neighborhood v. Lishman (06/28/06 - No. C049525)
In a dispute involving a city's approval of a project for the construction of a hotel, gas station, and convenience store complex, a judgment denying plaintiffs' petition for writ of mandate is reversed where a city's reliance on an addendum to a mitigated negative declaration for the project violated the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).
http://login.findlaw.com/scripts/callaw?dest=ca/caapp4th/slip/2006/c049525.html
http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/data2/californiastatecases/c049525.pdf

Schneider v. California Coastal Comm'n (06/28/06 - No. B186149)
The Legislature has not recognized an ocean boater's "right to a view" of the coastline as a factor in regulating development.
http://login.findlaw.com/scripts/callaw?dest=ca/caapp4th/slip/2006/b186149.html
http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/data2/californiastatecases/b186149.pdf

July 2, 2006 in Cases, Environmental Assessment, Forests/Timber, Land Use, Law, Mining, Sustainability, Toxic and Hazardous Substances, US, Water Quality, Water Resources | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Friday, June 30, 2006

Geological carbon sequestration and storage: recipe for leaks and toxic contamination?

A great deal of energy is being expended these days to see how close to "business as usual" we can remain and still deal with the climate change crisis.  Ford's decision to abandon hybrids for "flex fuel" cars (i.e. defer reduced emissions another decade or so while ethanol 85 becomes available) and power companies eager embrace of geological carbon storage and sequestration are just a couple of examples. The latter has hit a bit of a bump in the road: a recent study by Kharaka suggests that CO2 increases pH and mobilizes toxic metals creating a potential for contamination of nearby aquifers.  Geology study
Richard Kerr of Science reported:

Scientists testing the deep geologic disposal of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide are finding that it's staying where they put it, but it's chewing up minerals. The reactions have produced a nasty mix of metals and organic substances in a layer of sandstone 1550 meters down, researchers report this week in Geology. At the same time, the CO2 is dissolving a surprising amount of the mineral that helps keep the gas where it's put. Nothing is leaking out so far, but the phenomenon will need a closer look before such carbon sequestration can help ameliorate the greenhouse problem, say the researchers.

             Drillers often inject CO2 into the ground to drive more oil out, but researchers conducting the U.S. Department of Energy-sponsored Frio Brine Pilot Experiment northeast of Houston, Texas, pumped 1600 tons of CO2 into the Frio Formation to see where the gas went and what it did. "We're the first looking in this huge detail so that we can see what's going on," says geochemist and lead study author Yousif Kharaka of the U.S. Geological Survey in Menlo Park, California. He and colleagues found that the CO2 dropped the pH of the formation's brine from a near-neutral 6.5 to 3.0, about as acid as vinegar. That change in turn dissolved "many, many minerals," says Kharaka, releasing metals such as iron and manganese. Organic matter entered solution as well, and relatively large amounts of carbonate minerals dissolved.

The loss of carbonates worries Kharaka particularly. These naturally occurring chemicals seal pores and fractures in the rock that, if opened, could release CO2 as well as fouled brine into overlying aquifers that supply drinking and irrigation water. Perhaps more troubling, says Kharaka, is that the acid mix could attack carbonate in the cement seals plugging abandoned oil or gas wells, 2.5 million of which pepper the United States. The lesson is that "whatever we do [with CO2], there are environmental implications that we have to deal with," he says.

Geologist Julio Friedmann of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory is less concerned about corrosion eating away the seals on a sequestration site. "The crust of Earth is well configured to contain CO2," he says. He points to 80 U.S. oil fields injected with CO2 for up to 30 years. "We've seen no catastrophic failures." Nevertheless, the Frio results do "suggest an aspect of risk we hadn't considered before," says Friedmann. There is a "new potential risk should CO2 leak into shallow aquifers."

June 30, 2006 in Climate Change, Economics, Energy, Governance/Management, Physical Science, Sustainability, Toxic and Hazardous Substances, US, Water Quality, Water Resources | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, June 29, 2006

ABA SEER teleconference on natural resources damages at Hanford

If you are interested in the results of federal facility pollution, you might want to tune into this ABA SEER teleconference:

American Bar Association ABA Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources
American Bar Association
Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources

 

Superfund and Natural Resource Damages Litigation Committee

Presents a “Quick Teleconference” program

Natural Resource Damages in the Pacific Northwest

Tuesday, July 25, 2006
  2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. Eastern Time / 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. Central Time
  12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. Mountain Time / 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Pacific Time

Program Overview:
An update on the latest developments in the Natural Resource Damages claims arising from the Hanford Nuclear Reservation Site and the Commencement Bay Nearshore/Tideflats Site.

The State of Washington has intervened in the Natural Resource Damages lawsuit over the Hanford Nuclear Reservation Site. This program will look at the State’s anticipated role in this litigation and the path forward.

At Commencement Bay, the Trustees have entered several significant settlements relating to the Hylebos Waterway Problem Area. The program will look at the innovative approach used by the Trustees to reach these settlement agreements, and anticipated future actions regarding the remaining claims at the overall Site.  

