Sri Lanka faces 'worst beach pollution' in history from burning ship. Sri Lanka faces an unprecedented pollution crisis as waves of plastic waste from a burning container ship hit the coast and threaten to devastate the local environment, a top environment official warns.
Key points: Sri Lanka's beaches have been inundated with tiny polyethylene pellets Authorities say the plastic debris is 60 centimetres deep in placesThe disaster threatens to make thousands of Sri Lankans destitute by devastating the fishing and tourism sectors Thousands of navy sailors have been using mechanical diggers at beaches to scoop up tonnes of tiny plastic granules that have come from the Singapore-registered MV X-Press Pearl, which has been smouldering on the horizon for 10 days. Sri Lanka's Marine Protection Authority (MEPA) said the microplastic pollution could cause years of ecological damage to the Indian Ocean island.
The tiny polyethylene pellets threaten beaches popular with tourists as well as shallow waters used by fish to breed. NT Environmental Protection Authority lashes mining company TNG over ASX statements. The Northern Territory's environmental watchdog boss says he is surprised and furious with mining company TNG for publishing "incorrect and potentially misleading" statements to the ASX.
Mining company TNG has accused the NT EPA of "retrospectively" applying NT government guidelinesThe EPA's chairman Paul Vogel says changes to the company's proposal required answersHe says the law requires the EPA to look at cumulative environmental impacts of projects TNG is planning to build an iron ore processing facility on Darwin Harbour. The project is under assessment with the NT Environmental Protection Authority before a final ministerial decision is made. The NT EPA recently asked TNG for more information about the project, including how the plant would contribute to Darwin's air quality and how additional waste would be dealt with. On Thursday TNG published a lengthy response, claiming the requests were not previously required and that many were "unexpected new requests". Should banning petrol cars and going electric be Australia's next light bulb moment?
In 2007, Malcolm Turnbull turned off an industry's life support without blinking.
The industry made light bulbs, of the traditional kind — so energy inefficient they lost most of it as heat. "A normal light bulb is too hot to hold — that heat is wasted, and globally represents millions of tonnes of carbon dioxide that needn't have been emitted," he explained. From February 2009 it became illegal to import the traditional pear-shaped globes, while from November that year it became illegal to sell them. It was a world-first, announced by Turnbull as environment minister and sanctioned by his prime minister, John Howard. The European Union followed, and then, some years later, China. Plastic waste washing up on beaches increasing threat to turtle populations. Research scientist Jennifer Lavers has spent weeks sifting through the world's waste on two remote sets of islands — and what she has found could have alarming consequences for wildlife.
Key points: New research has found plastic debris is increasing the temperature extremes of sandSand temperature affects the gender of turtle hatchlings About 414 million pieces of plastic have been found on Australia's Cocos Keeling Islands In 2017, many were shocked to learn the shores of uninhabited Henderson Island in the South Pacific Ocean were littered with plastic waste. Not long after, scientists found about 414 million pieces of plastic washed up on the beaches of the Cocos Keeling Islands, off Australia's west coast. Now, research is finding the accumulation of plastic debris is significantly increasing the temperature extremes of the sand.
"It creates almost like an insulation or a boundary layer that affects how much UV light, wind and moisture might get past it," Dr Lavers said. McArthur River Mine trucks keep spilling zinc and lead concentrate on Northern Territory roads. Hundreds of kilograms of potentially environmentally damaging substances continue to be spilled by trucks carrying concentrate from one of the world's largest zinc and lead mines despite the introduction of preventative measures.
Key points: The 10 spills have ranged in size from 5 kilograms to 70 tonnesEnvironment Centre NT says the spills could cause soil and water contaminationThe mine says testing shows zinc and lead levels are within guidelines The Glencore-owned McArthur River Mine (MRM) has reported 10 separate road train spills to the Northern Territory Environment Protection Authority (EPA) since the start of 2019. The incidents — ranging in size from as little as 5 kilograms to as much as 70 tonnes — have occurred along the Carpentaria Highway between the mine site and the Bing Bong port near Borroloola, 700 kilometres south-east of Darwin. The mine has blamed the spills on a range of factors, including driver error, poor-quality roads and overfilled trailers. Major companies sign 'radical' deal to drastically reduce plastic waste by 2025. Major supermarket chains and multinational brands are among more than 60 organisations to sign up to a long-awaited pact to reduce plastic waste across Australia and the region.
