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EPA Proposal Would Loosen Rules for Air in National Parks

The Environmental Protection Agency is finalizing new air-quality rules that would make it easier to build coal-fired power plants, oil refineries and other major polluters near national parks and wilderness areas, even though half of the EPA's 10 regional administrators formally dissented from the decision and four others criticized the move in writing.

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Ex-EPA Official Faults Probe of BP Alaska Oil Spill

The former head of an EPA criminal probe into pipeline spills at a BP PLC oil field in Alaska claims the Justice Department prematurely shut down the investigation and settled with the company for less than the case may have warranted.

Scott West, a former special agent-in-charge of the EPA's criminal-investigation division in Seattle who supervised a team of investigators, said he needed as much as another year to determine if, in fact, "there was sufficient evidence to charge BP with a felony." Mr. West said his agents still had large volumes of evidence to go through to make that determination.

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Experts warn of severe water shortages by 2080

Half the world's population could face a shortage of clean water by 2080 because of climate change, experts warned Tuesday.

Wong Poh Poh, a professor at the National University of Singapore, told a regional conference that global warming was disrupting water flow patterns and increasing the severity of floods, droughts and storms — all of which reduce the availability of drinking water

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Times Square getting its first 'green' billboard

This winter, New Year's Eve revelers will have a close-up view of Times Square's first environmentally friendly billboard powered entirely by wind and sun.

But the billboard might not be quite as dazzling as some of its high-powered neighbors along the Great White Way.

Construction on the 35,000-pound sign advertising Ricoh Americas Corp. is to begin this month across the avenue from the building where the ball drops on New Year's Eve.

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UN: Clouds of pollution threaten glaciers, health

A dirty brown haze sometimes more than a mile thick is darkening skies not only over vast areas of Asia, but also in the Middle East, southern Africa and the Amazon Basin, changing weather patterns around the world and threatening health and food supplies, the U.N. reported Thursday.

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California dirty air costs over $28 billion a year: study

California is losing $28 billion annually in health-related costs because of air pollution in and around Los Angeles and in its San Joaquin Valley, according to a report released on Wednesday.

The two regions in the most populous U.S. state routinely rank among the nation's dirtiest in terms of air pollution.

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Court rules for Navy in dispute over sonar, whales

The Supreme Court on Wednesday lifted restrictions on the Navy's use of sonar in training exercises off the California coast, a defeat for environmental groups who say the sonar can harm whales.

The court, in its first decision of the term, voted 5-4 that the Navy needs to conduct realistic training exercises to respond to potential threats by enemy submarines.

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