Call Cuomo and tell him to protect our health and safety -
No Fracking in NY!
Join CEC and support of a fracking moratorium in New York.
May 8, 2013 by Brenda Platt, Co-Director of ILSR
Two new reports document the importance of expanded composting and compost use to enhance soils, protect watersheds, reduce waste, and create green jobs and a new made-in-America industrial sector. According to the report, Pay Dirt: Composting in Maryland to Reduce Waste, Create Jobs, & Protect the Bay, 1,400 new full-time jobs could be supported for every million tons of yard trimmings and food scraps converted into compost that is used locally. Collectively, these jobs could pay wages ranging from $23 million to $57 million. Pay Dirt recommends policy changes to encourage a diverse and in-state composting infrastructure in order to maximize job creation and community benefits. For List of Benefits of Composting & Compost Use, click here.
HIGH LEVEL LIQUID RADIOACTIVE WASTE
Coming thru New York Soon?
A NEW Threat. HIGH LEVEL LIQUID RADIOACTIVE WASTE may be coming through NYS as early as this summer, if approved by Canada and the US.
Atomic Energy Canada Limited (AECL) is planning to truck 23,000 liters of highly radioactive liquid waste containing highly-enriched uranium (HEU), plutonium, tritium, mercury, and numerous other highly radioactive and dangerous fission products.
Three-part series article on West Valley (WV) and the Chemical Waste Management (CWM)
On 20 April 2013 The Buffalo News reported: Thirty-five years after underground toxics turned the Niagara Falls neighbourhood of Love Canal into a ghost town, researchers are warning that Western New York is still home to nearly 800 hazardous waste sites that could someday lead to big trouble, not only for local residents, but for the entire Great Lakes region. A recently completed study, believed to be the most comprehensive look ever at hazardous waste sites in Western New York, finds potential chemical hazards lurking across Erie, Niagara, and Cattaraugus counties. What makes this information important and worrisome -- not only to Western New Yorkers, but to tens of millions of other Americans and Canadians -- is that the vast majority of these waste sites are located in the Great Lakes watershed, the largest source of fresh water in the world. Global Good News service views this news as the failure of modern health systems. Such 'flops' highlight the need for more intelligent, evolutionary, Natural Law based, life-supporting systems. Full article here. On 21 April 2013 The Buffalo News reported: When anthrax powder was found on Tom Brokaw’s desk at NBC News back in 2001, the desk had to be trashed. It was wrapped in plastic, in fact, and junked whole. Do you know where that toxic garbage ended up? In the Town of Porter – in a hazardous waste landfill that has operated under three different companies, most recently CWM, since 1971. The Porter landfill is the only operating hazardous landfill in the Northeast and has taken waste from every county in the state into its 710-acre site. In fact, CWM is but one of 17 such landfills left nationwide. Read full article. On 23 April 2013 The Buffalo News reported: If nature runs its slow course, West Valley’s hilltop plateau where nuclear wastes are stockpiled could erode in as soon as 150 years. Either way, radioactive material would wash through several feeder streams into Cattaraugus Creek and then into Lake Erie, the Niagara River and on into Lake Ontario, fouling the drinking water for millions of people in Western New York and southern Ontario. Sometime between the late 1960s and early 1970s, radioactive strontium escaped from the nuclear fuel-reprocessing site and started slowly seeping toward the water table. Strontium is dangerous. If ingested, it deposits itself in bone and bone marrow. It is linked to bone cancer, cancer of the soft tissue near the bone and leukemia, according to the federal Environmental Protection Agency. Filters in the underground wall at the West Valley site catch the strontium and keep nearly all of it from entering the groundwater. Click here for full article.
Three Fracking Moratorium Bills Win Key Vote in
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - April 30 - Three bills that would halt fracking in California won key votes last night, passing the Assembly Natural Resources Committee despite intense pressure from the oil industry. Richard Bloom’s A.B. 1301, Holly Mitchell’s A.B. 1323 and Adrin Nazarian’s A.B. 649 would place a moratorium on fracking while threats posed by the controversial practice to California’s environment and public health are studied...The huge volume of water used and contaminated by fracking is a critical issue for drought-ridden states like California. A new report from the Western Organization of Resource Councils estimates that fracking consumes about 7 billion gallons of water in four western states where fracking has become widespread. The report, titled “Gone for Good,” warns that water consumption by the oil and gas industry “simply cannot be sustained.”
This Tuesday, May 7th in Albany, Moms across New York will show their support for getting toxic chemicals out of children's products. If you care about the products your kids use every day and want safer chemical alternatives in children's products then register here. Together we must show our support and urge the New York State Senate to pass the Child Safe Products Act!
Over 5,000 Children’s Products Contain Toxic Chemicals of Concern to Kids’ Health, Companies Report to Washington State
May 1, 2013
“The State of Washington has taken the first step to protect its children from toxic chemicals by this required reporting; the next step will remove the toxins from kids products. The question is how long will we have to wait for NY kids to get the same protection,” said Barbara Warren, Executive Director, Citizens' Environmental Coalition. “Now the Senate needs to pass the Child Safe Products Act.”
Senator Boyle & Assemblyman Sweeney Lead Charge to Remove Toxic Chemicals from Kids’ Products
Child Safe Products Act’ Legislative Sponsors Champion Fight for Passage in 2013
April 25th, 2013
Mineola—Thousands of toxic chemicals, most untested for safety purposes, are being used to make everyday children’s products, such as car seats, toys, and bedding.
Senator Philip Boyle (R-Babylon) and Assemblyman Robert Sweeney (D-Lindenhurst), the lead sponsors of the Child Safe Products Act (A.6328/S.4614), announced that the bill has passed the Assembly and are calling on their colleagues in the Senate to pass this important legislation. The bill identifies the most dangerous chemicals, begins a phase-out of these chemicals in 2018, and has broad support in the health, environmental and business communities. Read more here.
The 2013 Good Jobs, Green Jobs National Conference
A coalition of groups is working to get the Obama administration to address chemical accidents administratively. This Tuesday, April 16 at Good Jobs, Green Jobs National Conference a valuable workshop will discuss policies that prevent chemical disasters like the one that recently happened in Texas.
April 19, 2013
Records kept by the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration show that the agency last inspected the plant 28 years ago. In that inspection, dated Feb. 13, 1985, the agency found five “serious” violations, including ones involving improper storage and handling of anhydrous ammonia and improper respiratory protection for workers.
"'We still don’t know the extent of their loss'...About 200 people were injured by the blast, which tore apart an entire section of West, a small town of roughly 2,800 residents 80 miles south of Dallas... Fifty homes were completely destroyed, as well as three fire trucks and one ambulance'"
CEC urges everyone to tell the Obama Administration to act to prevent chemical accidents like this one that happened in Texas and those that have the potential to damage communities.
A Pennsylvania judge in the heart of the Keystone State’s fracking belt has issued a forceful and precedent-setting decision holding that there is no corporate right to privacy under that state’s constitution....CELDF's Thomas Linzey says “The ruling represents the first crack in the judicial armor that has been so meticulously welded together by major corporations.
.."'judge said the U.S. Constitution’s 14th Amendment “use of the word ‘person’ that makes its protections applicable to business entities” does not apply to Pennsylvania’s constitution. “The exact opposite is derived from plan language of Article X of the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.'”
Back to the top
This year's "Super Bill' agenda:
Fracking Moratorium & Health Impacts Assessment (A.5424-A/S.4236-A) These bills, in the Assembly and Senate, require the completion of the promised health effect study by April 15, 2015 and bans fracking until the study is complete.
