Friday, July 25, 2014

Greenpeace "Founder" Patrick Moore Not a Founder at All

Comments:  UraniumFree Virginia , Do you remember at some point VUI and its friends from the Virginia Energy Independence Coalition or whatever its name was, the one funded by AREVA, brought a former Greenpeace "founder" and "activist" who has repented his sin of opposing nuclear power in his youth. Do you remember? Anyway, this guy is fake. We knew it all along but here is more proof



  Greenpeace "Founder" Patrick Moore Not a Founder at All

For more than 20 years now, industry lobbyist Patrick Moore has touted himself a “co-founder” and sometimes even a “founder” of the global environment group Greenpeace.

But a document making the rounds shows that Moore's claim to be a founder or a co-founder of Greenpeace is simply not true.

A letter from 1971 shows Patrick Moore applying to take part in a Greenpeace trip and protest against nuclear testing in the Arctic ocean. A response from one of the actual co-founders of Greenpeace,

Paul Cotes, on Greenpeace letterhead no less, acknowledges receipt of Moore's interest in taking part in Greenpeace activity.

How the heck can someone apply to be part of an organization that is already founded and then claim later to have been a founder?

Here's the letter:

Busted.
In many ways, Patrick Moore has built his entire reputation off this myth or, at the least, it has served Moore very well as a powerful talking point.

To be a pro-nuclear energy industry spokesperson or someone who claims there is no scientific proof that climate change is caused by human activity is one thing. In fact, there are lots of people who jump on Fox News and say the things Moore says.

But to say such things as a founder of one of the largest, most recognized environment groups in the world is what makes Moore newsworthy. And over the years Moore's story of being a former environmentalist who has seen the error of his ways has gotten him a lot of press.

In fact, Moore even wrote a book a few years back called, “Confessions of a Greenpeace Drop Out.”
Looking at Moore's credentials, I would suggest that if Moore had never claimed the mantle of a founder of Greenpeace, I bet he would not have gotten even an inch of column space, compared to the hundreds of articles and television appearances he has gotten over the years.

Here's a 2004 profile in Wired magazine telling the tale of Patrick Moore's evolution from founder of Greenpeace to a “mouthpiece” for industry.

Case in point, watch this 2012 interview with Canada's right-wing mouthpiece Ezra Levant and you tell me if Moore's story is at all interesting if you take out the now-proven-false claim that Moore was a founder of Greenpeace:



See what I mean? There's just not much of a story.

Without his claim-to-fame, Patrick Moore is nothing but a guy with some opinions, and it blows my mind that he was able to keep up this myth for so long.

http://www.desmogblog.com/2014/07/12/greenpeace-co-founder-patrick-moore-not-co-founder-all

Thursday, July 24, 2014

New Insight on the Nation’s Earthquake Hazards





Comments:  No to uranium mining, fracking, Nuke Plants on all earthquake faults!

 

New Insight on the Nation’s Earthquake Hazards                    

This Science Feature can be found at: http://www.usgs.gov/blogs/features/usgs_top_story/new-insight-on-the-nations-earthquake-hazards/

National Map
2014 USGS National Seismic Hazard Map, displaying intensity of potential ground shaking from an earthquake in 50 years (which is the typical lifetime of a building).

To help make the best decisions to protect communities from earthquakes, new USGS maps display how intense ground shaking could be across the nation.

The USGS recently updated their U.S. National Seismic Hazard Maps, which reflect the best and most current understanding of where future earthquakes will occur, how often they will occur, and how hard the ground will likely shake as a result.

42 States at Risk; 16 States at High Risk
 Students Conduct Earthquake Preparedness Drill
Students conduct the “drop, cover, hold on” safety procedure during an earthquake preparedness drill. Photo Credit: Jessica Robertson, USGS

While all states have some potential for earthquakes, 42 of the 50 states have a reasonable chance of experiencing damaging ground shaking from an earthquake in 50 years (the typical lifetime of a building). Scientists also conclude that 16 states have a relatively high likelihood of experiencing damaging ground shaking. These states have historically experienced earthquakes with a magnitude 6 or greater.

The hazard is especially high along the west coast, intermountain west, and in several active regions of the central and eastern U.S., such as near New Madrid, MO, and near Charleston, SC. The 16 states at highest risk are Alaska, Arkansas, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Kentucky, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming.

