Εμφάνιση αναρτήσεων με ετικέτα environment. Εμφάνιση όλων των αναρτήσεων
Εμφάνιση αναρτήσεων με ετικέτα environment. Εμφάνιση όλων των αναρτήσεων

Τετάρτη, Φεβρουαρίου 25, 2015

Obama vetoes Keystone XL pipeline bill

The U.S. President Barack Obama vetoed the Keystone XL pipeline bill Tuesday, reiterating that the decision to build the project belongs to the government.

"Through this bill, the United States Congress attempts to circumvent longstanding and proven processes for determining whether or not building and operating a cross-border pipeline serves the national interest," said Obama in his veto message.


"This act of Congress conflicts with established executive branch procedures and cuts short through consideration of issues that could bear on our national interest, including our security, safety and environment, it has earned my veto," said Obama.

In a statement, U.S. Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell said: "It's extremely disappointing that President Obama vetoed a bipartisan bill that would support thousands of good jobs and pump billions of dollars into the economy."

The Senate will soon vote on an override no later than March 3, said McConnell.

However, right now the Republicans didn't get a veto-proof majority both in the Senate and the House.

The Keystone XL oil pipeline which is designed to go from Canada through the U.S. State of Montana and South Dakota to Nebraska has been delayed by the U.S. government for several years as the government failed to finish its environmental impact evaluation. 

  Xinhua - china.org.cn
25/2/15
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Κυριακή, Φεβρουαρίου 22, 2015

Obama Moves Forward on Arctic Drilling Despite Cleanup Challenges

The US Department of the Interior has proposed long-awaited federal regulations for oil and natural-gas in Alaska's Arctic region. Environmentalists have pointed out that the environment makes it nearly impossible to clean up spills.

The regulations point out the challenges in drilling in the Arctic environment and mandate extensive contingency plans for a swift response to spills. 

Spills are notoriously difficult to clean in the frigid and remote waters. Such rules include having an additional rig that could drill a relief well in the event the company loses control of the primary well.

According to analysis compiled by the National Energy Board, conditions in the area present huge obstacles to any potential cleanup efforts, even during the busy summer months. Looking at how wave heights and ice patterns could prevent the use of cleanup tools such as in-situ burning, containment and the use of dispersants, they determined cleanup would be impossible 20% of the time in June, 40% of the time in August and 65% of the time in October. After October, any response would most likely have to be deferred until the following season.


No company is yet drilling the Chukchi and Beaufort seas off the coast of Alaska yet, but Royal Dutch Shell is planning on starting exploratory drilling this summer. ConocoPhillips and Statoil also have leases in American Arctic areas but have yet to announce any drilling plans. However, Shell’s summer drilling will not be governed by that rule since it won’t be in place by then and would only apply to drilling operations farther in the future.

Shell was involved in a disastrous attempt to drill in the Arctic in 2012 when it was towing its Kulluk oil rig out into Dutch Harbor by ship. The ship lost control when a winter storm hit and the rig, along with 150,000 gallons of fuel and drilling fluid, later washed up along pristine Alaska coastline.


As a result, the Environmental Protection Agency fined Shell $1.1 million for violations of the Clean Air Act as a result of the Kulluk’s engines releasing nitrogen oxide, ammonia and other pollutants and they cited Shell with 33 air permit violations.

Since then, oil companies and environmentalists have been waiting to see how the Interior Department would react to industry lobbying efforts to drill in Alaska. It is believed that the region holds between 24 billion barrels of oil and 104 trillion cubic feet of gas comprising as much as 13 percent of the world’s undiscovered oil reserves and 30 percent of its undiscovered gas reserves, a potential boon for American production.

  sputniknews.com
 21/2/15
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Τρίτη, Φεβρουαρίου 03, 2015

China warns of festival air pollution caused by fireworks

China's environment watchdog on Tuesday demanded local governments take measures during the lunar New Year celebrations to lessen pollution caused by fireworks.
Local governments should limit fireworks displays, expand restricted areas and reinforce check-ups if weather conditions are not suitable for pollutants to disperse, said the Ministry of Environmental Protection.

Setting off fireworks is a Chinese New Year tradition, but pollutants generated by fireworks such as sulfur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide, worsened air quality in many Chinese cities last year.