New York Solar Bill (A.5060/S.2522) These bills restart the state’s support for solar power by creating market certainty through 2023 for manufacturers, developers and installers to encourage solar investment in New York State. This puts New York back in line with other states that are encouraging a solar future for their states.
Child Safe Products Act (A.6328) Many products that children use contain toxic chemicals. This bill will require listing the toxic chemicals in children’s products and will phase out such substances by January 1, 2018. Other states have already acted on these chemicals and New York should join them.
Global Warming Pollution & Control Act (A.6327/S.735) This law would set a limit for greenhouse gas emissions from all sources at 1990 levels or lower. It would require that the limit be reduced 20% by 2020 with five-year incremental emission reductions, so that by 2050, emissions are reduced by 80%.
Campaign Finance Reform: This is fundamental to the success of all the above. In 2012, attempts to strengthen environmental laws were effectively blocked by corporate cash contributions of $5 million.
The campaign finance reform should include:
*A new, truly independent oversight and enforcement body.
*Contribution limits (currently $60,800 for candidates for statewide office and effectively unlimited for political parties) lowered for all political committees.
*Rules that clearly ban “pay-to-play” to reduce contribution limits for lobbyists and contractors doing business with the state.
*Improved disclosure requirements.
'West Coast Senators: : Investigate the ongoing danger from the Fukushima nuclear reactors' on Change.org
"A further catastrophe at Fukushima could be in the near future with severe health implications globally, but particularly for millions of people in the Western US," said Barbara Warren, Executive Director of Citizens' Environmental Coalition.
Join CEC by 'Sharing' this petition and urging politicians to investigate the ongoing danger from the Fukushima nuclear reactors! We need investigation, urgently, so help us bring attention to our elected officials.
"Pesticide Soup" scrambles bee brain function.
Dramatic losses of bee colonies have been reported by beekeepers. The pesticides known as neonicotinoids are interfering with honeybee's ability to learn, smell, and remember, all crucial to foraging honeybees. Pesticide Action Network (PAN) is working with beekeepers and partners to take EPA to court demanding protection for pollinators. However, the rate of honeybee losses shows us that we must act fast before it's too late! Click here to read more about the harm done to the honeybee population on PAN's website.
Support CEC by sending an email to DEC's Commissioner to not ignore the millions of tons of waste that have buried in Lake Ontario and the Niagara River!
Click here participate in this campaign now!
CEC comments on the Nuclear Regulator Vote to Disregard Agency Staff Safety Recommendations
CEC's Position is that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is incapable of acting to protect the public because it has been captured by the industry it is supposed to regulate.
"Our lives and our health are put in jeopardy by an agency that can't or won't take action to protect the public," said Barbara Warren, Executive Director of Citizens' Environmental Coalition.
This week Commissioners voted both against Agency staff recommendations and against the Commissioner -- thus allowing the most dangerous plants in the US-- those of Mark I & II designs, just like those responsible for the nuclear disaster at Fukushima, Japan-- to continue operating without installing filters for the vents needed in a severe accident.
Europe requires these filters to avoid sending radioactive contamination into the air and nearby communities . Why should US citizens have less protection than Europeans?
CEC and the Alliance for a Green Economy have joined an emergency enforcement petition calling for the revocation of the operating licenses for GE boiling water reactors with unreliable and unsafe Mark I and Mark II containment systems. The petition was prepared by Beyond Nuclear.
Strontium-90 Coming to a Great Lake near you
If you have thought at all about West Valley lately, you probably thought that the problems there were more or less solved after that big project to solidify the high level radioactive waste being stored there. The problem is not solved, not by a long shot, according to the Sierra Club; Diane D’Arrigo of the Nuclear Information & Resource Service; Barbara Warren of the Citizens’ Environmental Coalition; Joanne Hameister of the Coalition on West Valley Nuclear Wastes and Agnes Williams of the Indigenous Women’s Initiative.
High level radioactive waste being stored in unlined trenches, erosion from torrential rains and a plume of Strontium-90 working its way to Lake Erie are just some of the problems facing the site. Add lack of transparency from the DOE, federal budget cuts to the clean up funding and almost total rejection of citizen and outside scientific input and these dedicated women have an overwhelming problem they have been resolutely working on for years.
Of all the problems facing this site and the people living around it, one of the most serious and pressing is a plume of Strontium-90 slowly flowing underground towards Lake Erie.
Strontium-90 is a radioactive element that acts like calcium in your body. It gets absorbed by your bones and then irradiates your bone marrow for a half of 29.1 years. After 29.1 years, half the Strontium in your bones will have converted Yttrium, the other half stays right in your bones irradiating away. The risk of bone cancer and leukemia are increased with strontium-90 exposure.
Consider signing onto the Coalition Letter which Requests That Formal Public Participation and Major Revisions for DOH Review of HVHF Be
The letter requests e respectfully to request that DOH:
a) immediately put on-hold your Department of Health's (DOH) Public Health Review of High Volume Hydraulic Fracturing (HVHF) pending fulfillment of formal public participation requirements;
b) resolve the fundamental shortcomings of your Department of Environmental Conservation's (DEC) draft Supplemental Generic Environmental Impact Statement (SGEIS); and
c) withhold completion of the DOH Review pending review of the final results of three investigations that your Health Commissioner Dr. Nirav R. Shah called "...the first comprehensive studies of HVHF health impacts at either the state or federal level."
d) require all these critical concerns to be addressed openly and transparently before your DOH completes its Public Health Review and DEC adopts a Final SGEIS based on the findings and recommendations of that DOH Review.
Deadline is this Friday, Feb. 8th! We are seeking supporters for the Attached Organizational Sign-On letter to the Department of Energy.
The Department of Energy is proposing to release radioactive waste back into our environment through a variety of procedures. Radioactive waste is toxic to our health, and recycling it back into our environment is the easy option. Recycling toxic waste back into our environment with “clean” metal or regular garbage is an unacceptable option
The DOE is engaged in “linguistic detoxification”, by which hazardous materials are renamed or reclassified as something else. By this practice, the DOE proposes to “authorize or clear” some hazardous material and then recycle it back into the environment as “uncontaminated material”. The only option that best suits the health and safety of our environment at this time is to adopt the NO ACTION alternative.
This option will prevent radioactive materials from re-entering the environment.
Radioactive metal will continue to be stored in radiological areas at DOE sites. One radioactive materials are released from DOE sites into recycling streams, they can end up anywhere – frying pans, belt buckles, kitchen utensils, playgrounds, medical equipment, jewelry, zippers, cars, buildings, hip-replacement joints and more.
REMINDER the Deadline is this Friday!
If your organization is able to sign onto this letter, Please provide:
Please REPLY to Jessica Lewis at firstname.lastname@example.org
Join CEC's Call-in Day to President Obama !
Here are the details:
WHAT: President Obama Call Day
WHEN: Friday January 25
TELL HIM: "Fracking threatens the air we breath, the water we drink, the communities we love and the climate on which we all depend. Don't pursue policies that promote fracking and the export of natural gas. We need to ban fracking now!"
CEC joins AGREE in commenting on how the Nuclear Regulatory Commission should conduct the assessment of nuclear waste
The NRC announced in June 2012 that all license approvals for new nuclear reactors and all license renewals for old nuclear reactors will be delayed for at least two years while the agency performs an Environmental Impact assessment.
