This area does not yet contain any content.
Get Updates! and Search
No RSS feeds have been linked to this section.

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 


 

 

Entries in EPA (30)

Tuesday
Jul012014

With Closure of Smelter, Future for Lead Fishing Tackle Uncertain

Late last year, the last primary lead smelter in this country closed, forced out of business by oppressive regulations from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Owned by the Doe Run Company, it had operated in Herculaneum, Mo., since 1892.

In a nutshell, what that means is lead ammunition and lead fishing tackle no longer can be entirely manufactured domestically from raw ore to finished products. That’s because the ore will be shipped to other countries for smelting. As a consequence, prices likely will be higher for many of these items.

That will be the case, that is, unless another company decides to open a new smelter that can meet the more stringent air quality standards imposed by the EPA.

“Whatever the EPA’s motivation when creating the new lead air quality standard, increasingly restrictive regulation of lead is likely to affect the production and cost of traditional ammunition,” said AmmoLand in explaining the consequences.

Cost of sinkers, jig heads, and other lead fishing tackle also will go up if companies must buy lead bullion from foreign smelters. Some companies, including TTI Blakemore Fishing Group, won’t be impacted--- yet.

Since most Road Runners are tied in Haiti, Dominican Republic, and the Philippines, our lead is foreign sourced. We are okay, for now,” said T.J. Stallings, director of marketing for the company.”

“ As more states decide what’s best for the environment based on lies, we may have to offer a lead-free alternative, at nearly double the cost,” he added.

That’s because the regulations that forced Doe Run to close its smelter are  part of an ongoing and coordinated campaign to demonize and ban lead fishing tackle. Never mind that no evidence exists that sinkers, jig heads, and other items pose a significant threat to fish and wildlife.

Lead is a natural substance. It is inert,” Stallings added.

“I’ve poured and tied thousands of jigs. I’ve crimped split shot with my teeth since I was eight. I’m still here.

“Meanwhile the environmentalists are screaming that we are killing birds with our lead fishing tackle. I guess that is the difference between environmentalists and conservationists.

“You only need to do a little fact checking to see what the conservationists at Ducks Unlimited and the National Wild Turkey Federation have done the last 40 years. The results of their work are astounding.”

By contrast, just one “green energy” wind turbine kills more birds annually than lead tackle ever has, he added.

Meanwhile, here’s the Second Amendment angle to the closure of the Doe Run Smelter:

Without ammunition, a gun is just a club,” said New American.

“The government knows this, and in light of the ongoing project of arming federal agencies to the teeth with millions of rounds of ammunition and military-grade weapons and vehicles, the EPA’s closing of the Doe Run plant, although not a direct assault on the right to keep and bear arms, can be seen as another step toward civilian disarmament. 

“While a few other media outlets have reported on the closure, none has connected this dot to a couple of others in the overall plan to leave Americans without weapons and ammunition.”

Go here to read more.

And here’s a more in-depth look at the lead issue from Activist Angler.

Tuesday
Jun242014

Prescription Drugs Harm Fisheries

Nearly half of the population took a prescription drug during the past 30 days, according to Centers for Disease Control statistics from 2007-2010. Additionally, more than 20 percent took three or more prescription drugs during that period. I’d wager that both percentages have gone up since because, as a society, we’re taking more drugs, not fewer.

 If they improve our health, what could be wrong with that? Well, consider this: a potent synthetic female hormone used in many of those drugs could be harming fish and other aquatic life.

“We’re finding in our study that it can wipe out fish populations over several generations, and it’s the male fish that are most affected,” says Kristen Keteles, a toxicologist at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in Denver.

“Some studies have found that male fish below wastewater treatment plants, and exposed to female hormones, can lose their masculine characteristics and become indistinguishable from females. Our new study found that a potent form of the female hormone estrogen used in prescription drugs not only causes the males to look female, it also appears to be toxic to male fish and these effects may impact future generations of fish.

“Where do these hormones and medications come from? All of us. Humans excrete hormones and medications, which often end up in our rivers and streams from sewage.

“Disposing of medications by flushing can also contribute to pharmaceuticals in the environment.

“A growing human population, combined with effects of climate change like decreasing precipitation, has resulted in many streams containing higher concentrations of waste water. In fact, some streams in the west are 90% waste water. Not a nice thought if you like to kayak and fish, like I do.”

 Read more here. 

And here is how to properly dispose of medications.

Tuesday
Jun172014

EPA Levies Record Fine for Water Pollution

Alpha Natural Resources will pay $27.5 million in fines as part of a settlement that U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) says is “the largest penalty in history” under the water-pollution portion of the federal Clean Water Act. The civil penalty is for nearly 6,300 violations of pollution limits at company sites.

Under the agreement, Alpha also will improve its water treatment practices for 79 active mines and 25 coal processing plants in West Virginia, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and Virginia. According to EPA, that means $200 million will be used “to install and operate wastewater treatment systems and to implement comprehensive, system-wide upgrades to reduce discharges of pollution from coal mines.”