The ministry asked local governments to designate time and area for firework display, review retailers' qualifications and promote environmentally-friendly fireworks.

Fireworks are not the only tradition the Chinese have to give up for better air quality. The government has also urged people to burn less incense in the temples.

  Source:Xinhua - globaltimes.cn
3/2/15
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CA Officials Allowed Fracking to Taint Drinking Water Amid Record Drought

Oil companies in drought-ravaged California are pumping wastewater from their operations into aquifers, potentially contaminating groundwater supplies that have become increasingly important...

State regulators permitted companies to drill hundreds of waste-disposal wells into aquifers that store water for drinking or irrigation, the San Francisco Chronicle reported. Companies injected a blend of briny water, hydrocarbons and trace chemicals.

Most of the wells are located in the state’s Central Valley, where residents are pumping so much groundwater to cope with the historic drought that the land has started to sink.

“It is an unfolding catastrophe, and it’s essential that all oil and gas wastewater injection into underground drinking water stop immediately,” said Kassie Siegel, director of the Climate Law Institute at the Center for Biological Diversity environmental group.

So far, tests of nearby drinking-water wells show no contamination, state officials said. But the federal Environmental Protection Agency is still threatening to take control of monitoring the waste-injection wells after more than 30 years of state management.

“If there are wells having a direct impact on drinking water, we need to shut them down now,” said Jared Blumenfeld, regional administrator for the EPA. “Safe drinking water is only going to become more in demand.”

The problem dates back to 1983, when the EPA gave state regulators responsibility for enforcing the federal Safe Drinking Water Act. The agreement listed aquifers considered exempt, where oil companies could legally inject leftover water.

But there were two signed copies of the agreement, which led to oil companies injecting wastewater into aquifers that were supposed to be off-limits, the Chronicle reported.

The EPA first suspected the problem in 2011, and last summer state officials shut down 11 waste-injection wells that they feared could taint groundwater supplies already feeding homes and farms.

In 2010, cherry trees on Mike Hopkins San Joaquin Valley orchard starting turning brown, a problem that spread the next year.

Tests of the water revealed high levels of salt and boron, both of which can damage trees. Hopkins blames oil companies for tainting the aquifer that used to feed his orchard, and sued four companies that had been injecting wastewater nearby.

In another sign of California's persistent drought, downtown San Francisco recorded no measurable rain in January for the first time in 165 years, the National Weather Service said.

The agency also said Santa Cruz recorded no rain in January for the first time since 1893. Normal rainfall for that city in January is more than 6 inches.

For the Bay Area as a whole, last month was the driest January on record, the weather service said. December brought decent rain to Southern and Northern California, raising hopes for a wet winter, but January turned out to be dry and unusually warm.
sputniknews.com

3/2/15
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Σάββατο, Ιανουαρίου 31, 2015

US Lawmakers Urge Obama to Recall Plans for Offshore Drilling

The United States should recall its plan to conduct offshore drilling which might threaten the state of New Jersey environment and economy, US Senators Robert Menendez and Cory Booker, and Congressman Frank Pallone said in a letter to US President Barack Obama.

“The plan’s proposal for oil production in Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia would put New Jersey’s economy and shore communities at significant risk,” Menendez, Booker and Pallone said Friday. “We strongly urge you [President Obama] to consider removing all Atlantic planning areas prior to the issuance of the next draft of the Five-Year Plan.”

Lawmakers are concerned that in case of a drilling accident the state will see consequences similar to those after the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill catastrophe in the Gulf of Mexico, which caused long term marine and coastal damage, according to the letter.

Menendez, Booker and Pallone urged the White House to consider offshore energy production on wind power.

“In our home state of New Jersey, and for shore towns up and down the Atlantic coast, offshore oil drilling would present a risk to communities and businesses that depend on a clean and thriving coastline,” lawmakers said.

This week President Obama’s administration released a five-year Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program which may lead to the United States drilling for gas and oil in portions of the Atlantic Ocean, as well as opening new sections of the Gulf of Mexico for exploration.
 http://sputniknews.com/us/20150131/1017577632.html#ixzz3QOQA2NPL

 31/1/15
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Παρασκευή, Ιανουαρίου 23, 2015

Beijing: Pollution goals missed

Beijing closed or removed 392 polluting factories in 2014, according to the municipal people's congress, which opened on Friday.

