July 2012

A mother's exposure to fracking increases the chance a a low weight birth by 25%, according to a new study by Elaine Hill, a doctoral candidate at Cornell University. Hill's research also found a 17% increase in "small for gestational age" births and reduced health scores among newborns whose moms lived close to fracking sites. […]

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The EPA-proposed ozone/smog standard of 70 parts per billion the White House rejected at the last minute in 2011 would have saved almost twice as many lives per year over and above the Bush-era standard of 75 ppb that was eventually adopted, according to a new study by John Hopkins University scientists. Most of those […]

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Following up on our follow-up….while no insurance companies offer homeowners protection against the hazards of fracking out right, State Farm seems to have figured out how to make money selling insurance for the symptoms of disposing of fracking waste.  Buried deep inside this story on the recent wave of Johnson County earthquakes and their possible […]

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In the same Washington Post article on the monkey business surrounding the new PM pollution standard comes news of a new study that concludes cutting smog pollution could bring added health care benefits that haven't been accurately estimated in the past. Researchers at the University of California at Santa Barbara and MIT examined data for […]

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Confirming what a lot of observers had already suspected, the Washington Post reported on Wednesday that the White House submitted a new federal air standard for Particulate Matter air pollution this year that was higher than EPA originally proposed. It's not the first time the Obama Administration has been accused of sacrificing science-based air quality […]

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The folks over at Green Source continue to up their current events coverage of local environmental issues. This week it's a feature on the local "supergroup" of Dallas Residents at Risk, of which Downwinders is a proud member. DRR membership, whch also incudes the Dallas Sierra Club, Texas Campaign for the Environment, and the Mountian […]

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The cement industry calls it "alternative fuel" or "co-generation," but it's really just waste burning. This was true during the 1980's and 90's when the cement industry began converting kilns to large hazardous waste incinerators, and it's true now that the industry is trying to turn kilns into giant garbage incinerators. In one permit request […]

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In a study published this week, "rats exposed in the womb to five common environmental pollutants passed on DNA-changing attributes that persisted in causing ovarian cancer three generation removed from the original exposure." It's another example of "epigenetics" – when harmful environmental exposures to one generation can skip a generation or two and show up […]

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Be There

by jim on July 17, 2012

What Ray says.

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Go Fly a Kite

by jim on July 17, 2012

Chinese air quality actiivists are finding all kinds of ingenious ways to get the truth out about how bad air pollution is their country. We've written before about how they're buying their own portable PM monitors and posting the resutls online. Here's a group that's found a way to both make cheap air monitoring devices […]

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Because "without guar, you cannot have fracturing fluids," and 85% of the world's guar is grown in a large desert in india. So to exploit American natural gas, operators must rely almost completely on a foreign import.

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Frisco Unleaded members Meghan Green and Colette McCadden had a lot of company on Monday when they showed-up at the Frisco Post Office to do some buisness mailing. As a result, our Notice Of Intent to Sue letter send-off to Exide got pretty good coverage. You can see the Channel 4 story here, the KERA […]

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Our news release says it all: Citing a lengthy list of unresolved federal violations, citizen groups tired of waiting for EPA to enforce the law at the Exide lead smelter in Frisco are gearing up to do it themselves.  Members of Frisco Unleaded and Downwinders at Risk gathered at 9:30 this morning in front of […]

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Following a warehouse of industrail waste that spontaneously combusted at a South Carolina cement plant last month come news from Morgan, Utah that a semi and part of the "auxilary fuel" builing at Holcim's Devil's Slide cement plant caught fire while waste was being pumped from the truck. No injuries were reported. Expect more of […]

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In the light of Nationwide's decison to quit writing policies for those who lease land to frackers, the Hartford Courant did a quick round of calls and discovered that homeowners were already up a creek when it came to any damge from gas drilling they might incur: "If the ground shifts at a fracking site […]

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After circulating on citizen group blogs in upstate New York for a day or two, Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company confirmed that an internal memo outlining new prohibitions on insuring individuals or businesses who lease land for natural gas fracking was authentic and reflected company policy. With the disclosure Nationwide becomes the first insurance company to […]

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