Key points: The plastic pact aims to significantly reduce the amount of waste coming from packagingUnder the plan, all plastic packaging will be reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025An expert says the pact is a good step but will need a market for recycled plastic to be effective The ANZPAC plastics pact aims to by 2025 drastically reduce the amount of plastic waste from Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific ending up in landfills and the ocean.
Signatories include big brands like Coles, Woolworths, Nestle and Coca-Cola, as well as the Australian Beverages Council, the Australian Food and Grocery Council and Planet Ark. Kurri gas plant could be running on diesel for months. Plans for a taxpayer funded gas-fired power plant in the Hunter Valley have been labelled a "shambles", after it was revealed it may have to run on diesel for its first six months.
Key points: If approved, a new gas-fired power plant could be complete in the Hunter Valley by late 2023An Environmental Impact Statement warns the plant's gas pipeline may not be ready by thenGreen groups are worried that diesel could be used to run the plant for up to six months The government-owned Snowy Hydro Corporation is behind the $610 million project at Kurri Kurri, which is yet to receive federal funding. An Environment Impact Statement (EIS) for the project released on May 13 warns that a new gas pipeline may not be ready in time for the plant to start operating around August 2023. The EIS states that if the plant was needed in its first six months of operation, it would have to use diesel fuel.
The EIS states: Swanbank residents hope environmental order will stop smells from NuGrow waste plant. A group of residents are hopeful a rare environmental protection order (EPO) issued against a Queensland waste operator will put an end to a putrid stench they say has been wafting from the waste plant for years.
Key points: The Odour Abatement Taskforce investigates odour, dust and environmental issues in the Swanbank Industrial AreaNuGrow Ipswich has been ordered to stop taking liquid waste as it was not meeting its environmental obligationsDepartment of Environment and Science records show such an EPO has not been issued in more than a decade The state government last month issued the order against waste treatment and recycling plant NuGrow, which is located at Swanbank, west of Brisbane. The company has been ordered to stop taking liquid waste, such as grease trap, sewage effluent and oily water, on the grounds it was not meeting its environmental obligations. Mr Thompson told the court the department had not proved the material was hazardous or had damaged the environment. Thousands of leaking barrels containing insecticide DDT found in dumping ground off LA coast.
More than 27,000 barrels, many suspected to be full of the banned insecticide DDT, have been found on the ocean floor off the coast of Los Angeles.
Key points: Researchers say there are likely hundreds of thousands more barrelsThe area was used as a dumping ground by petrochemical companies in the mid to late 20th centuryHigh concentrations of DDT have been found in sediment and marine life Many of the barrels have been noticeably leaking — and scientists say there could be anywhere up to a few hundred thousand barrels in total. The barrels were discovered during a mapping exercise conducted in March, in which researchers used high-resolution imaging to scan 15,000 hectares of ocean floor in water depths of up to 900 metres. The exercise was conducted between the Los Angeles coast and Santa Catalina — an island about 35 kilometres to the south. "As the days of the survey continued, and as the results kept pouring in, it gave us pause to consider the potential impacts of the findings. " Thousands of leaking barrels containing insecticide DDT found in dumping ground off LA coast.
Lamprey numbers predict promising comeback for spooky blood-sucking fish. A jawless blood-sucking eel-like fish has surfaced in record numbers in the River Murray system, a new monitoring program has found.
Key points: Ninety-one pouched lamprey and four short-headed lamprey were recorded migrating through the River MurrayScientists tracked lamprey movement with pit tags, with one lamprey travelling 878kmLamprey are anadromous fish that need to live in freshwater and saltwater to complete their life cycle Ninety-one pouched lamprey and four short-headed lamprey were recorded migrating up from South Australia's Coorong through to the Murray River system between July and October last year – the highest amount ever monitored over winter. The ancient and native species was feared to be on the brink of extinction after the Millennium Drought.
