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Author Topic: Pollution  (Read 7102 times)

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AGelbert

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Re: Pollution
« Reply #495 on: March 08, 2017, 05:43:46 pm »


Trump Cuts Regulations as  Oceanic Dead Zones Release Massive Amounts of Methane

Wednesday, March 08, 2017 

By Dahr Jamail, Truthout | Report

SNIPPET:

The Trump administration's campaign to roll back as many government regulations as possible is well underway. On the environmental front, Trump administration officials have already -- in one day alone, and without allowing any opportunity for public comment -- delayed the dates of 30 Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rules. A rule that restricted animal welfare requirements for organic poultry and livestock has been delayed by two months, and a bumble bee which was about to be added to the endangered species list has just found itself in jeopardy of extinction since the Trump administration said it would postpone the listing until at least March 21.

Meanwhile, Trump administration officials are indicating that they will be making marked changes in oil and gas industry regulations. In November, the Obama administration's EPA requested that nearly 20,000 oil and gas companies measure their methane emissions within two to six months, depending on their type of facility. Methane is a greenhouse gas 23 times more potent than CO2, and reducing methane emissions is a critical part of mitigating climate disruption. However, the Trump administration has been granting a 90-day extension on the measurement regulation to every oil and gas company that wants one. Many oil and gas officials now expect the methane survey to be scaled back dramatically, or altogether abandoned.  


http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/39752-trump-cuts-regulations-as-oceanic-dead-zones-release-massive-amounts-of-methane

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AGelbert

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Re: Pollution
« Reply #496 on: March 09, 2017, 05:49:32 pm »
Quote
Pascal Molineaux  · Professor at Universidad Javeriana Cali

Trump's priorities are crystal clear. His proposed budget speaks volumes. As a corporate stooge who couldn't care less for our health, our well-being, worker rights and the environment. He is literally doing an EVE (extinction level event) with his power, bending backwards as far as he possibly can to ease their "burden" and deregulate all federal oversight and defunded all institutions meant to protect the common good.

While throwing even more massive amounts of money at the world's most bloated military budget (the USA is already out spending the next big seven spender countries TOGETHER). Such waste, such blusterful nonsense, such blind hubris, such a know-nothing approach to our most pressing and urgent issues.

By GOD, I hope the American voter soon gives him a kicking. That's all Pumpkin head deserves! 

Trump Proposes Cutting Great Lakes Funding by 97%

Mar. 08, 2017 08:55PM EST '

Sierra Club By Melinda Pierce

SNIPPET:

New findings revealed Wednesday show which U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) programs will be most affected by the Trump administration's proposed budget cuts, including a 97 percent budget cut for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative.

The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative strategically targets the biggest threats to the Great Lakes ecosystem, including toxic substances, invasive species and pollution. As the Senate currently works to finalize 2017 appropriations and develop legislation to fund the federal government in 2018, it is up to them to make sure that the EPA receives the funding it needs to fulfill its mission of protecting public health and the environment, through programs such as the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative.

Quote
Budgets are statements about values and priorities. Trump's budget
shows his priorities are corporate profits  , not our communities or drinking water for the 1 in 10 Americans who live in this region.

Don't miss the Graphic at article link:

http://www.ecowatch.com/great-lakes-restoration-initiative-2306413346.html
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AGelbert

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Re: Pollution
« Reply #497 on: March 10, 2017, 12:43:27 pm »
March 7, 2017 | Rona Fried | Policy/Trends

War on Regulations Takes Off

Last week, Trump ordered supervisors installed in all federal agencies to carry out his “2 for 1” scheme to eviscerate big bad regulations that supposedly hold our economy back. Only regulations that cost industries $0 in 2017 can stay in place – forget any benefits of holding corporations accountable, such as saving lives, protecting human health, safeguarding fundamental rights, worker rights, environmental rights, and caring for wildlife and wildlands. And for any regulation that is put in place, two must be eliminated even if they are entirely unrelated.

“This fundamentally changes our government’s role from one of protecting the public to protecting corporate profits, and will lead to a dangerous new era of deregulation and corporate “self-regulation,” says Robert Weissman, President of Public Citizen, which is suing Donald J. Trump for the regulations assault.

But this is just the beginning. If the Midnight Rules Act, REINS Act and Regulatory Accountability Act pass, major items long on the Republican wish list will finally be fulfilled. The bills have passed in the House and now await Senate action.
◾Midnight Rule Relief Act allows Congress – in just one vote – to repeal all regulations passed over the past year.