The comments CEC did with AGREE (Alliance for a Green Economy) details our position on the assessment and how the NRC should carry them out. It outlines the serious potential impacts of nuclear waste and how the agency must thoroughly evaluate them. Click below to read more.
CEC Comments of DEC's High Volume Hydraulic Fracturing Regulations
Citizens' Environmental Coalition represents thousands of New York residents including local groups. We are supporting a complete ban on hydraulic fracturing, because we are appalled by the extraordinary and unprecedented effort to violate NY environmental laws and jeopardize public health--all in the service of an industry that has shown no respect for this nation's environmental laws. This industry's early action related to hydraulic fracturing was to seek exemptions from eight federal environmental laws. This action alone shows us clearly how dangerous hydraulic fracturing must be. A safe activity does not need exemptions from eight federal laws.
DEC is violating a law which would have provided essential protections from the ravages of fracking.
Yesterday 12-12-12, I ( Barbara Warren, Executive Director of Citizens' Environmental Coalition) attended a meeting at DEC, the Water Management Advisory Committee. Prior to the meeting I delivered a 4 1/2 page Freedom of Information request related to the NYS Water Resources Management Strategy, which has been neglected since 1989 despite the fact there is a state law and requirements that must be fulfilled (Water Resources Management Strategy Act, Article 15, Title29, NYS ECL of 1984).
A highlight of the meeting was to be an opportunity to ask questions of Assistant Commissioner for the Office of Water Resources, James Tierney and Mark Klotz, Division of Water Director.
My question was-- "What is the process the Department goes through to decide which laws it will violate, and what is involved in reporting these decisions to the legislature and others?" They explained that they had to make tough choices because of ongoing cuts in their budget that resulted in staff reductions. They function through yearly work plans which they prepare. They were unable to answer the question I asked and it would appear that there is no formal process for reporting on the failure to implement state laws to the legislature and the public.
A Post-Fukushima Program for Increased Nuclear Security and Safety in the US
by Nuclear Information & Resource Service. Posted April 2011
Nuclear power is dirty, dangerous, and extraordinarily expensive. Routine operation of nuclear reactors releases toxic radiation, generates lethal radioactive waste, requires polluting uranium mining, and poses proliferation risks. The disaster at the Fukushima nuclear complex in Japan serves as a new reminder that nuclear accidents happen more frequently than governments and the nuclear industry admit, and that such accidents can be triggered by a myriad of man-made and natural factors.
We believe the U.S. must quickly develop a clear plan to phase‐out existing nuclear reactors at the earliest possible date and replace their power with clean, sustainable energy sources.
This phase-out implies a speedy end to nuclear fuel production, and to uranium mining, importation and processing.
The United States already has begun a transition to safe, clean, and affordable energy sources, including wind, solar and appropriately-sited geothermal power, increased energy efficiency, smart grids and distributed generation technologies, and research into new technologies such as microalgae fuel. This transition must be accelerated.
Will Latest Whistleblower Get a Nuclear Reaction?
by Caroline McDonald. Posted on September 17, 2012
Indian Point faces a lawsuit from an employee, Clifton Travis, a security guard, who is addressing the lapses and violations of safety and security protocols for the two nuclear reactors. His concerns about the adequacy of security remain a contentious issue. The measures of security at the plant are lax and vulnerable to a terrorist attack.
The lawsuit comes just a month before the Atomic Safety and Licensing Boar- NRC, begins considering issues raised by proponents and opponents for the shutdown of Indian Point. The ASLB will have to face these issues raised when deciding to re-license IP.
Comments on Indian Point Relicensing
The Alliance for a Green Economy and Citizens' Environmental Coalition have urged the NRC to finally put safety first and deny the relicensing of Indian Point 2 and 3 reactors.
NRC actions related to safety are of the utmost priority. We partly understand that in the face of a major loss, the normal emotional response is denial. However, denial is normal as an individual, personal response, but not for an entire agency. Yet the Nuclear Regualtory Commission has proceeded to deny that serious safety threats exist and to generally behave in an identical manner to Japan's regulators pre-Fukushima. NRC has the benefit of the Japanese experience, but is failing to act with appropriate speed to make necessary course corrections that will dramatically improve safety at the nation's nuclear reactors. The Agency must move out of denial and begin to grapple with the newly reinforced reality of the dangers of nuclear power.
We recommend that NRC take major definitive safety action by denying a license extension for the two Indian Point reactors.
New European Commission Study, "Support to the identification of potential risks for the environment and human health arising from hydrocarbons operations involving hydraulic fracturing.."
As part of CEC efforts to phase out toxic chemicals, we also have attached for you a copy of a new report from the European Commission study. Here you will see the long term picture of pollutants that the use of hydraulic fracturing techniques could potentially affect air quality and groundwater contamination. They recommend implementing measures that ensure mitigating the impact.
U.S. Geological Survey on Radium Content of Oil- and Gas-Field
USGS study findings of high levels of radioactivity in fracking wastewater, 300 times the limits for industrial wastewater.
A Columbus Dispatch article regarding radium in brine from Marcellus shale wells highlights the USGS study. Mark Engle, a U.S. Geological Survey research geologist and co-author of the report says radium in one sample are "high concentrations" compared to other oil and gas brines, this only intensifies the fears of surface spills and leaks to groundwater.
NRC Atomic Safety and Licensing Board Denies Calvert Cliffs- 3 Reactor License Which is Good News for Termination of Nine Mile Point 3 !
CEC supports the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) intervention in denying an application for an operating license of a new reactor at the Calvert Cliffs- 3 nuclear reactor on the Chesapeake Bay in Maryland on August 30, 2012. With the Nine Mile Point 3 in Oswego, New York will likely have the same rejection since its application was submitted by the same company, Unistar Nuclear Energy. The Federal law prohibits a foreign entity from completely controlling a U.S. nuclear power plant, and since Unistar is 100 % owned by the French government’s Electricite de France (EDF) the NRC Atomic Safety and Licensing Board (ASLB) gave the foreign company 60 days to find a U.S. partner. Unistar has been unable to find a partner for the past two years, and if their company fails to do so then the license application will be fully terminated. This decision sets a good precedent for Citizens’ Environmental Coalition and other groups who seek for a nuclear free future.
West Valley Agency Report Card (Phase I so far) - Grade D or Maybe F ?
Aug. 22, 2012
The Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) was a backdrop to the current Phase I we are now in for West Valley cleanup. Despite thousands of extensive comments and unanimous support for a full and complete cleanup, the Agencies proceeded with their Phased approach and only made one change in the Final EIS.
CEC Comments on NRC's ORDER Modifying Licenses with Regard to Reliable Hardened Containment Vents and the Interim Staff Guidance (ISG) regarding this Order
We are writing to convey our many concerns regarding the NRC response to this issue raised by the Near Term Task Force Report recommendation. We believe that the background technical and scientific work for this Order and interim staff guidance is terribly inadequate and carries the potential of increasing the danger of these Mark I & II Boiling Water Reactors. We believe a much more substantial background document is needed that comprehensively covers multiple interacting issues including adequate measures to address station blackouts, hydrogen control¸ the need for spark-free equipment, radiological releases, filters and the presence or absence of a more severe scenario involving core damage.
[ T ]his proposal is not comprehensive in dealing with all the relevant issues, is not scientifally supportable and is therefore unacceptable.
Memo to DOE and NYSERDA Exhumation Engineered Barriers
This memo is geared to addressing both the overall planning for West Valley Phase I studies and public participation as well as the specific issue of the recent proposed new areas of study.
