Archives for the day of: December 11, 2010

Bergen County Record: Bill to curb fertilizers sidetracked in Assembly.

A measure that would have put tight restrictions on fertilizers that homeowners from Edgewater to Ringwood use on their lawns went into legislative limbo on Monday. The bill was considered the most prohibitive of its kind in the nation and a major protection for ponds and lakes, including several in North Jersey, that have been polluted by fertilizer runoff. It came out of a package of legislation to restore Barnegat Bay, but its impact would have been statewide. Republicans refused to move the bill to the Assembly floor Monday through a procedural vote. More . . .

Washington DC Bureau: Pennsylvania gas drillers dumping radioactive waste in New York.

Trucks hauling rock cuttings from drilling for natural gas in the Marcellus Shale formation in Pennsylvania regularly cross the New York State border these days to dump in the Chemung County Landfill seven miles east of Elmira. The Marcellus formation is characterized by unusually high readings of naturally occurring radioactive material, or NORM, so most of the cuttings are probably radioactive. The Chemung Landfill, a former gravel pit, has never been licensed to handle low-level radioactive waste. So how can the landfill’s private operators get clearance from the county and state environmental regulators to become a regional dump for radioactive drilling wastes? The short answer: Provide the revenue-hungry county a rich payout, exploit a legal loophole, and presto, it’s a done deal. More . . .

Scripps Howard News Service: Rural residents say natural gas drilling has tainted their drinking water.

Neighbors had suffered declining health during the fall of 2008. After hearing about Hall’s horses, they became convinced that newfound natural gas drilling within about a mile of her property was poisoning their water. Hall and others in this isolated mountain county want drilling companies to fix the water that wasn’t bad until the drilling began earlier that summer, they say. At the center of their grievance is a natural gas-drilling process called hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking.” It uses millions of gallons of water, mixed with sand and toxic chemicals, to blast open underground rock formations that contain natural gas. Drilling companies insist that the fluids they use stay securely underground or are captured cleanly when they come back up through the well. But Hall and her neighbors are convinced otherwise. More . . .

In my interview of Dr. Frederica Perera (professor at the Mailman School of Public Health and Director of the Columbia Center for Children’s Environmental Health), I asked about how and why she began her work on environmental health issues and how she began her work on molecular epidemiology.  This video contains her responses to the prompts listed below (duration: 10:58).

Contents

  1. How did you become interested in researching the effects of environmental pollutants on human health? 00:40
  2. Was there any event that particularly triggered your interest in studying environmental toxins? 01:30
  3. What led you to pursue a degree in Environmental Health Sciences and Public Health? 02:50
  4. Tell me a bit more about you learned in your early collaboration with Dr. Weinstein. 06:20
  5. How did the results of that study influence your work? 07:25
  6. How did your research in molecular epidemiology evolve to focus on the fetus and other susceptible groups? 08:40
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