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A fire erupted Sunday at a petrochemical plant in Deer Park, Texas. NowThis News / YouTube screenshot

By Andrea Germanos

A petrochemical plant near Houston continued to burn for a second day on Monday, raising questions about the quality and safety of the air.

The Deer Park facility is owned by Intercontinental Terminals Company (ITC), which said the fire broke out at roughly 10:30 a.m. Sunday. Seven tanks are involved, the company said, and they contain naptha, xylene, "gas blend stocks" and "base oil."

"It's going to have to burn out at the tank," Ray Russell, communications officer for Channel Industries Mutual Aid, which is aiding the response effort, said at a news conference. It could take "probably two days" for that to happen, he added.

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Flooding caused by Hurricane Harvey in Southeast Texas on Aug. 31, 2017. Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Daniel J. Martinez

By Andrea Germanos

President Donald Trump's U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Texas state officials rejected an offer from NASA scientists in 2017 to use their state-of-the-art flying laboratory to evaluate air quality in Houston after Hurricane Harvey, new reporting by the Los Angeles Times reveals.

"This is disturbing," said Lina Hidalgo, judge for Texas's Harris County.

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Roderick Brazier / Australia's High Commissioner to Solomon Islands

By Eoin Higgins

An oil spill in the Pacific Ocean's Solomon Islands after a mining company's cargo ship ran aground is threatening an endangered environmental gem.

"The impact of this oil spill will have a devastating effect on the surrounding environment, including potentially on a protected UNESCO World Heritage Site, as well as the livelihood of the people of Rennell," Australia's High Commissioner to the Solomon Islands Rod Brazier said in a statement.

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Under the Trump administration, the EPA will decline to regulate a pair of toxic chemicals linked to various forms of cancer. EPA

By Jessica Corbett

In a decision deemed by critics unsurprising but also "absolutely unconscionable," the Trump administration's U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reportedly plans to refrain from regulating a pair of toxic chemicals linked to kidney and testicular cancer, even though they are contaminating millions of Americans' drinking water.

Sources familiar with an unreleased draft plan approved last month by acting EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler told Politico that the chemicals PFOA and PFOS will remain unregulated under the Safe Drinking Water Act, meaning that "utilities will face no federal requirements for testing for and removing the chemicals from drinking water supplies, although several states have pursued or are pursuing their own limits."

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Worldwide, industrial agriculture is pushing into grasslands, wetlands and forests. Jan Fidler / CC BY. 2.0

By Ronnie Cummins

A new study calling for a "radical rethink" of the relationship between policymakers and corporations reinforces what Organic Consumers Association and other public interest groups have been saying for years: Our triple global health crises of deteriorating public health, world hunger and global warming share common root causes—and that the best way to address these crises is to address what they all have in common: an unhealthy, inequitable food system perpetuated by a political and economic system largely driven by corporate profit.

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Marchers braved the cold and rain on Jan. 27 in Brussels to urge politicians to act on climate change. euronews / YouTube screeenshot

By Common Dreams staff

At least 80,000 people marched in a cold rain in Brussels Sunday in another massive protest demanding that the European Union take urgent and far-reaching action to address the world's climate crisis.

Sunday's march was the fourth climate march in the past three weeks—each one significantly bigger than the last—as students across Belgium and other European countries have skipped their high school and college classes in order to shame those in power who refuse to move urgently.

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Greta Thunberg, who ignited global "school strikes for climate," delivers a video address urging those in positions of power to take bold climate action. Twitter / GretaThunberg

By Andrea Germanos

Sixteen-year-old climate activist Greta Thunberg threw down the gauntlet to the global elite gathered in the Swiss Alps for the World Economic Forum (WEF) this week, urging them to work towards meaningful climate action in order to "safeguard the future living conditions for humankind."

"Some people say that the climate crisis is something that we all have created. But that is just another convenient lie," the Swedish teen says in a video posted to Twitter. The video was also posted on the WEF Facebook page and was intended to be shown to the attendees inside.

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Sun setting behind the Fawley Oil Refinery in Fawley, England. Clive G' / CC BY-ND 2.0

By Jessica Corbett

Ahead of the World Economic Forum's (WEF) annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland next week—which convenes the world's wealthiest and most powerful for a summit that's been called both the "money Oscars" and a "threat to democracy"—the group published a report declaring, "Of all risks, it is in relation to the environment that the world is most clearly sleepwalking into catastrophe."

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By Ronnie Cummins

"The Green New Deal we are proposing will be similar in scale to the mobilization efforts seen in World War II or the Marshall Plan … Half measures will not work … The time for slow and incremental efforts has long past [sic]." - Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, then-candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives, Huffington Post, June 26, 2018

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Blue light illuminates the night sky after a transformer explosion at the Astoria Generating Station on Dec. 27. Simin Liu / Anadolu Agency / Getty Images

By Jake Johnson

Though it immediately evoked images of "an alien invasion" or the eerie opening scene of a "monster movie," the explosion that briefly turned New York City's skyline bright blue late Thursday night was actually something rather more conventional, but still cause for serious alarm and action: an electrical blast at one of New York's dirtiest power plants.

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Lakes melting on the Greenland ice sheet near the Nordlit Sermiat, Kitaa, Greenland, Denmark. Yann Arthus-Bertrand / Getty Images

By Julia Conley

In the latest troubling study regarding how the climate crisis is affecting the world's iciest regions, a new report by the Scottish Association for Marine Science (SAMS) found that the second-largest ice sheet in the world is currently melting even in winter.

The study follows a report released earlier this month showing that Greenland's ice melt rate is currently faster than it's been in about 7,000 years. The island's 650,000 cubic miles of ice is melting 50 percent faster than it did in pre-industrial times.

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