We believe there should be a careful, fully considered and orderly process for Phase I studies that includes full public participation in a serious discussion of all the potential studies including the additional recommendations we made in our February and March 2011 letters.
A serious discussion of these potential studies has not occurred and the Agencies [DOE and NYSERDA] have indicated that these recommendations would be put before the [Independent] Scientific Panel for their consideration. We believe the public should have an opportunity to discuss these recommendations with the Agencies and experts. In our letter we merely listed the recommendations and since that time no discussion has occurred. When can we expect an opportunity to discuss our additional recommendations?
We have also been flagging the importance of a thorough discussion of the Characterization, Sampling and Analysis Plan [CSAP] with a scheduled opportunity for public input into that plan. Given the immediacy of actions that will be taken under this plan and the importance of the CSAP to adequate site cleanup, this is a more appropriate Next Step than starting the 5 new Potential Areas of Study [PASs] which DOE and NYSERDA now propose.
Click here to read more
CEC Comments to NRC regarding Onsite Emergency Response Capabilities and Recommendation 8 of the Near Term Task Force Report
While background information was in the notice pertaining to events at Fukushima Dai-Ichi and the Near Term Task Force Report, we note that the notice fails to include Recommendation 8 in its entirety.
We fully support Recommendation 8.
We urge the Agency to issue an Order in accordance with Task Force recommendations 8.1. We recommend proceeding with the modification in 8.2 and the subsequent additional Order for licensees to upgrade their plant specifications.
We also support Recommendation 8.4 and the NRDC petition related to this rulemaking.
OPPOSITION to the Petition by Niagara Generartion, LLC for rulemaking to allow for up to 10% glued wood within Clean MRF Fuel to be Eligible for Use as Biomass Fuel in the Renewable Porfolio Program.
Citzens' Environmental Coalition has written to Jaclyn A. Brilling, Secretary to the Commision of NYS Public Service Commision (PSC), opposing the notion that the current biomass fuel can be called "clean MRF fuel."
In addition, we are objecting to the earlier approval of the use of Construction and Demolition debris materials as qualifying under the Renewable Portfolio Standard as eligible biomass and the subsequent revision of the Biomass guidebook. We urge the PSC to revisit this important issue and make provision for more extensive public input.
CEC Comments to Commisioner Joseph Martens on the Governor's Announcement regarding approval of High Volume Hydraulic Fracturing for Selected Areas of New York State
This letter raises several major issues of concern:
1.New information in a 1972 Federal government research study showed the unpredictability of fracture location when using horizontal hydraulic fracturing
2.Has a Staffing Resources report been prepared that will ensure sufficient qualified personnel to monitor and ensure compliance of this industry?
3.Information on state evaluations of necessary fees that will be paid by the industry to cover all state and local government needs associated with this industry-- environmental, public health, emergency services, etc.
4.Whether the staffing resources and the fees recommended above will address the neglected and critically important State's Water Resources Management Strategy.
5.How the DEC addressed the significant comments of EPA and USGS.
VICTORY on our petition of nuclear waste disposal
Submitted by Louis Zeller, Executive Director of Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League
The DC Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in our favor on nuclear waste! In NRC parlance, the issue is “waste confidence”; that is, how sure is the industry that it can manage nuclear reactor waste.
The Court vacated the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s waste confidence decision and remanded it back to the NRC for an environmental assessment or EIS on the environmental consequences of failing to establish a nuclear waste repository. Also, the Court ruled for the State of NY that the NRC’s analysis of temporary spent fuel storage impacts at reactor sites was insufficient. The court remanded on both the issues of (a) potential for future leakage and (b) potential for catastrophic fires.
The NRC has put out an advance notice of proposed rulemaking that would allow storage of spent fuel at reactor sites for 200-300 years.
NGO/CSO Global Common Statement for a Toxics-Free Future
Those that want to have Toxic Free Future, please add your name now!
Citizens’ Environmental Coalition has already signed on, and we urge you to please consider signing on with us. We demand a future where people have the right to enjoy healthy and sustainable green livelihoods that do not harm their bodies or the environment. This international statement is designed to inform and empower participants on how they can be proactive in protecting their family, homes and communities and how to take the first steps in shaping a toxic-free future. This is the sustainable future we want for the world and our children.
DiNAPOLI: NUCLEAR POWER SAFETY SHAREHOLDER RESOLUTION
TO BE VOTED ON AT DOMINION RESOURCES’ ANNUAL MEETING
Shareholders of Dominion Resources will vote today on a first-of-its-kind resolution regarding nuclear safety filed by New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli, trustee of the New York State Common Retirement Fund (Fund). The resolution calls upon the company, which operates nuclear power plants in Connecticut, Virginia and Wisconsin, to appoint a committee of independent directors to conduct a special review of its nuclear safety policies and practices.
Progress Energy's nuclear plans on hold for now
Submitted by johnmurawski
Progress Energy, not long ago considered to be in the forefront of the nation's nuclear renaissance, continues delaying its timeline on nuclear energy development. Some projects are now a decade behind schedule, prompting nuclear critics say that despite hundreds of millions of dollars of up-front investment these power plants are not likely to get built.
NEW PUBLIC OPINION POLL RESULTS SHOW STUNNING MAJORITY OF AMERICANS SUPPORT CLEAN, RENEWABLE ENERGY AND OPPOSE NUCLEAR POWER & FOSSIL FUELS
This poll was supported by the Civil Society Institute.
Cuomo to Invest $800 Million for New York Energy Efficiency
By Freeman Klopott - Apr 26, 2012 2:27 PM ET
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is investing $800 million to enhance the energy efficiency of state and local government buildings, with a goal of reducing consumption by 20 percent over the next four years.
The investment will be funded through debt issued by the New York Power Authority, which coordinates the distribution of renewable energy to businesses, nonprofit organizations and government entities, Gil Quiniones, its president, said today at a press conference in Albany.
Hydrofracking roundup: Falling prices, whistleblowers and local bans
Posted by: Jon Campbell - Posted on Apr 12, 2012
The state Department of Environmental Conservation’s review of hydrofracking labors on, but that doesn’t mean we haven’t seen plenty of news this week in regards to the much-debated gas-extraction process:
- Natural gas began trading at a decade-low price yesterday, dropping below $2 per thousand cubic feet for the first time since 2002.
The precipitous drop in price has been largely caused by a major increase in domestic shale-gas drilling in Pennsylvania and other states where high-volume hydraulic fracturing has been allowed. We took a look in February at what effect that may have on New York if it gives the green light to the technique. (So far, it hasn’t, but a decision on whether to proceed is expected to come later this year.)
Groups Call for Closure of FitzPatrick Nuclear Plant, Say Entergy is “Gambling” with Public Safety
A year after the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster, a statewide alliance is calling on the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) to suspend operations at the James A. FitzPatrick nuclear reactor near Oswego, New York. NRC documents obtained by the groups show that FitzPatrick's design poses an especially grave threat to public safety in the event of an accident at the plant.
The New York-based Alliance for a Green Economy (AGREE) has filed a petition with the NRC asking for an emergency enforcement action against the FitzPatrick plant. AGREE is joined in the petition by Beyond Nuclear, a Washington DC-based nuclear watchdog organization. The petition asks for the immediate suspension of the plant's operating license, public hearings on the safety of the plant, and the public release of a post-Fukushima safety reassessment.
Maryknoll leadership calls for alternatives to nuclear power
The production of nuclear power poses threats to the health of people and the well-being of the environment and should be abandoned in favor of alternate forms of energy, says a statement from Maryknoll leadership.
