New Leak at Hanford Nuclear Waste Site is ‘Catastrophic’

A leak at the Hanford nuclear site in Washington state has prompted warnings of “catastrophic” consequences, as workers attempt to clean up more than eight inches of toxic waste from one of 28 underground tanks holding radioactive materials leftover from plutonium production. Alarms on the site began sounding on Sunday, leading workers to discover 8.4 inches of toxic waste in between the inner and outer walls of tank AY-102, which has been slowly leaking since 2011 but has never accumulated that amount of waste before. In 2012 and 2013, leaks were reported at seven of Hanford’s 177 tanks, 149 of which are single-shelled.

— source | 2016

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Living Near A Highway Is Terrible For Your Health

The study, slated for publication in the journal Environment International, looked at “ultrafine” pollutants from car exhaust rather than the larger pollutants that are traditionally the focus of air quality research. Researchers found that high concentrations of ultrafine particles — 500 times smaller in diameter than the width of a human hair — are just as toxic as larger particles. While larger particles settle in the lungs, these particles penetrate into the bloodstream, causing inflammation and elevated cholesterol levels. Chronic exposure can cause dangerous plaque buildup in the arteries and eventually lead to heart attack or stroke.

— source | 2016

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BP’s cover-up aided by Bush State Department

On April 20, 2010, eleven men on the Deepwater Horizon were incinerated when the BP/Transocean oil rig blew out and exploded.


Here’s what I reported after a four-continent investigation for Britain’s Channel 4 TV and Europe’s ARTE channel:

Chelsea Manning and the Deepwater Horizon Killings

Just 17 months before the Deepwater Horizon destroyed 600 miles of Gulf Coast, BP covered up a nearly identical blowout in the Caspian Sea. We located an eyewitness with devastating new information about the Caspian Sea oil-rig blow-out, which BP had concealed from our government and the industry.

The witness, whose story is backed up by rig workers who were evacuated from BP’s Caspian platform, said that had BP revealed the full story, as required by industry practice, the eleven Gulf of Mexico workers “could have had a chance” of survival. But BP’s insistence on using methods proven faulty sealed their

— source | Greg Palast | Apr 19, 2021

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Nitrate in drinking water increases the risk cancer

A new study from Aarhus University now shows that there is an increased risk of colon and rectal cancer in connection with nitrate in drinking water. Also at concentrations far below the current drinking water standard. The highest nitrate concentrations are mainly seen in small private water supplies. Nitrate in groundwater and drinking water, which primarily comes from fertilisers used in the agricultural production, has not only been subject to decades of environmental awareness — it has also been suspected of increasing the risk of cancer. The results have just been published in the scientific journal International Journal of Cancer.

— source Aarhus University | Feb 20, 2018

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Public Cost of Fukushima Cleanup Tops $628 Billion

The public cost of cleaning up the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant disaster topped ¥4.2 trillion (roughly $628 billion) as of March, and is expected to keep climbing, the Japan Times reported on Sunday.

That includes costs for radioactive decontamination and compensation payments. Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) will sell off its shares to eventually pay back the cost of decontamination and waste disposal, but the Environment Ministry expects that the overall price of those activities could exceed what TEPCO would get for its shares.

Meanwhile, the taxpayer burden is expected to increase and TEPCO is asking for additional help from the government.

— source | 2016

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When the grid went dark, Texans faced 3.5M pounds of excess air pollution

After a winter storm tore through Houston last week, the neighborhood of Manchester, like many others across the state, was left in the dark. For days after the storm, the community had no power, and nothing to light up the streets at night — save for a faint glow coming from the nearby Valero oil refinery. Through the night, the refinery’s flare towers lit up the neighborhood like enormous, flickering candles — and emitted thousands of pounds of pollutants.

Throughout Texas, as the storm approached and in its aftermath, refineries scrambled to burn excess natural gas in order to prevent damage to equipment. The winter storm in Texas was responsible for the emission of 3.5 million pounds of excess pollutants, across 200 industrial facilities, including oil refineries and petrochemical plants, due to the impacts of freezing conditions. Pollutants emitted included benzene, carbon monoxide, hydrogen sulfide, and sulfur dioxide, according to data provided by the polluting facilities to the Texas Commission on Environment Quality. Between Sunday and Monday of last week, the Valero refinery in Manchester emitted 6,468 pounds of carbon monoxide along with 3,314 pounds of sulfur dioxide and 1,156 pounds of nitrogen oxide — pollutants that cause coughing and throat irritation, asthma attacks, and higher risk of heart disease or exacerbated heart disease. “These emissions can dwarf the usual

— source | Alexandria Herr | Feb 24, 2021

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U.S. Lawyer in House Arrest After Suing Chevron

Decades of reckless oil drilling by Chevron have destroyed 1,700 square miles of land in the Ecuadorian Amazon, but the company has refused to pay for the damage or clean up the land despite losing a lawsuit 10 years ago, when Ecuador’s Supreme Court ordered the oil giant to pay $18 billion on behalf of 30,000 Amazonian Indigenous people. Instead of cleaning up the damage, Chevron has spent the past decade waging an unprecedented legal battle to avoid paying for the environmental destruction, while also trying to take down the environmental lawyer Steven Donziger, who helped bring the landmark case. Donziger, who has been on house arrest for nearly 600 days, says Chevron’s legal attacks on him are meant to silence critics and stop other lawsuits against the company for environmental damage. “Chevron and its allies have used the judiciary to try to attack the very idea of corporate accountability and environmental justice work that leads to significant judgments,” Donziger says. We also speak with Paul Paz y Miño, associate director at Amazon Watch, who says the new attorney general should conduct a review of the case and the dubious grounds for Donziger’s house arrest. “The real thing that’s going on here is Chevron is attempting to literally criminalize a human rights lawyer who beat them,” Paz y Miño says.

— source | Mar 15, 2021

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China’s emission of toxic fluorinated chemicals highest in the world

China is today the largest emitter of certain toxic fluorinated chemicals in the world, as presented in a new study published in Environmental Science and Technology. Researchers from Sweden, Norway and China have measured the levels of 12 fluorinated substances at the mouths of 19 Chinese rivers. They studied two fluorinated substances in particular, PFOS (perfluorooctane sulfonate) and PFOA (perfluorooctanoic acid). PFOS is used, for example, in the manufacturing of insecticides and chrome plating. PFOA is used in the manufacturing of PTFE, a coating material used for non-stick kitchen utensils and frying pans, commercially known as Teflon. Chemical manufacturers in the US and Europe have phased out local production, and instead moved its manufacturing to China, since regulations are less strict there.

— source Örebro University | 12 Oct 2016

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One in five deaths worldwide linked to fossil fuels in 2018

For a while, we have known that the linkage between air pollution and the burning of fossil fuels was bad, but not this bad, says a new study in Environment Research. The paper reveals that air pollution linked to fossil fuels is killing twice as many people as previously thought. It concludes that in 2018, pollution linked to the burning of fossil fuels killed nearly nine million people that year. In perspective that’s one in five people who died globally in 2018. The academics looked at small particulates – known as PM2.5s – which are emitted when fossil fuels are burnt in cars or power stations and that are so small they can get stuck deep inside your lungs. PM2.5s are lethal: They have been labelled toxic killers too small for you to see.

— source | Feb 9, 2021

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