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1st US Criminal Charge Filed in VW Emissions Scandal

Engineer James Liang pleads guilty to conspiracy to commit fraud

(Newser) - The first US criminal charge over the Volkswagen emissions scandal has been filed. Bloomberg reports VW engineer James Liang pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit fraud on Friday. Liang, a German citizen, has worked for VW since 1983, first in Germany and then in the US, according to WDIV . He... More »

One of America's Most Toxic Places: a Town Called Picher

Only 3 residents remain

(Newser) - The former lead and zinc mining boomtown of Picher, Okla., has seen better days. It swelled to some 14,000 residents when bullet demand rose during both World War I and II, with Wired reporting previously that "most" of the lead found in bullets used by America during those... More »

VW's Dieselgate Now Spreads to Audi

Company's luxury brand says 2.1M of its cars also had emissions cheat

(Newser) - The dust was just starting to settle on Volkswagen's emissions-cheating software on its US diesel vehicles, but new revelations show the hubbub spreading to Audi. The company's luxury brand reported Monday that 2.1 million of its vehicles—including 13,000 in the US—had the same cheat... More »

EPA Changing Emissions Tests So It Can't Be Duped Again

Volkswagen scandal spurs change

(Newser) - The US Environmental Protection Agency said today that it will launch sweeping changes to the way it tests for diesel emissions after getting duped by clandestine software in Volkswagen cars for seven years. In a letter to car manufacturers, the EPA said it will add on-road testing to its regimen,... More »

EPA Hugely Underestimated How Much Trash We Dump

Scientists say this also means we're obviously not recycling as much as we thought

(Newser) - Americans are sending more than twice as much trash to landfills as the federal government has estimated, according to a new study. It turns out that, on average, America tosses 5 pounds of trash per person per day into its landfills, according to an analysis of figures in a study... More »

Billions Wiped Off VW's Market Value

Market value down almost $17B after cheating claims

(Newser) - Around $16.9 billion was wiped off the market value of Volkswagen AG today following revelations that the German carmaker rigged US emissions tests for about 500,000 diesel cars. By mid-afternoon trading in Frankfurt, Volkswagen's share price was down a stunning 18.1%. Its dramatic fall weighed heavily... More »

Volkswagen Is Cheating on Smog Tests: EPA

482K cars ordered recalled

(Newser) - If you drive a Volkswagen diesel model, your car might be getting recalled—though not for safety reasons. The Obama administration has ordered the carmaker to recall about 482,000 cars because, it claims, Volkswagen put illegal software in those cars designed to get around environmental standards, the New York ... More »

River in Colorado Reopens After Toxic Spill

Plume reaches Lake Powell

(Newser) - A river in Colorado that was turned sickly yellow by a mine waste spill reopened for recreational use today after the now-diluted toxic plume passed through and reached Lake Powell—a huge reservoir 300 miles downstream that feeds the Colorado River and supplies water to the Southwest. Water officials said... More »

Toxic Water Still Leaking Into Colorado River

Other abandoned mines are now the issue, officials say

(Newser) - The wastewater spill into Colorado's Animas River isn't just more severe than the Environmental Protection Agency initially estimated: It's steadily getting worse in terms of volume, even a week after the initial incident . Between 500 and 700 gallons of metal-laced water is still spilling from the abandoned... More »

EPA: Wastewater Spill 3 Times Worse Than We Thought

Officials now say 3M gallons of Colo. mine wastewater spilled into Animas River

(Newser) - The Environmental Protection Agency says a wastewater spill from an abandoned mine in southwestern Colorado into the Animas River is much larger than originally estimated. The agency said the amount of heavy-metal-laced water that leaked from the Gold King Mine into the river, turning the water a mucky orange and... More »

We Massively Underestimate Methane Pollution: Study

New study finds fault in device used to measure leaks

(Newser) - The amount of methane leaking into the atmosphere from natural gas sites and contributing to global warming might be highly underestimated, according to a researcher who happens to have invented the technology used to measure leaks. In a new paper published today , Touché Howard notes an issue with the EPA-approved... More »

SCOTUS Smacks Down Obama Emissions Plan

Says EPA jumped gun on regulations on mercury, other pollutants

(Newser) - In a 2014 ruling , an appeals court decided that the Environmental Protection Agency "properly [put] the horse before the cart" in coming up with mandates to limit power-plant emissions of mercury and other pollutants. The Supreme Court today overturned that ruling, blocking a key White House environmental initiative because... More »

White House Going After Airplane Emissions

EPA says they endanger health, first step toward regulations

(Newser) - Actual regulations are still a good five years away, but the EPA took the first step today toward stricter rules on airplane emissions: The agency released a finding that the emissions contribute to air pollution and thus pose a risk to public health. Next will come years of wrangling over... More »

EPA: Fracking Has No 'Widespread' Impact on Drinking Water

But environmentalists says the report raises plenty of red flags, too

(Newser) - The EPA issued a major report today about whether fracking poses a risk to drinking water, and the main conclusion "hands a victory to the oil and gas industry," writes Politico . That's because the five-year study found no evidence that the practice has a "widespread, systemic... More »

Teens Poisoned by Pesticides at Resort Still Critical

Esmond family fell ill after banned methyl bromide used at Virgin Islands resort

(Newser) - Six weeks ago, the Esmond family's Virgin Islands vacation went horribly wrong when they were exposed to a potentially lethal pesticide at their St. John resort—and they're still recuperating, per a family statement, ABC News reports. The statement notes that teen boys Sean and Ryan Esmond are... More »

Supreme Court Wades Into Major Environmental Case

The high court will hear arguments regarding EPA emissions standards

(Newser) - The Supreme Court is stepping into a new case about Obama administration environmental rules, agreeing to review a ruling that upholds emission standards for mercury and other hazardous air pollutants from coal- and oil-fired power plants. The justices today said they would hear arguments from industry groups and states that... More »

New BPA Culprit: Cash Register Receipts

Using hand sanitizer before going shopping might make things worse: scientists

(Newser) - Thought you'd cut your risk of BPA exposure by ditching plastic water bottles? You might have to add "stop asking for receipts at the store" to the list. Scientists tested the skin, blood, and urine of people before and after they handled receipts and other thermal papers that... More »

In Ruling, EPA Gets 'Almost Everything It Wants'

Expert: 'Supreme Court put EPA on a leash but not in a noose'

(Newser) - The Supreme Court largely left intact today the Obama administration's only existing program to limit power plant and factory emissions of the gases blamed for global warming. But a divided court also rebuked environmental regulators for taking too much authority into their own hands without congressional approval. The justices... More »

EPA to Seek 30% Drop in Carbon Emissions

Environmental Protection Agency will unveil plan tomorrow

(Newser) - Heads up, coal plants: The EPA plans to unveil a new rule tomorrow seeking a 30% drop in carbon-dioxide emissions from existing power plants by 2030, sources tell the Wall Street Journal . The federal government will let states choose how to implement the rule—with more renewable energy, cap-and-trade programs,... More »

'The Wind Bloweth': Court Gives Obama Victory on Smog

Ginsburg quotes Bible in siding with EPA on coal plants

(Newser) - A Bible verse is getting heavy quotation today in a Supreme Court decision seen as a big victory for the EPA and the White House on air pollution. In her majority opinion, Ruth Bader Ginsburg cited the Gospel according to John, notes the Washington Post : “The wind bloweth where... More »

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