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Montana Oil Spill Raises Concerns About the Age and Safety of the Nation’s Pipelines

A large oil spill into Montana’s Yellowstone River has experts worried about the infrequency of inspections on the nation’s aging pipelines.

The 40,000-gallon spill is the second large spill along the river in four years.  Downstream water supplies to the city of Glendive have been contaminated, and residents rushed to stock up on bottled water after elevated levels of benzene were found in water samples taken from a treatment plant that serves about 6,000 in the agricultural community, according to the Associated Press (AP). More Montana Oil Spill Raises Concerns About the Age and Safety of the Nation’s Pipelines

New York City Council Joins the Fight to Reauthorize the Zadroga Act

NYC Council Joins the Fight to Reauthorize the Zadroga Act

NYC Council Joins the Fight to Reauthorize the Zadroga Act


New York City Council members have joined in the fight to ensure that the firefighters and rescuers of September 11, 2001 are never forgotten by pushing for the reauthorization of the Zadroga Act.

The council members are joining the effort to introduce a resolution that calls for Congress to reauthorize the Zadroga Act. The primary sponsor and co-sponsor for the effort are Councilwoman Margaret Chin (Democrat – Manhattan) and Melissa Mark-Viverito (Democrat – Manhattan/Bronx) respectively, along with two other members. More New York City Council Joins the Fight to Reauthorize the Zadroga Act

Researchers say the Liquid Found in E-Cigarettes is Dangerous Even if it Doesn’t Contain Nicotine

Researchers say Liquid Found in E-Cigarettes is Dangerous.

Researchers say Liquid in E-Cigarettes Dangerous


According to a new study from National Jewish Health in Denver, the liquid found in e-cigarettes significantly increases the risk for viral infections in users, whether it contains nicotine or not.

By taking cells from the airways of young, healthy non-smokers and exposing them to the liquid or vapors from e-cigarettes, researchers were able to determine that inhaling the vapor can damage epithelial cells and increase the risk of infections. The scientists discovered that when they exposed the cells to the liquid or vapors in the lab, it only took 10 minutes for a reaction to occur, according to the National Jewish Health (NJH) website. More Researchers say the Liquid Found in E-Cigarettes is Dangerous Even if it Doesn’t Contain Nicotine

Widow of School Bus Driver who Died from Mesothelioma Awarded $7.7 Million

A New York state jury has decided that Navistar International Corp. must pay $7.7 million to the family of a man who died from a serious lung disease known as mesothelioma after being exposed to asbestos in one of the company’s garages.

The wrongful death suit was brought by the widow of a school bus driver who died of mesothelioma as a result of being exposed to asbestos in the school district’s garage. The complaint, viewed by Law360, alleges the man began working for the Fayetteville-Manlius School District in Manlius, New York, as a bus driver in the 1950s. He spent many hours in the garage over the years, clocking in for his routes, submitting work orders and speaking with mechanics. More Widow of School Bus Driver who Died from Mesothelioma Awarded $7.7 Million

Today, October 14th is the Last Day for 9/11 Cancer Victims to Register with VCF

The last day to register with the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund (VCF) is today, October 14, 2014 for first responders and survivors who were diagnosed with an eligible cancer on or before October 12, 2012. It is crucial for eligible 9/11 victims to register in order to preserve their rights, lawmakers said. The importance of registering by the deadline was emphasized in a recent press conference held by Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney and Congressman Jerrold Nadler with community leaders, labor leaders and advocates of 9/11 survivors. More Today, October 14th is the Last Day for 9/11 Cancer Victims to Register with VCF

Workers at Fracking Sites Exposed to Cancer-Causing Gas

People who work at oil and gas sites where fracking occurs are exposed to high levels of a cancer-causing gas, according to a study by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.

The agency, which is part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), found that people who work near fracking sites are at an increased risk of being exposed to benzene, a colorless gas known to cause cancer. More Workers at Fracking Sites Exposed to Cancer-Causing Gas

Researchers Investigating Links Between Chemicals in the Environment and Diabetes

Researchers from the University of Buffalo in Buffalo, New York, are on the search for data that links chemicals in the environment to an increased risk of diabetes.

Scientists from the university are studying whether chemicals in the environment increase the risk of metabolic conditions by disrupting neuroendocrine circadian functions and altering the release of hormones, including insulin, according to the University of Buffalo’s School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences (SMBS) website. More Researchers Investigating Links Between Chemicals in the Environment and Diabetes

Fracking Linked to Earthquakes and Methane Gas Leaks

The scientific case against hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, continues to strengthen, leaving little doubt that it is harmful to the environment and creates health concerns for those who live near fracking sites.

Cornell University engineering professor Anthony Ingraffea explained on the latest Inquiring Minds podcast that the research extends beyond groundwater contamination, to include earthquake generation and the accidental emissions of the greenhouse gas methane, MotherJones.com reported. More Fracking Linked to Earthquakes and Methane Gas Leaks

Many 9/11 Responders Left Unaware of Tax Breaks

Victims of the 9/11 attacks and their families are eligible for big tax breaks – there’s only one problem. Many have no idea because the IRS isn’t informing them about the benefit.

Three months after the attacks, the U.S. government passed a law that deemed disability income resulting from terrorism as non-taxable. More Many 9/11 Responders Left Unaware of Tax Breaks

California Halts Fracking Waste Injections amid Contamination Concerns

An emergency shutdown of 11 oil and gas waste injection sites has been ordered by California officials due to concerns companies may have been pumping fracking liquids and other waste into drinking water aquifers.

California’s Division of Oil and Gas and Geothermal Resources (DOGGR) distributed cease and desist orders to seven energy companies warning that they may be injecting flacking fluids into aquifers that could be a source of drinking water. The DOGGR said that their waste disposal “poses danger to life, health, property, and natural resources,” GantDaily.com reported. The state has confirmed that its investigation has been expanded to look at additional wells.

The order comes at a time when central California has been enduring a lengthy drought that has emptied reservoirs and cost the state $2.2 billion this year alone, according to GantDaily.com. The drought has forced many farmers across the state to supplement their water supply from underground aquifers, which is where the dangers of the fracking liquid come into play.

According to GantDaily.com, at least 100 of California’s aquifers were believed to be useless for drinking and farming due to poor quality, or because the aquifers were too deep underground to easily access. Several years ago California exempted those aquifers from environmental protection, which permitted the oil and gas industry to intentionally pollute them. However not all aquifers are exempted, which causes the system to be a mixture of protected and unprotected water resources deep underground.

According to the cease and desist orders, it looks likely that at least seven injection wells have been pumping fracking waste into fresh water aquifers protected by the law, and not other aquifers sacrificed by the state long ago, GantDaily.com reported.

“The aquifers in question with respect to the orders that have been issued are not exempt,” Ed Wilson, a spokesperson for the California Department of Conservation told GantDaily.com via email.

A 2012 investigation by ProPublica into more than 700,000 injection wells across the U.S. revealed wells were often poorly regulated and experienced high rates of failure. This information indicated that fracking practices were likely polluting underground water supplies that are supposed to be protected by federal law. Several of those water supplies are at the heart of this issue. The exempted aquifers were poorly defined and vaguely outlined, according to documents the state filed with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in’81.

This is not the first time California has expressed concern over fracking practices. In September 2013 the California Coastal Commission raised questions about the potential impact of offshore fracking by the federal government.

The commission, which oversees part of the coast’s development, also asked both the EPA and Department of the Interior to investigate what the federal government is doing, the Wall Street Journal reported. The commission’s biggest concern is that such offshore oil-rig fracking will increase the possibility of oil spilling into the ocean.