While these overarching conclusions of the national-level hazard are similar to those of the previous maps released in 2008, details and estimates differ for many cities and states. Several areas have been identified as being capable of having the potential for larger and more powerful earthquakes than previously thought due to more data and updated earthquake models. The most prominent changes are discussed below.

Informed Decisions Based on the Maps
With an understanding of potential ground shaking levels, various risk analyses can be calculated by considering factors like population levels, building exposure, and building construction practices. This is used for establishing building codes, and in the analysis of seismic risk for key structures. This can also help in determining insurance rates, emergency preparedness plans, and private property decisions such as re-evaluating one’s home and making it more resilient.

These maps are part of USGS contributions to the National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program (NEHRP), which is a congressionally-established partnership of four federal agencies with the purpose of reducing risks to life and property in the U.S. that result from earthquakes. The contributing agencies are the USGS, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), National Institute of Standards and Technology, and National Science Foundation (NSF). As an example of the collaboration, the hazards identified in the USGS maps underlie FEMA-sponsored seismic design provisions that are incorporated into building codes adopted by states and localities. The maps also reflect investments in research by academic and other scientists supported by grants from the USGS and the NSF.

“The standards for seismic safety in building codes are directly based upon USGS assessments of potential ground shaking from earthquakes, and have been for years,” said Jim Harris, a member and former chair of the Provisions Update Committee of the Building Seismic Safety Council.
“The committees preparing those standards welcome this updated USGS information as a basis for making decisions and continuing to ensure the most stable and secure construction.”

Key Updates
East Coast
The eastern U.S. has the potential for larger and more damaging earthquakes than considered in previous maps and assessments. As one example, scientists learned a lot following the magnitude 5.8 earthquake that struck Virginia in 2011. It was among the largest earthquakes to occur along the east coast in the last century, and helped determine that even larger events are possible. Estimates of earthquake hazards near Charleston, SC, have also gone up due to the assessment of earthquakes in the state.

In New York City, the maps indicate a slightly lower hazard for tall buildings than previously thought (but still a hazard nonetheless). Scientists estimated a lower likelihood for slow shaking from an earthquake near the city. Slow shaking is likely to cause more damage to tall structures in contrast, compared to fast shaking which is more likely to impact shorter structures.

Central U.S.
The New Madrid Seismic Zone has been identified to have a larger range of potential earthquake magnitudes and locations than previously identified. This is a result of a range of new research, part of which was recently compiled by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

West Coast
In California, earthquake hazard extends over a wider area than previously thought. Most notably, faults were recently discovered, raising earthquake hazard estimates for San Jose, Vallejo and San Diego. On the other hand, new insights on faults and rupture processes reduced earthquake hazard estimates for Irvine, Santa Barbara and Oakland. Hazard increased in some parts of the San Francisco Bay Area and Los Angeles region and decreased in other parts. These updates were from the new Uniform California Earthquake Rupture Forecast Model, which incorporates many more potential fault ruptures than did previous assessments.

Recent earthquakes in Alaska, Mexico and New Zealand taught scientists more about complex ruptures and how faults can link together. This insight was applied to California for which approximately 250,000 potential complex ruptures were modeled.

New research on the Cascadia Subduction Zone resulted in increased estimates of earthquake magnitude up to magnitude 9.3. Deep-sea cores were collected that show evidence within the sea-floor sediments of large earthquake-generated mudflows. Earthquake shaking estimates were also increased following abundant data gathered from the magnitude 9.0 earthquake in Tohoku, Japan in 2011 and the magnitude 8.2 earthquake offshore of Chile in 2014, as those events ruptured along subduction zones similar to the Pacific Northwest zone.
Damage to Washington National Cathedral
Damage to the Washington National Cathedral in DC from the earthquake in Virginia on August 23, 2011. Photo Credit: William Leith, USGS