The Department for Environment and Water's Program Leader for Coorong, Lower Lakes and Murray Mouth Adrienne Rumbelow said the Millennium Drought led to more than three years of disconnection of the Lower Murray river system. Newcrest's Cadia gold mine tailings dam collapse in 2018 causing concern. Garry Haines was out checking calving cows on November 6 last year in the picturesque Errowanbang valley in New South Wales when suddenly he could not breathe. Thick, white dust coated the pasture he was riding his bike through. "The dust was coming up off the grass, from the dust event that happened a few days before," he said. Male fertility: How everyday chemicals are destroying sperm counts in humans and animals. Within just a few generations, human sperm counts may decline to levels below those considered adequate for fertility. That's the alarming claim made in epidemiologist Shanna Swan's new book, Countdown, which assembles a raft of evidence to show that the sperm count of western men has plunged by more than 50 per cent in less than 40 years.
That means men reading this article will on average have half the sperm count of their grandfathers. And, if the data is extrapolated forwards to its logical conclusion, men could have little or no reproductive capacity from 2060 onwards. Northern Endeavour oil platform clean-up could cost taxpayers $1 billion, senator says. A rust-riddled oil vessel anchored in the Timor Sea has cost Australian taxpayers $86 million since February 2020, and independent Senator Rex Patrick believes the final price tag for its clean-up could spiral to $1 billion. Key points: Rex Patrick says the government should never have taken responsibility for the Northern EndeavourCosts are spiralling out of control and the Commonwealth is being sued by a creditor of its former ownerSenator Patrick says the government would have been better off paying the former owner to deal with the issue "This is a government bungle that will make the Leppington Triangle saga look like pocket money," Senator Patrick said.
"There are just so many strange aspects to this particular saga … it warrants much, much closer observation by the parliament. " The Northern Endeavour is a floating oil production storage and offtake facility connected to the Laminaria and Corallina oilfields 550 kilometres north-west of Darwin. Why is the government responsible? Government accused of pressuring experts who questioned its gas-fired recovery plan. The government has been accused of pressuring experts who questioned its gas-fired recovery plan, Four Corners can reveal. Key points: The government has pushed ahead with a gas-fired recovery despite international pressure to lower emissions Energy Minister Angus Taylor rejected claims he pressured a top bureaucrat to change report conclusions on gas pricing Mr Taylor denies his department chief urged another top energy expert to resign In July last year, Energy Minister Angus Taylor was given an advance copy of a report to be published by the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO), which did not support the government's position on gas.
AEMO manages and maintains the country's electricity and gas systems. Four Corners understands the minister called then-chief executive of AEMO, Audrey Zibelman, and in a heated conversation, pressured her to change the report's conclusions, which were unfavourable to gas. Government's own report finds 'sufficient uncertainty' about CSG proposal near contaminated site. An independent report has found "sufficient uncertainty" about the contamination risk and questioned the accuracy of a proposal to drill hundreds of coal seam gas wells near a controversial contaminated site. Key points: Gas company Arrow Energy has proposed to drill hundreds of gas wells near the contaminated Linc Energy underground coal gasification plantAn independent report says the modelling in the proposal is a "simplification of a highly complex system" and the conclusion that there will be no off-site contamination "may be incorrect" Arrow Energy says historical observations at the site indicate a low likelihood of contaminant spread regardless of CSG development In February, Shell-owned Arrow Energy, applied to amend its environmental approvals to drill 280 coal gas (CSG) wells and build 440 kilometres of pipelines in the proximity of the contaminated Linc Energy underground coal gasification (UCG) plant in southern Queensland.