A total of 30 industrial relief and cooperation platforms and 53 related programs were launched to pull the polluting companies out of Beijing in the past year, mayor of Beijing Wang Anshun said in a government work report.

Another 300 factories are expected to be closed in 2015. 

Although efforts have been taken in 2014, Beijing failed to meet a key pollution reduction target last year with annual average density of PM2.5 down 4 percent, less than the 5 percent target, Wang said.

  Source: Xinhua - globaltimes.cn
23- 24/1/15
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Πέμπτη, Ιανουαρίου 22, 2015

China's air quality dire but improving (Greenpeace)

The skies of China's notoriously smog-filled cities saw a marginal amelioration last year, according to figures released by Greenpeace Thursday (Jan 22), but pollution remained far above national and international standards...
    
China's cities are often hit by heavy pollution, blamed on coal-burning by power stations and industry, as well as vehicle use, and it has become a major source of discontent with the ruling Communist Party. Retired senior officials have acknowledged that it may kill as many as half a million people a year.
    
Levels of PM2.5 - airborne particulates with a diameter small enough to deeply penetrate the lungs - fell year-on-year in 71 of the 74 cities monitored by the ministry of environmental protection, the figures showed.
    
But in China's most polluted city, Xingtai, they still averaged 131.4 microgrammes per cubic metre. In Beijing, they were 83.2 microgrammes per cubic metre, and 52.2 in Shanghai, the country's financial centre. By comparison, New York's PM2.5 level averaged 11.2 last year and Tokyo's was 15.8 for the fiscal year ending in March 2014, the most recent figures available.
    
The World Health Organization recommends a maximum average exposure of 25 microgrammes per cubic metre in a 24-hour period, and 10 microgrammes per cubic metre over a year. China's own standard is 35 microgrammes per cubic metre over a year.
    
The statistics released by Greenpeace were based on official data from China's ministry of environmental protection. It makes current levels available online but does not publicly release historical data or averages. The figures were compiled by Fresh-Ideas Studio, the operator of a popular pollution monitoring app.
    
The numbers showed that Xingtai, in the northern province of Hebei, enjoyed a 15.3 per cent improvement, with Beijing levels falling 7.7 per cent and Shanghai dropping 14.0 per cent. Xian, home to the Terracotta Warriors, saw the most dramatic decline at more than 27 per cent.
    
But despite the drops none of the 74 cities achieved the WHO recommended annual mark, with the least polluted, Haikou on the island of Hainan, averaging 22.4.
    
A TOUCH OF SMOG

The environmental campaign group also released a short film on the subject by renowned director Jia Zhangke, whose award-winning 2013 movie A Touch of Sin was denied a Chinese release by the country's censors.
    
Smog Journeys tells the story of two families, one in China's coal belt and the other in Beijing, showing how neither wealth nor education can defend against smog. It closes with a child in Beijing drawing pictures on dust-covered cars of a world he hopes to live in, complete with a radiant sun.
    
"The character setting is meant to point out that no one gets to be different when it comes to smog," Jia said in an interview posted by Greenpeace on YouTube. "One thing that fascinated and shocked me the most was the fact that even on smoggy days, people still live their lives as usual."
    
Public discontent about the environment has grown in China, leading the government to declare a "war on pollution" and vow to reduce the proportion of energy derived from fossil fuels. But it has shied away from pledging to cut total national coal use.
    
One factor contributing to the decline in parts of northern China is likely to have been the car use restrictions, factory closures and public-sector holidays imposed during a November meeting of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum in Beijing.
    
The result was stunning skies popularly dubbed "APEC blue" by online commentators mocking their temporary nature, and even Chinese President Xi Jinping himself used the phrase in a speech.
    
Pollution is a perennial issue on Chinese social networks, with users on Thursday poking fun at efforts by officials in the southwestern city of Chongqing to clean up dirty air by banning residents from smoking bacon, a traditional method of preserving pork - the latest scientifically dubious theory about its cause.
    
Environmental activists called for further steps to reduce pollution, cutting coal use and shifting towards renewables.