Released today, the statement also connects the development of nuclear energy to nuclear weapons proliferation, which has been opposed by church officials worldwide, including Pope Benedict XVI.
Nuclear Fallout Map Arrives At The Anniversary Of Fukushima Disaster
Nothing to be frightened of...yet (NRDC)
Sunday is the one-year anniversary of Japan's earthquake and tsunami that led to the Fukushima disaster. As the crippled nuclear plant continues to struggle with rebuilding and containing the radiation, several workers at the plant traveled to New York this week to speak at Manhattanville College. "I came to convey the reality," one of Fukushima's relief workers, Kazuhiko Amano, told the panel. Even with years of rigorous emergency drills, the community around Fukushima was unprepared. In contrast, Indian Point lacks basic firefighting equipment, and the evacuation plan would take nine-and-a-half hours to evacuate the 450,000 people within a 10-mile radius.
Climate Change Adaptation Task Force
Across the United States and the world, climate change is already affecting communities, livelihoods, and the environment. In 2009, the Obama Administration convened the Interagency Climate Change Adaptation Task Force, co-chaired by the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ), the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and including representatives from more than 20 Federal agencies. On October 5, 2009, President Obama signed an Executive Order directing the Task Force to develop a report with recommendations for how the Federal Government can strengthen policies and programs to better prepare the Nation to adapt to the impacts of climate change.
No More Fukushimas Peace Walk: March 2- March 21, 2012
Oyster Creek Nuclear Power Plant- Forked River, NJ
Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Plant- Vernon, VT
One year after the Nuclear disaster at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Facility the situation is far from under control. Dangerous levels of radioactivity are still being found hundreds of miles from the site of the accident. More than 80,000 people have been forced to leave their homes with little hope of returning. In addition to the incalculable health costs, the decades-long process of clean-up and decontamination of almost 1000 square miles of
land may cost as much as 250 billion dollars with limited prospects for success.
Our walk is a prayer for the suffering of the Japanese people as a result of their government’s reckless nuclear policies, and a plea for the people of New England to recognize the grave dangers that nuclear energy poses to our lives, our property, and all life on our Mother Earth. Nuclear energy is neither safe nor clean. The threat of a nuclear accident at one of our own aging nuclear facilities is all too real and the consequences would be unimaginable catastrophic.
We walk together in love and solidarity for a nuclear free future. A more just, sustainable, and compassionate world built on respect for all living beings and for the earth that sustains us is possible now more than ever. Please join us to help make it a reality.
Remembering the Fukushima Accident and Combating Nuclear Threats in CNY
A year ago, multiple nuclear meltdowns and explosions in Japan exposed thousands to life-threatening radiation in Japan. One year after the disaster, reactors just like those that exploded in Japan continue to operate just 36 miles from Syracuse. The US government and nuclear industry promised to learn the lessons from Fukushima and prevent similar accidents here. But in reality, nothing has changed, except we now know that nuclear plants in Central New York are more dangerous than previously thought.
Find out about the Fukushima-style reactors in Central New York and what you can do about them.
Sunday, March 11
505 Hawley Ave, Syracuse
Free and Open to the Public
with Paul Gunter from Beyond Nuclear (Washington, DC)
Tim Judson from Citizens’ Awareness Network (New York, NY)
and Physics Professor Steve Penn (Syracuse, NY)
Alliance for a Green Economy | www.agreenewyork.org
Nuclear Power Aging Reactors & Earthquakes
The US has more than 100 reactors similar to Japan's destroyed Fukushima plant. Some located in earthquake zones or close to major cities are now reaching the end of their working lives. People & Power sent Joe Rubin and Serene Fang to investigate.
Coalition: Expand nuclear safety zones Disaster in Japan offers lessons for Indian Point site, group tells NRC
ALBANY — If there was a nuclear accident at the Indian Point plant in Westchester County, water, milk, crops and food as far north as Kingston could be checked for radioactivity under federal safety rules.
On Wednesday, a national coalition of clean energy and environmental groups asked the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to move that line up to the Greene and Columbia counties in the southern edge of the Capital Region, based on lessons from last year's nuclear disaster in Japan.
Citizens' Environmental Coalition, citing NRC Failures Post Fukushima, Joins Nuclear Information and Resource Service and Others in Petition to NRC for Expanded Evacuation Zones & Better Emergency Planning around Nuclear Reactors
Citizens’ Environmental Coalition (CEC) has joined the Nuclear Information and Resource Service (NIRS) and 37 other clean energy groups around the nation, including 4 others from New York State, in submitting a formal petition for rulemaking to the federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) seeking adoption of new regulations to expand emergency evacuation zones and improve emergency response planning around U.S. nuclear reactors.
US chlor-alkali is benefiting from natural gas as more cost-competitive US PVC enters the export market
The shale gas wave in North America is expected to boost growth for the chlor-alkali market as US polyvinyl chloride (PVC) producers take advantage of cheaper ethylene dichloride (EDC) - the feedstock for vinyl chloride monomer (VCM), which is used in making PVC.
Nuclear neighbors: Population rises near US reactors
Map of census data shows a 17 percent increase in residents within 10 miles in a decade
The Saga of Vermont Yankee: Nuclear Power in the US: A Rigged System
by KARL GROSSMAN
The nuclear power program in the United States was set up rigged-to allow
the federal government to push atomic energy with state and local
governments "pre-empted" on most issues.
That's what the State of Vermont was confronted with last week as a federal
judge blocked the state's attempts to shut down the accident-plagued Vermont
Yankee nuclear plant.
But there's a way around this federal nuclear fix-the use by states of their
power of "eminent domain." That's a legal principle going back centuries and
is how, commonly, states condemn property for a highway right-of-way if the
owners refuse to sell.
The application of the state's power of "eminent domain" to nuclear power
was pioneered in New York State in the 1980s-and was how the completed
Shoreham nuclear plant was stopped from opening. That ended the scheme of
nuclear promoters to turn Long Island into a "nuclear park" with seven to 11
State of the Climate | Global Analysis | Annual 2011
"This marks the 35th consecutive year (since 1976) that the yearly global temperature was above the 20th century average. The warmest years on record were 2010 and 2005, which were 0.64°C (1.15°F) above average. Including 2011, all eleven years in the 21st century so far (2001–2011) rank among the 13 warmest in the 132-year period of record. Only one year during the 20th century, 1998, was warmer than 2011."
Agency Rejects Indian Point Fire Safety Plan
Earthquakes are not the only major problem for the Indian Point Nuclear Facility and its twin reactors.
Fire is a much more frequent occurrence than earthquakes. Entergy the plant's owner has substituted procedures, like fire watches, rather than installating fire- safe equipment. Indian Point is the only nuclear facility in the country that has not obtained NRC approval for these substitutions. NRC recently found only 6 fire zones out of 30 it examined to be in compliance. There are 356 fire zones at the facility. See NYTimes 2/1/12.
Indian Point may now be able to add the highest fire risk to the highest earthquake risk in the nation.
CEC reviewed and summarized Important EPA Comments on the SGEIS
Part 2 of CEC's dSGEIS Comments
Citizens’ Environmental Coalition has worked tirelessly to draft scientifically sound, comprehensive comments on the Department of Environmental Conservations’ Revised Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement on High Volume Hydraulic Fracturing. A month ago CEC submitted Part One of these comments. Below you will find Part Two of our comments which we submitted on January 11th. These comments reflect serious and more specific concerns, problems, and flaws with the dSGEIS and further illustrate the inherent need for the state to ban hydrofracking.
