Source: Quad-City Times, July 26, 2013
Attorney General Tom Miller announced Thursday the filing of an amendment to the State’s environmental lawsuit against Grain Processing Corporation (GPC), pending in Muscatine County District Court.
The original suit, which was filed in December 2011, alleged air and water pollution control violations by GPC. According to a press release issued by the Attorney General’s office, further investigation by the office and the Iowa Department of Natural Resources have since identified additional alleged environmental violations — which are included in the amendment — including but not limited to additional excess air emissions, failure to obtain certain air permits or comply with existing permits, failure to provide required air emission controls, and failure to report all actual air pollutant emissions.
The suit is seeking civil penalties for the alleged violations as well as injunctive relief requiring the company to comply with Iowa’s environmental laws. The start date for the trial is currently scheduled for Monday, Sept. 23.
In 2006, GPC paid a $538,000 civil penalty for failure to comply with construction permits limiting particulate emissions. The 2006 lawsuit alleged that GPC exceeded its annual hourly operating limits for a spray dryer, resulting in excess pollution. They also failed to take measures to prevent significant deterioration of the air quality.
At its Muscatine facility, GPC processes grain into ethanol and various feed, industrial and food products. The facility includes more than 300 emission units, or pieces of equipment that emit or have the potential to emit various air pollutants.…
Source: The Independent (UK), June 16, 2013
Posted on: http://envfpn.advisen.com
China, the world’s biggest emitter of greenhouse gases, has ordered companies in its most polluting industries to cut emissions by 30 per cent over the next four years.
The directive, which will compel firms to improve their pollution control equipment and will fine those responsible for excessive emissions, is designed to defuse growing public anger at the country’s appalling environmental record. It is seen as the first stage of President Xi Jinping’s promised reforms to reduce atmospheric pollution and raise food and water safety standards.
“Reducing air pollution is about people’s welfare and the country’s economic future,” the State Council said in a statement. “On the one hand, smog is visible and affects the life of everyone, rich and poor. It has proven that environmental crises can stir controversy and greatly undermine social stability.”
China has seen a number of recent demonstrations – particularly among its growing middle class – against plans to build chemical plants in cities across the country. Sixteen of the world’s 20 most polluted cities are Chinese, and in the first three months of 2013 levels of two atmospheric pollutants in Beijing – nitrogen dioxide and particulate matter between 2.5 and 10 micrometers in diameter, known as PM10 – were 30 per cent higher than at the same time last year. In January, the Chinese capital saw levels of PM2.5 – particles below 2.5 micrometers in diameter – hit concentrations equivalent to those during the notorious peasouper fogs of 1950s London.…
Source: http://www.recordnet.com, April 23, 2013
By: Alex Breitler
Near the peak of last decade’s building boom, air quality officials approved an innovative yet controversial rule holding developers accountable for new pollution caused by growth.
But before long, there was no growth.
Today, as construction activity resumes in south San Joaquin County and all along the Valley, builders are faced with the challenge of designing cleaner neighborhoods or paying to offset pollution elsewhere.
It is not a challenge they initially welcomed, having spent years unsuccessfully attempting to block the rule in court.
But some builders are going even further than what’s required under the rule. They are entering into voluntary agreements to cancel out project emissions entirely, which might protect them from litigation under the state’s stringent environmental laws.
The latest such agreement was signed last week. Meritage Homes agreed to spend nearly $2 million to offset air quality concerns associated with a Manteca residential development it expects to build over the next six years.
Meritage has also committed to clean-air features such as a vehicle roundabout to reduce stopping and starting, school bus stops to facilitate mass transportation, and sidewalks on both sides of the street encouraging people to walk instead of drive. (Some newer neighborhoods contain just one sidewalk per street.)…
Source: Earth Techling, March 2013
By: Beth Buczynski
Anti-fracking activists in New York State have conducted one of the first methane baseline assessments on an area that will soon be home to a natural gas compressor station. It’s hoped that by establishing a baseline measurement of ambient methane, residents will be able to prove fracking’s negative effects on air and water.
All drinking water is contaminated, but one thing it shouldn’t be is flammable. Unfortunately that’s often exactly what happens when Big Gas comes to town. Gas companies deny culpability by claiming that high levels of methane were present before they arrived. The baseline test, conducted by GasSafetyUSA in conjunction with Damascus Citizens for Sustainability, hopes to expose fracking’s true impact.…