How 'agromining' — farming plants that contain metal — could help power the future. When scientist Alan Baker made a cut in the side of an exotic plant in the Philippines jungle, the sap that bled out had a jade-green glow. The shrub was a newly discovered species, soon to be known as Phyllanthus Balgooyi, one of a rare variety of plants that naturally suck high amounts of metallic elements from the soil. The fluorescent sap turned out to be nine per cent nickel. What are 'zombie mines'? What do they have to do with Malcolm Turnbull? NT Government shaves $120 million off McArthur River Mine environmental security bond. The NT Government has quietly reduced the environmental rehabilitation bond for a major Top End mine by more than $100 million after controversially approving a significant expansion of the site.
Nine US officials including Michigan ex-governor charged over Flint water crisis deaths. Nine US officials — including former Michigan governor Rick Snyder and key members of his administration — have been charged following a new investigation into the Flint water disaster that contaminated the US city with lead and left 12 people dead. Removing engine idling time from our car journeys like taking 1.6 million cars off the road. Thousands of Indonesian seaweed farmers set to gain compensation over Australia's Montara oil spill. Sydney Water fined close to $200,000 for release of raw sewage into Parramatta River. Sydney Water will have to pay almost $200,000 after being fined for the release of nearly 3 million litres of raw sewage into the Parramatta River in 2018. Sacred Lake Torrens at centre of legal battle over Argonaut Resources drilling proposal.
Behind New Zealand's clean, green image is a dirty truth. First hydrogen produced from Latrobe Valley coal generates export hopes, emissions fears. A Japanese consortium hopes the production of hydrogen using coal from the Latrobe Valley in a world-first trial will prove it is possible to export the emerging fuel source. Norilsk Nickel pays $2.5 billion to Russia over massive Arctic oil spill. Norilsk Nickel has confirmed it has paid Russia $US2 billion ($2.5 billion) for damage caused by a fuel spill last year which caused the country's worst Arctic environmental disaster. Norilsk Nickel did not appeal a ruling that fined the company for a diesel spillMore than 20,000 tonnes of fuel and lubricants spilled into the Ambarnaya River, near the Arctic Ocean in 2020 The company's 2020 net profit fell by 39 per cent as a result of the fine.
Pembroke's Olive Downs coal mine approved despite department's concerns about waterways. NSW puts $750 million on the table to help clean up big emitters. Sydney beaches and rivers contain high levels of microplastics, scientists find. Recycler Suez says herbicides in contaminated compost came from Melbourne council waste. Ipswich's Bremer River is polluted, oxygen starved and capable of killing wildlife and risking public safety, study finds.
White swan in UK left with black feathers after swimming in 'contaminated' pond. Bee deaths spark investigation after traces of chemical Fipronil found in hives. Dead, sick baby turtles wash up on central Queensland beaches after eating plastic. Discovery of ancient Bogong moth remains at Cloggs Cave gives insight into Indigenous food practices. Hundreds of Victorian home gardeners angry and out of pocket after using toxic compost from major recycler Suez. Legal action launched against NT Government over McArthur River Mine security bond. 'Ecocide' proposal aiming to make environmental destruction an international crime. Queensland asked to consult traditional owners, scientists before examining Channel Country fracking plans. Fish, yabbies and aquatic life dead after 'toxic' herbicide treatment in irrigation channel. Clive Palmer coal mine poses 'significant risks' to Great Barrier Reef, scientists say.
Nine US officials including Michigan ex-governor charged over Flint water crisis deaths. Coronavirus lockdown coincides with rise in fatbergs in sewers. Fears for wildlife after bean bag bursts on Bruny Island and leaves polystyrene mess. WA Government to review BHP's environmental licences in dusty Pilbara town of Newman. Gundjeihmi and ERA enter negotiations to extend Ranger Uranium Mine rehabilitation. Victorian Planning Minister approves controversial lead battery recycling plant in Latrobe Valley. Call for urgent action to prevent further dieback of Adelaide's St Kilda mangroves.
