The NPL Superfund Footprint Mapper is an interactive, online mapping application—a clickable map—that lets users visualize a rich variety of population and environment characteristics of areas in the vicinity of Superfund sites.
Good news for clean air and water: President Obama unveiled an agreement last week to raise the bar on fuel economy by 2025.
A lawsuit filed in April on behalf of citizens too young to vote takes a novel approach in seeking to force the United States government to mitigate the most serious impacts of human-induced climate change. The petitioners argue that, in failing to address climate change, the federal government has abandoned its fiduciary responsibility to affirmatively [...]
Has New York City hit a critical mass that will make it truly a green city? I’m beginning to suspect so, at least in terms of water issues. There have been an increasing number of initiatives both to remediate past damage and to prevent future water quality problems, that are worth looking at together.
The March designation of the Gowanus Canal in New York City as a SuperFund clean up site was an important step forward, and is now being followed by another leap: on Monday Newtown Creek, which runs between Queens and Brooklyn received the same designation.
On July 22, just days before the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) declared that the last decade was the warmest on record, the United States Senate abandoned its effort to put a price on carbon. Comprehensive climate and energy legislation was on life-support for weeks until Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev) announced that [...]
The greenhouse effect is not all about carbon dioxide. Several other substances, such as water vapor and methane, also play a key part in trapping radiation. Recently, a family of relatively obscure chemicals called hydrofluorocarbons, or HFCs, has entered the spotlight due to its role in global warming. HFCs are highly potent greenhouse warmers – [...]
On June 5th, Columbia Water Center collaborator Ponisseril Somasundaran, an Engineering professor at Columbia University, participated in a workshop organized by the EPA on how to best address the environmental recovery of the Gulf Coast shoreline after the disastrous oil spill. At a later date we will post a conversation with Prof. Somasundaran about the issue and the workshop, but for now we can share the Findings and Conclusions from the Alternative Coastal Protection and Clean-up Technology Workshop.
I recently took a trip to the Gowanus neighborhood in Brooklyn to visit its infamously polluted (and smelly) canal. After decades of controversy, the Environmental Protection Agency recently named the canal as a Superfund site—one of the few such designations in an inner-urban area. In its report, the EPA found that the Gowanus Canal “has become one of the nation’s most extensively contaminated water bodies,” with contaminants including “PCBs, coal tar wastes, heavy metals and volatile organics.”
Hydraulic fracturing is a technique used by the oil and gas industry to facilitate natural gas recovery in underground low permeability coalbed methane wells. This operation improves the extraction efficiency of methane by creating fissions or fractures in underground rock formations, generally 5,000 – 20,000 feet below the ground surface. Highly pressurized hydraulic fracturing fluids, [...]