Marine Pollution ControlMarine Pollution Control
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Detroit, MI 48209 USA
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Holland, MI 49424
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Spills From Fracking Are Worse Than We Imagined


February 21, 2017

An alarming new study has identified 6,600 chemical spills related to hydraulic fracturing in just four US states over a ten year period. The finding shows that fracking is far messier than previously assumed, and that stricter safety measures need to be established and enforced.

New research published in Environmental Science & Technology shows that upwards of 16 percent of hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” wells in Colorado, New Mexico, North Dakota, and Pennsylvania report a spill each year. These sites—whether it be due to human error, shoddy equipment, or environmental factors—dump chemical-laden water, hydraulic fracturing fluids, and other nasty substances onto the ground, where it can trickle into sensitive water sources. The new research, in addition to offering important insights into the frequency, volume, and cause of spills, points to the need for standardizing how spills are reported.

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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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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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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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