◾REINS Act (Regulations From The Executive In Need of Scrutiny  ::)) gives Congress control over major new regulations, taking it out of the hands of professionals in federal agencies. For the first time, Congress would be in charge of approving regulations. If not approved within 70 days, the regulation dies and the agency is barred from taking it up again.

◾Regulatory Accountability Act  makes it very hard to set new regulations by bogging the process down with over 60 new steps. Until now, agencies balance costs and benefits when considering new rules, but this law requires them to choose the “least costly” option as opposed to the “most effective” option.

The House passed the REINS Act several times during Obama’s term, but it was stopped in the Senate. The House voted down Democrat amendments to exempt rules that affect veterans’ health care, nuclear reactor safety, transportation of hazardous materials, and the safety of products used by children under the age of 2, reports USA Today.

Read our article, REINS Act Would Increase Toxic Pollution

These bills “give Congress sweeping authority to substitute political judgement for scientific judgement. It gives Congress permission to ignore all the years of technical work and public comment used to develop public health, safety, and environmental protections, and simply dismantle all these vital safeguards in one fell swoop,” says Union of Concerned Scientists. It’s ironic, because federal agencies develop regulations at the behest of Congress in the laws they pass!

The REINS Act “could, in effect, impose a slow-motion government shutdown, and would replace a process based on expertise, rationality and openness with one characterized by political maneuvering, economic clout and secrecy. The public would be less protected, and the political system would be more abused. Indeed, it is hard to imagine a more far-reaching, fundamental and damaging shift in the way the government goes about its business of safeguarding the public,” says Natural Resources Defense Council.

Conservative think tank Competitive Enterprise Institute is helping out with a 193-page agenda with a long list of regulations to eliminate, and Rep. Meadows (R-NC) has offered a list of 232 regulations that can be repealed immediately.

And who did Trump put in charge of advising on which regulations to gut? Billioinairre corporate raider Carl Icahn. With $16.5 billion, Icahn has plenty of money to protect (and grow!).

Corporations are Thrilled   

Real estate developers, for example, are thrilled with the rollbacks. Eliminating the “Waters of the US” rule makes it much easier to build without worrying about protecting wetlands and the streams half of Americans rely on for their drinking water. When the Endangered Species Act is gone, that will take a big pain out of the way.

Environmental Protection   Agency

Federal contractors are thrilled that the House repealed Obama’s Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces executive order, which requires them to comply with worker health and safety laws before getting new contracts. 30% of the worst violators received $81 billion in federal contracts, according to a 2013 Senate report.  It affects the family of Rodney Bridgett, who was killed when a piece of heavy equipment crushed him and Calvin Bryant, crippled by a workplace explosion that killed 14 co-workers, for example. A vote in the Senate is imminent.

On the chopping block:

◾lead safety standards in drinking water

◾unsafe chemicals to be removed from the market under the Toxic Substances Control Act

◾gut enforcement of the Clean Air and Clean Water Acts

◾prohibit payday lenders from praying on consumers with high interest rates

◾gut Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform,  Consumer Protection Act, Food Safety Modernization Act, Pipeline Safety Act and many more.

◾gut food safety regulations, net neutrality rules that protect he Internet from monopolies, energy efficiency standards for appliances and vehicles, and of course, the Clean Power Plan that reduces emissions from power plants.

◾no more restrictions on oil drilling or coal mines on public land

◾no more standards for healthy school lunches

◾standards that protect health workers from exposure to infectious diseases

◾a rule to prevent mining equipment from crushing miners

◾rules that protect communities from oil trains from exploding

◾protections for endangered species

Visit rulesatrisk.org to keep up (if you can!) with the rules on the chopping block.


“It’s horrifying that even after the Wall Street crash, the massive BP oil spill and numerous other public health and safety disasters across the country due to a lack of strong regulations, Americans will once again have to pay the price for the consequences of corporate recklessness, greed and lawbreaking,” says Weissman.

“Congress totally lacks the technical competence to review these kinds of complex rules. Do we really want members of Congress deciding whether a chemical can safely be used in food packaging? Or the proper procedures for approving new drugs as safe and effective? Or setting the allowable safety standard for heavy metals in drinking water?,” asks Carl Pope, former Sierra Club president.

Say Goodbye to Class Action Lawsuits?


HR 985, which would make it almost impossible for citizens to join class action lawsuits – among the most effective tools for victims of corporate abuse – will soon get a vote. Think about the BP oil spill or Wells Fargo’s illegal bank accounts. HR 720, HR 725 and HR 732 would make it harder for victims of corporate wrongdoing to sue and hold them accountable.

How About a Rule that Requires the President to Reveal His Taxes?

Although the vast majority of Americans want Trump to reveal his taxes, House Republicans don’t like that rule either.  Every single one of them voted to block a resolution that would force Trump to do what all other presidents have done on their own volition.

