Marine Pollution ControlMarine Pollution Control
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Holland, MI 49424
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Enbridge to invest $1.7 billion in wind farm as pipeline business gathers steam


2/21/2017

Energy giant Enbridge Inc. is making big inroads into renewables even as changes in government policies are paving the way for the rapid expansion of its traditional oil and gas pipeline business.

The company said Friday it was investing $1.7 billion for 50 per cent of the Hohe See wind energy project off the coast of Germany, which follows last year's $282-million buy of a 50 per cent stake in a group of French offshore wind projects.

"It's clear that we're going to need all sources of supply to meet growing global energy demand, and that includes renewable supplies," said Enbridge CEO Al Monaco in an earnings conference call.

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Three Ways New EPA Head Scott Pruitt Will Dismantle Environmental Protection


2/20/2017

Despite extraordinary backlash, former Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt has just been named to head the Environmental Protection Agency for the Trump administration. The vote came one day after a judge ruled Pruitt has until Tuesday to release 3,000 emails between himself and executive members of the fossil fuel industry. It’s a highly controversial appointment celebrated by many in the fossil fuel industry, and dreaded by a number of environmental scientists, some of whom now work for him.

To recap: Pruitt, who has sued the EPA 14 times as Oklahoma Attorney General, and wouldn’t promise to recuse himself from ongoing suits once he was confirmed, once described himself as the “leading advocate against the EPA’s activist agenda.” He is on the record saying that the “[climate change] debate is far from settled.” He even told a flabbergasted Bernie Sanders that his personal opinion of climate change is “immaterial” to his role as head of the EPA.

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EPA contract freeze, media blackout leave states confused

January 25, 2017

WASHINGTON (AP) — A Trump administration freeze on new Environmental Protection Agency contracts and grant awards raised fears that states and other recipients could lose essential funding for drinking water protection, hazardous waste oversight and a host of other programs — while a communications blackout left them dangling in uncertainty.

 
The agency also took a potential first step Tuesday toward potentially killing environmental rules completed as President Barack Obama's term wound down. At least 30 were targeted in the Federal Register for delayed implementation, including updated pollution rulings for several states, renewable fuel standards and limits on the amount of formaldehyde that can leach from wood products.

President Donald Trump signed a directive shortly after his inauguration ordering a "freeze pending review" on all federal rules issued by agencies but not yet in effect.

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Pollution Has Worked Its Way Down To The World's Deepest Waters


2/14/2017

The Mariana Trench in the northern Pacific is the deepest part of the world's oceans. You might think a place that remote would be untouched by human activity.  But the Mariana Trench is polluted.

At its deepest — about 7 miles down — the water in the trench is near freezing. The pressure would crush a human like a bug. Scientists have only recently explored it. Among them is biologist Alan Jamieson of Newcastle University in England. His team dropped what they call a mechanical "lander" down into the trench. It had cameras and water samplers and some baited traps. They didn't really know what they'd find.

When the lander surfaced, the traps contained amphipods — shrimplike crustaceans. That wasn't terribly surprising, as amphipods are known to live at great depths. But bringing them back from the Mariana Trench was a rarity, and Jamieson thought there might be something to learn from them. He took the creatures to an environmental scientist.

"So we just sort of turn up with this really weird looking animal," he says, "and joking aside, he came back and said these are really badly contaminated."

The amphipods were contaminated with PCBs — polychlorinated biphenyls — toxic chemicals used for decades in industry, as well as other industrial pollutants known as persistent organic pollutants.
"Every sample we had," Jamieson says, "had contaminants in it at very high or extraordinarily high levels."

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Justice Department: Vessel Pollution Cases Set New Record in 2016

January 17, 2017

The U.S. Department of Justice says 2016 was record year for prosecuting shipping companies and crew for illegal discharges from ocean-going vessels in U.S. waters.
 
At the end of fiscal year 2016, the Department’s Environmental and Natural Resources Division imposed criminal penalties of more than $363 million in fines and more than 32 years of imprisonment from cases related to intentional discharges of pollutants from vessels.
 
Often times these cases involve a crew’s use of a so-called “magic pipe” to dump oil-contaminated water overboard, which is almost always followed by an attempt to cover the illegal dumping up by failing to record these discharges in the ship’s oil record book. Charges, which can range from violating the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships to obstruction of justice or even conspiracy, can carry steep fines for shipping companies and lengthy prison sentences for any crewmembers involved.

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