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Raviya Ismail's blog

Earthjustice is feeling merry today – and it’s not just the holidays. In part to our litigation, today the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced timetables for setting greenhouse gas emission limits for power plants and oil refineries. In a press call making the announcement, Gina McCarthy—EPA's Assistant Administrator for the Office of Air and Radiation – explained that power plants and oil refineries are “two of the largest stationary sources of greenhouse gas emissions.”

On Dec. 11 the federal Superfund program turns 30. Which means? Time for cupcakes!

Actually, the cupcakes arrived early -- on Wednesday -- when environmental groups including Earthjustice delivered the treats to lawmakers on the Hill with this request: reinstate “polluter pays” fees in time for the birthday.

The federal program funding cleanups at toxic sites began on Dec. 11, 1980, when President Jimmy Carter signed legislation creating the Superfund program.

On the eve of Thanksgiving, the National Marine Fisheries Service and the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission filed court papers arguing that they shouldn’t be held accountable for the steep population collapse of river herring and shad.

There’s just one problem with that argument: according to law, both agencies are responsible.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has announced final rules for the disclosure of greenhouse gas emissions from the oil and gas industry, one of the largest sources of methane, a potent global warming pollutant.

According to the EPA, the rule will cover 85 percent of the greenhouse gas discharges from the oil and gas sector and will require reporting by about 2,800 facilities.

Hurry up! Friday is the deadline for submitting comments to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on its proposal to regulate coal ash, including one option that would keep things as they are (not good).

And if the December 2008 TVA coal ash disaster isn’t reason enough to regulate this substance as a hazardous waste, here are some stories that may change your mind.
 

What the heck are we doing to our animals? I read a startling piece on birds afflicted with “long-billed syndrome” – abnormally long beaks which inhibits preening and eating in some dire cases. Many of these birds end up starving and infested with feather lice. These incidents are appearing in Alaska and the Pacific Northwest. The cause: undetermined. But I can’t help but suspect there’s a chemical, human-induced reason behind all of this.

<Update 10/14: According to news reports, the red sludge tide now has reached the Danube River.>

On Tuesday, approximately 185 million gallons of red sludge burst from a reservoir at an aluminum plant about 100 miles southwest of Budapest, Hungary. The sludge, a hazardous-waste byproduct of aluminum manufacturing killed at least four people and severely injured some 120 more. Several are missing.

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unEARTHED is a forum for the voices and stories of the people behind Earthjustice's work. The views and opinions expressed in this blog do not necessarily represent the opinion or position of Earthjustice or its board, clients, or funders. Learn more about Earthjustice.