by German Lopez
Posted In: News
at 09:10 AM | Permalink
EPA approves sewer plan, anti-union law gets hearing, DeWine to speed synthetic drug bans
Got questions for CityBeat about, well, anything? Submit them here, and we’ll try to get back to you in our first Answers Issue.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approved a Mill Creek sewer overhaul plan
that includes bringing back a long-buried creek in the area. The
unconventional strategy is the Metropolitan Sewer District’s (MSD)
attempt at dealing with storm overflow in a green, sustainable manner
that also saves taxpayers money — particularly in comparison to an
expensive deep underground tunnel that the EPA originally suggested. CityBeat previously covered MSD’s green plans in further detail here.
A law that would ban mandatory union membership is temporarily back on the Ohio House agenda,
leaving union advocates worried that Republicans are trying to push the
anti-union law, which supporters of the change call “right to work,” once again.
Still, lawmakers say they’re only giving the law one hearing as
required by House rules for legislation introduced early on in the
session. Under current law, employers and unions are allowed to agree to mandating union membership for employees, but the anti-union law would
bar that agreement. Many states have already taken up similar laws, and
they’ve been linked to a significant decline of unions around the
Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine is partnering with Ohio
State Board of Pharmacy Executive Director Kyle Parker to continue the
fight against synthetic drugs. In a statement, DeWine’s office said the
partnership will help state officials expedite the process of banning
synthetic drugs as they are found. “Despite the success of House Bill 334,
which outlawed a multitude of synthetic drugs in 2012, rogue chemists
continue to create new, dangerous chemicals that fall outside of Ohio's
controlled substances law,” DeWine said in a statement.
Cost for vehicle registration in Ohio could go up under a plan being considered by state lawmakers.
Two more alleged voter fraud cases were sent to the county prosecutor.
So far, most of the Hamilton County voter fraud cases involve people voting twice —
supposedly on accident — by first early voting and then voting on
A Gillette commercial is at the center of the most important question of our time: How does Superman shave?
The “cutest couple” at a suburban New York school is two boys.
Being from Ohio may have ruined Neil Armstrong’s most famous quote.
In case you missed it, here is the news section for the latest issue of CityBeat:
Cover story: “From
the Inside: Inmates told CityBeat about violence, staff ineptitude and
unsanitary conditions inside Ohio’s private prison. Then came the
surprise inspections.”News: “What’s On the Books?: Northern Kentucky tea party-backed lawsuit threatens library funding across the state”Commentary: “Commissioners’ Proposed Streetcar Cut Ignores the Basics”
by German Lopez
Posted In: News
at 10:52 AM | Permalink
Nonprofit environmental group says failed methodology makes methane study invalid
A new study released by the oil and gas industry claims
the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has been overestimating
methane emissions from natural gas and fracking, but environmental
groups have dismissed the study as “fatally flawed” and “biased.”
The study, released by the American Petroleum Institute
(API) and America’s Natural Gas Alliance (ANGA), claims methane
emissions given off during natural gas production are as low as half of
what the EPA is estimating. The study arrived just in time for a June 19
congressional hearing in which industry officials are testifying in
defense of natural gas production and fracking, a relatively new
drilling process that involves pumping thousands of gallons of water
underground to break up shale formations in order to release natural gas
The nonprofit environmental group Physicians, Scientists,
and Engineers for Healthy Energy (PSE) has questioned the methodology
behind the study. One criticism is that the study only covers 20 out of
hundreds of oil and gas operators. This makes the study “statistically
invalid,” according to Anthony Ingraffea, a professor of engineering at
Cornell University and a member of PSE.
Ingraffea also says questions for the study were framed
poorly. In one example, he pointed out that the study gave
survey-takers, which work within the oil and gas industry, EPA estimates
of methane emissions. Given the industry’s interest in making sure
methane emissions are low, this could have “coached” survey-takers into
giving lower estimates, according to Ingraffea.
Ingraffea says he would have preferred a study that
randomly samples a larger number of operators from all over the country
with more objective questions. That, he says, would have produced much
more credible results.
Ingraffea also emphasizes that the data from this study is
made up of estimates derived by mathematical equations, not any actual
measurements taken from the field.
“No one, with one exception, has actually gone out into the field and made measurements,” he says.
The one exception is a study by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) that was published February in the Journal of Geophysical Research.
The NOAA study measured Colorado gas wells in an attempt to get more
accurate data than what the EPA and the industry have been providing.
The measurements showed methane emissions were at least twice as large
as what the EPA was previously estimating, leading NOAA researchers to
conclude the EPA is greatly underestimating emissions, a stark contrast
to the API/ANGA study.
0 Comments · Wednesday, May 2, 2012
and Hamilton County fared poorly on a national list of places with
polluted air that was released last week. The
Cincinnati-Middletown-Wilmington metropolitan region ranked as the
eighth-worst for air particle pollution, according to the American