"Clean air is a basic necessity for healthy living," said Yan Li, Greenpeace East Asia's head of climate and energy. "It's sad if children grow up with more smog than clean air and blue skies, as depicted in Jia's film. Bringing back clean air needs to be a priority and it requires urgent action."
    
In a commentary piece for the Lancet, a leading medical journal, China's former health minister Chen Zhu and environmental officials said "that between 350,000 and 500,000 people die prematurely each year as a result of outdoor air pollution in China".
- AFP/xq

[channelnewsasia.com]
22/1/15
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Τετάρτη, Ιανουαρίου 21, 2015

US Senate Likely to Vote on Keystone XL Next Week

The US Senate will likely vote on the Keystone XL Pipeline bill next week before advancing it to US President Barack Obama’s desk for approval, Republican Senator from North Dakota John Hoeven said, following the president’s State of the Union speech on Tuesday.
 “I anticipate that next week sometime we’ll have a vote in the Senate [on the Keystone XL Pipeline bill] hopefully advance it and go to conference with the House and then send it to the president [Obama],” Hoeven said during an interview with C-SPAN when asked when the Keystone XL Pipeline bill would be voted on in the US Senate.

Senator Hoeven argued that President Obama was taking credit for the United States, producing more oil and gas and becoming more energy secure. However, Hoeven said that if the president vetoed the Keystone bill, as he has stated previously, he would be “holding up the kind of infrastructure we need to continue to do it again.”

During State of the Union address on Tuesday, Obama urged Congress to pass a bipartisan infrastructure plan that could create more jobs than the current Keystone XL Pipeline proposal, allowing the company TransCanada Corporation to build and operate the pipeline from Alberta, Canada, to the US Gulf Coast.

The US Senate will likely vote on the Keystone XL Pipeline bill next week before advancing it to US President Barack Obama’s desk for approval, Republican Senator from North Dakota John Hoeven said, following the president’s State of the Union speech on Tuesday.

“I anticipate that next week sometime we’ll have a vote in the Senate [on the Keystone XL Pipeline bill] hopefully advance it and go to conference with the House and then send it to the president [Obama],” Hoeven said during an interview with C-SPAN when asked when the Keystone XL Pipeline bill would be voted on in the US Senate.

Senator Hoeven argued that President Obama was taking credit for the United States, producing more oil and gas and becoming more energy secure. However, Hoeven said that if the president vetoed the Keystone bill, as he has stated previously, he would be “holding up the kind of infrastructure we need to continue to do it again.”

During State of the Union address on Tuesday, Obama urged Congress to pass a bipartisan infrastructure plan that could create more jobs than the current Keystone XL Pipeline proposal, allowing the company TransCanada Corporation to build and operate the pipeline from Alberta, Canada, to the US Gulf Coast.
 http://sputniknews.com/us/20150121/1017159145.html
21/1/15
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Δευτέρα, Ιανουαρίου 19, 2015

Cleanup begins on Yellowstone River for oil leak near Glendive

Cleanup efforts have begun on the Yellowstone River downstream from where an oil leak was reported over the weekend.

According to Paul Peronard, the on-scene coordinator for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, crews are using two techniques to cleanup the estimated 50,000 gallons of oil that leaked into the river from the Bridger Pipeline company's Poplar pipeline system on Saturday.

The crews are using a traditional boom, which doesn't work well in the swift water conditions, so it is being backed up by secondary capture point near Crane, which is located between Savage and Sidney about 30 miles away from the spill site.


At the secondary location crews are using what is called an ice slotting technique in which cut holes in the ice and then capture the oil using a boom that is lowered through the ice.

Finding a location where the ice was thick enough was difficult because of the condition of the ice needing to be combined with a location to get trucks and pumping equipment to the river.

Should the oil reach Sidney, there is no water intake in Sidney on the Yellowstone River.

There is a water intake for Savage on the Yellowstone River, and crews have placed a preventative boom there and are making preventative arrangements around the Intake Diversion Dam.

The Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks has joined the emergency response team. Both Pallid Sturgeon, which are endangered, and Paddlefish are in the area.

Crews are attempting to keep oil from getting to the confluence of the Yellowstone and Missouri rivers where both of the fish species spawn.

Meanwhile, authorities said residents in the Glendive area who have smelled petroleum in their water need to call 406-377-3318 ext 16. The number connects to a city office, but they are taking information off an answering machine because the office is closed.