Part 1 of CECs dSGEIS Comments
Environmental groups and concerned citizens from around New York State have been working tirelessly to compile thoughtful, scientifically-sound comments and criticisms of the DEC’s Hydraulic Fracking SGEIS, and Citizens’ Environmental Coalition is no exception. Public outcry has even influenced the DEC to extend the comment period till January 11th. CEC’s review of scientific literature detailing hydraulic fracturing illustrates that the use of this technology in New York is a recipe for widespread damage to the environment, public health, and the economy. Additionally, CEC has found numerous problems with the analysis outlined in the dSGEIS. For these reasons, CEC is firmly opposed to the use of “High Volume Hydraulic Fracturing” in New York. Because these concerns are so alarming, we have submitted these comments not only to the DEC but also the Attorney General and the Chairs of both the Senate and Assembly Environmental Conservation Committees. Many of our overarching concerns are highlighted in this first set of comments. We have outlined our comments by topic and have bulleted our suggested recommendations. We strongly encourage to submit comments of your own and to use our comments, endnotes and additional resources to do so.
Comments can be submitted:
2. By Mail at: Attn: dSGEIS Comments, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, 625 Broadway,Albany, NY 12233-6510.
Together we win.
Washington D.C. – Gas drilling companies routinely warn their investors of a litany of possible disasters – such as leaks, spills, explosions, bodily injury and even death – but regularly fail to mention these risks when persuading landowners to sign leases for drilling rights, an Environmental Working Group investigation found.
EWG researchers compared federal Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filings and natural gas drilling leases used by major companies engaged in hydraulic fracturing (fracking) and horizontal drilling and found that, at best, the leases offered only vague mentions of risks that are explicitly listed in the legally required SEC reports. Twenty-three landowners in five states who had signed or been asked to sign drilling leases also told EWG that company representatives who offered the leases made no mention of possible risks.
Find the full report here:
VICTORY for Clean Energy: Covanta Withdraws Waste-to-Energy Petition to Public Service Commission
Last week Covanta Energy Corporation withdrew its request to the New York State Public Service Commission to make garbage incineration eligible for the state's Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS). New York’s RPS was established in 2004 to promote clean, renewable energy such as wind and solar power to replace dirty fossil fuels. Consumers pay for the RPS through a small surcharge on their monthly utility bills.
Environmental and clean energy advocates hailed this as a major victory for clean energy. Over the summer, dozens of advocacy groups, businesses, and elected officials and thousands of individual citizens submitted comments strongly opposing Covanta's petition, arguing that garbage incineration is not renewable energy and should not be given the same incentives as provided through NY’s RPS for wind and solar power.
More recycling will create 1.5 million new U.S. jobs
November 14, 2011
More Jobs, Less Pollution: Growing the Recycling Economy in the U.S. shows how a stronger recycling economy would create 1.5 million new jobs in manufacturing, collection, and other careers. If done right, recycling jobs can be quality jobs with family-supporting wages.
Burning Public Money for Dirty Energy
CEC co-released the report, Burning Public Money for Dirty Energy, produced by GAIA, the Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives. The report exposes why the Incinerator Industry has been working so hard to paint themselves as Green, which has included deliberately misrepresenting the benefits and drawbacks of this technology. They have a strong motivation-- they want to obtain huge subsidies, millions of dollars of green cash. This is a particularly important time for the public to be asking what kind of a future we want to have, when public officials seek to remove funding from essential programs, while providing extraordinary subsidies to those dirty industries that produce pollution and harm public health. The report also provides case studies of a few incinerators that have caused serious financial harm to local communities.
The Story of Broke
The United States isn’t broke; we’re the richest country on the planet and a country in which the richest among us are doing exceptionally well. But the truth is, our economy is broken, producing more pollution, greenhouse gasses and garbage than any other country. In these and so many other ways, it just isn’t working. But rather than invest in something better, we continue to keep this ‘dinosaur economy’ on life support with hundreds of billions of dollars of our tax money. The Story of Broke calls for a shift in government spending toward investments in clean, green solutions—renewable energy, safer chemicals and materials, zero waste and more—that can deliver jobs AND a healthier environment. It’s time to rebuild the American Dream; but this time, let’s build it better.
Common Cause has just released a new Fracking Study
A faction of the natural gas industry has invested more than $747 million as part of a 10-year lobbying and political spending campaign to persuade federal authorities to ignore the dangers of hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” a rapidly expanding but poorly regulated method of tapping gas reserves.
As many of you know, Fracking involves injecting a mix of sand, chemicals, and water into a well at high pressure in order to break up underground rock formations and free up natural gas. Pollution may occur underground, with fracking chemicals or methane directly contaminating aquifers and drinking wells, or above ground, as streams or tributaries are polluted by spills or improper wastewater disposal.
Maddow: Energy Regulators May Not Be Snorting Meth Off a Toaster Oven Anymore, But There's Still Alarming Nuclear News
New Study Confirms We Don't Need Indian Point's Power
New York’s energy supply is secure and abundant even without electricity from Entergy’s Indian Point nuclear reactors, according to a new study commissioned by Riverkeeper and its partner, Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC).
If Indian Point’s reactors are shuttered in 2015, as we believe they should be, New York will still have excess energy through 2020. By that time, we’ll have another 4,500 megawatts (two Indian Points!) of energy alternatives available to replace the power Indian Point generates today. This new power will be cleaner, far safer, and will ONLY cost the average home owner between $1 - 5 per month.
This authoritative new report undercuts Entergy’s longstanding argument that New York needs Indian Point’s power. Put simply, we don’t need Indian Point, and we can’t afford the risk of an accident at a nuclear plant just 35 miles from Midtown Manhattan.
“Heightened Risk” of Nuclear Project Causes Credit Downgrade in South Carolina
Moody’s says even Super-CWIP legislation leaves too much risk of project abandonment and “rate fatigue” that could harm South Carolina economy
Duke Energy CEO Jim Rogers insists he cannot build nuclear plants unless the North Carolina legislature enhances 2007 CWIP legislation to match South Carolina’s “SuperCWIP,” which adds the utility benefit of automatic annual rate hikes without full rate proceedings.
Shocking Nuclear News (InsideEPA.com)
November 10, 2010
The US has NO plan to address a large scale accident at a nuclear power plant. The NRC, Nuclear Regulatory Commission, has signalled that it has no plans to oversee any long term cleanup and has signalled that EPA could take the lead. Authority for responding to a nuclear disaster is also not clear. FEMA is only authorized to respond to natural disasters. Federal Agencies are currently trying to figure out a plan and identify funding. The funding associated with the Price- Anderson Act is limited to paying for immediate damages and the additional bills that are supposed to be paid by industry may prove illusory. Apparently the federal government may not be able to access those funds unless it has damages to federally- owned property. This could leave states, local government and communities with an enormous cleanup burden and no funding!
AP IMPACT: Quakes pose greater risk to US reactors
By DINA CAPPIELLO and JEFF DONN Associated Press
WASHINGTON-The risk that an earthquake would cause a severe accident at a U.S. nuclear plant is greater than previously thought, 24 times as high in
one case, according to an AP analysis of preliminary government data. The
nation's nuclear regulator believes a quarter of America's reactors may need
modifications to make them safer.
