Apr 2, 2009
Officials in coastal states are worried that the high upkeep of boats in the depressed economy has mariners literally abandoning their ships in droves — a practice that could threaten the environment.
There's no official tally of cast-off boats, but an unusually high number are reportedly being dumped in waters off the coasts of Florida, South Carolina and Washington State; California is mulling a measure that would let owners surrender their vessels to the state, according to the New York Times. Other media reported last summer that more than 200 boats had been left in New York's Jamaica Bay. "Our waters have become dumping grounds," Major Paul Ouellette of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission told the Times. "It's got to the point where something has to be done."
Oct 17, 2008
For the first time in 30 years, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has tightened limits on lead emissions, a move that will require states to crack down on polluters that spew more than 1,300 tons of the metal annually.
The new standards, announced by the agency yesterday, limit emissions to 0.15 micrograms of lead per cubic meter of air (ug/m3). The previous standard, set in 1978, was 1.5 ug/m3.
"America's air is cleaner than a generation ago," EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson said in a statement. "With these stronger standards, a new generation of Americans are being protected from harmful lead emissions."
Ingestion of lead can cause brain damage, especially in young children. While the 1980 phase-out of lead in gasoline has curbed lead emissions by nearly 97 percent, according to the EPA, there are still as many as 16,000 industrial facilities, including iron and steel foundries and smelters that melt used batteries, which continue to expel the metal, the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC) says. Lead is also in airplane fuel.
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