Click here to Register

 

June 29, 2006 in Cases, Energy, Governance/Management, Law, North America, Sustainability, Toxic and Hazardous Substances, US, Water Quality | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Monday, June 26, 2006

Oregon State Rules!

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

WHO links 25% of all disease to environmental degradation

WHO reports that 13 million deaths annually and nearly a quarter of all disease worldwide—including 33 percent of illnesses in children under age five—are due to environmental causes that could be avoided or prevented.  The four main diseases caused by environmental factors are diarrhea, lower respiratory infections, various forms of unintentional injuries, and malaria. These disease could be prevented by providing safe drinking and domestic water supplies, promoting better hygiene, using cleaner and safer fuels, reduced use and better management of use of toxic substances, and better water resource management.  The report
"shows very clearly the gains that would accrue both to public health and to the general environment by a series of straightforward, coordinated investments. We call on ministries of health, environment and other partners to work together to ensure that these environmental and public health gains become a reality." Video message by Dr. Maria Neira, Director, Public Health and Environment, World Health Organization

WHO report - Preventing disease through healthy environments: Towards an estimate of the environmental burden of disease



June 21, 2006 in Africa, Air Quality, Asia, Energy, Governance/Management, International, Physical Science, South America, Sustainability, Toxic and Hazardous Substances, US, Water Quality, Water Resources | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Nanotechnology and Nanotoxicity

<>

Nanotoxicology is back in the news.  For background on nanotoxicology, see Nanotoxicology Review.  Nanotechnology has been widely dispersed without much understanding of the biological effects of nanoparticles.  An animal study by Veronesi published June 7 in Environmental Science and Technology on biological effects of titanium dioxide nanoparticles suggests that some nanoparticles cause substantial neurological damage.  Given the widespread use of such nanoparticles, some quick research to confirm these findings is in order.  Link: ScienceNOW

Hundreds of tons of engineered, microscopic particles enter the environment every year, yet little is known of their biological effects. Now, a study of ultrafine particles of titanium dioxide (TiO2)--used in manufacturing, personal care and food products, and as drug carriers--indicates that even low concentrations can produce harmful "free radicals" in brain cells. The findings underscore the need to learn more about how such tiny particles interact with living tissues, the researchers say.

Previous studies have revealed that many nontoxic materials become harmful at particle sizes of less than 100 nanometers. Specifically, they can trigger the production of biologically reactive, oxygen-containing molecules such as free radicals. In addition, some types of particulate matter can enter the brain once they get into the bloodstream. Little is known about the biological effects of TiO2, but its widespread use and distribution means that humans and other animals could be widely exposed.

To investigate the biological effects of TiO2, Bellina Veronesi, a neurotoxicologist with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, and her colleagues exposed mouse microglia--cells that protect the brain from invaders such as viruses and foreign chemicals--to a solution containing minute concentrations of TiO2. The microglia engulfed the particles and released bursts of reactive oxygen molecules for 2 hours. This didn't damage the microglia, but Veronesi says prolonged exposure to these compounds can damage neurons. In fact, a similar mechanism is thought to underlie some cardiovascular and neurodegenerative diseases, including Parkinson's and Alzheimer's.

June 20, 2006 in Toxic and Hazardous Substances | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

EU Soil Strategy Redux

SOIL strategy update 6/13/06

The EU delayed release of the soil strategy last week due to objections by the EU Enterprise Commissioner.  He seeks to limit contaminated site inventories to transboundary sites and to restrict public access to the inventories.   The draft had required member states to identify areas at risk of degradation within five years based on common criteria. Member states would have two years to adopt an action plan with targets to reduce risks.  The draft required

national inventories of contaminated sites and remediation strategies, to be made publicly available and reviewed regularly. According to the EU consultation survey of organizations and citizens, contamination is seen as the greatest threat to soil. 

original post 6/1/06

On June 7, the European Commission is scheduled to adopt the thematic strategy on soil protection.  The strategy calls for creating a framework directive requiring the 25 EU member states to meet soil remediation targets. The framework directive also would require sellers of contaminated land to provide soil reports to potential buyers. The thematic strategy for soil protection includes targets for other threats to soil such as compaction, decline in organic matter, declining biodiversity, erosion, landslides, salinization, and sealing. The strategy calls on member states to create stabilization strategies and action plans. EU link

June 13, 2006 in Biodiversity, EU, Governance/Management, Land Use, Legislation, Toxic and Hazardous Substances | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, June 1, 2006

Alaska and US Exercise Exxon Valdez Reopener Provision

The United States and the State of Alaska today submitted to ExxonMobil Corporation a detailed plan for a proposed restoration project to restore habitat in the area affected by the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill. The restoration plan was submitted in accord with the "Reopener for Unknown Injury" in the consent decree which settled the governments' civil claims against Exxon Corporation (now ExxonMobil), the Exxon Shipping Company and the Exxon Pipeline Company arising from the spill.  Today's submission of a plan to ExxonMobil is the first step in exercising the Reopener provision of the consent decree.  The Reopener allows ExxonMobil 90 days after submission of the proposed restoration plan before it is required to pay or respond -- this provision allows negotiations to settle a Reopener claim without litigation.