100+ Groups from 23 States File Petition for Drilling and Fracking Chemical Testing, Info
Concerned about health impacts of drilling boom, groups press for answers from Halliburton and others
WASHINGTON, DC – A large coalition of public health, environmental, and good government groups filed a petition (PDF) today demanding that full health and safety information be made available for all of the chemicals used in oil and gas development, including the controversial process known as hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking.” Fracking is when oil and gas companies blast millions of gallons of water treated with chemicals into the ground to force oil and gas from hard-to-reach places deep inside the earth. Along with a fracking-fueled gas rush have come troubling reports of poisoned drinking water, polluted air, mysterious animal deaths, and sick families.
Fukushima China Syndrome 'clearly a concern': Expert
Fukushima 'seriously out of control,' nuclear industry seriously in control of global media blackout
Since Japan's Fukushima Daiichi nuclear energy plant has reportedly released 20 times the radiation contamination amount of the Hiroshima bomb, and its molten core is sinking through the Earth's crust, it appears to be in early stages of a "total China Syndrome meltdown" according to a Russia Today report Thursday during which Beyond Nuclear's Paul Gunter answered why media is blacking out the catastrophe, as noted by numerous scientists, and he revealed the increasing threat of a nuclear explosion.
U.S. Nuclear Industry Tested by Twin Threats From Nature
"Aug. 24 (Bloomberg) -- U.S. nuclear plants face the first post-Fukushima test of their ability to withstand multiple natural disasters as Hurricane Irene bears down on an area shaken by a 5.8-magnitude earthquake.
The temblor yesterday knocked out power to Dominion Resources Inc.’s North Anna nuclear plant in Virginia and prompted 12 stations from North Carolina to Michigan to declare “unusual events,” the lowest-level emergency designated by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
Off-site power was later restored to North Anna, eliminating the need for back-up generators for cooling, the company said late yesterday. The plant’s twin reactors halted automatically during the quake, whose epicenter was less than 15 miles (24 kilometers) from the plant, about 85 miles southwest of Washington, according to the U.S. Geological Survey".
Did Fracking Cause the Virginia Earthquake?
"Earthquakes in the nation's capitol are as rare as hen's teeth. The epicenter of Tuesday's quake was in Mineral, Virginia, which is located on three very quiet fault lines. The occurrence of yet another freak earthquake in an unusual location is leading many anti-fracking activists (including me -- they have just started fracking in Stratford, which is 40 minutes from New Plymouth) to wonder whether "fracking" in nearby West Virginia may be responsible".
Why did the Virginia nuke plant, built on fault line, have its quake sensors removed?
Nuclear energy expert, Paul Gunter discusses the level of unpreparedness of officials at the North Anna Nuclear Power Station in Mineral, Virginia during August's east coast earthquake.
Panel Seeks Stiffer Rules for Drilling of Gas Wells
August 11, 2011
An Energy Department subcommittee has called for better tracking and more careful disposal of waste, among other measures.
EPA Report: Fracking Contaminated Drinking Water
August 3rd, 2011
Washington, D.C. – Contrary to the drilling industry claim that hydraulic fracturing has never contaminated groundwater, the Environmental Protection Agency concluded in a 1987 study that “fracking” of a natural gas well in West Virginia contaminated an underground drinking water source. That all-but-forgotten report to Congress, uncovered by Environmental Working Group and Earthjustice, found that fracturing gel from a shale gas well more than 4,000 feet deep had contaminated well water.
EPA Proposes Air Pollution Standards for Oil and Gas Production
Cost-effective, flexible standards rely on operators' ability to capture and sell natural gas that currently escapes, threatens air quality
WASHINGTON – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today proposed standards to reduce harmful air pollution from oil and gas drilling operations. These proposed updated standards - which are being issued in response to a court order - would rely on cost-effective existing technologies to reduce emissions that contribute to smog pollution and can cause cancer while supporting the administration’s priority of continuing to expand safe and responsible domestic oil and gas production. The standards would leverage operators' ability to capture and sell natural gas that currently escapes into the air, resulting in more efficient operations while reducing harmful emissions that can impact air quality in surrounding areas and nearby states.
Arkansas: Disposal Well Is Ordered Closed
"The Arkansas Oil and Gas Commission voted Wednesday to close a well used to dispose of natural gas fluids and ban the drilling of others in an area north of Conway where hundreds of earthquakes have struck. The well between Greenbrier and Enola is operated by Deep-Six Water Disposal Services, a subsidiary of Hurst Oil Investments Inc..."
GASSED! NEW Report: Toxic Air Emissions Near Natural Gas Operations
Citizen sampling of air quality near natural gas production facilities has identified highly unsafe levels of toxic chemicals near homes, playgrounds, schools and community centers in Colorado and New Mexico. A new report issued by Global Community Monitor, GASSED! Citizen Investigation of Toxic Air Pollution from Natural Gas Development, details the air sampling results, environmental and public health threats with living amid the natural gas boom.
A coalition of environmental and community based organizations in Colorado and New Mexico collected nine air samples that were analyzed by a certified lab. The lab detected a total of 22 toxic chemicals in the air samples, including four known carcinogens, as well as toxins known to damage the nervous system and respiratory irritants. The chemicals detected ranged from 3 to 3,000 times above levels considered safe by the EPA. Sampling was conducted in the San Juan Basin area of Colorado and New Mexico, as well as Garfield County in western Colorado. High levels were found near homes and a school.
Hydrofracking's impact on air quality concerns some, by Steve Orr
"Much of the debate about hydraulic fracturing has focused on the impact that the controversial method of natural gas extraction could have on water quality in upstate New York.
Some say, though, that air quality is just as big a concern. Last week, an Albany environmental group focused attention on a citizen-driven study in two western states that found elevated levels of harmful chemicals in the air near gas wells and gas-handling facilities..."
Independent analysis concludes nuclear task force’s safety recommendations are insufficient: Analysis is released as regulators meet to consider recommendations
As the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission met this morning to consider a summary of lessons learned from the ongoing nuclear disaster in Japan, Friends of the Earth released an independent analysis concluding that the report is incomplete and deficient, and that its recommendations do not go far enough.
For more information, the full analysis Makhijani prepared for Friends of the Earth can be found here
MARKEY TO NRC COMMISSIONERS: DO YOUR JOBS
NRC shouldn’t stand for “No Regulations Contemplated”; Majority of NRC Commissioners repeatedly voted NO on safety
Selected Safety and Security Votes Taken Since 2009 by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission
April 15, 2009: The Commission voted 4-1 to support a proposal to enhance the security associated with cesium chloride sources rather than to phase out the most dispersible form of the material altogether as recommended by the National Academies of Science in 2008
December 2, 2010: The Commission voted 4-1 to disapprove a proposal to require specific NRC licenses for radioactive materials that could be used to make a dirty bomb whose activity level is greater than 1/10th of “Category 3,” even though a previous Commission had supported such a proposal.
March 30, 2011: The Commission voted 4-1 to disapprove a staff proposal to add requirements for personnel seeking access to nuclear reactor construction sites to ensure that appropriate security screening was conducted.
As Cuomo Plans Shut Down of Indian Point Nuclear Plant, Experts Fail to Grasp Value of Solar and Efficiency for NY City: By Stephen Lacey on Thinkprogess.org
"New York may soon decommission the four-decade-old Indian Point nuclear plant, a deteriorating 2-GW power station that supplies 25% of New York City’s electricity.
Some experts claim that closing the plant could de-stabilize supply, thus requiring a time-consuming build-out of centralized power plants and new transmission that will drive up rates. The reality, however, is quite different".
