The EPA’s Pollution Estimates Stink. Everyone Uses Them Anyway I

Engineer Jim Southerland was hired by the US Environmental Protection Agency in 1971 to join the nascent war on air pollution. He came to relish the task, investigating orange clouds from an ammunition plant in Tennessee and taking air samples from strip mines in Wyoming. Among his proudest accomplishments: helping the agency develop a set of numbers called emission factors—values that enable regulators to estimate atmospheric discharges from power plants, oil refineries, chemical plants and other industrial operations.

Chinese inspectors find widespread violations of environment rules

BEIJING, May 30 (Xinhua) -- The latest round of air pollution inspections in China have uncovered many violations of environmental rules among companies.

Some 23 inspection teams examined 319 businesses on Sunday and discovered that 251 companies, or 79 percent of the total, violated environmental standards in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region and other nearby areas.

Google Street View Cars Are Mapping Methane Leaks

Natural gas pipeline leaks that pose a safety hazard are quickly addressed. But what about leaks too small to pose a threat? These mall leaks are often overlooked and they collectively release tons of methane, a greenhouse gas 84 times more potent than carbon dioxide.

However, thanks to researchers from Colorado State University, the University of Northern Colorado, and Conservation Science Partners—who’ve teamed up with the Environmental Defense Fund—a small unit of Google Street View cars are turning into mobile methane sensors to monitor leaks that have flown under the radar.

Waste disposal fees to triple

The household garbage management rate will be tripled nationwide, to replace the current unrealistic rate that does not cover the actual waste management cost, the Ministry of Interior says.

The new rate for households will be a minimum of 60 baht per month, up from 20 baht.

Dhana Yantrakovit, deputy chief of the Department of Local Administration (DLA), said the new garbage management fee will be introduced immediately after ministerial regulations related to waste management are announced.

Nearly 14,000 Companies in China Violate Pollution Rules

Environmental inspectors in northern China have found that nearly 14,000 companies, or 70 percent of the businesses they examined, failed to meet environmental standards for controlling air pollution, according to a state news agency report.

The inspectors working for the Ministry of Environmental Protection came up with those results after two months of work across 28 cities in northern China, said Xinhua, the state news agency. The companies and industries varied widely, including businesses such as wool processing and furniture production.

Fridges dumped in canals, Chiang Mai swamped

Deputy Mayor Chatree Chuamanocharn on Friday acknowledged the survey of municipal waterways conducted by Nakhon Chiang Mai Municipality officials implementing the “Ying Thing, Ying Tuam” campaign – whose name translates roughly as “The more garbage disposed of in the wrong places, the worse the flooding”.

Chatree said the situation was particularly bad along the Mae Kha Canal in the Fa Mai neighbourhood, the exit point for water draining out of the urban area. Garbage collected there in a bottleneck, he said, impeding drainage.

China's new environment minister urges 'protracted war' on pollution

BEIJING (Reuters) - China on Tuesday appointed a new environment minister who has promised a "protracted battle" to clean up the nation's notoriously polluted air, water and soil.

Xinhua news agency named the minister as Li Ganjie, 52, who takes up the job less than a month after he was named the new party chief of the Ministry of Environmental Protection.

Police probe dump over outflow fears

Rayong: The Rayong industrial officer has filed a complaint with the police, asking that it investigate a deserted industrial waste site close to Dok Krai Reservoir in Pluak Daeng district.

It is suspected that 200,000 tonnes of toxic waste which went missing last year might be buried there.

The authorities were compelled to act after polluted water was discovered at the industrial waste site, which may put the reservoir at risk of contamination.

The site was also emanating an unpleasant smell caused by hydrogen sulphide.