In Washington, scientists incorporated new knowledge of the Tacoma Fault into the maps and identified changes to the geometry of the Whidbey Island fault in the northern Puget Sound. Earthquake hazard also increased for Las Vegas because of new science. In Utah, scientists dug trenches to study prehistoric earthquakes along the Wasatch Fault. While the overall seismic hazard didn’t change significantly, detailed changes were made to the fault models in this region and robust data were acquired to hone the assessments. This is valuable since approximately 75% of Utah’s population, including the residents of Salt Lake City, lives near this fault.
The magnitude 7.9 earthquake in Wenchuan, China in 2008 provided many new records of shaking that are very similar to anticipated future earthquakes in the western U.S., as the fault structures are similar. Previously, scientists did not have nearly as many shaking records from earthquakes of this size.
Induced Earthquakes … Research Underway
Some states have experienced increased seismicity in the past few years that may be associated with human activities such as the disposal of wastewater in deep wells.
One specific focus for the future is including an additional layer to these earthquake hazard maps to account for recent potentially triggered earthquakes that occur near some wastewater disposal wells. Injection-induced earthquakes are challenging to incorporate into hazard models because they may not behave like natural earthquakes and their rates change based on man-made activities.
You Can’t Plan If …
“USGS earthquake science is vital because you can’t plan for earthquakes if you don’t know what you are planning for,” said Mark Petersen, Chief of the USGS National Seismic Hazard Mapping Project. “Our nation’s population and exposure to large earthquakes has grown tremendously in recent years. The cost of inaction in planning for future earthquakes and other natural disasters can be very high, as demonstrated by several recent damaging events across the globe. It is important to understand the threat you face from earthquakes at home and the hazards for the places you might visit. The USGS is dedicated to applying the best available science in developing reliable products useful for reducing the earthquake risk across the U.S.”
Start with USGS Science
The USGS is the only federal agency with responsibility for recording and reporting earthquake activity nationwide and providing a seismic hazard assessment. The USGS regularly updates the national seismic hazard models and maps, typically every 6 years, in sync with the building code updates. The 2014 update focuses on the conterminous U.S. Maps are also available for Alaska (last updated in 2007); Hawaii (1998); Puerto Rico (2003); Guam and Marianna Islands (2012); and American Samoa (2012).

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Nuclear Plant Near Epicenter Shuts Down: North Anna: 2011


Venting Steam!

Nuclear Plant Near Epicenter Shuts Down

Tuesday, Aug 23, 2011  |  Updated 5:05 PM EDT

A nuclear power plant located in Louisa County, the epicenter of the earthquake in Virginia, has shut down.

The North Anna Power Station, operated by Dominion Power, has two reactors.  Both reactors tripped automatically at the time of the quake and shut down. 

The plant declared an "unusual event" in the wake of the 5.8 magnitude quake, which is the lowest stage on the plant's emergency scale.

As a result, the plant has been shut down.

The AP reports the plant is being run off of four emergency diesel generators, which are supplying power for critical safety equipment.

Nuclear Regulatory Commission spokesman Roger Hannah says the agency was not immediately aware of any damage at nuclear power plants in the southeast.

NRC officials are still assessing the situation.

Check back with NBC Washington for more updates as they become available.
http://www.nbcwashington.com/news/local/DC-Nuclear-Plant-Near-Epicenter-Shuts-Down-128261808.html

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Duke Energy Claims Dan River Cleanup Complete but: Law group says 94 percent of deposit still in river/ Critics skeptical of claim that coal ash cleanup is finished / NC, Va. groups to monitor coal ash in Dan River /

 
Coal Ash Spill:  Seventy miles of the Dan River were coated after a drain pipe collapse at a plant in Eden, N.C., released tens of thousands of tons of coal ash into the water
 
 

NC, Va. groups to monitor coal ash in Dan River

By Steve Szkotak Associated Press | Posted: Monday, July 21, 2014 1:15 am        
RICHMOND, Va. — Two water protection groups are teaming up to continue monitoring the Dan River for large deposits of coal ash from a massive spill in North Carolina that flowed into Virginia.

The planned long-term monitoring comes after the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency concluded Thursday that Duke Energy had completed the removal of large pockets of coal ash.

The monitoring will be conducted by the Roanoke River Basin Association and the Dan River Basin Association. The groups are fearful coal ash containing an array of toxic heavy metals will continue to be churned up from the river bottom during floods or storms.

