Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez announces positive Covid test
Progressive congresswoman ‘experiencing symptoms’Office says political star had booster vaccine shot last year Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez speaks in Washington. Photograph: Will Oliver/EPA The Democratic congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has tested positive for Covid-19. In a statement on Sunday evening, the office of the New York progressive said she was “experiencing symptoms and recovering at home. “The congresswoman received her booster shot this fall and encourages everyone to get their bnews.yahoo.com
EPA looks to tighten rules for lead in drinking water while president works to replace pipelines
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is looking to tighten rules for allowable levels of lead in drinking water while the Biden Administration is looking to replace the country’s lead lines using new funds.
Monsanto Successor Companies Agree to Clean Up Remaining Surface Contamination at Sauget Superfund Sites under Federal Settlement
Solutia Inc. and Pharmacia LLC, successors to Monsanto Company, will complete the cleanup of four former landfills and waste lagoons in Sauget, Illinois, across the Mississippi River from St. Louis. The settlement will require the companies to reimburse EPA $700,000 in past costs spent at the sites and take responsibility for implementing EPA’s cleanup plan estimated to cost $17.9 million. The hazardous waste includes toxic substances and known carcinogens, including PCBs, dioxin, lead, cadmium, benzene and chlorobenzene. The cleanup requires placing engineered caps over identified waste areas, conducting vapor intrusion mitigation and controlling access to the sites. The consent decree, lodged in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois, is subject to a 30-day public comment period and final court approval.justice.gov
Pipeline Company Sentenced for Largest-Ever Inland Oil Spill
By law, the federal fines in this case will go to the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund used to respond and clean up future oil spills. “Summit gave misleading and incomplete statements to the government about the duration and size of the spill. “Investigations revealed that the spill occurred over 143 days and released more than 29 million gallons of contaminated waters into the environment, including tributaries of the Missouri River. EPA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance, EPA Region 8, the North Dakota Department of Environmental Quality, the North Dakota Industrial Commission, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the U.S. Department of Interior and the North Dakota Department of Game and Fish provided assistance to the criminal investigation.justice.gov
No safe PFAS exposure level? EPA toxicity drafts point that way
Is there no safe exposure level to certain PFAS chemicals? Toxicologists in the advocacy arena suggest that may be the case after the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released draft toxicity analyses this week for two well-studied individual compounds, PFOS and PFOA, which dramatically reduce what’s previously been considered a “safe” level of exposure to those chemicals in drinking water.mlive.com
Decades before Steve Bannon was charged with contempt of Congress, Rita Lavelle was tried
It’s rare for the Justice Department to bring contempt charges against government officials refusing to comply with subpoenas, but it happened in the case of Rita Lavelle, a former federal environmental official under President Ronald Reagan.washingtonpost.com
Biden EPA unveils PFAS ‘roadmap,’ plans key actions by 2023
“This comprehensive, national PFAS strategy will deliver protections to people who are hurting, by advancing bold and concrete actions that address the full lifecycle of these chemicals. Classifying PFAS as “hazardous” would give the EPA authority to force polluters such as the Department of Defense to clean up the contamination and recover some taxpayer costs. “For far too long, the federal government has failed to take the threat of PFAS chemicals seriously,” said Kildee, co-chair of a bipartisan caucus in Congress focused on PFAS. Other ongoing efforts include stepping up safety review of new PFAS uses, reviewing past agency decisions about PFAS and developing new detection methods. And, “the contrast between EPA’s plan to address PFAS and FDA’s failure to act could not be starker.”Related stories:HBO’s John Oliver highlights Michigan PFAS victimsNational PFAS study recruiting in MichiganTimeline: The Wolverine, 3M Scotchgard disasterGot a PFAS story?mlive.com
LyondellBasell Companies Agree to Reduce Harmful Air Pollution at Six U.S. Chemical Plants
The settlement, announced today by the Department of Justice and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), will eliminate thousands of tons of air pollution from flares. According to the complaint, the companies failed to properly operate and monitor their industrial flares, which resulted in excess emissions of harmful air pollution at five facilities in Texas and one in Iowa. Once fully implemented, the pollution controls are estimated to reduce emissions of climate-change-causing greenhouse gases, including CO 2 , methane, and ethane, by almost 92,000 tons per year. At certain facilities, Lyondell will operate flare gas recovery systems that recover and “recycle” the gases instead of sending them to be combusted in a flare. Lyondell will also perform air quality monitoring that is designed to detect the presence of benzene at the fence lines of the six covered plants.justice.gov