Callers will need to leave their name, number, and the address of where the smell was detected.

Officials are mapping out where the smells are reported.

As of 11:30 a.m. Monday, authorities said they still believe there is not a problem in the water distribution system. They have flown samples out of the water treatment plant in Glendive to a lab in Billings to be tested.

 http://www.kxlf.com/news/cleanup-begins-on-yellowstone-river-for-oil-leak-near-glendive/
19/1/15
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Σάββατο, Ιανουαρίου 10, 2015

US House approves Keystone XL pipeline (266 votes to 153)

The Republican-controlled House approved the Keystone XL oil pipeline easily on Friday, ignoring the recent veto threat against this project from US President Obama.

The House passed the project by 266 votes to 153, the tenth time that the chamber has passed the pro-Keystone legislation. The Senate is set to consider the legislation next week.


Just hours before the House's vote, Nebraska's Supreme Court overturned a lower court decision to greenlight the construction of the project, ruling out one of the arguments that the White House can block the project.

The White House spokesman Eric Schultz said in a statement that the administration would incorporate the court's decision into its evaluation of Keystone.

"President Obama is out of excuses for deciding whether or not to allow thousands of Americans to get back to work," Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell said in a statement referring to the court decision.

But Schultz also reiterated the president's veto threat saying the House bill still conflicts with longstanding presidential authority and the review process of complex issues bearing national interests.

"If presented to the president, he will veto the bill," said Schultz.

The 7-billion-US dollar project is proposed to go from Canada through the US State of Montana and South Dakota to Nebraska, where it would connect with existing pipelines to carry more than 800,000 barrels of crude oil a day to refineries along the US Gulf Coast.

The project has been delayed for years as critics say it could worsen climate change by enabling further growth from the oil sands, which create higher greenhouse gas emissions than some other forms of production.

But Republicans insist that it will create jobs and enhance US energy security and Mitch McConnell has said the first bill that the Republican-led Senate will bring to President Obama's desk is the approval of the Keystone XL pipeline.

The White House said on Tuesday that President Obama would not sign the legislation approving the Keystone XL pipeline project before the State Department finishes its review process even if the Congress passed the controversial legislation.


Analysts said at present Republicans still do not have a veto- proof majority to pass the bill.

 Source:Xinhua - globaltimes.cn
10/1/15
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Τετάρτη, Ιανουαρίου 07, 2015

Shell to Pay Approximately $83Mln for Niger Delta Oil Spills

Amnesty International and the Centre for Human Rights and Development (CEHRD) has welcomed an offer by oil giant Shell to pay the Nigerian Bodo community 55 million pounds ($83 million) in compensation for its oil spills in the Niger Delta in 2008, according to a statement issued by Amnesty on Wednesday.

On Wednesday, Shell agreed to make an out-of-court settlement of 35 million pounds to 15,600 fishermen and 20 million pounds to the Bodo community for the environmental damage caused by the oil spills, according to the statement.

"While the pay-out is a long awaited victory for the thousands of people who lost their livelihoods in Bodo, it shouldn't have taken six years to get anything close to fair compensation," Amnesty global issues director Audrey Gaughran said in a statement.

Amnesty International and CEHRD have been supporting Nigeria on the spills case since 2008, but court proceedings against the Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria only began in 2011.

"The compensation is a step towards justice for the people of Bodo, but justice will be fully achieved when Shell properly cleans up the heavily polluted creeks and swamps so that those who rely on fishing and farming for their income can begin to rebuild their livelihoods," Styvn Obodoekwe of CEHRD said.

Shell has accepted responsibility for the oil spills occurred in the Niger Delta in August and December 2008 but seriously underestimated the volume of oil split. During three-year long legal battle, the company revealed that some of its pipelines were old, contained "major risk and hazard" and needed to be replaced. According to Amnesty, the company did not act on this knowledge to prevent the oil leaks.

Environmental restoration of the area where the oil spills occurred is possible but may take 25 to 30 years, according to the United Nations Environment Program.

