Gasoline tanks upgrade deadline

About 20,000 US service stations were expected to miss the deadline to bring their underground tanks in line with USEPA regulations aimed at preventing spills and leaks that can contaminate groundwater, according to U.S. Water News Online. Service stations and other institutions with underground tanks have had since 1988 to comply with the regulations. Since then the EPA has recorded 329,940 leaks nationwide from underground tanks.

Institutions that fail to meet the deadline will either be fined $11,000 a day or have to close their tanks while upgrade work is carried out. The EPA estimates upgrading tanks at a three-tank facility can cost between $15,000 and $35,000. Replacing the three tanks can cost $80,000 and up. The EPA is working with state officials to enforce the program and have already started inspections, targeting gas retailers with four or more underground tanks first.

Plutonium groundwater migration study

Traces of plutonium migrated a kilometre downstream from a Nevada nuclear test site on particles of debris suspended in groundwater, according to according to a study published in Nature on Wednesday 6 January. Scientists from the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California and the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico analysed traces of plutonium found in water taken from two wells 1.3 kms from the Nevada Nuclear Test Site. Plutonium found in the wells matched that used in a nuclear test at the test site 30 years ago. The scientists argue that the plutonium migrated on mobile colloids – submicometre sized particles suspended in groundwater. The US government conducted 828 underground nuclear tests on the Nevada Test Site between 1956 and 1992.

US DoE seeks organiser for Beijing energy-efficient building

The US Department of Energy (DoE) is looking for an organisation to bring together the financial and technical components for the bidding, constructing and commissioning of a joint US and Chinese-backed energy efficient office building demonstration project in Beijing. The organisation will also be required to monitor energy use reductions and associated greenhouse gas emissions, and to develop a Demonstration Centre illustrating the potential contribution of US technologies and building design practices to similar buildings throughout China. The DoE is to study the feasibility of the project with the Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology. Interested parties are asked to provide the DoE with their approach to leading this effort. For further information email either O. Cleveland Laird Jr, or Mary Beth Zimmerman.

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