Senator Mitch McConnell offers Democrats a short-term debt limit extension
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell made an offer to Democrats Wednesday that would temporarily extend the government's borrowing ability, avoiding a default on its debts. CBS News senior White House correspondent Weijia Jiang, CBS News' congressional correspondent Nikole Killion and Insider's politics reporter Oma Seddiq join "Red and Blue" anchor Elaine Quijano with the details.news.yahoo.com
Eye Opener: Facebook suffers outage and allegations
Facebook is under pressure after a massive outage Monday and stunning allegations from a whistleblower set to testify on Capitol Hill. Also, the Pandora Papers reveal how the rich use American laws to hide money at everyone else's expense. All that and all that matters in today’s Eye Opener. Your world in 90 seconds.news.yahoo.com
Firestone Polymers Agrees to Settle Multiple Environmental Claims at its Louisiana Rubber Manufacturing Plant
Firestone Polymers LLC (Firestone) has agreed to resolve alleged violations of the Clean Air Act and several other federal and state environmental laws at the company’s synthetic rubber manufacturing facility in Sulfur, Louisiana. “EPA’s legal and enforcement team, working with DOJ and LDEQ, held the company accountable for reducing emissions, and won additional benefits for environmental justice communities in Southwest Louisiana with improved air monitoring systems. These penalties and the beneficial environmental project under the consent decree are the result of our efforts. Firestone will also complete a Beneficial Environmental Project in Louisiana by funding ambient air monitoring system upgrades in several locations in southwest Louisiana. The consent decree was lodged with the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana and is subject to a 30-day public comment period and final court approval.justice.gov
‘Is it safe?’ -- Area of concern grows in Flat Rock after hazardous chemical found in sewer system
Officials said the city plans to use firefighting form to suppress the vapors found within the sanitary system. The industrial facility has taken measures, including inserting plugs into the onsite sewer system to prevent it from entering the system at a location north of Gibraltar Road at the Ford Flat Rock Assembly Plant property.
Environmental racism, unregulated chemicals, staffing shortages among the many challenges facing whomever Biden picks to lead the EPA in the Midwest
Candidates include Debra Shore, an elected commissioner at the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District, the agency that manages sewage and storm runoff in Chicago and Cook County, and Micah Ragland, a utility executive who helped lead the response to the Flint, Michigan, water crisis.chicagotribune.com
More Florida school districts to require masks in battle against governor’s order
At least seven districts, accounting for more than a million students, are in defiance of DeSantis’s order banning mask mandatesFDA gives full approval to Pfizer vaccine for Covid-19 The first day of school at Barbara Goleman Senior High School in Miami Lakes, Florida on Monday. Photograph: Cristóbal Herrera/EPA Florida’s battle over school mask mandates has reached the governor’s doorstep after education leaders in the state capital, Tallahassee, became the latest to defy Ron DeSantis’s ban. Ronews.yahoo.com
Parts of the US are getting dangerously hot. Yet Americans are moving the wrong way
As the climate changes, census data shows that Americans are shifting from safer areas of the US to the regions most at risk of heating and flooding Lake Mead, the United States’ largest reservoir, is at the lowest levels ever recorded. Photograph: Justin Lane/EPA Science has provided America with a decent idea of which areas of our country will be most devastated by climate change, and which areas will be most insulated from the worst effects. Unfortunately, it seems that US population flows arnews.yahoo.com
Justice Department and EPA Reach Clean Air Act Settlement with Advanced Flow Engineering for Selling Defeat Devices
The complaint, filed simultaneously with the settlement, alleges that aFe’s manufacture and sale of these parts violate the Clean Air Act. “The increased particulate matter and NOx pollution stemming from defeat devices threatens the health of everyone, especially those with pre-existing health conditions, children and older adults. We also know that air pollution can lead to worse outcomes from COVID-19. Stopping the sale and use of defeat devices will help reduce harmful air pollution that exacerbates the health effects of pollutant exposures. To learn more, visit: https://www.epa.gov/enforcement/national-compliance-initiative-stopping-aftermarket-defeat-devices-vehicles-and-enginesIf you suspect someone is manufacturing, selling or installing illegal defeat devices, or is tampering with emission controls, tell the EPA by writing to firstname.lastname@example.org
The delta variant can reinfect you – but the chances of that happening are very small