The proposed restoration project focuses on removing much of the oil that remains in the environment in a form that is potentially harmful to natural resources and disruptive of human activities.  The proposed project has two major objectives: (1) to determine the locations, approximate amounts, and chemical states of all significant residual deposits of oil from the spill in the spill area; (2) to accelerate the natural processes of degradation and dispersal of the lingering oil, or otherwise restore the oiled sites, to the greatest extent scientifically appropriate taking into account such factors as the size and distribution of lingering oil patches, conditions at the oiled sites, affected natural resources or human uses, and the relative benefits and costs (including potential adverse effects) of active remediation.The ultimate cost of the project depends upon such factors as how many oiled sites require remediation and the remediation approach selected. It is currently estimated to cost approximately $92 million. 

At the time of the settlement, Exxon agreed to pay the governments $900 million in installments for costs and for natural resource damages known or reasonably anticipated at the time of the settlement.  The settlement also included a unique provision allowing the federal and state
trustees to seek up to $100 million in additional monies for damages where a substantial loss or decline in one or more populations, habitats, or species in the area of the spill, (1) resulted from the spill; (2) the loss or decline was unknown and could not reasonably have
been anticipated by the governments; (3) one or more projects that would help restore the injured
population, habitat or species; and (4) the project costs are not grossly disproportionate to benefits.   

From Exxon Valdez Reopener Factsheet
               

Continue reading

June 1, 2006 in Biodiversity, Economics, Energy, Governance/Management, North America, Toxic and Hazardous Substances, US, Water Quality | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, March 9, 2006

Nanotechnology - nanotoxicity

DuPont scientists published a study recently indicating that inhalation of nanoparticles were not more toxic than larger fine sized particles. DuPont nanoparticle study  Other pulmonary toxicology studies demonstrate that nanoparticles administered to the lung are more toxic than larger, fine-sized particles of similar chemistry at identical mass concentrations.  As the scientists indicated,

The results described herein provide the first example of nanoscale particle-types which are not more cytotoxic or inflammogenic to the lung compared to larger-sized particles of similar composition. Furthermore, these findings run counter to the postulation that surface area is a major factor associated with the pulmonary toxicity of nanoscale particle-types.

March 9, 2006 in Physical Science, Toxic and Hazardous Substances | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Monday, February 27, 2006

Congratulations !!!

Congratulations !!!
to all of the teams who participated in the Pace University National Environmental Law Moot Court competition last week.  As usual, the competition used a knotty problem written by Jeff Miller, exploring non-point source regulation and state water quality standards under the Clean Water Act, the interaction of the CWA with state and federal common law, and jurisdictional and NCP consistency issues under CERCLA.  LSU won the final round, competing against University of Detroit and Washington University of St.  NELMCC Winners 

February 27, 2006 in Law, Toxic and Hazardous Substances, US, Water Quality | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Rocky Flats jury verdict - $554 million against Rockwell and Dow

The federal jury in the Rocky Flats class action awarded $ 554 million in compensatory and punitive damages against Rockwell and Dow for negligently contaminating the property of 12,000 plaintiffs with plutonium.  I wonder if Rockwell and Dow have an indemnity agreement with the US.

NY Times article on Rocky Flats verdict

Continue reading

February 16, 2006 in Cases, Energy, Governance/Management, Land Use, Law, Sustainability, Toxic and Hazardous Substances, US | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Friday, February 3, 2006

Nanotoxicology

Science published an interesting review today, arguing that the nature of nanomaterials requires a different toxicology and that research concerning the toxicity of nanotechnology is urgently needed. Abstract  Nanotoxicity Full Article

February 3, 2006 in Environmental Assessment, Physical Science, Toxic and Hazardous Substances | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, February 2, 2006

Environmental Appeals Board Approves Animal Feeding Operation Consent Agreements

<>

EPA's Environmental Appeal Board has approved the first batch of consent agreements between animal feeding operations and the Agency concerning CAA and CERCLA 103 violations.   The consent agreements are a small portion of the consent agreements that will  cover more than 6,700 farms in 42 states,ranging from small dairy operations with perhaps five dozen cows to huge hog and dairy operations with tens of thousands of animals.  The farms will monitor soot and volatile organic compounds, under the Clean Air Act, and ammonia and hydrogen sulfide under the CERCLA 103 emergency reporting provision.  The data will be used to tailor

clean air, hazardous waste and emergency reporting laws for the operations and the farms agree to follow those laws after the data are collected. Each operation pays $2,500 into an E.P.A. fund, which will pay for two years of air monitoring at 28 to 30 farms nationwide. 

Companies also would have to agree to pay civil penalties of $200 to $100,000, depending on the size and number of farms they operate. Those fines would cover presumed violations, past and present.

  New Deal Eases Fines for Farms That Pollute - New York Times.

February 2, 2006 in Agriculture, Air Quality, Governance/Management, Law, Toxic and Hazardous Substances, US | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)