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Thursday, May 05th

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Indian Point tritium leak 80% worse than originally reported

Indian Point worse than thoughtNew measurements at the Indian Point nuclear power plant in upstate New York show levels of radioactive tritium 80 percent higher than reported last week. Plant operator insists the spill is not dangerous, as state officials call for a safety probe.

Entergy, which operates the facility 25 miles (40 km) north of New York City, says the increased levels of tritium represent “fluctuations that can be expected as the material migrates.”

“Even with the new readings, there is no impact to public health or safety, and although these values remain less than one-tenth of one percent of federal reporting guidelines,” Entergy said in a statement.

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Ohio fracking tax not on legislative leaders' agenda

Fracking tax not on Ohio agendaRepublican and Democratic leaders of the state legislature say now is the not the time to change Ohio's tax on oil and gas drillers, saying it could be problematic to the industry.

A severance tax increase has been a priority of Republican Gov. John Kasich (KAY'-sik) for years. He contends the tax is too low, and he's wanted to use proceeds of a tax hike on hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, to help cut the state's income-tax rate.

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Flint counsel says manslaughter charge harshest possible

Flint waterFlint’s water crisis, after a switch in the source allowed dangerous levels of lead and potentially caused deadly cases of Legionnaires’ disease, could result in criminal charges as serious as involuntary manslaughter, a top investigator said today.

The emergency will prompt Gov. Rick Snyder to propose another $195 million in aid in his annual budget proposal on Wednesday, including $25 million to potentially replace old lead and copper pipes. Snyder also plans to call for $165 million in funding for infrastructure needs across Michigan in the 2016-17 budget.

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Supreme court to halt enforcement of Obama's sweeping climate change plan

Climate change plans haltedThe supreme court agreed to block the enforcement of Barack Obama’s clean power plan on Tuesday, raising fears that the centerpiece of his climate-change plan could be overturned.

In a surprise move, the judges put a temporary freeze on the plan until a Washington DC circuit court of appeals hears challenges from a coalition of industry officials and more than two dozen mainly Republican states. Arguments are scheduled for 2 June.

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Tap water runs brown in impoverished northeast Louisiana

Brown water in Louisiana“I’m scared to take a bath,” said Ethel Strum, who lives in St. Joseph, a community of barely 1,000 people in northeast Louisiana.

She turned on the tap in the bathroom sink of her tidy one-story home and the water flowed clear for a second before fading to a milky brown. In her kitchen, a few cases of bottled water, which she uses for everything from brushing her teeth to cooking, are stacked on the table.

“I drive to Newellton to shower. It’s a 20-minute drive but I can do it in 12,” she laughed.

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65,000% Spike In Reported Radioactivity After Tritium Leaks At Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant

Tritium spike at Indian Point ground waterTwo years after being fined for falsifying safety records, nine months after a transformer exploded at the Indian Point Nuclear Reactor just 37 miles from midtown Manhattan, and two months after Entergy - the plant's operator - shut down the Unit 2 reactor after a major power outage cut power to several control rods (when the company assured that no radioactivity was released into the environment), this afternoon NY Governor Andrew Cuomo said he learned that "radioactive tritium-contaminated water" had leaked into the groundwater at the nuclear facility in Westchester County.

Cuomo, in a letter Saturday to the state Health Department and the Department of Environmental Conservation, called for the probe into the Indian Point NPP after he said Entergy, the plant's owner, reported "alarming levels of radioactivity" at three monitoring wells, with one well’s radioactivity increasing nearly 65,000 percent.

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Here’s How Hard It Will Be to Unpoison Flint’s Water

Flint RiverIt is possible to trace every drop of toxic water spewed from Flint, Michigan back to two terrible decisions. The second was switching the city’s supply from treated Lake Huron water to the corrosive broth in the Flint River.

Left untreated, that water unleashed the disaster stored in the walls of the city’s first bad decision: its lead pipes.

In the past few weeks, the nation’s attention has increasingly focused on Flint’s public health disaster. At least 15 percent of the city’s homes have water with lead levels exceeding the safe limit established by the federal government. Several of those homes had water with lead levels 900 times above the safe limit.

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