With nine in 10 adults in England now carrying antibodies against Covid, and infections seemingly in retreat, it would be tempting to think the country's epidemic is all but over. Yet there is growing evidence that the delta variant is far better than previous strains at reinfecting people who have previously had the virus or been double jabbed. On Friday, Public Health England (PHE) upgraded its risk assessment for reinfection after a natural infection from amber to red, warning that the deltanews.yahoo.com
Why dogs are man's best friend – they were born to understand us
An unspoken bond of understanding exists between a dog and its owner and is unlike anything else in the natural world, scientists have found. A study has proved that dogs are genuinely in tune with human emotions, feelings and movements in a way no other species can mirror and have this ability at birth. The only attributable explanation, researchers say, is the development of a unique bond between the two species carved from more than 10,000 years of domestication. Scientists have long studiednews.yahoo.com
Australian man goes on hunger strike after mother dies while he was stuck in hotel quarantine
An Australian man whose mother died while he was in a hotel quarantine has gone on hunger strike to draw attention to the impossible situations facing people who seek exemptions from Covid restrictions on compassionate grounds. James Turbitt, who lives in Belgium, made an emergency dash home last week after he learned his 62-year-old mother was in hospital in Perth, Western Australia. But the only flight available was to Melbourne, on the other side of the country. So he asked authorities if henews.yahoo.com
Exclusive: ‘Risk-averse’ NHS 111 algorithm piling pressure on ambulances
NHS 111 is piling the pressure on ambulances because medically untrained call handlers and "risk-averse" algorithms are sending paramedics to patients suffering with minor ailments such as period pain. Patients struggling to get through to GPs are instead ringing 111, which uses an algorithm – a series of questions – to identify what is wrong with a patient and where to direct them. Emergency doctors have warned that callouts for ambulances are up "20 to 30 per cent" up on normal, at a time whennews.yahoo.com
Who paid $28 million to go into space with Jeff Bezos?
A mystery bidder paid $28 million for a seat on a spaceship with billionaire Jeff Bezos during a live auction on Saturday. It concluded a month-long bidding process for the sightseeing trip on Blue Origin's maiden voyage next month. Within four minutes of the opening of Saturday's live phone auction bids reached beyond $20 million. The bidding closed seven minutes after the auction began and the identity of the winner was not immediately disclosed. On July 20 Blue Origin's New Shepard booster isnews.yahoo.com
Eying deal, GM softens on tough standards for car pollution
The nation's largest automaker said Wednesday it can support greenhouse gas emissions limits that other car manufacturers negotiated with California — if they are achieved mostly by promoting sales of fully electric vehicles. It is a new stance for General Motors, which had supported the Trump administration's efforts to end California's ability to set its own limits. The shift brings GM closer to the 2019 California deal signed onto by five other automakers, offering hope for a breakthrough on an industrywide deal.news.yahoo.com
EU demands €10 a day for each vaccine dose delayed by AstraZeneca
The EU is demanding 10 euros for each day of delay for every individual dose of vaccine as penalties for each breach of contract with AstraZeneca. Brussels took the British-Swedish pharmaceutical giant to a Belgian court in April after AstraZeneca said it would only supply 100m vaccines by the end of June, rather than the 300m jabs promised in the contract. The commission now wants the company to deliver at least 120m doses by the end of June and has demanded UK-manufactured AstraZeneca jabs to hit that target or face the daily fine. “AstraZeneca did not even try to respect the contract," lawyer Rafael Jafferali, told the Brussels court in the first hearing on the substance of the legal case. Lawyers added that they also want 10 million euros as penalties for each breach of the contract that the judge may decide. A verdict is expected next month. Ursula von der Leyen, the European Commission president, has repeatedly blamed AstraZeneca shortfalls for the initially slow pace of the EU’s vaccination roll-out. The Commission also accuses AstraZeneca of failing to provide enough notice for the large cuts in deliveries. The company insists it is not in breach of its contract, which it says only requires it to make "best reasonable efforts" in delivering doses. Its lawyers will address the court later. AstraZeneca’s contract with the UK gives it first refusal on UK-manufactured jabs, which further increased Brexit tensions between Britain and the EU at the start of the year, which were exacerbated by the successful British roll-out. There were also suspicions in Berlin and Brussels that some EU-reserved stock had ended up in the UK. Mr Jafferali said that the “best reasonable efforts” principle was not respected because the drugmaker had not delivered the 50m doses produced in the factories listed in the contracts, which includes the two British plants.news.yahoo.com
Questor: should Manchester United shares get the red card after its Super League blunder?