Queensland set to ban single-use plastics from September, but environment advocates want action now. EPA to investigate as Nyrstar admits Port Pirie smelter will exceed annual lead emissions limit. South Australia's single-use plastics ban to start in March after coronavirus delay. Japanese ship company behind oil spill that led to environmental disaster in Mauritius caused by 'human error' Native title holders seek compensation from NT Government over McArthur River Mine. Recycling warehouse engulfed by massive blaze at Hemmant in Brisbane's east - ABC News. AGL issued $1 million penalty by Environment Protection Authority after ash waste pollutes Hunter Valley creek - ABC News.
Australia's Future Fund 'in bed with Adani' after freedom of information request reveals $3.2 million investment - ABC News. Plastic bags and food packages killing Australia's marine animals - ABC News. Wollongong Coal gets approval to expand Russell Vale coal mine above Sydney's water catchment - ABC News. EPA reverses approval of Bacchus Marsh toxic soil dump linked to West Gate Tunnel project - ABC News. It might be the world's biggest ocean, but the mighty Pacific is in peril - ABC News. Controversial contaminated soil dump proposed for Bacchus Marsh may be blocked - ABC News. Sydney Harbour underwater garden to mimic marine habitats destroyed by pollution - ABC News. This tropical glacier is rare, revered, and could be gone by next year - ABC News.
Tim Flannery warns of adverse climate impacts if South32 coal mine expansion approved - ABC News. Adelaide Festival art installation The Plastic Bag Store plays to the absurdity of heavily packaged groceries - ABC News. Darwin Harbour to face more industrialisation under Territory Economic Reconstruction Commission plan - ABC News. Mining company ordered to cease pumping in Adelaide mangrove dieback investigation - ABC News. Microplastics discovered near the peak of Mount Everest - ABC News. NT Government approves McArthur River Mine expansion against advice of sacred sites authority - ABC News. NSW coal ash dams need better regulation, say environment groups - ABC News. Mining industry hid issues with dust monitoring in Port Hedland from regulator - ABC News.
Turtles could solve the Murray-Darling's carp problem, research shows - ABC News. Angus Taylor says Australia has the world's largest carbon capture and storage project. Here's what he's not saying - ABC News. Port Hedland covered by dust from iron ore mining, residents resist buyout. NT business groups warn Gunner Government against chasing 'fanciful' economic recovery projects - ABC News. Landfill site sparks community anger as operations expand without Ipswich City Council approval - ABC News. Dead dolphins blamed on oil spill, thousands protest against government inaction in Mauritius - ABC News.
AGL says floating gas project won't hurt wetlands on Mornington Peninsula - ABC News. Japanese operators of bulk carrier leaking oil off Mauritius apologise for causing environmental disaster - ABC News. Santos coal-seam gas project at Narrabri not worth the risk, scientist says - ABC News. Antarctic biodiversity increasingly under threat as human activity spreads across continent - ABC News. CSIRO fracking research 'doesn't pass the pub test', expert says - ABC News. Residents fear proposed waste-to-energy plant could 'decimate' recycling industry - ABC News. Orange plume prompts calls for research into environmental, health impacts of mining blasts - ABC News. Tahmoor mine polluting water in Bargo and Nepean rivers with 'cocktail of metals' - ABC News. Ranger Mine locked in stoush over funding for Kakadu uranium rehabilitation monitoring - ABC News.
Gas fracking in Channel Country should stop, leaked department report told Queensland Government - ABC News. Asbestos-tainted waste illegally dumped near South Australian town to be removed. Microplastics found in Antarctic ice core sample taken 10 years ago. To avoid a return to pre-coronavirus traffic congestion, experts want to talk about change right now. Farmer trials attracting bugs to protect his vegetable crops rather than relying on pesticides. Yoda the green sea turtle released, months after washing up on remote Queensland beach. Gas exploration green light during coronavirus emergency 'sneaky', Victorian farmers say. Cars that eat paradise. Farmer says report shows CSG company gave incorrect groundwater data to regulator. Residents fight proposal to store contaminated West Gate Tunnel soil near Bacchus Marsh school.
What was actually in the air you were breathing during the bushfire haze? 'No-one is providing transparency': Audit questions compliance in Qld CSG regulation.