Environment challenge: Use a cleaner resource without environmental impact. The reality, even good environmental intentions produce by-products and/or have risk than need to be monitored. Check out this insightful article about natural gas.
Fact: Natural gas now produces 27 percent of the electricity generated in the United States, and the percentage is rising. Natural gas is cleaner than coal and at a lower price point. But as with all energy producing resources, there is an enemy and in this case, the arch enemy is methane. What is worse, it is leaky. The New Times Editor, John Schwartz, digs in deep of the issues, long term implications, political policies, and environmental impact of natural gas.
By 2016, the industry’s demand for water-treatment equipment and services is expected to be worth $3.6 billion. One industry fueling this increase is the mining industry. It’s wastewater and by-products need to be contained and controlled from their operations. There is good news. With new technologies, metal recovery from wastewater is becoming affordable. Check out the story from The Guardian and learn how companies are changing wastewater by-products into income.
Salty wastewater from oil wells has contaminated a creek and flowed into the Missouri River after a pipeline leak in North Dakota. The state officials say that leak of 3 million gallons is its biggest-ever spill of “brine,” which in addition to high concentrations of salt often contains trace amounts of heavy metals that can be radioactive. Read more ›
The recent Consumer Electronics Show (CES) unleashed a plethora of new products to improve the daily lives of consumers. One product that caught my environmental eye was the Hewlett-Packard HP Zvr. ZDNet describes the new hologram-based screen as a step toward “true holographic viewing”. Read more ›
Drought. Conservation. Water Management. Many cities around the world are challenged by lack of water. The Economist tells the story of Sao Paulo Brazil, a 20 million metropolis, hit hard by drought and Amazon deforestation and how the city is trying manage the situation. The biggest threat to water managers is rain itself. As the saying goes in Brazil: “The first thing that the rain washes away is memory of a drought.”
California’s drought prompted the Legislature into action in 2014, leading lawmakers to regulate groundwater for the first time. The state will begin the long process of regulating groundwater for the first time in the state’s history under three new laws that require local agencies to create sustainable groundwater management plans to ensure priority basins are sustainable by 2040. Read more ›
Non-compliance carries high risk.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released its annual enforcement and compliance results revealing both the cleanup improvements as well as compliance fines industries have made in 2014. In this report, the agency focused on large, high impact enforcement cases.
Environmental Cleanup Improvements Read more ›
Chemical leak contaminated drinking water supplies.
On 9 January 2014, a tank at Freedom Industries in Charleston leaked coal-cleaning chemicals into the Elk River, about a mile and a half upstream from a water treatment plant. Tap water from faucets started smelling like licorice. It also had a blue-green color to it. Drinking the water was banned for several days. Read more ›
California’s crippling ongoing drought is considered one of the worst in state history. In the past three years, California has experienced exceptionally warm temperatures, stagnant air conditions, and low precipitation. These conditions have resulted in a dangerous increase of wildfires and pollution levels. In addition, it is estimated that water shortage in California will result in $2.2 billion of agricultural losses, leading to the loss of more than 17,000 seasonal jobs in 2014 alone. Read more ›
Costly decommissioning of nuclear facilities.
The cost of decommissioning nuclear reactors that will be closed around the world between now and 2040 will top $100 billion, according to the latest annual report by the International Energy Agency (IEA). For comparison, decommissioning just North Sea oil and gas facilities is projected to cost about $70 billion over the next 25 years. Read more ›