Risk Management Rules and Farms

Farms do not have highly hazardous chemicals? It is not just factories that use such chemicals but so do farms. ADI Agronomy, Inc., which owns a group of farm supply facilities in southeast Missouri and northeast Arkansas, has agreed to pay a $54,922 civil penalty to the United States for chemical Risk Management Program violations at its Ag Distributors retail facility at Kennett, Mo., which sells liquid fertilizer made with anhydrous ammonia. EPA Region 7 issued an administrative compliance order to the Kennett facility in July 2010, after an inspection noted eight violations of the chemical Risk Management Program regulations contained in the federal Clean Air Act. Specifically, Ag Distributors failed to establish and implement maintenance procedures to ensure the ongoing integrity of its anhydrous ammonia process equipment, and failed to document that the equipment complied with recognized and generally accepted good engineering practices, among other violations.

Top Ten Highlights of Cleantech in Mexico

Over the last few years, there has been a large decrease in the crude oil production in Mexico. To counter the effects of it, the Mexican government has started to look for new venues for energy that would create less of a dependence on fossil fuels.

Celebrate the Jewish Holiday of Purim the Old-Fashioned Way

Jews celebrate the holiday of Purim on the 14th day of Adar II, which falls this year on the evening of Saturday, March 19 until sunset on March 20. In Jerusalem and other ancient walled cities, the one-day celebration begins Sunday evening and is known as Shushan Purim (see Esther 9:18-19). Purim commemorates the events of the biblical book of Esther, which describes how the beautiful and noble Queen Esther and her uncle Mordechai foil the evil Haman's plan to destroy the Jewish people of the 127 nations in the ancient Persian Empire.

China vows to cut energy, carbon intensity by 2015

China aims to cut the amount of energy and carbon dioxide emissions needed for every unit of economic growth by 16 to 17 percent from this year to the end of 2015, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao said on Sunday. This was the first time a top Chinese leader had spelled out the nation's energy and carbon "intensity" goals for its new five-year development plan. China is the world's biggest emitter of carbon dioxide, the main greenhouse gas from using fossil fuels that is stoking global warming. The goals for 2011-2015 set out by Wen are generally in step with the government's pledge to cut carbon intensity by 40 to 45 percent by 2020, relative to 2005 levels. The targets appear to be on the lower side of what some experts and officials have proposed, but Wen said they would nonetheless be demanding.

Arctic Sea Ice Extent in January is Lowest in Recorded History

While extreme weather conditions and unusually cold temperatures have gripped much of North America and Europe this winter, unusually warm temperatures farther north produced the lowest Arctic sea ice extent ever recorded for the month of January, according to NASA. Areas such as Hudson Bay, Hudson Strait, and Davis Strait β€” which typically freeze over by late November β€” did not completely freeze until mid-January, according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC). And the Labrador Sea was also unusually ice-free. In this NASA graphic, based on satellite data, blue indicates open water, white illustrates high sea ice concentrations, and turquoise indicates loosely packed ice.

Government reviewing applications for deepwater Gulf permits

U.S. officials on Friday could not offer a firm date when deepwater permits to drill for oil in the Gulf of Mexico will be issued, as crude posted its highest weekly close in more than two years. "We are carefully and rigorously reviewing drilling plans," Michael Bromwich, director of the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, the offshore drilling regulator, said at a news conference. "I am quite confident we will again get to the point where we can begin issuing deepwater permits." A drilling ban put in place after BP Plc's disastrous Macondo well blowout last year in the Gulf was lifted in October, but no new deepwater drilling permits have been approved yet. U.S. crude oil futures posted their highest weekly settlement in almost 2-1/2 years on Friday on supply disruptions due to the revolt in Libya.

The Gerat Northern Lights

An aurora is a natural light display in the sky, particularly in the polar regions, caused by the collision of charged particles directed by the Earth's magnetic field. An aurora is usually observed at night and typically occurs in the ionosphere. It is also referred to as a polar aurora or, collectively, as polar lights. These phenomena are commonly visible between 60 and 72 degrees north and south latitudes, which place them in a ring just within the Arctic and Antarctic polar circles. Recent increases in solar activity, including the largest solar flare in four years, may lead to hopes of seeing the aurora borealis, also known as the northern lights, in the United Kingdom and other relatively more southern locales. In the United Kingdom, for example, the chances of seeing the aurora increase the further north you go – ranging from one or two displays every 10 years in the south of England to one or two displays a week in the far northern Shetland Islands. Solar variation is the change in the amount of radiation emitted by the Sun and in its spectral distribution over years to millennia. These variations have periodic components, the main one being the approximately 11-year solar cycle (or sunspot cycle). This variation causes the northern lights to vary in location and magnitude.

Islamic Leaders Preach Conservation in Sumatra, Indonesia (updated)

Do religious texts mandate respect for the earth and other species? Some Islamic leaders in Sumatra believe the Koran does. In Indonesia, the country with the highest rate of deforestation and some of the most diverse habitat in the world, many Islamic leaders believe religion is the key to conservation. In Sumatra, habitat is disappearing fast, mainly due to oil palm plantations, and populations of animals like the Sumatran orangutan and tiger are dwindling. Education is key to solving the region’s environmental problems, the leaders believe, and religion has the potential to spark wide public interest in environmental awareness. Called FORDALING (the Islamic Leader Forum for Environmental Care), the group believes the Koran directly addresses the need for protecting the natural world. They explain this in their newly released book Ayat-Ayat Konservasi (Islamic Verses for Conservation). Through this book and other projects, these religious leaders have set out to show Indonesian Muslims why conservation should be important to them and the world.

New from BBC Earth: The Monarch Migrates

Dating back to over 250-million years ago, this simple milkweed butterfly is master of change. With it's name literally being translated from the Greek as "sleepy transformation", the Monarch Butterfly develops from egg to caterpillar to butterfly without a bat of a wing! However this seemingly effortless metamorphosis, lasting approximately two weeks, is just the beginning. Within the mysterious world of this exceptional insect lies a spectacular truth. That in every four generations, the last born will live longer and fly further than any other before them. The typical Monarch's life will last up to four or five weeks taking them through a journey; starting as a tiny creamy white egg planted carefully on the fine leaves of the milkweed, to an energized chrysalis, into a striking tawny coloured butterfly! At which point, it will reach adulthood, fly to find the most tempting source of nectar, reproduce and then die. However some then go further.

BMW Unveils Sub-Brand for Sustainable Vehicles

February 22, 2011 - BMW on Monday unveiled a new sub-brand, called BMW i, with the motto "Born Electric". The German car company is rebranding its sustainable vehicles division in an effort to differentiate its upcoming line of electric vehicles.