SETAC MultiBrief
Sep. 5, 2013

Ontario Power Generation plan for nuclear waste draws questions
CTV News
Nuclear waste is not a popular topic, but this fall it will take center stage in one of the most important public hearings in Canadian history. Ontario Power Generation has plans to bury warehouses full of radioactive waste within 2 kilometers of Lake Huron. OPG says it's the safest option possible, but a growing number of people are questioning the plan.More

Baylor environmental science professor earns prestigious Fulbright Award
Baylor University
Bryan W. Brooks, Ph.D., professor of environmental science and biomedical studies in Baylor University's College of Arts & Sciences and director of the environmental science graduate program and the environmental health science program, has been awarded a Fulbright Scholar Award to conduct research during the 2013-2014 academic year at the University of Lethbridge in Canada. As a Fulbright Canada Visiting Research Chair, Brooks will do guest lectures and conduct research focusing on water resources in Alberta, Canada, in an effort to better understand water quality stressors across various types of areas and environments. More

Why are chemical weapon attacks different?
National Geographic
The White House is weighing military options in response to a chemical weapons attack allegedly carried out by the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in a rebel-held suburb of Damascus. President Barack Obama declared a year ago that the use of chemical weapons by the Assad regime would cross a "red line" and could provoke U.S. military intervention. But what makes chemical weapons attacks more unacceptable than conventional military attacks, which have been raging in Syria since the start of the civil war there more than two years ago? More

The Chemical Safety Improvement Act: Potential implications for industry
Environmental Leader
In a rare showing of bipartisan support for Toxic Substances Control Act reform, Senators David Vitter, R-La., and the late Frank Lautenberg, D-N.J., introduced the Chemical Safety Improvement Act, S. 1009. The bill offers a politically viable framework for TSCA reform.More

Errors cast doubt on Japan's cleanup of nuclear accident site
The New York Times
Thousands of workers and a small fleet of cranes are preparing for one of the latest efforts to avoid a deepening environmental disaster that has China and other neighbors increasingly worried: removing spent fuel rods from the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant No. 4 reactor building and storing them in a safer place. The government announced recently that it would spend $500 million on new steps to stabilize the plant, including an even bigger project: the construction of a frozen wall to block a flood of groundwater into the contaminated buildings. More

Deep wells considered safe may be arsenic time-bombs
Sci Dev Net
Wells deeper than 170 meters in Vietnam's Mekong Delta contain higher levels of arsenic than shallower ones, a study reports — prompting scientists to question the tradition of digging deeper for cleaner water. The study found that the number of wells with arsenic contamination higher than 10 micrograms per liter — the safe limit set by the WHO — is seven times higher in the deeper than shallower zones. More

Carcinogenic chemical spreads beneath Michigan town
Environmental Health News
When state and federal environmental officials visited the tucked-away town of Mancelona, Mich., 15 years ago, their presence surprised local residents. While removing metal contamination from local groundwater, officials had stumbled upon one of the nation's largest plumes of an industrial solvent called trichloroethylene, or TCE. Drinking-water wells tap into this aquifer, so the state asked the town's help in preventing the chemical from flowing out of people's taps.More

DOT awards $20 million in hazmat grants
Fire Chief
Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx has announced grants totaling $20.1 million to states, territories and Native American tribes for planning and training to improve the nation's response to hazmat transportation incidents. Since 1993, more than 2.8 million emergency responders across the country have received training assistance using Hazardous Materials Emergency Preparedness grants. Grants from the U.S. Department of Transportation's Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration are funded by annual user fees paid by shippers and carriers of certain hazardous material. More

Poisoning a Sierra stream to save the world's rarest trout
Los Angeles Times
California fisheries biologist Dave Lentz poured poison into a remote High Sierra stream and watched quietly as every rainbow and golden trout in the water turned belly up. After the rotenone spread along 11 miles of Silver King Creek, other biologists poured in a neutralizing agent, making the river again habitable — and a suitable home for the rarest trout in the world, the Paiute cutthroat trout. The plan to restore the Paiute trout had been held up in federal court for more than a decade by opponents who believe that poisoning a stream is about the worst thing that could happen in a designated wilderness. More

CSB, EPA spar over Chevron investigation
Claims Journal
The federal government is fighting with itself over a massive fire at a Chevron refinery in California that sent 15,000 people to hospitals with respiratory ailments. In one corner is the U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board, which conducted 119 interviews in an effort to find out what caused last year's accident and how to prevent it from happening again. In the other is the Environmental Protection Agency, which is conducting a criminal investigation and wants the interviews to help it determine who's responsible. More

Nuclear trashmen gain from record US reactor shutdowns
Bloomberg News
More than 50 years into the age of nuclear energy, one of the biggest growth opportunities may be junking old reactors. Disposal work is "where companies are going to make their fortune," Margaret Harding, an independent nuclear-industry consultant based in Wilmington, N.C., said. More