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Thursday, Nov 27th

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Trace amounts of Fukushima radiation detected along U.S. West Coast

radiation from FukushimaAs scientists have been predicting for months, trace amounts of radiation from the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster have finally arrived on the shores of the United States.

"Scientists at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) found the trace amounts of telltale radioactive compounds as part of their ongoing monitoring of natural and human sources of radioactivity in the ocean," the research organization confirmed in a press release.

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As controversial EPA water rule looms, GOP prepares an assault

Clean Water ActWhile the politics of climate change were at the top of the president’s agenda this week, a different environmental proposal is heading to a showdown between Republicans and the White House, in part due to strong pressure from Kentucky farm interests and lawmakers.

The issue is the proposed “ Waters of the United States” rule, which was announced earlier this year in an attempt to simplify and clarify which waterways are covered by the Clean Water Act and which ones aren’t.

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Former CEO indicted in 2010 mine disaster

west virginia coal disasterMore than four years after an underground explosion killed 29 mine workers, a federal grand jury Thursday indicted the top executive of the West Virginia coal company that ran the mine, charging him with fraud and conspiracy to violate safety laws.

Don Blankenship, who was CEO of Massey Energy, becomes the highest-ranking executive to face charges in the deadly blast at the Upper Big Branchttp://tvnewslies.org/tvnl/administrator/index.php?option=com_content&task=addh Mine, the worst U.S. coal mining disaster in 40 years.

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New federal protection for bird may limit oil and gas drilling

gunniuson grouseFederal officials granted protection as a threatened species to the Gunnison sage grouse on Wednesday, a move that could bring restrictions on oil and gas drilling and other activity to preserve the bird's habitat in parts of Colorado and Utah.

Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper immediately renewed the state's threat to sue to block the measures. He said the decision by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service ignores 20 years of work by state and local officials to protect the bird.

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Appalachia gathers dissent to gas pipeline bound for eastern N.C.

Appalachia pipeline oppositionThis quiet area is being roiled by plans announced in September to put it in the path of a 42-inch pipeline from West Virginia through North Carolina. The Atlantic Coast Pipeline, primarily a project of Dominion Resources and Duke Energy, would ship natural gas 550 miles from the fracking fields of the Marcellus and Utica shales to economically struggling counties in eastern North Carolina, where there are hopes it will help to attract industry.

Powell, like others in Virginia’s Nelson and Augusta counties, is refusing to allow Dominion Resources to come through his farmland and survey for the pipeline right of way, saying they’ll do whatever they can to try to stop the $5 billion project.

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Are Fracking Workers Being Poisoned on the Job?

fracking workersLast week’s Republican election victories will set the stage for more stagnation in Washington, but might also grease the skids for some of the most controversial energy ventures at ground zero in the climate change debate: the long-stalled Keystone XL Pipeline project, and the booming hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking," industry. But one thing that might put the brakes on the dirty fuel rush is the mounting research evidence linking oil and gas extraction to massive health risks for workers and communities.

A new study published in Environmental Health reveals air pollution data on major, in some cases previously underestimated, health risks from toxic contamination at gas production sites related to fracking.

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Climate change could cause expansion of ocean dead zones

Ocean dead zonesDead zones in the world's oceans are expected to warm and expand by the end of the century due to climate change, says a new study.

The dead zones, areas of water that are oxygen depleted and unable to sustain aquatic life, are going to grow. The study, published by the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center on Nov. 10 in Global Change Biology, said 94 percent of the ocean's dead zones will see a jump of two degrees Celsius.

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