The House Ways and Means Committee has the power to demand Trump’s taxes, but the full House voted it down when Rep. Pascrell (D-NJ) brought it to the floor.

http://www.sustainablebusiness.com/war-regulations-takes-off/

Agelbert NOTE: Message from the Trump Team to we-the-people:

 
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AGelbert

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Re: Pollution
« Reply #498 on: March 13, 2017, 02:16:20 pm »

Opening Arctic Waters to Drilling Is Trump Priority, Key Senator Says

March 12, 2017 by Bloomberg

SNIPPET:

Bloomberg) — Senator Lisa Murkowski said President Donald Trump is interested in opening up new coastal waters for oil and gas drilling and reversing Obama-era policies that restrict energy development in Alaska.

Both Trump and Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke are weighing ways to expand opportunities to drill in Arctic waters though the changes could take years to accomplish administratively, Murkowski said in an interview on the sidelines of the CERAWeek conference in Houston. 


http://gcaptain.com/opening-arctic-waters-to-drilling-is-trump-priority-key-senator-says/

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AGelbert

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Re: Pollution
« Reply #499 on: March 15, 2017, 02:09:02 pm »
Agelbert NOTE: What you see above is a Tanker Dumping Ballast Polluted Water with BMS (Ballast Management System). When a tanker offloads its crude oil, it must take on ballast ocean water to keep it stable in the return voyage. This water CAN be cleaned up, but it is NOT actually cleaned up as they claim. And yeah, they DO NOT put the ballast water in separate tanks form where they had the crude oil (which is toxic to marine life), no matter what you may have heard. They could do that, but they won't because then they would not be able to carry as much crude (ALL the tanks are filled with crude oil, not half, as would be required for separate tanks).

BMS is a fig leaf for in-your-face ocean pollution for fossil fuel industry profits. Ballast Management Systems (BMS) are a cruel joke. They are nothing but a threadbare excuse used to make the mendacious claim that tankers are not polluting the oceans willy nilly for the sake of fossil fuel industry profits.

THEY ARE POLLUTING!

THEY DO IT FOR PROFITS.

THEY DON'T CARE ABOUT THE BIOSPHERE DAMAGE THEY DO.

The article published with this photo is wishful thinking.

Shipping On Right Course for the Ballast Water Management Convention

March 14, 2017 by Editorial

By Peter Hinchliffe, Secretary General, International Chamber of Shipping

The Ballast Water Management Convention (the Convention), aimed at establishing standards and procedures to prevent the spread of aquatic organisms  , enters into force and takes effect on 8 September this year  ;). While it represents a significant environmental milestone for our planet, the Convention also means that the maritime industry has to gear up for a huge operational change.

Under the Convention, ships trading in international waters will need to ensure they are fitted with a ship-specific Ballast Water Management System (BWMS), according to the agreed implementation schedule. The BWMS installed must be approved by the Flag State in accordance with approval process defined by the International Maritime Organization (IMO).  

Even vessels from countries which have not acceded to the Convention are required to comply with the standards when entering the ports of IMO Member States that have ratified the Convention.

In addition to meeting the requirements of the Convention, ships entering U.S. waters will also need to meet the stringent standards laid down in the U.S. Ballast Water Regulations and enforced by the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG). The U.S. has not acceded to the Convention but adopted its own ballast-water regulations in 2012.

Quote
Agelbert NOTE: What you just read means that the U.S. "standards" are EVEN MORE LAX, NOT "more stringent", than the new BMS standards BECAUSE we have a fossil fuel corrupted government.
This disconnect in requirements has left many shipowners wondering if their vessels will be able to operate in U.S. waters when the Convention comes into force. The uncertainty in this area has been compounded by the fact that only three equipment makers – Optimarin, Alfa Laval and Ocean Saver – have systems that are approved and considered fully compliant with both the Convention and US Ballast Water regulations. A fourth system is currently being considered by the USCG for full approval.

With the Convention entering into force in less than 7 months, the pressure is certainly on for shipowners who must find a suitably robust BWMS for their operations and in the case of existing ships have the system installed by the date of their first International Oil Pollution Prevention (IOPP) Renewal Survey after 8 September this year.

Absorbing costs


Industry watchers expect that the global maritime industry will spend upwards of USD75 billion on equipping their vessels with ballast water treatment systems. Depending on the size of the vessel, its ballast water capacity and type of treatment, estimates show that the cost of implementation of the treatment systems can range from half a million to five million USD per vessel with some 40,000 ships to be equipped. This is in addition to other maintenance and operational costs.

