The Current


EPA regulates air pollution from medical waste incinerators


It’s a rare day that the EPA actually does something positive for the environment (especially lately), which is why today’s news is such a pleasant surprise. Yesterday, the agency decided it would start regulating air pollution emitted from medical waste incinerators. (In other words, the Clean Air Act is actually being strengthened in this case, not weakened). We know, it’s a shocker—take a moment to breathe deeply into a brown paper bag, then read on.

The rule, which was published in the Federal Registry yesterday and has a 75-day public comment period before it will be finalized, will require medical waste facilities to install filters and scrubbers to capture toxic particulates and gasses emitted from incinerators. Currently incinerators burn 146,000 tons of waste per year (including items like needles, biological waste, and batteries), releasing toxins like mercury and dioxins into the air which then affect nearby communities and ecosystems.

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Climate change negotiations begin in Poznan, Poland


As we all cut back on our food intake to make up for one majorly gluttonous weekend, delegates are meeting in Poland to cut back on carbon. Today is the first day of UN climate change negotiations in Poznan, a conference that aims to set the groundwork for a climate treaty that will succeed the Kyoto protocol, which expires in 2012.

The meeting, which runs from Dec.1-Dec. 12th, marks the halfway point between last year’s conference in Bali and 2009’s meeting in Copenhagen, by which time firm negotiations need to be completed in order to get the new treaty ratified by 2012. Delegates from 192 countries will be present in Poznan this week and next.

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Climate change skeptics continue to muddy global warming debate


Despite overwhelming evidence that global warming and its causes are real, naysayers are out there, as always is the case with any contentious issue. But what’s unique and alarming about the global warming debate is that journalists are actually spreading the views of these “climate skeptics” without actually taking a look at the facts.

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Bush is at it again


Last week it was the Endangered Species Act; now it's the Clean Air Act. And this time, he’s ticked off more than just your average environmentalist.

A coalition of New England governors—both Democrat and Republican—are banding together to try to stop Bush from undermining the Clean Air Act by relaxing pollution control requirements on power plants.

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Obama’s new stimulus package creates jobs through green investments


In case you took a vacation from the news this weekend, here’s what you missed: On Saturday, Obama announced a new economic stimulus plan to create more jobs (phew!). And the best part: The proposal would invest in large-scale green initiatives.

In light of the country’s dire economic straits, Obama plans to enact a sweeping stimulus plan—costing in the realm of $150 billion to $700 billion dollars—to create or preserve 2.5 million jobs and breathe life into a rapidly deteriorating economy. Not only would the plan lower the unemployment rate, it would invest in renewable energy and clean tech.

 

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Issue 25



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