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U.S. moves toward new dumping rules for mining waste

U.S. officials have moved closer to finalizing rules on the disposal of mining waste, a plan environmentalists said gives mountaintop mining companies more freedom to dump debris near rivers and streams.

The current rules were put in place in 1983 but needed to be clarified because of conflicting interpretations, the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSM) said in a statement released on Friday.

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After 30 years, EPA toughens lead emission standard

The amount of lead that can be emitted into the air in the United States has been dramatically reduced under a new rule the Environmental Protection Agency announced on Thursday to protect the health of millions of Americans — especially children — nationwide.

It was the first new rule on airborne lead in 30 years, and came in response to some 6,000 scientific studies since 1990 that show that lead is dangerous to the human body at much lower levels than previously known.

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Bottled water has contaminants too, study finds

Tests on leading brands of bottled water turned up a variety of contaminants often found in tap water, according to a study released Wednesday by an environmental advocacy group.

The study's lab tests on 10 brands of bottled water detected 38 chemicals including bacteria, caffeine, the pain reliever acetaminophen, fertilizer, solvents, plastic-making chemicals and the radioactive element strontium. Though some probably came from tap water that some companies use for their bottled water, other contaminants probably leached from plastic bottles, the researchers said.

"In some cases, it appears bottled water is no less polluted than tap water and, at 1,900 times the cost, consumers should expect better," said Jane Houlihan, an environmental engineer who co-authored the study.

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Memos tell wildlife officials to ignore global-warming impact

New legal memos by top Bush administration officials say that the Endangered Species Act can't be used to protect animals and their habitats from climate change by regulating specific sources of greenhouse gas emissions, the cause of global warming.

The assessment, outlined in memos sent earlier this month and leaked Tuesday, provides the official legal justification for limiting protections under the Endangered Species Act.

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GM crops have fallen into the wrong hands

Then you list ways that GM crops could alleviate hunger and malnutrition. Yes, in the hands of genuinely neutral scientists, they probably would. But GM is firmly in the hands of the type of people who gave us tobacco lies, asbestos lies and weapons-of-mass destruction lies - the type who sought to create wealth by genetically modifying the banks. Should we trust them when they no longer trust each other?

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Nature loss 'dwarfs bank crisis'

The global economy is losing more money from the disappearance of forests than through the current banking crisis, according to an EU-commissioned study.

It puts the annual cost of forest loss at between $2 trillion and $5 trillion.

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Ocean Dumping of Chemical Weapons

From World War I until the 1970s, dumping of chemical weapons at sea was the accepted practice for disposal. Little documentation of this practice can be found before the mid-1940s. In 1943, mustard (H) was released into the waters of Bari harbor in Italy. Since the end of World War II, ocean dumping has occurred in many areas, including the Baltic Sea, around Japan, in the Adriatic Sea near Bari, and in the coastal waters of the United States. During the period 1945-1948, the US scuttled at sea approximately 32,000 tons of captured German chemical weapons. The British dumped approximately 175,000 tons of chemical weapons at sea, with 100,000 tons coming from Scotland and the balance from the captured German stockpile. During 1955-56, the British dumped a further 17,000 tons of captured German munitions. During 1956-1957, the British disposed of the remainder of their stockpile of chemical weapons, 8,000 tons of World War II vintage mustard and phosgene munitions. News reports indicate that the ocean dumping in the 1950s occurred in the Irish Sea; some of the British dumps in the late 1940s may have occurred in the North Sea. The Adriatic, Baltic, and Japanese ocean dumps have provided evidence of the persistence of mustard under water.

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