environment

Baton Rouge Benzene Spill
8:46 am
Tue July 24, 2012

DEQ demands timeline on benzene spill

State officials want to know exactly when ExxonMobil Chemical Plant staff knew that the amount of released naphtha, which includes benzene, was much higher than originally reported in the wake of a June 14 spill at the Baton Rouge facility.

The Advocate reports the Department of Environmental Quality issued a compliance order and notice of potential penalty against plant that in part states the facility did not notify the state and other agencies when estimates of a leak amount June 14 substantially changed.

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Environment
4:12 pm
Thu July 19, 2012

New report ties cold Gulf water, dolphin deaths

Researchers say snowmelt that chilled coastal waters of the Gulf of Mexico may have contributed to baby dolphin deaths in the winter of 2011.

A new research paper says 86 baby dolphins are known to have been aborted or died shortly after birth during the period.

Researcher Ruth Carmichael of Alabama's Dauphin Island Sea Lab says she can't say definitively that colder water caused the deaths. However, she says it may have been a deadly contributing factor.

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Environment
1:05 pm
Wed July 18, 2012

Lake Charles looks at alternative fuels

Lake Charles city officials are taking a new look at alternative fuels for public vehicles. City Councilman Rodney Geyen has been pushing Lake Charles City Hall officials to research the costs and savings of using natural gas to run vehicles.

Geyen points to the Lafayette Consolidated Government as an example of what can be done. Lafayette officials have told Geyen that a $25,000-a-month fuel bill for five city buses was reduced to $1,800 a month using compressed natural gas.

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Environment
12:46 pm
Wed July 18, 2012

Coalition offers vision for Gulf restoration

More than two years after the catastrophic BP oil spill, environmental groups say billions of dollars BP is expected to spend on restoration should go toward buying tens of thousands of acres of coastal land for conservation, rebuilding Louisiana's eroding wetlands and creating nearly 200 miles of oyster reefs.

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The Two-Way
6:26 am
Tue July 17, 2012

Drought In U.S. Now Worst Since 1956; Food Prices To Spike, Economy To Suffer

On Monday, a weed was growing through the dry earth at Marion Kujawa's pond, which he normally uses to water the cattle on his farm in Ashley, Ill.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Originally published on Tue July 17, 2012 4:16 pm

With about 55 percent of the continental U.S. suffering from "moderate to extreme drought" conditions the nation is withering under conditions that haven't been this bad since 1956, according to a new report from National Climatic Data Center.

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The Two-Way
2:43 pm
Mon July 16, 2012

For Some British Creatures, Wet Conditions 'Almost Apocalyptic'

Puffins on Farne Islands where many puffin burrows have drowned.
National Trust

Record rainfall in England has battered some wildlife. The country's National Trust says the conditions — record rain in April and June and a very wet July — has been "almost apocalyptic."

Here's how the BBC describes the situation:

"The breeding season has been particularly catastrophic, with sea birds being blown off cliffs by gales and garden birds unable to find food for their young.

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Latest News
12:11 pm
Mon July 16, 2012

Salt water moving up Mississippi River

With the Mississippi River running at low levels, salt water is moving up from the Gulf of Mexico.

The Times-Picayune reports that denser, heavier saltwater flows upriver beneath fresh water flowing downstream when the river's flow drops below normal. The Army Corps of Engineers says salt water is not yet considered a threat to water supplies in the New Orleans area.

Environment
12:03 pm
Mon July 16, 2012

DNR geologist: Gas may be bubbling from salt dome

ASSUMPTION PARISH — A top geologist at the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources says bubbling gas in bayous in Assumption Parish may be connected to a salt dome deep underground.

The Advocate reports (http://bit.ly/LsftDK) that Madhurendu Kumar, director of DNR's geological oil and gas division, told residents last week that gas that has collected in pockets of a fault along the Napoleonville Dome could be being released naturally.

The Two-Way
11:13 am
Mon July 16, 2012

Fifth Fatal Shark Attack Has Australia Reconsidering Great Whites' Protection

A Great White off the coast of South Africa in 2009.
Dan Kitwood Getty Images

There are shark encounters you may laugh at — such as the one we posted about last week. The reactions of a young woman and man when a bull shark steals a fish from the end of her line are wonderful.

Then there are the stories that are no laughing matter — such as those coming in recent days from western Australia.

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Environment
11:12 am
Mon July 16, 2012

Tree-loving Mandeville tallies every tree

There are 151,347 trees, more or less, within Mandeville's city limits, and only about 7 percent of them are live oaks.

Those are among the findings of a study done for the city by two graduate students and their professors at the Southern University Agricultural Research & Extension Center.

Maggie Trenary, an inspector in the city planning department, tells The Times-Picayune (http://bit.ly/NrgLj5) that the low number of live oaks was a surprise. She says the city will have to plant more.

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