In August 2018, as a bit of summer fun, we looked at some of the world’s quoted football clubs, of which there are surprisingly few. Chief among them was Manchester United, who face Villarreal in the Europa League final tonight. Man Utd’s shares, quoted in New York, have proved volatile. Tipped at $22.10, they almost immediately soared to more than $26 then just as quickly dropped back, and since late September 2018 have remained below the price at which we tipped them. They bottomed at barely $13 in March last year as Covid panic peaked and now trade at $15.55. The club did itself no favours when it signed up to the short-lived and hugely unpopular European Super League last month. Nick Train, the fund manager whose enthusiasm for Man Utd as a business lay behind our tip, was among those not amused by the initiative.news.yahoo.com
Up to 12 people dead as cable car crashes in Italy
Up to 12 people have been killed and two children seriously hurt after a cable car in northern Italy plunged to the ground. The cable car links the town of Stresa on the shores of Lake Maggiore with a mountain area called Mottarone, which lies 4,900ft above sea level. The two children were taken by helicopter to a hospital in Turin, emergency officials said. The cause of the accident was not immediately known. The weather was clear and sunny, and all over Italy families were taking advantage of warm temperatures to go for excursions and picnics after a long winter of Covid-19 lockdown. The cable car came down in a thickly-forested area of the mountain, just a few hundred yards from its final destination. The cable car was particularly high off the ground at that point of its journey. Aerial footage showed its crumpled remains smashed on the ground. The nationalities of the victims were not known. “It’s a really serious accident,” said Walter Milan, a spokesman for the alpine rescue service.news.yahoo.com
US CDC investigates reports of heart inflammation in young Covid vaccine recipients
Some teenagers and young adults who received Covid vaccines experienced heart inflammation, a US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention advisory group said, recommending further study of the rare condition. The CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunisation Practices in a statement dated May 17 said it had looked into reports that a few young vaccine recipients - predominantly male, adolescents and young adults - developed myocarditis, an inflammation of the heart muscle. The condition often goes away without complications and can be caused by a variety of viruses, the CDC group said. CDC monitoring systems had not found more cases than would be expected in the population, but members of the committee on vaccinations felt that healthcare providers should be made aware of the reports of the "potential adverse event", the committee said. It did not say how many people had been affected and recommended further investigation. Dr Amesh Adalja, senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins Centre for Health Security, said vaccines are known to cause myocarditis and it would be important to monitor to see if it is causally related to the vaccine. It is important to look at the risk-benefit ratio, he said: "Vaccines are going to unequivocally be much more beneficial outweighing this very low, if conclusively established, risk." The CDC said the cases typically occurred within four days after receiving the mRNA vaccines. It did not specify which vaccines. The United States has given emergency authorisation to two mRNA vaccines, from Moderna and Pfizer/BioNTech. Israel's Health Ministry in April said it was examining a small number of cases of heart inflammation in people who had received Pfizer's vaccine, although it had not yet drawn any conclusions. Most of the cases in Israel were reported among people up to age 30. Pfizer at the time said it had not observed a higher rate of the condition than would normally be the case in the general population and that a causal link to the vaccine had not been established. Pfizer and Moderna did not immediately respond to requests for comment on Saturday. The CDC in late April, after news of the Israeli investigation, said it did not see a link between the two. Earlier this month US regulators expanded authorisation of Pfizer and BioNTech's vaccine to children aged 12 to 15.news.yahoo.com
Edmunds puts Tesla's range to the test
This undated photo by Edmunds shows five electric vehicles at a test track in the Mojave Desert, in California, undergoing testing for maximum range. A CHALLENGE FROM TESLAThe lackluster results prompted the automaker to reach out to the Edmunds test team. Once each vehicle’s range estimate indicated zero miles, we measured how far it could go before coming to a complete stop. AdEDMUNDS SAYS: Edmunds’ EV range test isn’t meant to be the definitive word on a vehicle’s range but rather a real-world complement to the laboratory-based EPA testing. We’ll continue to test to an indicated zero because we’d never advise customers to rely on the unpredictable buffer range.
Eastbound I-696 ramp to Couzens closing Monday for toxic green ooze cleanup
MADISON HEIGHTS, Mich. – The eastbound I-696 ramp to Couzens Avenue in Madison Heights will close at 9 a.m. Monday for the final stages of the cleanup of the toxic green ooze. In December, 2019, hexavalent chromium was found leaking onto I-696. Since then, workers with the EPA and ELGE have been cleaning the site. Authorities said the ramp closure will allow for the removal of concrete to fully clean and remove the known-carcinogen. Madison Heights officials said EGLE and EPA conducted an extensive investigation, installed a treatment system and collected more than 350,000 gallons of contaminated groundwater to be treated.
EPA hands over control of toxic ooze site in Madison Heights to state regulators
MADISON HEIGHTS, Mich. – It started with a leak onto Interstate 696 in Madison Heights where green ooze caught the attention of people driving by. Now, more than a year after first descending on the site, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is ready to release the project to the state. All of out analytical is where we want it to be,” said Tricia Edwards with the EPA. Gary Sayers, the owner of the Madison Heights building and property in Detroit, served time in prison related to the matter. Sayers wasn’t interested in talking in November, but has been keeping up his legal fight, still working to stop the demolition of the site.
