Chemours, DuPont, Corteva, and 3M linked to massive PFAS settlements

Read the full story at Environment + Energy Leader.

The Chemours Company, DuPont de Nemours, and Corteva said they have reached an agreement in principle to pay nearly $1.2 billion to resolve all PFAS-related water system pollution claims in the United States, while it also has been reported that 3M has agreed to pay nearly $10 billion over water-related pollution from the forever chemicals.

Bloomberg reported on June 2, 2023, regarding the 3M deal, which would likely keep the company from a federal court trial regarding its role in water pollution. On the same day, Chemours, DuPont, and Corteva revealed their settlement agreement in a statement.

ECHO database continues upgrades through introduction of Clean Air Tracking Tool

U.S. EPA recently released the ECHO Clean Air Tracking Tool (ECATT), an interface and repository for Clean Air Act data that can be used to evaluate emissions at stationary sources of air pollution and analyze general air quality for the United States. ECATT is the first EPA tool to integrate data from multiple emissions inventories with enforcement and compliance data, Environmental Justice data, facility industry classifications, air monitoring station data, toxic risk data, and Clean Air Act program classifications.

ECATT has two main searches: the Air Monitoring Station search and the Emissions Screener search. The Air Monitoring Station (AMS) search provides data on air monitoring stations that measure ambient or outdoor concentrations of Hazardous Air Pollutants (HAPs) and Criteria Air Pollutants (CAPs). The search can be used to identify areas with high pollutant concentrations and higher potential for health impacts and identify the facilities emitting in those areas.

The AMS search also incorporates AirToxScreen modeled data so users can identify areas with elevated cancer risk or higher potential for other health impacts and compare those areas to nearby emission concentrations measured by air monitors to identify potential risk hotspots. Users can screen facilities for further evaluation by identifying measured pollutant concentrations larger than the modeled amount.

The Emissions Screener search provides data on stationary sources regulated under the Clean Air Act. These data sets are reported to several EPA air emission inventory programs, including the National Emissions Inventory, the Greenhouse Gas Reporting Program, the Toxics Release Inventory, and the Clean Air Markets Division Acid Rain Program and Cross-State Air Pollution Rule.

Users can analyze the data reported to these emissions inventories to identify top emitters and provide additional information related to the source, quantity and location of the emissions, and the specific pollutants being released. The search organizes emissions data by facility, industry, or pollutant. Through the facility report, users can access each facility’s Air Pollutant Report to view detailed emissions data.

short video tutorial is available to help users get started. You can also register for upcoming ECHO Clean Air Tracking Tool training.

How does climate change affect global bird reproduction?

Read the full story from the University of Illinois.

A new study reported in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences assessed changes in the reproductive output of 104 bird species between 1970 and 2019. Illinois Natural History Survey avian ecologist Jeff Hoover, a co-author of the paper, spoke to News Bureau life sciences editor Diana Yates about the findings and how climate change is altering bird ecology and health around the world. 

Toxic vinyl chloride is a widespread environmental injustice

Read the full story from Environmental Health News.

Vinyl chloride, the cancer-causing chemical released in the February train derailment disaster in East Palestine, Ohio, contaminates many communities in the U.S. due to pollution from plastics manufacturing plants, according to a new report.

The report, published this month by environmental advocacy group Toxic-Free Future and data company Material Research, found that vinyl chloride particularly threatens communities of color and economically disadvantaged communities. “This is a major issue of equity and environmental injustice,” Mike Schade, director of Mind the Store, a program of Toxic-Free Future, told Environmental Health News (EHN).

Harmful fisheries subsidies are leading to more fishing vessels chasing fewer fish, resulting in adverse environmental and societal impacts

Read the full story from the University of British Columbia.

A recent study quantified the number of harmful fisheries subsidies that support fishing in the high seas, domestic and foreign waters and found that between 20 and 37 per cent of these subsidies supported fishing in waters outside the jurisdictions of their home nation. Further, these subsidies also primarily originated from developed nations, yet disproportionately impacted developing countries, leading to environmental and societal impacts all around the globe.

Spurred by new regulations, the race is on for low-cost PFAS sensors

Read the full story at Chemical & Engineering News.

Researchers seek to improve the selectivity and sensitivity of field-deployable devices that can detect ultralow levels of the contaminants in water

Why some climate experts are optimistic about the future of cleantech

Read the full story at Fast Company.

Step one: Replace your fossil-fuel-powered devices when they break. Step two: Watch coal and gas power plants get replaced by renewables.

The reasons why insect numbers are decreasing

Read the full story from Johannes Gutenberg Universitaet Mainz.

Researchers are investigating the causes and consequences of the worldwide insect decline as well as considering potential countermeasures.

Plastic particles themselves, not just chemical additives, can alter sex hormones

Read the full story from Rutgers University.

A new study used a pioneering technique to deliver endocrine-disrupting aerosolized micro-nano-plastics to female lab rats.

Early research proves synthesizing polyester from CO2 is possible

Read the full story at Chemical Engineering Progress.

Excess carbon dioxide can be transformed into polyester in a new method that uses electrolysis and microbial fermentation.