 [sputniknews.com]
7/1/15
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Τρίτη, Ιανουαρίου 06, 2015

Beijing city raises subsidies for scrapping polluting vehicles

Beijing car owners with emissions-heavy models can now earn more money from scrapping their vehicles after the city raised its subsidy for doing so by an average of 2,000 yuan (321.8 US dollars), environmental protection authorities said Tuesday.

According to the new plan, owners who used their vehicles for more than six years and disposed of the vehicles at least one year earlier can receive an average of 8,000 yuan subsidies. The highest subsidies for cars will reach 8,500 yuan, and 21,500 yuan for heavy duty diesel vehicles.

The plan is to be effective throughout 2015 and 2016.

Owners who trade in their old vehicles for new ones will receive another subsidy for purchasing new cars.

Old-vehicles used for more than 10 years with high pollutant emissions are still running on the road, said Li Kunsheng, with the Beijing Municipal Environmental Protection Bureau.

"They are the target of our pollution monitoring work," he said.

The new plan is to be announced in detail soon, according to Li, and all vehicle-owners who scrapped their vehicles after Jan. 1 are qualified to apply for the new plan.

Beijing's average PM2.5 density in 2014 dropped by four percent compared with 2013, but some pollutants rebounded, said the municipal environmental protection bureau earlier this week.

The average density of PM2.5, airborne particles smaller than 2.5 microns in diameter, was 85.9 micrograms per cubic meter in 2014, compared with 89.5 micrograms per cubic meter in 2013, the bureau said in a statement Sunday.

The reading was still 1.5 times higher than the national standard of 35, which was set by the State Council in 2012.

As part of efforts to curb pollution, Beijing reduced coal use by 2.6 million tonnes to keep it below 19 million tonnes. The capital also removed 476,000 outdated vehicles from roads and shut down about 375 factories in 2014.

In 2015, Beijing aims to cut PM2.5 index by around five percent and reduce the emission of sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides by six percent.

 Source: Xinhua - globaltimes.cn
6/1/15
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Παρασκευή, Ιανουαρίου 02, 2015

Eco Geoplasm and Ydrodrom World News (January 2015 - B)

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Les catastrophes naturelles en 2014 ont coûté nettement moins de vies humaines et causé moins de dégâts matériels que celles de 2013, selon une étude publiée mercredi par Munich Re .

Le géant allemand de la réassurance, dont l’étude annuelle fait référence en la matière, estime à 110 milliards de dollars (93 milliards d’euros) les coûts cumulés des catastrophes de l’an dernier, moins que l’année précédente (140 milliards de dollars) et que la moyenne des dix et même des 30 dernières années....................Le coût des catastrophes naturelles a reculé en 2014

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January 2015 a

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Δευτέρα, Δεκεμβρίου 08, 2014

Israel's Greatest Ecological Catastrophe Unfolding in Arava Desert

The crude oil spill in the Arava Desert, southern Israel, is 'twice as bad as initially estimated,' according to the Israeli Eilat Ashkelon Pipeline Company....

"The volume of crude oil that spilled into the Arava Desert last week is 60 percent larger than the amount that was originally reported, the company responsible for the pipeline acknowledged on Sunday night," Haaretz, the Israeli news agency reported.
Although the Eilat Ashkelon Pipeline Company (EAPC) initially reported of a spill between one million and 1.5 million liters, it later revised its calculation to three million liters. However, the company reported on Sunday a report issued by the company on Sunday has revealed that some five million liters of crude oil spilled out of the pipeline last Thursday, December 4.

"We were skeptical about the figures provided by the company from the start," a ministry official said on December 8, as cited by Haaretz.

Meanwhile damage control teams have already removed 13,000 tons of polluted soil in order to reduce the impact of the pipeline leak.

The Times of Israel notes that according to weather forecasts heavy rainfall is expected in the region later this week. It has sparked concerns among ministry officials over the possibility of further contamination of the area, including the Gulf of Eilat, home to rare coral reefs, which could be damaged by the leak, the media outlet stresses.

Haaretz notes, however, that dams are being erected in order to prevent the oil flowing into this area.

"It's the biggest ecological disaster Israel has seen. This is because of the material itself, crude oil, which is particularly hard to flush out, and the location of the spill [on the reserve]," Gilad Golub of Israel's Environmental Services Company told Agence France Presse.

The Times of Israel notes that Eilat residents have already filed a lawsuit against the pipeline operators referring to the tremendous environmental damage caused through negligence.

