ENS: Animal Waste on Factory Farms Comes Under Closer EPA Scrutiny

Photo: Nigel Monckton
Photo: Nigel Monckton
The Environmental Protection Agency, in a legal settlement that could affect the entire U.S. meat industry, has agreed to identify and investigate thousands of factory farms that have been avoiding government regulation for water pollution with animal waste.

Factory farms, also known as concentrated animal feeding operations, CAFO’s, confine animals on an industrial scale and produce massive amounts of manure and other waste. They apply liquid animal waste on land, which runs off into waterways, killing fish, spreading disease, and contaminating drinking water.

More than 30 years ago, Congress identified factory farms as water pollution sources to be regulated under the Clean Water Act’s permit program. But a Bush administration regulation allowed large facilities to bypass government regulation by claiming, without verification, that they do not discharge into waterways.

The settlement, which challenged the Bush administration loophole, requires the EPA to propose a rule on greater information gathering on CAFO’s within the next 12 months.

READ THIS STORY AT ENS-NEWSWIRE.COM

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AP: Bush defends waterboard Khalid Sheik Mohammed

Former President George W. Bush said if he had it to do over, he would still waterboard Khalid Sheik Mohammed, the self-professed mastermind of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.

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The Washington Post: U.S. agency overseeing oil drilling ignored warnings of risks

Documents show that the Minerals Management Service (MMS), the federal agency responsible for regulating offshore oil drilling, repeatedly ignored warnings from government scientists regarding environmental risks as it pushed to quickly approve energy exploration activities. MMS officials receive cash bonuses for meeting federal deadlines on leasing offshore oil and gas exploration.

Other federal government scientists such as some in NOAA and the Marine Mammal Commission have tried to raise red flags in the past under both the Bush and Obama administration but their appeals were disregarded.

The actions of MMS are partly shaped by the 2005 regulation that assumes oil and gas companies can best evaluate the environmental impact of their operations.

READ THIS STORY AT WASHINGTONPOST.COM

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Unsafe At Any Altitude Part III: Hell Over Earth

Photo by Baloba
Photo by Baloba
Everything seemed routine on American Airlines Flight 11 as it took off from Boston bound for Los Angeles. Captain John Ogonowski and First Officer Thomas McGuinness got the Boeing 767 off the runway at 7:59 AM. They were joined by nine flight attendants even though there were only eighty-one passengers on board. A quarter hour later Flight 11 had climbed to twenty-six thousand feet on its way to its assigned altitude of twenty-nine thousand. About the time the seat belt signs were turned off in preparation for breakfast service, the Al Qaeda team went into action.
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