Report: Tar Sands Mining Pollution Far Worse Than Industry Reports

Common Dreams

Scientists factoring in ‘indirect pathways’ of pollution discover significantly higher emission of carcinogens

– Lauren McCauley, staff writer

Tar sands mining in Alberta, Canada. (Photo: visionshare/ cc via Flickr)The amount of pollutants being emitted from tar sands extraction sites in Alberta is far higher than industry-reported estimates, according to research published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Tar sands mining in Alberta, Canada. (Photo: visionshare/ cc via Flickr)The amount of pollutants being emitted from tar sands extraction sites in Alberta is far higher than industry-reported estimates, according to research published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Using predictive computer models, University of Toronto Environmental Chemistry professor Frank Wania and his PhD candidate Abha Parajulee found that officially reported emissions of the atmospheric pollutants known as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) do not factor in “indirect pathways” of pollution, such as those which blow off mining sites or evaporate from tailings ponds.

The scientists report that, according to their models, evaporation from tailings ponds—lakes of polluted byproduct created through tar sands processing—may actually introduce more potentially carcinogenic PAHs into the atmosphere than direct emissions.
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UK storms wash away railway line and leave thousands without power

BBC

Waves continued to lash the seafront
Waves continued to lash the seafront

The railway line in Dawlish is hanging in mid-air, as Jon Kay reports

Parts of Britain are being hit by a powerful storm which has washed away a stretch of railway line and left thousands of homes without electricity.

The Environment Agency says around 328 homes have been flooded since Friday evening – with more heavy rain and strong winds forecast into the weekend.

A section of the sea wall in Dawlish, Devon, collapsed and left the main railway line suspended in mid-air.
Continue reading UK storms wash away railway line and leave thousands without power

Mining boss found liable for company’s environment damage

Mail & Guardian

A landmark court ruling has ensured that directors can be held liable for the environmental damage done by their companies.

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The director of Blue Platinum, based in Tzaneen in Limpopo, was found guilty of causing environmental degradation outside Batlhabine village. (Delwyn Verasamy, M&G)

Matome Maponya, the managing director of clay-mining company Blue Platinum Ventures, has become the first director in South Africa to be held personally liable for a mining-related environmental offence.
Continue reading Mining boss found liable for company’s environment damage

Sudan: Bishops make appeal to Catholics worldwide

Independent Catholic News

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CAFOD has launched an immediate appeal for funds, after Catholic Bishops from Sudan and South Sudan appealed to all international Catholic agencies to support communities affected by recent violence “through all possible means.”

Since the ceasefire brokered on 23  January  between the South Sudanese government and rival political factions, the capital Juba has been relatively calm, but several towns and regions in the country are still in desperate need of humanitarian relief, as thousands of people remain displaced from their homes due to fear of renewed fighting.
Continue reading Sudan: Bishops make appeal to Catholics worldwide

Agriculture in TPP: Repeating NAFTA’s Mistakes

Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy

by Karen Hansen-Kuhn

More than 65,000 people rallied at Mexico’s Monument to the Revolution and marched to the historic Zocalo Square to demand a new economy that puts equality, justice and human rights first.
More than 65,000 people rallied at Mexico’s Monument to the Revolution and marched to the historic Zocalo Square to demand a new economy that puts equality, justice and human rights first.

Farmers, union, environmental and women’s activists gathered in Mexico City last week to take stock of the lessons from NAFTA and plan strategies to confront the next big threat: the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP). One of the earliest lessons from the NAFTA experience was that people and environments in all three countries were affected. The stories from Mexico, Canada and the U.S. were remarkably similar: environmental destruction, threats to union and community organizing, and, in all sectors, a marked increase in corporate concentration as companies gained new abilities to move different aspects of production across borders in search of lower costs and higher profits. Continue reading Agriculture in TPP: Repeating NAFTA’s Mistakes