"Mellish is demanding NIS 220 million ($55m) to rehabilitate the environment in coordination with the Environment Minster and the Israel Nature and Parks authority, as well as another NIS 180 million ($45m) for the 48,000 residents of Eilat for damage to their health and discomfort caused by the ecological disaster," the media outlet reports.

More than 80 people on both sides of the Israel-Jordan border have complained about health problems caused by the spill.

[sputniknews.com]
8/12/14
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Παρασκευή, Δεκεμβρίου 05, 2014

Fresh lawsuit filed against planned restart of nuclear reactors in Japan

Nine residents filed for an injunction order on Friday to suspend the planned restart of four nuclear reactors in western Japan, local media reported.

The nine people, who are from Fukui, Kyoto and Osaka prefectures, claimed that there is an "actual and looming risk" of nuclear accidents, and requested the Fukui District Court to call off the planned restart of four reactors at Takahama and Oi nuclear plants.


Takahama and Oi nuclear plants are both located in Fukui Prefecture. Both plants' No. 3 and No. 4 reactors are currently undergoing safety screening of the Nuclear Regulation Authority for resuming operation.

The Fukui District Court ruled in May that the Oi nuclear plant shall not be restarted. But another district court made a contradictory ruling last month, rejecting a demand by citizens seeking suspension of possible resumption of Takahama and Oi plants.

Currently, all nuclear reactors in Japan remain offline. Power utilities are desperate to bring nuclear plants back online due to high costs of thermal power generation, while public concerns over nuclear safety are still strong.

 Source: Xinhua - globaltimes.cn
5/12/14
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Πέμπτη, Δεκεμβρίου 04, 2014

Oil pipeline bursts near Israel-Jordan border.(the reason for the spill was under investigation)

An oil pipeline rupture has caused thousands of cubic metres of crude oil to spill into the Arava desert in southern Israel near the border with Jordan, officials said Thursday (Dec 4).The incident took place just north of the Red Sea resort city of Eilat and 500m from the frontier. 

The spill was "a couple of kilometres long", according to an Israeli environment ministry spokeswoman who was unable to give more specific information.

She said it was unclear whether there was any foul play and environmental authorities would open an investigation. "They have forces on the ground that prevented it from spreading to Jordan," she added.
The leak involved a 245km pipeline carrying crude oil from the southern port city of Ashkelon on Israel's Mediterranean coast to Eilat. 

Ronen Moshe, spokesman for the Eilat Ashkelon Pipeline Company (EAPC), said the spill happened at 12.45 am on Thursday in a new section of the pipeline.
"The leak has been stopped," he said, adding that the reason for the spill was under investigation. "There are dozens of people in the field taking care of the aftermath," he said, indicating there had been no impact on supply. According to the company's website, the EAPC was founded in 1968 and serves as a land bridge for transporting crude oil between the Red Sea and the Mediterranean.

Δευτέρα, Δεκεμβρίου 01, 2014

Eco Global News - GEO Flash News - (December 2014 -a)

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Jorge Rodríguez, viceconsejero del Gobierno de Canarias, denuncia en declaraciones a Sputnik que las prospecciones que Repsol inició hoy a 54 kilómetros de la isla de Fuerteventura y a 62 kilómetros de la de Lanzarote "no traerán ningún beneficio a las islas Canarias, ni siquiera en el caso de que estos sondeos tengan éxito".......................Canarias dice que las prospecciones petrolíferas no traerán ningún beneficio a las islas

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(November 2014 -b)

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(November 2014 -a)

Πέμπτη, Νοεμβρίου 27, 2014

Japanese court rejects citizens' demand for suspension of nuclear reactor restart

A Japanese court on Thursday rejected a demand by some western Japan residents seeking suspension of planned restart of nuclear reactors at Takahama and Oi plants, local media reported.

The residents, from Shiga Prefecture, claimed that there are many geological faults around the two plants which might cause earthquakes and tsunamis, and that severe nuclear accidents might occur such as in the 2011 Fukushima crisis.


The Otsu District Court in Shiga Prefecture rejected the residents' demand for suspension of restart of the reactors, and said it is "unlikely" that the safety regulator will make a hasty decision to allow the reactors to restart.

