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.

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.

Lawsuit Filed to Protect Sea Life From Ocean Acidification, Climate Change

SAN FRANCISCO - The Center for Biological Diversity sued the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today for failing to set new water-quality standards to combat ocean acidification or respond to a three-year-old Center petition demanding the agency address this growing threat to marine life. Despite scientific consensus that federal water-quality standards are outdated and inadequate to protect marine life from the corrosive effects of ocean acidification, the EPA has ignored its legal duties to update the standards.

Tackling Food Waste as a Way to Save the Climate, Too

At his hog farm about a dozen miles from Las Vegas' famed strip, Bob Combs became a celebrity of sorts for hauling thousands of pounds of leftovers from casinos' all-you-can-eat buffets and feeding it to his 3,000 pigs.

Farmers used to call the practice "garbage feeding." Today, researchers see it as a tool for stemming climate change. That's because the growing amount of wasted food around the world adds methane, a potent greenhouse gas, to the atmosphere as it rots in landfills.

Combs just happened to be a pioneer recycler.

Ecological consequences of amphetamine pollution in urban streams

(Millbrook, NY) Pharmaceutical and illicit drugs are present in streams in Baltimore, Maryland. At some sites, amphetamine concentrations are high enough to alter the base of the aquatic food web. So reports a new study released today in the journal Environmental Science & Technology, which is one of the first to explore the ecological consequences of stimulant pollution in urban streams.

Air pollution threat hidden as research 'presumes people are at home': study

The true impact of air pollution has been obscured by the failure to consider people’s exposure as they move around during the day, according to a new study that has mapped the hotspots of New York’s air pollution based on where people gather for work or recreation.

The research cites air pollution as “the world’s single largest environment and human health threat” but laments that the problem has not previously been “considered spatially and temporally”, with most studies basing a person’s pollution exposure on where they live.