The Trillion-Gallon Loophole: Lax Rules for Drillers that Inject Pollutants into the Earth

In January 2003, two tanker trucks backed up to an injection well site in a pasture outside Rosharon, Texas. There, under a steel shed, they began to unload thousands of gallons of wastewater for burial deep beneath the earth. The waste – the byproduct of oil and gas drilling – was described in regulatory documents as a benign mixture of salt and water. As the liquid rushed from the trucks, it released a billowing vapor of far more volatile materials, including benzene and other flammable hydrocarbons. ProPublica analyzed records summarizing more than 220,000 well inspections conducted between late 2007 and late 2010, including more than 194,000 for Class 2 wells. The examination shows that, amid growing use of Class 2 wells, fundamental safeguards are sometimes being ignored or circumvented.
Propublica Exit NIEHS Website [Author: Abrahm Lustgarten]
The E-Newsbrief of the National Clearinghouse is a free weekly newsletter focusing on new developments in the world of worker health and safety. Each issue provides summaries of the latest worker health and safety news from newspapers, magazines, journals, government reports, and the Web, along with links to the original documents. Also featured each week are updates from government agencies that handle hazmat and worker safety issues such as DOE, EPA, OSHA and others.
Subscribing to the National Clearinghouse Newsbrief is the best way to stay on top of the worker health and safety news.
To subscribe to the newsletter, click here.

Back issues of our Newsbrief are available at our archives page.

National Clearinghouse for Worker Safety and Health Training


Living on Earth: 
Silent Spring Turns 50
Rachel Carson's legacy includes the ban on pesticides like DDT in the United States but a cocktail of other dangerous chemicals is still in use. Frank Graham is an editor with the Audubon Society and author of a follow up to Carson’s work“Since Silent Spring”. Graham talks to host Steve Curwood about the use of pesticides in the US then and now.


The 50th Anniversary Of ‘Silent Spring’ Reminds Us Of The Importance Of Environmental Regulations by Arpita Bhattacharyya

This year marks the 50th Anniversary of the release of Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring, a book often credited with launching the modern environmental movement. As we celebrate recent vital regulations, from new fuel economy standards to carbon pollution standard, it’s important to look back on how one book moved the American public to realize the importance of environmental protection and called the government to action.

Read more: http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2012/09/21/888111/the-50th-anniversary-of-silent-spring-reminds-us-of-the-importance-of-environmental-regulations/



Silent Spring and Sustainability Brownbaggers
Tri States Public Radio

Rich Egger's guests on Emphasis for September 14 are Amy Mossman and Timothy Collins of Western Illinois University. They talk about the fall lineup for the Sustainability Brownbaggers series.

The brownbaggers are billed as “Conversations for the Natural and Social Sciences, Art and Humanities, and Business.”

Mossman and Collins will present the first program, which will focus on “Silent Spring.” This fall marks the 50th anniversary of the publication of Rachel Carson's book.

“It probably resonates with me most strongly because I feel that she really is advocating for an empowerment of the public. One of the things that she does in her book is take scientific information that was known and make it available to the public,” Mossman said of Carson and “Silent Spring.”

Mossman said Carson also presented issues of scientific uncertainty -- she helped the public understand there is still a great deal that is unknown.

Collins said he first read the book when he was a high school sophomore. He recently re-read it as he prepared for the brownbaggers series.

“What I like about it is her courage. It took a lot of stuff to stand up and write a book that was highly critical of the major chemical industry, the major agricultural industry, and those relationships,” Collins said.

Brownbaggers will be held on Tuesdays, 12:30 pm - 1:30 pm, Malpass Library West, 4th Floor, Western Illinois University.

The schedule:

September 18 -- 50th Anniversary of Rachel Carson's “Silent Spring”

September 25 -- Green Chemistry: Retooling of Chemistry and Making it More Sustainable

October 2 -- Sustainability on the Upper Mississippi River

October 9 -- Green Politics

October 16 -- An Overview of Sustainability in the Fashion Industry: Sustainable Technologies

October 23 -- The Aftermath of Hurricane Katrina

October 30 -- 150th Anniversary of the Land Grant System

November 13 -- Earth Cafe


Pesticide violations cost Scotts Miracle-Gro $12.5 million. Lawn product company Scotts Miracle-Gro Co will pay $12.5 million in criminal fines and civil penalties for illegally including insecticides in bird food products and for other violations – the largest penalties in the history of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act, the U.S. Justice Department said. Reuters

Say No to Pesticides!


Rising Chemicals Output a Hazard, Clean-Up Needed By 2020: U.N

Increasing misuse of chemicals is causing health and environmental damage especially in emerging economies and governments must do more to carry out a promised clean-up by 2020, said a United Nations report. Production and use of chemicals - from plastics to pesticides - is shifting to developing nations where safeguards are often weaker, the U.N. Environment Programme (UNEP) said. Unsafe disposal and recycling adds to risks, it said.
The Chicago Tribune Exit NIEHS Website [Author: Alister Doyle, Associated Press]


The Life and Legacy of Rachel Carson

Events and Conferences from Around the World

If you would like to include a conference or an event, please email michael.friscia@yale.edu with conference information and materials.

Linda Lear's Appearances - Rachel Carson Series

Montreal, CA. Magill University.
Raleigh, NC. NC State.
Sept. 27-29
Five Decades After Silent Spring . A Symposium at Connecticut College, New London. CT.
Oct 17-19

Five Decades After Silent Spring

A Symposium at Connecticut College, New London. CT. Oct 17-19
Visit Website

Sandra Steingraber, featured speaker
Featuring a panel of environmental activists and scholars including Dr. Naomi Orestes, author of Merchants of Doubt.(italics) and visiting scholar Coner Jameson author of Silent Spring Revisited.

Our Planet and Our Health- The Impact of Silent Spring after Fifty Years

Download PDF Date: October 26, 2012 from 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm
Location: Chatham University Eddy Theater
Visit Website
Rachel Carson’s book Silent Spring, published 50 years ago in 1962, brought global attention to the consequences of unrestrained use of toxic pesticides such as DDT. Among the actions taken in response to her work was a ban on DDT by the newly formed Environmental Protection Agency in 1976, over a decade after Rachel Carson’s death. The success of Silent Spring and its rapid popularity was based on Rachel Carson’s reputation and credibility as a writer and scientist on the subject of the oceans. Her books The Sea Around Us, The Edge of the Sea and Under the Sea Wind established her in the public eye as a significant scholar and writer. Thus, in celebrating the fiftieth anniversary of publication of Silent Spring, it is appropriate to turn to the oceans as a touchstone for evaluating the impact of her work.


Rachel Carson's Prescience Chronicle of Higher Education

Fifty years ago, on September 27, 1962, Houghton Mifflin published Rachel Carson's Silent Spring, among the 20th century's most influential books. To honor the anniversary, the University of Cape Town invited me to lead an interdisciplinary forum this ...