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New federal rule targets hazardous silica dust in mining

New federal rule targets hazardous silica dust in mining

The recent initiative by U.S. federal authorities introduces stringent measures to combat the exposure of miners to dangerous silica dust, a move set to prompt significant health surveillance advancements in the mining industry. It could also increase understanding of health impacts among workers in metal mining connected to the energy transition.

Hannah Northey reports for E&E News.

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Ecuador's Indigenous communities face pollution's heavy toll

Ecuador's Indigenous communities face pollution's heavy toll

In Ecuador, the Indigenous communities confront a grim reality as pollution and illness shadow their lives.

Gabriela Barzallo reports for palabra.

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PA natural gas driller CNX

Pa. governor announces agreement with CNX, new fracking regs coming

Gov. Josh Shapiro went to Washington County to announce a voluntary agreement the state was signing with CNX, the Canonsburg-based natural gas driller.

Expanded Pa. environmental justice policy

Expanded Pa. environmental justice policy goes into effect this month

Pennsylvania's new environmental justice policy applies to inspections and enforcement, as well as engagement. It goes into effect this month but is still open for comment.
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Toxic debris from the Lahaina fire will be shipped to the mainland

Authorities don’t know how contaminated Lahaina is, but past wildfires show destroyed urban areas are strewn with hazardous waste that can complicate the remediation process.

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Photo by Robin Sommer on Unsplash

Pa. Health Department to reveal results of child health studies in gas lands

On Tuesday evening, the Pennsylvania Department of Health plans to reveal the results of several highly-anticipated health studies that probe a possible link between oil and gas development and children’s cancer, asthma and poor birth outcomes in southwestern Pennsylvania.

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A Mississippi community takes on a U.K. energy giant over pollution concerns

Drax Group has been the subject of yearslong efforts by local residents, environmentalists and state regulators to rein in emissions from its Gloster wood pellet plant. Some are running out of patience, reports Nidhi Sharma for NBC News.

In a nutshell:

Residents of Gloster, a majority-Black community in southwest Mississippi, are engaged in an ongoing battle against Drax Group, a U.K.-based energy company operating a wood pellet production plant in the town. The residents' concerns revolve around deteriorating air quality and health issues, prompting demands for action. Drax's facility is part of the wood pellet manufacturing hub in the South, which supplies biomass fuels to European countries, even as the biomass industry faces increasing scrutiny for its potential contribution to carbon emissions.

Key quotes:

“They claim to be the good guys, but the industry is one of the most polluting and most damaging to the environment and to communities,” Robert Musil, president and CEO of the Rachel Carson Council said.

The big picture:

Wood pellet production can result in adverse health impacts by emitting hazardous air pollutants and volatile organic compounds during the manufacturing process. These pollutants, which include chemicals with carcinogenic properties and those that can damage vital organs, can be inhaled by those living in nearby communities, leading to respiratory problems, cardiovascular issues, and other adverse health effects.

Read the article at NBC News.

In 2020, Danielle Purifoy wrote that the expanding wood pellet market in the Southeast has fallen short of climate and job goals—instead bringing air pollution, noise and reduced biodiversity in majority Black communities.

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