Given these costs, there is the consideration that it may be more economically feasible to scrap a substantial number of older ships rather than modify them to meet the Convention’s standards.

Moreover, individual shipowners will also need to invest in training crew members to handle new equipment, ensuring that appropriate safety protocols are well established, and costs associated with disruptions due to dry-docking and equipment installation are contained.

In the current depressed market, these compliance costs, and other ancillary costs have been of significant concern to shipowners. For many countries, they have even been a barrier to ratification.

Making progress

In spite of the nervousness about the ratification, shipowners are generally confident of meeting the standards in time. Having a firm date for the Convention’s implementation provides certainty for timelines and budget.

Furthermore, faced with the pressure of the Convention, equipment manufacturers and engineering companies are innovating to ensure that effective equipment and systems are made commercially available to help shipowners move forward. Currently, there are over 60-type approved systems, some of which make use of UV.

To spur greater trust in ballast water systems, the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) has also been collaborating with the IMO to ensure a more rigorous type approval process exists and as a result, the IMO adopted the more robust 2016 Guidelines for the Approval of Ballast Water Management Systems (G8) in October 2016.

The IMO also agreed in 2016 that the approval guidelines should be made into a mandatory code and the Convention amended accordingly following its entry into force. As a result, the availability of commercial equipment that can be considered to effectively treat ballast water in conditions normally encountered in the daily operation of ships should grow as systems gain approval in accordance with the latest revision of the approval guidelines (G8). The availability of systems approved in accordance with the 2016 Guidelines (G8) and with USCG approval will fuel confidence in the Convention.

Navigating the way forward

It has taken 13 years to take the Convention from adoption to ratification and while there have been significant concerns and challenges in its ratification, the long-term benefits should outweigh the costs. The risks to aquatic biodiversity and human health arising from the transfer of harmful aquatic organisms in ballast water will be eradicated with the implementation of treatment systems.

As an aside, some in the industry are saying the Convention may address existing vessel over-supply in the market, by encouraging shipowners to consider scrapping vessels that are over 15 years old.

More importantly, compliance with the Convention offers shipowners the opportunity to feedback on the efficacy of treatment systems, to help shape the Convention, and the industry as a whole. Here, the ICS provides a key avenue for shipowners to collaborate with other industry players and the IMO to refine the Convention and help facilitate implementation.

The success of the Convention is ultimately dependent on multi-level collaboration within the global maritime industry. On a macro level, inter-agency coordination amongst the flag States is necessary for effective enforcement of ballast water management strategies. On a micro level, careful planning and coordination is vital if shipowners are to meet the requirements of the Convention while minimising preparatory and compliance-related costs.

This multi-level collaborative approach will also be in action during the Sea Asia 2017 conferences. Held in April in Singapore, Sea Asia 2017 will bring together leaders from across the industry and around the globe to analyse, debate and find solutions to issues confronting the maritime industry.

One of the areas we will discuss is the Convention and its expected impact on the sector. I look forward to continuing the discussion on how we can work together as an industry to navigate these challenges moving forward.

Peter Hinchliffe is a speaker for the ‘Navigating Challenges: The Way Forward’ session at Sea Asia 2017.

http://gcaptain.com/shipping-on-right-course-for-the-ballast-water-management-convention/
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AGelbert

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Re: Pollution
« Reply #500 on: March 16, 2017, 04:16:06 pm »


Big Win Over Oil Trains in California -- Thank You

We're celebrating the news this week that the San Luis Obispo Board of Supervisors rejected Phillips 66's proposed oil-train offloading terminal.

 The oil-train terminal would have allowed more than 7 million gallons of crude oil to be shipped via rail to its local refinery each week, and made it possible for Phillips 66 to refine volatile and carbon-intensive tar sands crude from Canada. These trains also would have jeopardized numerous ecologically sensitive areas along California's coast.

More than 25,000 Californians opposed the project -- many thanks those who spoke out.


 "This is a huge victory for public safety, health and California's environment," said the Center's Valerie Love. "Hopefully it spells the end for this reckless plan. Our communities will be safer and our air will be cleaner because of it."

 Read more in the East Bay Times.
http://www.eastbaytimes.com/2017/03/14/east-bay-activists-hail-crude-oil-by-rail-rejection-in-san-luis-obispo/


The Center for Biological Diversity released a groundbreaking report this week identifying the top 15 members of Congress trying to seize, destroy, dismantle and privatize America's public lands. These "Public Lands Enemies" are part of a growing movement to industrialize public lands for profit -- increased exploitation for oil and gas drilling, fracking, logging, mining and development.

 The Center's report analyzed 132 anti-public-lands bills that were introduced in the past three congressional sessions and the lawmakers who authored and cosponsored those bills.

