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Category Archives: Environmental Law

NY Governor Cuomo Announces Ban on Fracking

New York Times: “The Cuomo administration announced Wednesday that it would ban hydraulic fracturing in New York State, ending years of uncertainty by concluding that the controversial method of extracting gas from deep underground could contaminate the state’s air and water and pose inestimable public-health risks. “I cannot support high volume hydraulic fracturing in the great state of New York,” said Howard Zucker, the acting commissioner of health. That conclusion was delivered publicly during a year-end cabinet meeting called by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo in Albany. It came amid increased calls by environmentalists to ban fracking, which uses water and chemicals to release natural gas trapped in deeply buried shale deposits.”

Plastic Pollution in the World’s Oceans: More than 5 Trillion Plastic Pieces Weighing over 250,000 Tons Afloat at Sea

Via PLOS ONE – Marcus Eriksen, Laurent C. M. Lebreton, Henry S. Carson, Martin Thiel, Charles J. Moore, Jose C. Borerro, Francois Galgani, Peter G. Ryan, Julia Reisser. Published: December 10, 2014. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0111913 “Plastic pollution is ubiquitous throughout the marine environment, yet estimates of the global abundance and weight of floating plastics have lacked data, particularly from the Southern Hemisphere and remote regions. HereContinue Reading

Huge defense bill includes expansion and protection of national parks

CNN: “Tucked inside the defense authorization bill that the Senate passed Friday was an unrelated public lands package that’s set to bring the biggest expansion to the National Park Service in decades. Despite some conservative opposition—a chorus that skewered the legislation as a pork-barrel land grab—the measure also establishes thousands of acres of new wilderness areas.Continue Reading

New GAO Reports – DOD Contract Services, Flood Insurance, Nuclear Weapons, DOJ Professional Misconduct

DOD Contract Services: Improved Planning and Implementation of Fiscal Controls Needed, GAO-15-115: Published: Dec 11, 2014. Publicly Released: Dec 11, 2014. DOE and NNSA Project Management: Analysis of Alternatives Could Be Improved by Incorporating Best Practices, GAO-15-37: Published: Dec 11, 2014. Publicly Released: Dec 11, 2014. Federal Subcontracting: Linking Small Business Subcontractors to Prime Contracts Is NotContinue Reading

NOAA Climate Resilience Toolkit

“Meeting the challenges of a changing climate – The U.S. Climate Resilience Toolkit provides scientific tools, information, and expertise to help people manage their climate-related risks and opportunities, and improve their resilience to extreme events. The site is designed to serve interested citizens, communities, businesses, resource managers, planners, and policy leaders at all levels of government. AContinue Reading

California drought, visualized with open data

USGS News release: ” A newly released interactive California Drought visualization website aims to provide the public with atlas-like, state-wide coverage of the drought and a timeline of its impacts on water resources. The U.S. Geological Survey developed the interactive website as part of the federal government’s Open Water Data Initiative. The drought visualization page features high-techContinue Reading

Evidence suggests California’s drought is the worst in 1,200 years

News release: “As California finally experiences the arrival of a rain-bearing Pineapple Express this week, two climate scientists from the University of Minnesota and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution have shown that the drought of 2012-2014 has been the worst in 1,200 years.  Daniel Griffin, an assistant professor in the Department of Geography, Environment and SocietyContinue Reading

NIH scientists determine how environment contributes to several human diseases

“Using a new imaging technique, National Institutes of Health researchers have found that the biological machinery that builds DNA can insert molecules into the DNA strand that are damaged as a result of environmental exposures. These damaged molecules trigger cell death that produces some human diseases, according to the researchers. The work, appearing online Nov. 17Continue Reading

Search engine for the Internet of Things

“Thingful® is a search engine for the Internet of Things, providing a unique geographical index of connected objects around the world, including energy, radiation, weather, and air quality devices as well as seismographs, iBeacons, ships, aircraft and even animal trackers. Thingful’s powerful search capabilities enable people to find devices, datasets and realtime data sources byContinue Reading

Climate Change Indicators in the United States

“The Earth’s climate is changing. Temperatures are rising, snow and rainfall patterns are shifting, and more extreme climate events—like heavy rainstorms and record high temperatures—are already taking place. Scientists are highly confident that many of these observed changes can be linked to the climbing levels of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases in our atmosphere,Continue Reading

The State of the Birds 2014 United States of America

“One hundred years after the extinction of the passenger pigeon, the nation’s top bird science and conservation groups have come together to publish The State of the Birds 2014—the most comprehensive review of long-term trend data for U.S. birds ever conducted. The authors call the results unsettling. The report finds bird populations declining across several keyContinue Reading

Glacier National Park May Have No Glaciers by 2035

New York Times – By MICHAEL WINES: “GLACIER NATIONAL PARK, Mont. — What will they call this place once the glaciers are gone? A century ago, this sweep of mountains on the Canadian border boasted some 150 ice sheets, many of them scores of feet thick, plastered across summits and tucked into rocky fissures high above parabolicContinue Reading