“We know that river better than anyone so we know where the coal ash is most likely to move, to stay and collect,” said Tiffany Haworth, executive director of the Dan River group. “We will continue to monitor the river and look for these high deposits of coal ash.”

The testing will complement a range of monitoring already announced before the EPA declared the largest collections of ash had been removed, including 2,500 tons scooped up from a 20-by-350-yard section of the river in Danville.

The coal ash, which had collected behind a dam, was the result of a Feb. 2 breach at a waste dump 24 miles upriver from Danville. Duke Energy estimates about 39,000 tons of coal ash entered the dam after a drain pipe collapsed in Eden, North Carolina. Seventy miles of the river was coated with the gray discharge.

Myles Bartos, the EPA’s on-site coordinator for the cleanup, acknowledged that only a fraction of the coal ash that spilled had been collected.

“Really, the threat is not the coal ash; it’s what’s in the coal ash,” he said. “It’s the metal that’s in the coal ash. The thing that we’re really concerned about is the concentration of metals.”

Bartos stressed that treated public drinking water supplies in Danville and South Boston tested above safe drinking standards.

“The systems did what they were supposed to — take particulate out of the river water,” he said.

The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality will test the water and fish in the river, as well as river sediments, over the next two years, spokesman William Hayden said. The DEQ’s counterpart in North Carolina, as well as Duke and federal agencies, will also continue to monitor the river.

Andrew Lester, executive director of the Roanoke River Basin Association, said while he is aware of the continued testing, the water groups are still committed to conducting their own monitoring.

“Our philosophy is, you trust but you verify,” he said.

http://www.roanoke.com/ap/state/nc-va-groups-to-monitor-coal-ash-in-dan-river/article_1c717af8-8568-5f4c-87c1-49b8328359b9.html

Law group says 94 percent of deposit still in river

BY JOHN R. CRANE
jcrane@registerbee.com
(434) 791-7987 | Posted: Monday, July 21, 2014 7:23 pm

An environmental group has criticized Duke Energy following its clean-up of a 2,500-ton coal ash deposit at Schoolfield Dam, saying the company has not accounted for the remainder of its 39,000-ton coal ash spill into the Dan River.

“Where are the other 37,000 tons?” said Kathleen Sullivan, senior communications manager for the Southern Environmental Law Center, in an email to the Danville Register & Bee last week. “They have not accounted for 94 percent of the coal-ash waste spilled into the Dan River. Duke has removed about 6 percent of the coal-ash waste it spilled and at just two places: at the spill site itself and the Danville dam. It is hard to believe that the coal ash hasn’t collected elsewhere in places in the river where it could be removed.”

Calling the cleanup of Schoolfield Dam an important milestone, Duke Energy Spokesman Jeff Brooks said the company will continue monitoring and evaluating the Dan River, including sediments.
 
“While we have completed those projects [Schoolfield and the Town Creek site two miles downstream of Duke’s old Dan River Steam Station in Eden, North Carolina, where the Feb. 2 spill occurred] and removal of material, we are far from complete in our monitoring work at the river,” Brooks said during an interview Monday.
 
The company will work to determine whether deposits meet criteria for removal by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and whether removal of the material would cause more harm than benefit to the environment, Brooks said.
 
“That work is going to continue for many months,” Brooks added. “Duke Energy is not going anywhere.
 
The company recently completed clean-up of a 258-ton coal-ash deposit where Town Creek meets the Dan River in Eden. Material from both sites has been taken to the Upper Piedmont landfill in Person County, North Carolina, for storage.
 
Myles Bartos, an EPA official in charge of overseeing coal-ash cleanup near the dam, told Danville City Council last week that the Dan River has returned to normal. Bartos said ,ore than 600 water samples have been taken from the river since the spill and all tests have shown consistently safe drinking water and a quick return to normal levels of chemicals.
 
The Southern Environmental Law Center’s email said Duke is incapable of removing all the coal ash and its pollutants, and that it’s “more important than ever to remove the coal ash from all 14 waterfront sites in North Carolina and move it to safe, dry, lined storage.”

Also, studies from Duke University have shown that coal ash and its heavy metals will enter into the water from sediments in hot weather and “when conditions are right.”
 
“Also, it will get stirred up when there is a flood,” Sullivan said in the email.
 