 "These 15 members of Congress are trying to turn America's public lands into an open cash register for corporations," said Randi Spivak, the Center's public lands director. "Everyone who cares about our national forests, wildlife refuges, national parks and monuments need to watch these elected officials very closely -- and oppose them at every step."

These 15 Public Lands Enemies are:

1. Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah)
2. Rep. Rob Bishop (R-Utah, 1st District)
3. Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah)
4. Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Ariz., 4th District)
5. Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.)
6. Rep. Chris Stewart (R-Utah, 2nd District)
7. Rep. Don Young (R-Alaska, At Large)
8. Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.)
9. Rep. Raúl Labrador (R-Idaho, 1st District)
10. Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah, 3rd District)
11. Rep. Mark Amodei (R-Nev., 2nd District)
12. Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska)
13. Rep. Steve Pearce (R-N.M., 2nd District)
14. Rep. Tom McClintock (R-Calif., 4th District)
15. Sen. Dean Heller (R-Nev.)


 Check out our new Public Lands Enemies website, where you can download shareable "Wanted" posters and find out if your congressional rep is on our list.

http://www.biologicaldiversity.org/campaigns/public_lands_enemies/index.html
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AGelbert

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Re: Pollution
« Reply #501 on: March 18, 2017, 07:23:26 pm »
Monsanto Isn't Feeding the World -- It's Killing Our Children

 Saturday, March 18, 2017 

By Katherine Paul, Organic Consumers Association | News Analysis

Quote
"How could we have ever believed that it is a good idea to grow our food with poisons?" -- Dr. Jane Goodall

SNIPPET:

Two new reports published in recent weeks add to the already large and convincing body of evidence, accumulated over more than half a century, that agricultural pesticides and other toxic chemicals are poisoning us.

Both reports issue scathing indictments of US and global regulatory systems that collude with chemical companies to hide the truth from the public, while they fill their coffers with ill-gotten profits.

According to the World Health Organization, whose report focused on a range of environmental risks, the cost of a polluted environment adds up to the deaths of 1.7 million children every year.

A report by the Special Rapporteur on the right to food, presented to the United Nations Human Rights Council, focused more narrowly on agricultural chemicals. The UN report states unequivocally that the storyline perpetuated by companies like Monsanto -- the one that says we need pesticides to feed the world -- is a myth. And a catastrophic one at that.

Full article:

http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/39866-monsanto-isn-t-feeding-the-world-it-s-killing-our-children
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AGelbert

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Re: Pollution
« Reply #502 on: March 23, 2017, 07:56:31 pm »
Action After Tragedy: The Exxon Valdez Oil Spill

Posted On March 22, 2017 by Andrew Hartsig

SNIPPET:

Friday will be the twenty-eighth anniversary of the Exxon Valdez oil spill in Alaska. Nearly 11 million gallons of oil spewed into the ocean over the course of three days. Even today, there are still some places in Prince William Sound where you can find oil that is as toxic as it was 28 years ago.   :( :P

But, I’m optimistic that we can learn from the mistakes of the past and work together to make sure another Exxon Valdez doesn’t occur off the coast of Alaska. We saw first-hand what happens when we don’t take preparedness seriously.

Will you join me in taking action to ensure it doesn’t happen again?

Now, nearly three decades after the Exxon Valdez oil spill in Prince William Sound, the Arctic Ocean is facing threats from increasing vessel traffic in the Bering Strait.

As Arctic sea ice continues to melt, the Bering Sea—including the narrow Bering Strait—is experiencing more and more ship traffic. As ship traffic increases, so do the risks, including oil spills, vessel strikes on marine mammals, air pollution, discharge of waste into the water and production of underwater noise. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to help protect the Arctic.

Take action today by asking the U.S. Coast Guard to take steps to reduce the risks of increasing vessel traffic in the Bering Sea. This can’t wait—we need to put in place key measures to increase safety and reduce risk in the Arctic waters.

The Bering Sea is used by millions of seabirds and an array of marine mammals including whales, seals, walruses and polar bears. Alaska Native communities rely on these resources for food security and cultural practices that date back millennia.

There’s no doubt that the Arctic Ocean is unique and important—there is a lot at stake if we don’t work together to do all we can to protect this region. Please take action today by asking the U.S. Coast Guard to reduce the risks from increasing vessel traffic in the Bering Sea.

http://blog.oceanconservancy.org/2017/03/22/action-after-tragedy-the-exxon-valdez-oil-spill/exxon-valdez-2/

Agelbert NOTE: I do not share the optimism of the author. I think it is bad and it will get a LOT worse.


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