Takahama and Oi nuclear plants are both located in Fukui Prefecture, which lies to the north of Shiga Prefecture. Both plants' No. 3 and No. 4 reactors are currently undergoing safety screening by the Nuclear Regulation Authority for resuming operation.

Kansai Electric Power Co., operator of the two plants, said the court decision is "reasonable" and it will seek to restart the nuclear plants "as soon as possible" after safety confirmed by the regulator.

  • Currently, all nuclear reactors in Japan remain offline. Power utilities are desperate to bring nuclear plants back online as their earnings are deteriorating due to high costs for thermal power generation, while public concerns over nuclear safety are still strong.
Judicial rulings on the nuclear plants' operation have been divided since the Fukushima crisis. In May, another district court in Japan ruled that the Oi nuclear plant shall not be restarted. Kansai Electric has appealed this ruling.
 Sources: Xinhua - globaltimes.cn
27/11/14
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Russian divers plan to reach 100-meter depth in Antarctica

An expedition to the Antarctica started out in Russia on Thursday with divers from the Republic of Tatarstan who plan to dive to a 100-meter depth near the Antarctic coast.
The expedition is organized by the Russian Geographical Society.

The press secretary of the society’s Tatarstan organization, Alina Iskanderova, told TASS that it would be another stage of the Cold Pole project to study Far North, Arctic and Antarctic water environment systems and work out methods for diving under extreme conditions.

The first two stages were devoted to the study of the unique Russian Arctic lakes Labynkyr and Vorota in Yakutia.

Expedition members plan to dive to a depth of 100 metres, which has not ever been done by anybody. In the region, 20-meter diving is considered safe. Divers will take samples of water at the depth to study micro organisms,” the press secretary said.
http://en.itar-tass.com/non-political/763923
27/11/14
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Παρασκευή, Νοεμβρίου 21, 2014

Reducing use of plastic bags: MEPs strike deal with Council Presidency


EU countries would have to reduce the use of the commonest and most polluting plastic carrier bags, under draft rules informally agreed between MEPs and the Italian Presidency of the Council on Monday and confirmed by the member states’ permanent representatives on Friday. Plastic carrier bag litter is a major environmental problem, as it is known to pollute bodies of water and aquatic eco-systems in particular.


 "This is an historic moment for all of Europe. For the first time ever we have agreed on ambitious measures to reduce the amount of plastic bag waste in the environment. This is good news for the environment and all Europeans who expected the EU to take ambitious action on plastic bags”, said Margrete Auken (Greens/EFA, DK), who is steering the legislation through Parliament.

“As front-running countries have demonstrated, dramatically reducing the consumption of these disposable bags is easily achievable with a consistent policy. Swiftly phasing out these bags is a readily-implementable solution to the pervasive problem of plastic waste in the environment", she added.

“We are satisfied with the green light for this important dossier” said Environment Committee chair Giovanni La Via (EPP, IT).

“The European Commission’s new approach demonstrates an important sense of responsibility. We called upon the Commission to act as a real facilitator between the two legislative institutions. Parliament and Council have done a good job for the Environment and the European citizens”, he added.

Reduction targets

If the rules come into force, member states would be able to choose between two policy options: to either take measures to ensure that average yearly consumption of these bags does not exceed, on 90 lightweight bags per citizen by 2019 and 40 by 2025, or alternatively, ensure that, by 2018, they are not handed to shoppers free of charge.

The European Commission would have to evaluate the impact on the environment of oxo-degradable plastic materials, which fragment into small particles, and propose measures accordingly.

Next steps

The agreement between the EP delegation and the Italian Presidency will be put to a vote in the Environment Committee on Monday 24 November in Strasbourg.

Background

Lightweight plastic bags thinner than 50 microns – the vast majority of plastic carrier bags used in the EU – are less reusable than thicker models and become waste more quickly. They are also more prone to litter the environment.

In 2010 every EU citizen used an estimated 198 plastic carrier bags, some 90% of which were lightweight. In a business-as-usual scenario, consumption of plastic bags is expected to grow further. Estimates also suggest that over eight billion plastic carrier bags became litter in the EU in 2010.
 http://www.europarl.europa.eu/news/en/news-room/content/20141121IPR79835/
21/11/14
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