Brooks acknowledged the Dan River is powerful and carries the potential for stirred-up pollutants, “but that’s why we’re monitoring the river so closely and why we’ve conducted monitoring and modeling.”
 
“Should we see a deposit change and meet the criteria for removal, we would absolutely take action,” Brooks said. “But we’re not seeing that now.”
 
Duke has taken more than 2,000 surface and drinking water samples in the Dan River since the Feb. 2 spill, Brooks said.
 
Brooks said he understood the desire to have all the coal ash removed, but extracting all of it “may not be the best option for the river.”
 
Frank Holleman, Southern Environmental Law Center senior attorney, said the organization will be pressing as hard as possible to get Duke to clean up its coal-ash sites across North Carolina. The law center is representing several environmental groups in court to make Duke clean up its coal-ash pollution from its old Dan River Steam Station in Eden, including the Dan River Basin Association, Roanoke River Basin Association, Southern Alliance for Clean Energy and the Waterkeeper Alliance.
 
The Dan River Basin Association and the Roanoke River Basin Association will monitor the river, looking for coal ash collection that should be brought before the EPA’s attention, Holleman said.
 
The Southern Environmental Law Center will be watching what state and federal governments do “to ensure that Duke is appropriately penalized and pays the public for what it has done, for the consequences of the spill,” Holleman said.
 
The biggest priority is for everyone to make sure Duke cleans up those sites and gets the ash out of these old lagoons and moves it to safe, lined storage away from the rivers, Holleman said.
Another spill could occur in the Dan River and Duke has failed to clean up the coal ash from the old Dan River Steam Station, Holleman said.
 
“You would think it [cleanup at the Dan River Steam Station] would have happened by now,” Holleman said.
 
http://www.godanriver.com/news/coal-ash/law-group-says-percent-of-deposit-still-in-river/article_028ec20a-112e-11e4-aae8-0017a43b2370.html

Duke Energy Claims Dan River Cleanup Complete

ash core-3
Waterkeeper Alliance pulled samples from Dan River to test Duke Energy’s cleanup claims. Since the spill was announced in February, Waterkeeper has called for a comprehensive cleanup to all Duke Energy coal ash sites in North Carolina

Waterkeeper Alliance, North Carolina Riverkeepers, and local residents reacted with shock and outrage to Duke Energy’s announcement yesterday that the company had completed clean-up work on the Dan River following the massive February 5th coal ash spill in Eden, North Carolina.

“This is what taking responsibility looks like to Duke Energy.”

After hearing the news of the “completed” cleanup from Duke Energy, Waterkeeper Alliance staff attorney, Pete Harrison, headed straight to Eden, NC, the site of the spill, to see the river for himself and take samples of the remaining coal ash.
They say they’ve completed the cleanup of the Dan River and I think it’s more accurate to say they’ve stopped cleaning up the Dan River,” said Harrison.

http://waterkeeper.org/2014/07/18/duke-energy-claims-dan-river-cleanup-complete/

94% of toxic coal ash still remains in the Dan River. Tell our state leaders that it's their duty to make Duke Energy clean up ALL of NC's coal ash ponds: http://bit.ly/moveNCcoalash

Read this article: http://abc11.tv/1jFit1V
http://bit.ly/moveNCcoalash

Critics skeptical of claim that coal ash cleanup is finished

Thursday, July 17, 2014
It's the headline that has environmentalists and folks who live along the Dan River so fired up: "Duke Energy Completes Cleanup Work Along the Dan River." In Rockingham County, they just don't believe that, or they don't understand it.

"If you get out and go three inches deep in the sand, you're in coal ash," said Ben Adkins.

Adkins lives just up the road from Draper's Landing, a popular spot with fishermen and river lovers. He grew up here and talking to him, you can feel his love for the Dan River.

"It means everything to me," Adkins said. "I mean this is where I come in the summer to cool off, fish, hunt for clams. I learned how to swim right over there. It was the first place I knew God was real. It makes me sick. I got a three-year-old boy that'll never be able to come down here."

Accompanied by Pete Harrison, with the Waterkeeper's Alliance, Adkins used a PVC pipe to take core samples from the river bed and found 1-2 inches of a dark grey, shimmering substance buried under about three inches of brown, sandy sediment.

