Environmental

Recent Posts

Proposal to Revise Aluminum and Selenium Water Quality Criteria
Posted on 27 Aug 2015 by Steptoe & Johnson PLLC

The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection’s (“WVDEP”) proposed rule revisions for consideration during the 2016 regular legislative session are now available on the WVDEP website, including long-awaited revisions being... Read More

Evidence supports association between methylmercury exposure and adverse cardiovascular impacts
Posted on 15 May 2011 by Thomas H. Clarke, Jr.

Traditionally, when one considers exposure to methylmercury, adverse impacts upon the brain and kidneys are foremost in any risk assessment. See, for example, http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/toxfaqs/tf.asp?id=113&tid=24 . Given the state of the evidence... Read More

Fisheries Act Convictions For Discharging Drinking Water
Posted on 21 Jul 2015 by Dianne Saxe

Two Alberta construction companies have been convicted under the Fisheries Act for rupturing municipal water mains, discharging chlorinated drinking water into storm sewers and fish habitat. Treated municipal drinking water is harmful to fish, which... Read More

Can dead zones (hypoxic waters) cause deformities in sexual organs of fish? Interesting study suggests it can.
Posted on 1 Jun 2011 by Thomas H. Clarke, Jr.

Prior posts have described the scope and potential causes for the "dead zone" (low oxygen) in the Gulf of Mexico; the zone exists for part of the year, and its scope has been expanding over time. Nutrients (nitrogen, phosphorus) from various... Read More

Further Asian Carp Barriers Proposed
Posted on 5 Jan 2015 by E. Lynn Grayson

Efforts continue to prevent Asian carp from entering Lake Michigan through the Chicago waterway system. The latest proposal under consideration by the Army Corps of Engineers (ACOE) is to install controls at the Brandon Road Lock and Dam near Joliet,... Read More

Cheese Whey Spill: $80,000 Fine
Posted on 2 Jul 2015 by Dianne Saxe

By Meredith James Even seemingly innocuous substances, like human food and drink, can be hazardous to the natural environment. And spills of food and drink must be reported. Silani Sweet Cheese Limited manufactures a cheese at a facility in Bradford... Read More

Acidification of Oceans May Affect the Brains of Fish
Posted on 28 May 2012 by Thomas H. Clarke, Jr.

Yesterday's post noted some of the adverse consequences that are likely to arise from acidification of oceans. Another recent study shows that such acidification can influence the behavior of fish because of impacts on their brains; the response of... Read More

Less Environmental Enforcement = More Private Prosecutions?
Posted on 19 Feb 2015 by Dianne Saxe

When governments do little to enforce environmental laws, generally or in particular areas, private citizens and environmental groups sometimes try to fill the gaps with private prosecutions. These cases are burdensome and expensive to handle, but can... Read More

How do schools of fish maneuver together? Watch the trees, not the forest
Posted on 21 Jan 2012 by Thomas H. Clarke, Jr.

Watching large schools of fish maneuver with the grace of a water ballet leads to an obvious question: How do so many animals spread over what is often many yards coordinate their activities with such precision? They keep an eye on their immediate neighbors... Read More

Proposal to List the Big Sandy Crayfish and Guyandotte River Crayfish as Endangered
Posted on 20 Aug 2015 by Steptoe & Johnson PLLC

Coal, oil and gas, timber, and multiple other activities within the Guyandotte and Big Sandy watersheds in West Virginia, Virginia and Kentucky will be subject to new restrictions if the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) proceeds with its... Read More

Why is beef bad for your heart and arteries? Only your GI bacteria know for sure
Posted on 20 Apr 2013 by Thomas H. Clarke, Jr.

Prior posts have noted the extent to which the makeup of the bacteria in one's GI tract can be critically important. The wrong mix, which apparently arises from the nature of one's diet, can lead to a wide variety of unfortunately ugly diseases... Read More

How do schools of fish maneuver together? Watch the trees, not the forest
Posted on 21 Jan 2012 by Thomas H. Clarke, Jr.

Watching large schools of fish maneuver with the grace of a water ballet leads to an obvious question: How do so many animals spread over what is often many yards coordinate their activities with such precision? They keep an eye on their immediate neighbors... Read More

Even toxics can act as a generic selection factor in the environment
Posted on 22 Feb 2011 by Thomas H. Clarke, Jr.

One of the themes of this blog has been that virtually anything present in the environment can act as a selection factor influencing the course of evolution. A recent study on fish and PCB's and dioxins illustrates this point. Unfortunately for humans... Read More

Creating protected zones helps the recovery of even migratory fish species
Posted on 30 Aug 2010 by Thomas H. Clarke, Jr.

As noted in prior posts, the creation of protected zones in which fishing is prohibited has been shown to be an effective method for assisting the recovery of fish that do not migrate over great areas. For example, protected zones in the region of the... Read More

Evidence supports association between methylmercury exposure and adverse cardiovascular impacts
Posted on 15 May 2011 by Thomas H. Clarke, Jr.

Traditionally, when one considers exposure to methylmercury, adverse impacts upon the brain and kidneys are foremost in any risk assessment. See, for example, http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/toxfaqs/tf.asp?id=113&tid=24 . Given the state of the evidence... Read More