Category: Water


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JAPAN TODAY

Fukui governor to give consent for nuclear plant restart

FUKUI —

Fukui Gov Issei Nishikawa will soon give his consent for the restart of two nuclear reactors in the prefecture on the Sea of Japan coast, sources close to the matter said Sunday, as the central government seeks to bring more reactors back online after the 2011 Fukushima nuclear crisis.

The governor will visit the site of the Nos. 3 and 4 reactors at Kansai Electric Power Co’s Takahama plant on Monday to check safety measures before expressing his consent, they said. The governor’s consent is necessary to restart the reactors.

Earlier in the day, industry minister Motoo Hayashi, in charge of the country’s energy policy, met with Nishikawa at the Fukui prefectural office and sought the Fukui governor’s consent for the restart of the two nuclear reactors.

 

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Logo: The Washington Times

Interior Sally Jewell testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Dec. 9, 2015, before the House Natural Resources Oversight Committee hearing on the Animas River Spill in Colorado. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
Interior Sally Jewell testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Dec. 9, 2015, before the House Natural Resources Oversight Committee hearing on the Animas River Spill in Colorado. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta) more >

– The Washington Times – Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Interior Secretary Sally Jewell said Wednesday she is unaware of anyone being fired, fined or even demoted for the Gold King Mine spill, prompting Republicans to accuse her of taking the EPA off the hook for the toxic blowout.

“So you’re letting the EPA get off scot-free it sounds like. They are not being held accountable,” said Rep. Doug Lamborn, Colorado Republican, at the House Natural Resources Committee hearing.

Republicans took Ms. Jewell to task for the Interior Department’s investigation into the Aug. 5 spill, saying the October report failed to hold anyone responsible for unleashing 3 million gallons of orange, toxic wastewater into the Animas River near Silverton, Colorado.

“You’re directly responsible for this report. The EPA had promised this committee a thorough investigation,” said Rep. Tom McClintock, California Republican. “We have not gotten one. What we have gotten is a complete, deliberate whitewash.”

 

 

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the guardian

Botswana sells fracking rights in national park

Licences for more than half of the Kgalagadi transfrontier park, one of Africa’s largest conservation areas, have been granted to drill for shale gas

The Kgalagadi transfrontier park straddles Botswana and South Africa and is home to the cheetah and black-maned Kalahari lion.
The Kgalagadi transfrontier park straddles Botswana and South Africa and is home to the cheetah and black-maned Kalahari lion. Photograph: Jeffrey Barbee/Alliance Earth.org

 

The Botswana government has quietly sold the rights to frack for shale gas in one of Africa’s largest protected conservation areas, it has emerged.

The Kgalagadi transfrontier park, which spans the border with South Africa, is an immense 3 6,000 sq km wilderness, home to gemsbok desert antelope, black-maned Kalahari lions and pygmy falcons. But conservationists and top park officials – who were not informed of the fracking rights sale – are now worried about the impact of drilling on wildlife.

Prospecting licences for more than half of the park were granted to a UK-listed company called Nodding Donkey in September 2014, although the sale has not been reported previously. That company changed its name earlier this month to Karoo Energy.

Park officials said that no drilling has yet taken place, but the Guardian found oil sediment on the ground near a popular camp site. There was an overwhelming smell of tar and a drill stem protruded from an apparently recently drilled hole. It is not known who had carried out the drilling or when.

Scientist Gus Mills worked and lived in Kgalagadi for 18 years studying cheetahs and hyenas. He said he is worried about the impact on wildlife and environment.

“The development that is going to have to go on there, with infrastructure that has to be moved in, seems to be yet another nail in the coffin of wild areas in the world.”

Dr Peter Apps, who studies large predators for the Botswana Predator Conservation Trust , said drilling could have a range of impacts, notably on water sources in the park.

 

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President Obama arrives at the TransCanada Stillwater Pipe Yard in Cushing, Okla. on March 22, 2012. (Associated Press)
President Obama arrives at the TransCanada Stillwater Pipe Yard in Cushing, Okla. on March 22, 2012. (Associated Press) more >
– The Washington Times – Updated: 9:28 p.m. on Monday, November 2, 2015

The company proposing to build the Keystone XL oil pipeline asked the State Department on Monday to halt indefinitely its ongoing review of the massive project, adding new delays and uncertainties, and possibly ensuring that final word will come from President Obama’s successor.

Amid legal challenges in Nebraska — ground zero in the fight over the project — TransCanada officials sent a letter to Secretary of State John F. Kerry and called on the administration to cease immediately its Keystone approval process.

