British chemists toiled with a tripod-shaped bond of nitrogen and oxygen molecules linked by carbon and hydrogen they referred to as “research department explosive” — a substance one and a half times as powerful as TNT, but so delicate it had to be mixed with beeswax to be stable and pliable enough to fit into warheads.
In August 2016, an inspector from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency arrived at Barksdale Air Force base in Louisiana, a nerve center for the U.S. military’s global air combat operations, to conduct a routine look at the base’s handling of its hazardous waste.
The federal government appears to have significantly underestimated the amount of lead, arsenic and other dangerous pollutants that are sent into the air from uncontrolled burning of hazardous waste at the Radford Army Ammunition Plant in Virginia, according to a draft of a long-awaited report compiled by researchers at the Environmental Protection Agency.
hortly after dawn most weekdays, a warning siren rips across the flat, swift water of the New River running alongside the Radford Army Ammunition Plant. Red lights warning away boaters and fishermen flash from the plant, the nation’s largest supplier of propellant for artillery and the source of explosives for almost every American bullet fired overseas.
“Once [the state] exempts the water, it’s basically polluted forever. It’s a terrible idea,” said Maya Golden-Krasner, staff attorney for the Center for Biological Diversity, which is suing California to force it to complete an environmental impact assessment of the proposed aquifer changes.
by Abrahm Lustgarten, ProPublica. When the Environmental Protection Agency abruptly retreated on its multimillion-dollar investigation into water contamination in a central Wyoming natural gas field last month, it shocked environmentalists and energy industry supporters alike. In 2011, the agency had issued a blockbuster draft report saying that the controversial practice of fracking was to blame […]
by Abrahm Lustgarten, ProPublica. Federal officials have given energy and mining companies permission to pollute aquifers in more than 1,500 places across the country, releasing toxic material into underground reservoirs that help supply more than half of the nation’s drinking water. In many cases, the Environmental Protection Agency has granted these so-called aquifer exemptions in […]
by Abrahm Lustgarten, ProPublica When the Obama administration temporarily banned BP from federal contracts Wednesday, it pointed to BP’s “lack of business integrity” and conduct relating to the 2010 Deepwater Horizon explosion and spill. The sanction, however, has been years in the making. BP has been criminally convicted in four previous cases — including a […]
by Abrahm Lustgarten, ProPublica. New research has concluded that salty, mineral-rich fluids deep beneath Pennsylvania’s natural gas fields are likely seeping upward thousands of feet into drinking water supplies. Though the fluids were natural and not the byproduct of drilling or hydraulic fracturing, the finding further stokes the red-hot controversy over fracking in the Marcellus […]
by Abrahm Lustgarten, ProPublica A new study has raised fresh concerns about the safety of gas drilling in the Marcellus Shale, concluding that fracking chemicals injected into the ground could migrate toward drinking water supplies far more quickly than experts have previously predicted. More than 5,000 wells were drilled in the Marcellus between mid-2009 and […]
by Abrahm Lustgarten, ProPublica Two years after a series of gambles and ill-advised decisions on a BP drilling project led to the largest accidental oil spill in United States history and the death of 11 workers on the Deepwater Horizon oil rig, no one has been held accountable. Sure, there have been about $8 […]
by Abrahm Lustgarten and Nicholas Kusnetz, ProPublica, Dec. 8, 2011, 8:18 p.m. In a first, federal environment officials today scientifically linked underground water pollution with hydraulic fracturing, concluding that contaminants found in central Wyoming were likely caused by the gas drilling process. The findings by the Environmental Protection Agency come partway through a separate national […]