"You can see here this dark colored stuff is pure coal ash," said Harrison. "This is what taking responsibility looks like to Duke Energy."

Duke Energy has spent the last six months cleaning up coal ash that spilled into the Dan on Feb. 2. By the company's own numbers, 39,000 tons of toxic sludge spewed into the river after a pipe under a coal ash lagoon burst.

About 90 percent of that is still coating the riverbed as far as 70 miles downstream, but Duke contends removing it would cause more problems than it solved.

"They say they've completed the cleanup of the Dan River and I think it's more accurate to say they've stopped cleaning up the Dan River," said Harrison.

Still, the EPA signed off on Duke's decision not to clean up more ash as well as the company's request to stop taking water samples from the river. According to Duke, the company has conducted nearly 2,000 surface and drinking water samples in the Dan River and water quality has remained safe since the spill.

But Harrison and other environmentalists contend that, even if that's the case now, it might not stay that way.

"There's good science that shows this stuff does not remained locked in place," Harrison said. "We know that particularly when it heats up in the summer that the ash that's bound up with soil particles and that sort of thing can actually just erupt back into the water. For Duke to be wiping its hands clean and walking away is outrageous."

"It's ridiculous what they did to my river. Makes me fume," said Adkins.

http://abc11.com/news/critics-skeptical-of-claim-that-coal-ash-cleanup-is-finished/196078/



Senate unanimously nixes House coal ash bill
With a 46-0 vote North Carolina's Senate unanimously rejected the House's version of a coal ash clean-up plan, calling it too lenient.
http://abc11.com/politics/senate-nixes-house-coal-ash-bill/185755/

Monday, July 21, 2014

New Insight on the Nation’s Earthquake Hazards : No to Nukes!


North Anna Nuke Plant:  Virginia



From our friend:  Erica:

7/17/14
New Insight on the Nation’s Earthquake Hazards
Key Updates

East Coast...

The eastern U.S. has the potential for larger and more damaging earthquakes than considered in previous maps and assessments.


As one example, scientists learned a lot following the magnitude 5.8 earthquake that struck Virginia in 2011. It was among the largest earthquakes to occur along the east coast in the last century, and helped determine that even larger events are possible.

Estimates of earthquake hazards near Charleston, SC, have also gone up due to the assessment of earthquakes in the state.

Virginians the time is NOW to tell our Governor, Legislators and Dominion." HELL NO to a third reactor at North Anna"!


http://www.usgs.gov/blogs/features/usgs_top_story/new-insight-on-the-nations-earthquake-hazards/?from=title
See More

Friday, July 18, 2014

Congressional initiative would end billions in public land and mineral giveaways



Congressional initiative would end billions in public land and mineral giveaways, protect scarce water, create jobs New legislation would update the 1872 Mining

Law Earthworks July 10, 2014 July 10, 2014, Washington, D.C. – U.S. House of Representatives Natural Resources Committee Ranking Member Peter DeFazio (OR-4) and Subcommittee on Public Lands and Environmental Regulation Ranking Member Raul Grijalva today introduced a long-needed overhaul of the 142-year-old law governing mining of minerals such as gold, copper and uranium on federally-managed public lands.

“This bill is a win-win for taxpayers and the environment,” said Lauren Pagel, policy director for Earthworks. “This outdated relic of a law costs Americans billions and puts our water at risk.” The 1872 Mining Law was signed into law by President Ulysses Grant. Originally intended to spur the nation’s westward expansion, the 19th century statute still governs the extraction of hardrock minerals on over 350 million acres of public lands in the western United States.

The Hardrock Mining and Reclamation Act would: Charge a royalty on minerals extracted from public lands. Unlike all 50 states and private landowners in the US, taxpayers charge no royalties for minerals. More than $300 billion worth have been given away since 1872. Allow mining to be balanced with other uses of public lands. Currently land managers believe the law requires them to permit mines, even if the land is better used for another purpose – like protecting Grand Canyon or Yellowstone National Parks. Protect our clean water by prohibiting mines that would generate water pollution in perpetuity.