The move raises a real possibility Mr. Obama will not be the one to make a decision on the pipeline and that the next president, perhaps one more inclined to back new oil-and-gas infrastructure in the U.S., will be the final arbiter.

Powerful environmental groups quickly condemned TransCanada’s request and said it’s clear the company simply wants to delay a decision until January 2017, when a Republican may enter the White House.

 

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the guardian

Environmental groups claim Nestlé is breaking federal law by operating on an expired permit to remove millions of gallons of water from a southern California forest despite the state’s historic drought

A new lawsuit against Nestlé claims the company is illegally pumping millions of gallons of water from California’s San Bernardino National Forest.
A new lawsuit against Nestlé claims the company is illegally pumping millions of gallons of water from California’s San Bernardino National Forest. Photograph: Larry W Smith/EPA

A consortium of environmental advocacy groups filed a lawsuit Tuesday against the US Forest Service, alleging that the federal agency has allowed food and beverage giant Nestlé to illegally pump millions of gallons of water from California’s San Bernardino National Forest for decades, despite the current historic drought.

The Story of Stuff Project, along with co-plaintiffs the Center for Biological Diversity and the Courage Campaign Institute, claim that Nestlé is breaking federal law, operating on a permit expired nearly 20 years ago, in 1988, removing between 50m-150m gallons of water each year from a creek in the southern Californian forest to use in its Arrowhead bottled water brand. The organizations are asking the US Forest Service to immediately turn off the water spigot and conduct a permit review, assessing the environmental impact of Nestlé’s operations.

“They are taking water from a national forest that desperately needs that water,” said Michael O’Heaney, executive director at the Story of Stuff, a group that advocates to clean up consumer culture. “The Forest Service is obligated by law to ensure the natural resources of the forest are protected.”

Lisa Belenky, senior attorney at the Center for Biological Diversity, said the Forest Service “has a duty to look at permits and make sure they’re current and do an environmental review to make sure it isn’t impacting areas of the forest”.

But Nestlé says it isn’t breaking any laws, and insists that its permit hasn’t expired.

 

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It’s not the water supply. It’s the plumbing.

<span class='image-component__caption' itemprop="caption">In this Tuesday, Feb. 3, 2015 photo, Genetha Campbell carries free water being distributed at the Lincoln Park United Methodist Church in Flint, Mich, Since the financially struggling city broke away from the Detroit water system last year, residents have been unhappy with the smell, taste and appearance of water from the city’s river as they await the completion of a pipe to Lake Huron. They also have raised health concerns, reporting rashes, hair loss and other problems. A General Motors plant stopped using the water, saying it was rusting its parts. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)</span> ASSOCIATED PRESS In this Tuesday, Feb. 3, 2015 photo, Genetha Campbell carries free water being distributed at the Lincoln Park United Methodist Church in Flint, Mich, Since the financially struggling city broke away from the Detroit water system last year, residents have been unhappy with the smell, taste and appearance of water from the city’s river as they await the completion of a pipe to Lake Huron. They also have raised health concerns, reporting rashes, hair loss and other problems. A General Motors plant stopped using the water, saying it was rusting its parts. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

DETROIT (AP) — A public health emergency has been declared in cash-strapped Flint after tests showed the Michigan city’s water supply is causing elevated levels of lead in children and following months of complaints about the smell and taste.

Gov. Rick Snyder this week questioned the switch to the Flint River from the Detroit water system in 2014, a decision that was made as a cost-saving move while a new regional pipeline is built to Lake Huron.

And on Thursday, the Genesee County health department declared a public health emergency, recommending that people not drink the water unless it has been filtered and tested to rule out elevated levels of lead. More steps will be announced Friday.

The problem: Although the river water is treated, it is corrosive and releasing lead from old plumbing in thousands of homes.

A coalition of residents and national groups petitioned the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to order the state to reconnect Flint to Detroit water.

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As we have covered extensively in recent months, Monsanto’s herbicide Glyphosate, the primary ingredient in their top-selling product “RoundUp” has been proven to cause cancer. Now, according to new reports, the chemical doesn’t even work and is creating a new resistance in weeds that make them more resilient and more difficult to get rid of.

Nebraska farmer Mike Pietzyk recently discussed how the weeds are becoming resistant to RoundUp in a recent interview with Chemicals And Engineers News.

“The days of going out and spraying RoundUp twice a year—those are long gone,” he said, adding that he was forced to use a cocktail of different chemicals, some of which are even more dangerous than RoundUp. Pietzyk and other farmers are now seeking new solutions to avoid the harsh pesticides used in conventional farming.

