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Category Archives: Environmental Law

Impact of Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill on Coral Communities Is Deeper and Broader than Predicted

“A new discovery of two additional coral communities showing signs of damage from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill expands the impact footprint of the 2010 spill in the Gulf of Mexico. The discovery was made by a team led by Charles Fisher, professor of biology at Penn State University. A paper describing this work and additionalContinue Reading

Tree and forest effects on air quality and human health in the United States

Tree and forest effects on air quality and human health in the United States. David J. Nowak, Satoshi Hirabayashi, Allison Bodine, Eric Greenfield. Environmental Pollution, October 2014. “Trees remove air pollution by the interception of particulate matter on plant surfaces and the absorption of gaseous pollutants through the leaf stomata. However, the magnitude and value of the effects of trees andContinue Reading

New GAO Reports – CFPB, Drinking Water, Media Ownership, Railroad Retirement, Security Clearances

CONSUMER FINANCIAL PROTECTION BUREAU: Opportunity Exists to Improve Transparency of Civil Penalty Fund Activities, GAO-14-551: Published: Jun 26, 2014. Publicly Released: Jul 28, 2014. DRINKING WATER: EPA Program to Protect Underground Sources from Injection of Fluids Associated with Oil and Gas Production Needs Improvement, GAO-14-555: Published: Jun 27, 2014. Publicly Released: Jul 28, 2014. MEDIA OWNERSHIP: FCC Should Review the Effects ofContinue Reading

EPA Is Not Fully Aware of the Extent of Its Use of Cloud Computing Technologies

EPA OIG - Report No. 14-P-0323 July 24, 2014 “Our audit work disclosed management oversight concerns regarding the EPA’s use of cloud computing technologies. These concerns highlight the need for the EPA to strengthen its catalog of cloud vendors and processes to manage vendor relationships to ensure compliance with federal security requirements. In particular: The EPAContinue Reading

Groundwater Depletion During Drought Threatens Future Water Security of the Colorado River Basin

NOAA Earth Observatory: ” Long-term drought and aggressive seasonal wildfires have consumed property, lives, and farmland in the American West. The dry weather and blazes are battering regional economies and putting residents and agricultural businesses in several states on a path toward water restrictions. At least part of this story of water woes lies underground. The map above combines dataContinue Reading

Improvements Needed in EPA Efforts to Address Methane Emissions From Natural Gas Distribution Pipelines

EPA IG – Report No. 14-P-0324 – July 25, 2014: “We conducted this evaluation to determine what actions the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has taken to reduce methane emissions from leaking pipelines in the natural gas distribution sector. Methane is a potent greenhouse gas with a global warming potential 25 times that of carbon dioxide. InContinue Reading

Insecticides Similar to Nicotine Widespread in Midwest

“Insecticides similar to nicotine, known as neonicotinoids, were found commonly in streams throughout the Midwest, according to a new USGS study. This is the first broad-scale investigation of neonicotinoid insecticides in the Midwestern United States and one of the first conducted within the United States. Effective in killing a broad range of insect pests, use of neonicotinoidContinue Reading

Recent accident highlights how state fracking laws protect corporate trade secrets over public safety

Mariah Blake – Mother Jones: “On the morning of June 28, a fire broke out at a Halliburton fracking site in Monroe County, Ohio. As flames engulfed the area, trucks began exploding and thousands of gallons of toxic chemicals spilled into a tributary of the Ohio River, which supplies drinking water for millions of residents.Continue Reading

Obama opens East Coast to oil search, sonic cannons – AP

AP: “The Obama administration is reopening the Eastern Seaboard to offshore oil and gas exploration, announcing final approval Friday of sonic cannons that can pinpoint energy deposits deep beneath the ocean floor. The decision promises to create plenty of jobs and thrills the oil industry, but dismays environmentalists worried about the immediate impact as well asContinue Reading

Dietary greenhouse gas emissions of meat-eaters, fish-eaters, vegetarians and vegans in the UK

“The production of animal-based foods is associated with higher greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions than plant-based foods. The objective of this study was to estimate the difference in dietary GHG emissions between self-selected meat-eaters, fish-eaters, vegetarians and vegans in the UK. Subjects were participants in the EPIC-Oxford cohort study. The diets of 2,041 vegans, 15,751 vegetarians,Continue Reading

Contributed papers presented at SLA 2014 Annual Conference & INFO-EXPO in Vancouver, Canada, in June 2014

Lessons from the Battlefield: The Challenges and Evolution of an Embedded Researcher, Leah Swift Information Verification in the Age of Digital Journalism, Nora Martin Beyond COUNTER Data for Journal Retention Decisions: A Case Study of Chemistry and Biochemistry Periodical Value Metrics at a Research University, Lutishoor Salisbury Leaders in Librarianship: The Role of Special Libraries Association in Asia, P.K.Continue Reading

New GAO Reports – Coastal Zone Management, High Containment Labs, Medicaid, Special Education, U.S. Launch Enterprise

COASTAL ZONE MANAGEMENT: Opportunities Exist for NOAA to Enhance Its Use of Performance Information, GAO-14-592: Published: Jul 16, 2014. Publicly Released: Jul 16, 2014. HIGH-CONTAINMENT LABORATORIES: Recent Incidents of Biosafety Lapses, GAO-14-785T: Published: Jul 16, 2014. Publicly Released: Jul 16, 2014. MEDICAID: Assessment of Variation among States in Per-Enrollee Spending, GAO-14-456: Published: Jun 16, 2014. Publicly Released: Jul 16, 2014. SPECIAL EDUCATION: Additional FederalContinue Reading