The Justice Department’s Robert Dreher added, “The unprecedented size of the civil penalty in this settlement sends a strong message to others in his industry that such egregious violations of the nation’s Clean Water Act will not be tolerated.”

Alpha spokesman Gene Kitts, meanwhile, said the consent decree “provides a framework for our efforts to become fully compliant with our environmental permits.”

He also pointed out that the company’s compliance rate for 2013 was 99.8 percent.

“That’s a strong record of compliance, particularly considering it’s based on more than 665,000 chances to miss a daily or monthly average limit,” he added. “But our goal is to do even better.”

Thursday
Jun122014

Pollution Reduced, But Goals Not Reached for Cleaning Up Chesapeake Bay

Progress is being made in reducing the pollution flowing into Chesapeake Bay, according to a report. But the news is not all good, as the Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) announced, “Many jurisdictions fell short in implementing practices that reduce pollution from agricultural sources and urban and suburban polluted runoff.”

In 2010, the Bay states--- Delaware, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, and West Virginia --- and the Environmental Protect Agency set pollution limits that would restore water quality in the Bay, as well as the rivers that feed it. Additionally, the states made two-year milestone commitments to take specific actions to ensure progress was being made to achieve the agreed-upon pollution reductions.

Reducing pollution from sewage treatment plants exceeded 2013 goals, but “our analysis shows that implementation of some important practices like forested buffers and urban stream restoration lag behind what is necessary to achieve long-term goals,” CBF said.

What’s at risk if those long-term goals aren’t achieved? The list is long. For starters, there are the multi-million-dollar bass fisheries in the Bay’s many tributaries, with the Potomac being the most notable.

And how about this? Five-hundred million pounds of seafood are harvested each year from the Bay. Also, it’s one of the few places left in the world where an industry exists harvesting oysters from the wild.

Additionally, this unique ecosystem supplies as much as 1/3 of the nation’s blue crabs annually, and striper fishing carries an economic value to the area of about $500 million per year.

“We are not on pace anywhere to meet our 2017 and 2025 goals,” said Jill Witkowski, director of the Choose Clean Water Coalition. “If we’re planning to run a race, so far we’ve done a good job on our couch to 5k. But if we want to run a marathon, we have a long way to go.”

Runoff from farms is one of the biggest threats to the continued health of the Bay, as close to one-quarter of the land in its watershed is devoted to agriculture. Thus, it is the single largest source of nutrient and sediment pollution entering the Bay.

“While conventional tillage, fertilizers and pesticides can be beneficial to crops, their excessive use can pollute rivers and streams, pushing nutrients and sediment into waterways,” CBF said.

Key Findings:

• Maryland met or exceeded five of seven selected goals, including animal waste management systems, forest buffers, grass buffers, upgrading stormwater systems and septic regulations. It failed to meet tree-planting goals and didn't set a goal for urban forest buffers.

• Delaware reached or surpassed four of its seven selected goals, wetland restoration, cover crops, bioretention and urban tree planting. It fell short on animal waste management, grass buffers and septic system connections.

• Virginia met two of eight milestones evaluated: stream access control with fencing and urban stream restoration. It fell short on forest buffers, conservation tillage, composite agricultural practices, modern stormwater practices, urban nutrient management and composite urban practices.

Monday
May262014

Ohio Stops Federal Attempt to Dump Contaminated Sediment in lake Erie

According to Port of Cleveland, enough sediment is dredged from the Cuyahoga River each year to fill a major league baseball stadium 30 feet deep.

Ohio state environmental officials don’t like a federal proposal to dump sediment from the Cuyahoga River and Cleveland Harbor in the open-water of Lake Erie. Because of its contamination, the Cuyahoga because infamous as “the river that caught fire” in 1969 and helped provide the impetus for passage of the Clean Water Act of 1972.

Dredged sediment from the once heavily polluted river has not been discarded in Lake Erie for 40 years.

“We have deep concerns,” said Mike Settles, a spokesman for the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, which disagrees with federal testing methods and argues that the sediments “objectively and unambiguously fail” to meet federal PCB (polychlorinated biphenyls) limits, making them a threat to fish. The state also is worried about levels of residual DDT, a pesticide, and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs).

As a consequence, the state has ruled that the sediment must be placed in an existing disposal facility near Burke Lakefront Airport, not in the middle of the lake.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers argued that moving the dredged sediment to areas 5 to 9 miles offshore would create “no significant impact.” It added that sediment “has improved to the point that it now meets U.S. EPA/USACE guidelines for open-lake placement.”

Despite requests from both sides to help mediate, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency avoided involvement.

Local environmental groups, however, sided squarely with the state.

“It’s a terrible idea,” said Nathan Johnson from the Ohio Environmental Council. “It could increase toxicity in Lake Erie fish. It’s just a bad idea.”

Settles added that the state agency is evaluating alternative plans with less or no environmental impact, as it considers the dredging request.

Since 1974, sediments from the river have been placed in manmade containment areas along the shoreline of Lake Erie, with no in-lake dumping permitted because of contaminants. But sediments from several lake communities, including Toledo, Ashtabula, and Erie (Pa.) have been dumped into the lake in recent years.