Major progress made cleaning up toxic green ooze site in Madison Heights
MADISON HEIGHTS, Mich. – Enough progress has been made in cleaning up the toxic green ooze site in Madison Heights that the federal government has handed control back over to Michigan officials. The work has never stopped at the green ooze site -- even during the pandemic. Madison Heights officials said EGLE and EPA conducted an extensive investigation, installed a treatment system and collected more than 350,000 gallons of contaminated groundwater to be treated. Gary Sayers, the owner of the building at the center of the Madison Heights toxic ooze case, hasn’t been seen much since November. A virtual town hall meeting with Madison Heights officials, the EPA and EGLE will be held Tuesday at 6 p.m. More information can be found here.
Michigan officials remind schools, businesses to only use EPA-approved disinfectants
LANSING, Mich. – Michigan officials want to remind schools and businesses to only use EPA-approved disinfectants. Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) said that the products that meet the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) criteria for use against the virus that cause coronavirus (COVID-19) are listed here. “Disinfecting is a critical step in preventing and reducing the spread of viruses, bacteria, including SARS-CoV-2, the novel coronavirus causing COVID-19,” said Brian Verhougstraete, MDARD’s Pesticide Section Manager. “Always remember that you are required by state and federal law to follow the label when using disinfectants. This includes safe use of the disinfectant, the types of approved surfaces an adhering to the contact time, which is the amount of time the surface should be visibly wet.”MDARD reminds school districts to:Use EPA-registered disinfectants and follow all label directionsDo not use disinfectant as hand wipes or in place of sanitizersKeep out of reach of students, children should not use disinfectantsAvoid touching wet surfaces and always wash hands after useKeep the surface wet for the required contact timeKeep lids tightly closed and out of reach from children when not in useREAD: More COVID-19 coverage
Why we have water flow regulations for showerheads
Somehow, amid the myriad of important issues and crisis in the world, were talking about showerheads and water pressure. While speaking at the White House in July, Trump said:So showerheads you take a shower, the water doesnt come out. Since first enacted in 1992, federal law has dictated that new showerheads shouldnt pour more than 2.5 gallons of water per minute. Since these water savings will reduce demands on water heaters, they will also save energy. Some of the new low flow heads are rated at even lower flow rates, such as 1.8 or 1.5 gpm, saving significantly more water.
Fiat Chrysler to recall vehicles that may pollute too much
DETROIT About 1 million Fiat Chrysler vehicles with four-cylinder engines in the U.S. may spew too much pollution, and the company is working with government officials on a recall. Fiat Chrysler says in a quarterly filing with securities regulators that it found the excess pollution during internal testing of vehicles with 2.4-liter Tigershark engines. As this population ages, some vehicles exceed in-use emission requirements, depending on drive cycle and mileage, Fiat Chrysler said in a statement. The issue is not connected with any other emissions problem and the EPA does not plan any enforcement action against the company, Fiat Chrysler spokesman Eric Mayne said. Fiat Chrysler maintained that it didnt deliberately scheme to cheat emissions tests and the company didnt admit wrongdoing.
Soak it up: Great Lakes surface temps are really, really warm
Surface temps on the Great Lakes have warmed to above average following a week-long stretch of hot, hot weather around Michigan. Surface temps on Lake Michigan, Lake Huron, Lake Erie and Lake Ontario range between 75 and 85 degrees, according to measurements by Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory. Great Lakes surface temps. Great Lakes surface temp data 1995-2015. (EPA)Related: Health officials: Avoid foam on Michigan lakes, rivers with PFAS contamination
Cleanup plan announced for site of toxic green ooze in Madison Heights
MADISON HEIGHTS, Mich. Its been nearly seven months since toxic green ooze started leaking along I-696 in Oakland County. The ooze was later linked to the Electroplating Services building along 10 Mile Road. Work is being done to make sure the source of the green ooze is cleaned up permanently. The goal of injection treatment to address the groundwater contamination as it migrates from the Electroplating Services building. Legal proceedings are currently underway to authorize demolition and removal of the Electroplating Services building.
Study: Chipotle bowls contain cancer-linked chemicals
Joe Raedle/Getty Images(CNN) - The bowls at Chipotle have become a staple for the restaurant, but a new report is drawing some big concerns about them. The New Food Economy says it found the fiber bowls are exposed to chemicals that can lead to cancer. The study says the bowls are treated with "PFAS," also called forever chemicals. It helps bowls hold hot, wet, and greasy food. The chemicals also seep into the soil as the bowls break down, leading to toxic compost.