CEC COMMENTS ON DRAFT NYSERDA REGULATIONS RELATED TO ENERGY PLANNING
Read CEC's comments to the Energy Board on the Draft Regulations proposed by NYSERDA in connection with Energy Planning HERE. Largely these regulations are associated with reporting by those in the energy sector.
On June 30th the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation issued a press release outlining many of the most important features contained in the revised Draft Supplemental Generic Environmental Impact Statement (Draft SGEIS) which will be released on July 8th. While many New Yorkers won't be satisfied with anything less than a total ban on fracking, Governor Cuomo and Commissioner Martens must be given credit for producing a document that is a vast improvement over the shoddy draft the DEC tried to fob off on New Yorkers back in 2009.
INTERNATIONAL ATOMIC ENERGY AGENCY CHIEF SUGGESTS SURPRISE NUCLEAR POWER PLANT INSPECTIONS
"VIENNA, Austria, June 20, 2011 (ENS) - Random unannounced inspections of nuclear plants in International Atomic Energy Agency member countries would strengthen global nuclear safety, the IAEA's top official proposed today. The UN agency called a meeting of ministers to identify the lessons learned from the accident at Japan's Fukushima Daiichi power plant that has spread radiation across Asia and the Pacific."
SUPREME COURT UPHOLDS EPA'S AUTHORITY TO REGULATE CARBON DIOXIDE
WASHINGTON, DC, June 20, 2011 (ENS) - The U.S. Supreme Court today reaffirmed its finding that carbon dioxide is an air pollutant subject to control under the Clean Air Act and upheld the authority of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to regulate the greenhouse gas.
**NUCLEAR ENERGY INSTITUTE ADMITS SAFEST CONDITION FOR A NUKE PLANT IS "SHUT DOWN"**
This may be the first time CEC AGREES with the Nuclear Industry:
“The whole point of a cold shutdown is that it is the safest condition in which to keep a plant,” Jim Slider said, a senior project manager for the Nuclear Energy Institute, the industry's trade organization. “It minimizes the risks if something unexpected happens, such as a substation miles away getting flooded and the plant losing part, or all, of its off-site power.”
AP IMPACT: US NUKE REGULATORS WEAKEN SAFETY RULES
"LACEY TOWNSHIP, N.J. – Federal regulators have been working closely with the nuclear power industry to keep the nation's aging reactors operating within safety standards by repeatedly weakening those standards, or simply failing to enforce them, an investigation by The Associated Press has found.
Time after time, officials at the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission have decided that original regulations were too strict, arguing that safety margins could be eased without peril, according to records and interviews.
The result? Rising fears that these accommodations by the NRC are significantly undermining safety — and inching the reactors closer to an accident that could harm the public and jeopardize the future of nuclear power in the United States..."
NUCLEAR PLANT SAFETY RULES INADEQUATE, GROUP SAYS
"ROCKVILLE, Md. — Nuclear safety rules in the United States do not adequately weigh the risk that a single event would knock out electricity from both the grid and from emergency generators, as an earthquake and tsunami recently did at a nuclear plant in Japan, officials of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission said Wednesday.
A task force created after the accident at the nuclear plant, Fukushima Daiichi, delivered an oral progress report on Wednesday to the five-member commission. In that session, commission officials said they had learned that some of the safety equipment installed at American nuclear plants over the years, including hardware added after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, is not maintained or inspected as diligently as the original components are..."
HELP CLOSE DANGEROUS GE MARK I NUCLEAR REACTORS: Become a Co-Petitioner to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission On April 13, Beyond Nuclear submitted a formal emergency petition to the NRC to immediately suspend the operating license of all General Electric Mark 1 reactors in the U.S. (the same reactor design that failed so catastrophically at Fukushima) and to hold public meetings near every Mark I site. This petition would apply to the Nine Mile Point 1 and Fitzpatrick reactors in Oswego. A factsheet on the 40-year history of the design deficiencies of the Mark I's can be found here. The full text of the petition can be found here.
SCHNEIDERMAN FILES FRACKING LAWSUIT
New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman has filed a lawsuit against the federal government in an attempt to force a full environmental impact study of natural gas drilling. According to a press release by members of the grassroots Coalition to Protect New York, this lawsuit is a recognition of the considerable risks posed by hydraulic fracking.
THE CURRENT STATE OF NUCLEAR ENERGY
World Watch Institute has published its World Nuclear Industry Status Report for 2010–2011 with great information on the Global Status of Nuclear Energy. Their findings that renewable energy sources have begun to outpace Nuclear investments and startups suggest that the Nuclear Industry has been in decline even before the Fukushima Disaster. Click here for the Full Report from World Watch Institute
URGE PUBLIC HEARINGS ON WATER WITHDRAWAL BILL
The Water Withdrawal Bill (A5318A/S3798) has yet to be introduced on the floor of the Senate for a final vote. There is still time to call the sponsor, Senator Mark Grisanti and the co-sponsors, Senators Joseph Addabbo, Jr., Tony Avella, Greg Ball, Thomas Duane, George D. Maziarz, Velmanette Montgomery, Suzi Oppenheimer, Kevin S. Parker, Bill Perkins, Joseph E. Robach, and Jose M. Serrano, as well as your local Senator to urge public hearings. Please call; your efforts can and have made a difference.
Click here to access the contact info for all NYS Senators.
CEC'S "NUCLEAR SHORTS" BY BARBARA WARREN
In the wake of the Japanese Nuclear Reactor Crisis CEC's Barbara Warren will be releasing semi-regular "Nuclear Shorts" to be posted on Facebook and Twitter. These updates will include the latest news, announcements, developments, and concerns about Nuclear Power and how each might effect America and Americans.
BARBARA WARREN COMMENTS ON NRC MEETING
On May 12, 2011, and in the wake of March's Fukushima Reactor Crisis, a Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) Meeting was held to discuss problems an American response to nuclear crises. CEC's Barbara Warren has both reviewed the proceedings and lent comments highlighting lingering concerns over America's preparedness for nuclear emergency.
THANK YOU FOR HELPING US REACH OUR GOAL
As many of you know, we were selected as the featured environmental advocacy group for Youth Noise's Just 1 Click Campaign during the month of April, 2011. Thanks to your efforts we received more than 100,000 clicks, and earned a generous donation from Youth Noise.
Thank you to Youth Noise and everyone who donated, posted, tweeted, and clicked during the month of April from everyone at CEC!
WRITE TO OFFICIALS ABOUT WATER WITHDRAWAL BILL
Water Withdrawal Legislation (S3798-Grisanti/A5318-A-Sweeney et al.) is being advanced in the state legislature that is very controversial. Some Environmental Groups are strongly supportive of this water withdrawal legislation. Many of those working at the grassroots on hydraulic fracturing are very concerned and are urging delays & extensive public hearings.
We urge you to express your concerns to your own NYS Assemblymember and Senator, as well as to the bill sponsors:
1. Express your concern that this bill will facilitate large
scale water withdrawals
2. Ask for extensive public hearings before any votes
are taken on these bills. This will allow a complete
record to be developed.
**PLEASE NOTE** Assemblymember Sweeney is Chair of the Environmental Conservation Committee and has supported good environmental legislation in the past. So urge him to continue his good record, by calling for public hearings and thoroughly reviewing this bill. Senator Grisanti is the new Chair of the Senate Environmental Conservation Committee-- his record will be formed in the future.
Click here for Attorney Helen Slottje's Critique of the Bill Click here for a Q & A between Slottje and an attorney with the Department of Environmental Conservation.