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Feds propose chemical safety overhaul

Ammonium nitrateThe 121-page plan calls for strengthened regulations at the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the Environmental Protection Agency, as well as steps to protect chemical plants from the threat of a terrorist strike.

The task force, crafted by Obama via executive order and led jointly by OSHA, the EPA and the Department of Homeland Security, also proposes an array of new restrictions on ammonia nitrate, the volatile chemical involved in the West, Texas, blast.

In total, the plan lays out 10 proposed regulatory and policy changes, including technical steps to strengthen OSHA’s process safety management regulations and the EPA’s risk management plan.

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4 Worker Fatalities Linked to Used Fracking Fluid Exposure

fRACKING fatalitiesField studies conducted by the U.S. Government have revealed that hydrofracking fluids are responsible for the deaths of four field workers since 2010.

The report, recently released by the National Institute for Occupational Safety, suggests that workers could be exposed to hazardous levels of toxic volatile hydrocarbons found in waste fracking fluids.

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Newsflash: Fukushima Is Still a Disaster

Fukushima disasterThe corporate media silence on Fukushima has been deafening even though the melted-down nuclear power plant’s seaborne radiation is now washing up on American beaches.

Ever more radioactive water continues to pour into the Pacific.

At least three extremely volatile fuel assemblies are stuck high in the air at Unit 4. Three years after the March 11, 2011, disaster, nobody knows exactly where the melted cores from Units 1, 2 and 3 might be.
Amid a dicey cleanup infiltrated by organized crime, still more massive radiation releases are a real possibility at any time.

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EPA to make Obama's big move on climate change

epa When the Obama administration unveils its much-anticipated proposal to curb power plant emissions, this cornerstone of the president's climate change policy - the most significant environmental regulation of his term - will not be declared in a sun-bathed Rose Garden news conference or from behind the lectern in a major speech.

It will not be announced by the president at all, but instead by his head of the Environmental Protection Agency, while President Barack Obama adds his comments in on an off-camera conference call with health advocates.

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Bill legalizing fracking heads to North Carolina governor

pro fracking billA bill to allow permits for fracking in North Carolina was all but a done deal Thursday as it heads to Gov. Pat McCrory for his signature.

It was a fast turnaround for the bill after being passed with no debate by the Senate hours after the House approved it with minor changes. McCrory, an ardent proponent of expanding natural gas exploration in North Carolina, will very likely sign the bill.

Natural gas exploration includes fracking, which refers to hydraulic fracturing, a method of extracting oil and gas by injecting high-pressure mixtures of water, sand or gravel and chemicals into rock. Permits for the practice could be issued by May 2015.

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Obama will let states decide how to cut greenhouse gas emissions

emissionsPresident Barack Obama is about to unveil the centerpiece of his agenda to fight climate change, a much anticipated rule to slash the emissions of planet-warming gases from power plants.

The president will call for major reductions, according to sources familiar with the planning, with each state given its own greenhouse gas emissions reduction target and the power to decide how to meet it. The Environmental Protection Agency is putting the plan together, and Obama will announce it Monday.

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'Time running out' as CO2 levels hit new high: United Nations

coal burning power plantsAtmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations have crossed a new threshold, the UN's weather agency saidon on Monday, highlighting the urgency of curbing manmade, climate-altering greenhouse gases.

In April, for the first time, the mean monthly CO2 concentration in the atmosphere topped 400 parts per million (ppm) throughout the northern hemisphere, which pollutes more than the south, the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) said.

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