News Service: Group Says Coal Isn’t A Cash Cow for KY

Photo: Codrington, Stephen. Planet Geography 3rd Edition (2005)
Photo: Codrington, Stephen. Planet Geography 3rd Edition (2005)
Some argue in favor of the coal industry in Kentucky because it offers well-paying jobs in a number of areas where residents may not have them otherwise, but one group says there are costs associated with coal that few stop to think about.

Jason Bailey, research and policy director with the Mountain Association for Community Economic Development, says a study his group did on the issue examined areas where the state has to spend money because of the industry.

He said damage to roads and bridges associated with hauling millions of tons of coal each year are a really substantial cost to consider. He also points out that the huge regulatory system that is require to protect workers’ safety and health, public health, the environment, etc… is extremely costly.

He questions whether it makes sense to continue to focus state subsidies on an energy source that is both declining and also has some negative impacts.

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Fluoride from Municipal Water Supplies is Toxic to Fish

Photo: Ildar  Sagdejev
Photo: Ildar Sagdejev

Water Fluoridation Impacts the Environment

Fluoride pollution from aluminum smelters has long been known to cause problems such as damage to plants and risk to livestock grazing grasses exposed to the chemical. But there are not many highly publicized studies that look at the ecological impact of fluoridating municipal water supplies. Past research, however, shows that the practice hailed by the CDC as one of the greatest public health advances of the 20th century for humans may be causing damage to the environment.

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ENS: EPA Forced to Review Pesticide Testing on Humans

A new agreement requires Federal rules governing pesticide experiments using people as test subjects to be rewritten and issued for public comment.

“People should never have been used as lab rats for testing pesticides,” said attorney Michael Wall with the Natural Resources Defense Council after the June 16 agreement.

In 2006 the EPA imposed a rule that allows experiments in which people are intentionally dosed with pesticides to assess the chemicals’ toxicity and allows EPA to use such experiments to set allowable exposure standards. The pesticide industry used such experiments to argue for weaker regulation of harmful chemicals.

In these experiments, people have been paid to eat or drink pesticides, to enter pesticide vapor chambers, and to have pesticides sprayed into their eyes or rubbed onto their skin.

Under the new agreement the EPA would no longer accept such studies. If the EPA stops accepting them, corporations have nothing to gain by conducting them.

READ THIS STORY AT ENS-NEWSWIRE.COM

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AP: Natural Gas Drilling: 80 Chemicals Possibly Contaminating Water Systems

Photo: Hey Paul
Photo: Hey Paul
More than two years after the start of a natural gas drilling boom, Pennsylvania is making public a complete list of the chemicals used to extract the gas from deep underground amid rising public fears of potential water contamination and increased scrutiny of the fast-growing industry.

It counts more than 80 chemicals being used by the industry in a process called hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” as it pursues the gas in the mile-deep shale. The mixture of chemicals breaks up the shale some 5,000 to 8,000 feet down and props open the cracks to allow the gas trapped inside to flow up the well to the surface.

Some of the chemicals being used are associated with neurological problems, cancer and other serious health effects, although state and industry officials say there is no evidence that the activity is polluting drinking water.

Environmental advocates, however, worry the chemicals are poisoning underground drinking water sources.

READ THIS STORY AT HUFFINGTONPOST.COM

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