“People in urban areas and towns need to understand—we live here, we drink the water under the ground out here,” he says. “We want to be good stewards of what we’ve been entrusted with,” he said.

According to U.S. weed scientist Dallas Peterson, one type of weed, in particular, called Palmer amaranth, has become especially resistant to pesticides and is overgrowing farms across the country.

Complaints of herbicide-resistant weeds have become so common that the House Agriculture Committee has scheduled a meeting on December 4th to specifically address the situation.

Roundup, formulated to be used on GMO or “Roundup Ready” crops engineered to be resistant to it, is the most widely used herbicide in the world. It was originally introduced in the 1970s to control weeds and then took off when the planting of GMO crops skyrocketed in the past 15 years.

According to a U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), glyphosate use in the U.S. increased from about 20 million pounds in 1992 to 110 million pounds in 2002 to more than 280 million pounds in 2012.

In a statement released earlier this year, the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) announced that glyphosate, the main ingredient in RoundUp, is “probably carcinogenic.”


John Vibes writes for True Activist and is an author, researcher and investigative journalist who takes a special interest in the counter culture and the drug war.

 

 

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ThinkProgress

Sep 30, 2015 10:01am

CREDIT: AP Photo/Nati Harnik

Anti-pipeline activist Allen Schreiber of Lincoln wears a shirt inscribed with slogans opposing the Keystone XL pipeline during a rally outside the State Capitol in Lincoln, Neb.

 

TransCanada, the Calgary-based company behind the controversial Keystone XL pipeline, has backed out of a lawsuit filed by more than 100 Nebraska landowners, the company announced Tuesday.

The energy company had been trying to gain access to private land along the proposed path of the tar sands pipeline, but had been held up legally by landowners who were opposed to letting the pipeline through their land. Now, instead of trying to gain access to that land through legal means, TransCanada will apply for a permit for Keystone XL with Nebraska’s Public Service Commission.

TransCanada says the decision will bring more certainty to Keystone XL’s route through Nebraska. But it also could cause further delays for the project, as a PSC approval can take a year or longer.

Previously, TransCanada sought to avoid the PSC approval process, choosing instead to give the state’s governor final approval over the project’s application in Nebraska. The law that gave the company the ability to choose was heavily challenged in court, but ultimately upheld.

 

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RT

Over 700 Fukushima waste bags swept away by torrential floods

©
Extensive and destructive floods across eastern Japan have swept more than 700 bags containing Fukushima-contaminated soil and grass into Japan’s rivers, with many still unaccounted for and some spilling their radioactive content into the water system.

Authorities in the small city of Nikko in Japan’s Tochigi Prefecture, some 175 km away from the Fukushima nuclear power plant, have said that at least 334 bags containing radioactive soil have been swept into a tributary of the Kinugawa river, The Asahi Shimbun reports.

According to the city’s authorities, the washed-away waste was only part of hundreds of bags being stored at the Kobyakugawa Sakura Koen park alongside the river. Another 132 bags of waste reportedly rolled down the slopes.

 

 

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Japan Today

TEPCO rejected requests for anti-tsunami steps before nuclear crisis
A crane works on the building covering No. 1 reactor (L) at the TEPCO’s tsunami-crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in this file photo. Reuters

 

TOKYO —

Tokyo Electric Power Co turned down requests in 2009 by the nuclear safety agency to consider concrete steps against tsunami waves at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, which suffered a tsunami-triggered disaster two years later, government documents showed Friday.

“Do you think you can stop the reactors?” a TEPCO official was quoted as telling Shigeki Nagura of the now-defunct Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency, who was then assigned to review the plant’s safety, in response to one of his requests.

The detailed exchanges between the plant operator and regulator came to light through the latest disclosure of government records on its investigation into the nuclear crisis, adding to evidence that TEPCO failed to take proper safety steps ahead of the world’s worst nuclear accident since the 1986 Chernobyl disaster.

According to records of Nagura’s accounts, Nagura heard TEPCO’s explanations of its tsunami estimates at the agency office in Tokyo in August and September 2009 as it was becoming clear that the coastal areas of Fukushima and Miyagi prefectures were hit by massive tsunami in an 869 earthquake.

TEPCO said the height of waves was estimated to be around 8 meters above sea level and will not reach the plant site located at a height of 10 meters, they show.

But Nagura said he remembered thinking pumps with key cooling functions, which are located on the ground at a height of 4 meters, “will not make it” and told TEPCO, “If this is the outcome, you better consider concrete responses.”

 

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