Archive for ‘Pollution’

November 8, 2012

Assumption Sinkhole – Acadiana’s Multi-Media Station

For the people of Bayou Corne, a small community in northern Assumption Parish, the first signs of trouble appeared in late May. Streams of bubbles appeared in the water in nearby Bayou Lofourche. Then in early August a series of tremors led to the discovery of a sinkhole. Since then that hole in the ground has continued to grow along with the concerns of local residents and the officials they are looking to for answers.

via Assumption Sinkhole – Acadiana’s Multi-Media Station.

Louisiana’s Assumption Parish sinkhole caused the evacuation of 150 homes in early August and continues to threaten the area with possible explosions due to methane gas pockets. Property owners have not been allowed to return home yet, and businesses are at risk.

Texas Brine Co. began burning off natural gas Friday that was trapped in a water aquifer near a sinkhole in northern Assumption Parish, officials said.

This was the first time state, parish or company officials have been able to get gas to flow from four “vent wells” driven into the ground around the sinkhole in order to draw the dangerous gas out of the aquifer.

Located in the swamps between Bayou Corne and Grand Bayou south of La. 70 South, the sinkhole is more than 5½ acres in size at the surface and has prompted authorities to issue a standing evacuation order on Aug. 3 applying to 150 homes.

Fears that the trapped gas, which is colorless, odorless and potentially explosive, could accumulate to dangerous levels at the surface has further justified the evacuation order, parish officials have said.

via Gas flowing from sinkhole | Home | The Advocate — Baton Rouge, LA.

November 7, 2012

Study: Electric Cars Made using Fossil Fuels Worse for the Environment than Conventional Cars

Is this a surprise? Often, the media and policy wonks discuss the consumer-side effects of environmental protection, but the environmental effects of manufacturing “green solutions” should not be taken lightly.

Electric cars actually harm the environment more than their gas-powered counterparts in many places, a new study from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology has concluded. That’s in part because electric car production “proved substantially more environmentally intensive,” the report said, according to the BBC. “The global warming potential from electric vehicle production is about twice that of conventional vehicles.”

That higher production cost might pay off if you live in an area powered by clean electricity sources—particularly if the car stays on the road a long time. But if your area gets its power from fossil fuels like coal or lignite, “it is counterproductive to promote electric vehicles,” the report said—they may even wind up causing more carbon emissions than gas burners. In addition, electric car batteries require toxic minerals like nickel, copper, and aluminum, increasing the potential for acidification.

via Study: Electric Cars Hurt the Environment – At least in areas that burn fossil fuels for electricity.

November 1, 2012

Sewage, Bacteria, Gasoline Found in NYC Floodwater – ABC News

Flood water can be dangerous to your health. In New York, residents are asked to wear “protective gear”.

Water is everywhere in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy – in basements, on the streets and in transit systems – but the one place that flood water is most dangerous is in your body.

ABC News chief health and medical editor Dr. Richard Besser collected floodwater and drinking water in some of the areas hit hardest by Sandy and had them tested at The Ambient Group lab. The floodwater collected in Lower Manhattan tested positive for gasoline and two types of bacteria found in sewage: E. coli and coliform.

“Very dangerous,” Besser said. “Make sure you wear protective gear if you are coming into contact with flood water.”

via Sewage, Bacteria, Gasoline Found in NYC Floodwater – ABC News.

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