Day: 16 July 1999
Alaskan pipeline disaster is imminent according to allegations
The company that operates the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System (TAPS) has been accused of operating without adequate attention to safety. Six senior Alyeska employees allege that a disaster on a greater scale than the Exxon Valdez oil spill is highly likely. BP Amoco owns 50% of Alyeska.
Groundwater impacted by fire-fighting foams
Fires resulting from plane crashes are fought using aqueous film-forming foams (AFFF) that are formulated to act quickly by spreading a film of water over the burning fuel that subsequently extinguishes the fire. The first evidence that these foams later contaminate groundwater is scheduled to appear in the August 15 issue of the peer-reviewed journal Environmental Science & Technology, published by the American Chemical Society, the world's largest scientific society.
Commission challenges the GMO Moratorium
Outgoing Environment Commissioner, Ritt Bjerregaard, moved to grant marketing approvals for three new GMO products, in defiance of the Declarations by 11 Member States at the Environment Council meeting on 24 June that they wished to suspend all new approvals until new safety rules are implemented under EU legislation.
EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT: Greens/Regionalists form new parliamentary group
The Greens and the Members of the European Free Alliance (EFA) this week announced the formation of a new political group in the European Parliament. The new group will be called "The Greens/ European Free Alliance" and will be, with 47 MEPs, the fourth largest political force in the European Parliament close behind the Liberals with 51 MEPs. Thirty-eight MEPs belong to the Greens, nine to the EFA.
MAFF uses new method to assess food risks to human health
A project into risks to human health from foods will include some use of probabilistic modelling. This form of risk assessment is thought to provide more realistic results and to offer transparency regarding which factors are taken into consideration when assessing risks.
Controversy surrounds UK green energy labelling scheme
Future Energy, a green energy accreditation scheme, is designed to give consumers the choice to buy electricity derived from environmentally-friendly sources. But Friends of the Earth (FoE) has accused the government of watering down the labelling system by including energy generated through the incineration of household waste.
Commission enforcement blitz continues
The European Commission this week continued to announce legal enforcement procedures against member states for failure to comply with environmental legislation. This week's cases concern: PCBs; waste management plans; asbestos; Freedom of access to information on the environment; chemicals; air pollution directives; Drinking Water Directive; failure to provide environmental reports; waste management failures; and bathing water.
UK Landfill Tax set too low to reduce waste
A House of Commons select committee report says that the Landfill Tax, introduced in 1996, was set at too low a level to change waste disposal patterns. The report supports the principle of environmental taxes, but identifies lessons to be learnt from the Landfill Tax.
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