The current law contains no environmental provisions, even though the EPA has identified mining as the nation’s biggest toxic polluter. Research has found that over 75% of modern mines have polluted rivers, streams and groundwater, and an increasing number of mines will result in water pollution that lasts for hundreds to thousands of years or “in perpetuity.” Create over 10,000 jobs by funding the cleanup of the hundreds of thousands of abandoned mines. Unlike coal, hardrock mining has no cleanup fund. EPA estimates abandoned mine cleanup could cost $50 billion. End public land giveaways.

The Mining Law allows private interests to purchase mineral bearing public lands for no more than $5/acre (although a moratorium on this process, known as patenting, has been annually renewed since 1994). “This bill would bring the 19th century mining law into the 21st century, and help the economy in the process,” said Earthworks executive director Jennifer Krill. “The 1872 Mining Law reform is a win-win for both jobs and the environment, and ensures that taxpayers start getting a fair deal instead of giving away our minerals for free.”

 “There are some places that simply shouldn’t be mined,” said Mary Costello of the Rock Creek Alliance, a citizen’s group fighting to protect a Montana wilderness area from a proposed mine that the permitting agencies say could generate water pollution forever. She continued, “We need a mining law that lets us safeguard a major watershed that is absolutely vital to our local economy,
while protecting the spectacular public lands that are a part of our nation’s wilderness system. This bill does that.”

“I am grateful that Congressman DeFazio is taking leadership to reform our country’s outdated mining laws,” said Ann Vileisis of the Kalmiopsis Audubon Society, a group working to protect the headwaters of National Wild and Scenic Rogue and Smith rivers from the threat of nickel strip mining.

 “Many of us were outraged to learn how little public lands agencies can do to protect our clean water and salmon runs because the outmoded mining law makes mining the highest use for public lands. Now, it’s rigged to give mining companies a big advantage, but local communities will be left to deal with the pollution.” -

See more at: http://www.earthworksaction.org/media/detail/congressional_initiative_would_end_billions_in_public_land_and_mineral_give#.U78YT_9OU2x

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Virginia Sewage Sludge Victims File Lawsuit Alleging Negligence, Private Nuisance and Trespass


CLAREMONT, Va., Nov. 17 /U.S. Newswire/ -- After years of public complaints to unresponsive government officials about putrid smells and health concerns linked to sewage sludge land applications, six Virginia citizens have filed a nuisance lawsuit in Surry County, Virginia.

The lawsuit alleges that the fundamental right of every Virginian to the use and enjoyment of his or her home has been impaired by Sussex-Surry LLC, land owners, and Synagro Central, Inc, sewage sludge haulers. The complaint alleges defendants have sprayed or dumped tons of sewage sludge on trees and land adjacent to the plaintiff's homes causing foul odors and dust particles associated with sewage sludge, to permeate the air. It also alleges these conditions are linked to plaintiffs emerging physical and emotional problems, interference with business, and driving one plaintiff out of the comfort of her home. The suit asks for 18.4 million dollars of compensatory and punitive damages, and injunctive relief.

"Filing this negligence lawsuit in Virginia is a ray of hope for hundreds of Virginia sewage sludge victims who have experienced a similar nuisance and, or who believe sludge is the cause of their health problems," says Barbara L. Rubin of Neighbors Against Toxic Sludge (NATS).

In Virginia, county after county has valiantly fought the sludge program. They have cited numerous health complaints, peer reviewed scientific studies that link sludge exposure and illnesses,

CDC/National Institute of Occupational Safety Health (NIOSH) findings that workers exposed to sludge become ill, two EPA Inspector General and two National Academy of Science reports that found the science behind the sludge rule weak and out of date. All have been ignored by public officials and the Virginia Legislature. Instead, officials have embarked on an ever increasing program of forcing millions of tons of sewage sludge on neighbors to farm fields and wooded areas in the state, resulting in mounting numbers of sewage sludge victims.

Loudoun Neighbors Against Toxic Sludge has been working to implement a moratorium on land application of sewage sludge until there is credible scientific evidence it is safe for public health.
Contact: Barbara L. Rubin of Neighbors Against Toxic Sludge (NATS), 703-847-8430; Web: http://www.LOUDOUNNATS.ORG

http://www.kcbd.com/story/5698660/virginia-sewage-sludge-victims-file-lawsuit-alleging-negligence-private-nuisance-and-trespass