The EPA and the Department of Justice (DOJ) announced today that XTO Energy, Inc. (XTO), a subsidiary of ExxonMobil and the nation’s largest holder of natural gas reserves, will spend an estimated $3 million to restore eight sites damaged by unauthorized discharges of fill material into streams and wetlands in connection with hydraulic fracturing operations.
The pipeline safety act signed by President Obama last week after being unanimously passed in both the House and Senate gives the secretary of Transportation the power to quickly issue emergency orders for the pipeline industry if an incident exposes a widespread problem.
Ten years after the Surgeon General’s report on the dangers of exposure to secondhand tobacco smoke, no states in the Southeast have a statewide comprehensive smoke-free law, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published in its Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR).
The Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration has finalized the first operational rules (PDF) for routine commercial use of small unmanned aircraft systems (UAS or “drones”), opening pathways towards fully integrating UAS into the nation’s airspace.
The Philadelphia City Council last week approved a tax on sweetened beverages – a move that many expect to be copied by other U.S. cities. The 1.5 cent per ounce tax applies to both regular and diet soda, as well as juice containing less than 50 percent fruit juice, sports drinks and energy drinks.
The House Energy and Commerce Committee has approved the Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act, which contains provisions to improve the nation’s approach to mental health care treatment. The bill, H.R. 2646, which was introduced by Reps. Tim Murphy, R-Pa., and Eddie Bernice Johnson, D-Texas, was reported out of committee on a unanimous vote.
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) for issuing a proposed rule (PDF) that would bring its Chronic Beryllium Disease Prevention Program in line with current evidence on the dangers of beryllium. According to advocacy group Public Citizen, the DOE’s proposal stands in sharp contrast with the actions of OSHA, which has yet to lower its workplace beryllium limit from an outdated level set in 1971, Public Citizen said.
Posted with permission from FairWarning.org: Last year was a bad one for motorcyclists, with a new estimate showing that 5,010 bikers were killed in crashes nationwide, the worst death toll in seven years. The apparent 10 percent increase in motorcycle fatalities, based on an analysis by the Governors Highway Safety Association, coincided with a projected rise of about 8 percent in traffic deaths overall in 2015.