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Environment

Government Roundup

April 21, 2014 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 92, ISSUE 16

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit has upheld the Obama Administration’s standards for curbing emissions of mercury, lead, arsenic, and other hazardous pollutants from coal- and oil-fired power plants. EPA says the rule, which begins in 2015, will prevent 11,000 premature deaths annually.

Biomedical research in the U.S. is on an unsustainable path, four leading researchers say (Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. USA 2014, DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1404402111). The current system is creating an ever-growing supply of biomedical scientists vying for finite resources and jobs, they write.

The Department of Energy released for comment a draft loan guarantee solicitation for renewable energy and efficient energy projects last week. When finalized, the solicitation could provide up to $4 billion in loan guarantees to aid commercialization of renewable energy and energy-efficient technologies.

ConocoPhillips announced last week that it would soon begin exporting liquefied natural gas from its Kenai LNG plant in Alaska. DOE authorized the company to reopen a facility already at the site and to export up to 40 billion cu ft of LNG over two years.

Ethylene glycol would be listed as a reproductive toxic in California, under a proposal from the state. If the plan is adopted, products sold in the state that contain the compound would have to include warning labels.

Hexavalent chromium would be regulated for the first time in drinking water in the U.S. starting in July if California finalizes a proposal issued last week. The rule would set a maximum allowable amount of 10 ppb of Cr(VI).

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