Black Friday, Woman holding many shopping bags while walking in the shopping mall background.

The Environmental Impact of Black Friday

Consumers spent a record $9.12 billion shopping online during Black Friday this year, and are expected to spend $210.1 billion this holiday season, according to Adobe Analytics. That’s an anticipated increase of 2.5 percent from 2021.

Each year, holiday shopping statistics prompt a look at the environmental impact of consumerism in the United States and around the world. Black Friday and the surge in spending during the holiday season, sparks conversation regarding environmental concerns involving waste, emissions, “fast fashion,” and most recently Environmental, Social and …

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Female engineer working on maintenance in bottling plant

Ethylene Oxide Alert: Deliberative Process Privilege Found To Not Justify Withholding EtO Data in Texas

Our blog recently reported on the first jury verdict concerning alleged ethylene oxide exposure and has previously reported a number of times here generally about ethylene oxide (EtO).  Ethylene oxide is a gas commonly used to make other chemicals utilized in a variety of consumer and industrial goods, including fabric, detergents, medicines, and adhesives. It is used to sterilize medical devices and spices and to kill microorganisms in grains. EtO is a well-established sterilizing agent highly efficient at preventing bacteria from growing on, or within, products during …

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Power Plant in the sunrise

Interior Department Aims to Crackdown on Gas Flaring on Public and Tribal Lands

ELM readers may remember our October 6th post detailing a study that found gas flaring actually releases much more methane into the atmosphere than previously thought. The emission of methane gas, given it is a potent greenhouse gas, contributes significantly to global warming.

Flaring is the process of burning excess natural gas at a well. Venting is the direct release of natural gas into the atmosphere. While some amount of venting and flaring is expected during oil and gas exploration and production operations, venting …

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batteries

The Future’s So Bright…Because My Tech Just Lit on Fire

The principals of electrochemical power have been known for more than 200 years. Two specific chemicals are stored in a battery, separated by a third chemical called an “electrolyte.” When placed in a closed circuit (the device needing power), one of the chemicals reacts with the electrolyte and produces a higher concentration of electrons at the negative terminal, the “anode,” than at the positive terminal, the “cathode.” The electrons then run from the anode, through the device powering it, to the cathode, until the concentration …

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Single wind turbine, a coal burning power plant with pollution and electricity pylons in the background.

Outsmarting Climate Change: Artificial Intelligence and the Future of Greenhouse Gas Regulation

For nearly a decade, there has been a trend of decreasing industry greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions … that is, until now. According to the World Meteorological Organization, atmospheric levels of the three main greenhouse gases—carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide—all reached new record highs in 2021. In addition, these emissions have increased almost an additional 1% in the United States for 2022. Although the reason for this increase is not entirely clear, it is likely the result of both biological and human-induced processes, including a …

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semi truck driving

How New Emissions Standards Are Leading to Selfies with Trucks

Just a few weeks ago, in late October, trucking and manufacturing representatives from across the United States convened in San Diego for the American Trucking Associations’ Management Conference and Exhibition to discuss the impact that new and pending emissions regulations will have on the trucking industry and its equipment market. The conference’s particular focus was on standards announced by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency earlier this year, and on California’s Air and Resources Board’s (CARB) finalized Advanced Clean Trucks rule and proposed Advanced Clean Fleets …

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house with fallen trees after a strom

No Calm After the Storm

Perhaps Floridians know best that the calm after the storm is really just proverbial. In truth, the environmental aftermath of Hurricane Ian may be the greater storm to overcome – one from which west Florida and the Gulf Coast may not easily recover.

Hurricane Ian unleashed a path of destruction across the southeast on September 28, 2022, when it made landfall as a Category 4 storm, devastating the state of Florida and its Gulf Coast. The catastrophic statistics are self-evident: Ian’s apocalyptic storm surge of …

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Flags - United Nations

What to Expect at The Upcoming COP27 U.N. Climate Conference

Due to increasing droughts, wildfires, flooding, and more severe storms, most of the scientific community and political leaders around the world agree that climate change is a real and significant threat facing this planet requiring more action to be taken sooner rather than later to address.

Those that share this assessment also agree that it cannot be left up to just one nation to stifle further climate change. In an effort to foster international cooperation, every year since 1995, a large-scale global event takes place …

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WHO Draft Drinking Water Guidance on PFOA and PFOS Raises Material Differences With U.S. EPA Guidance

The World Health Organization recently released for public comment its first document evaluating PFAS: “PFOS and PFOA in Drinking-water, Background document for development of WHO Guidelines for Drinking-water Quality.” According to WHO, one of its primary goals is that “all people, whatever their stage of development and their social and economic conditions, have the right to have access to an adequate supply of safe drinking water.” One function that WHO exercises to achieve that goal is the proposal of regulations, and “to make recommendations with …

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EPA Launches Civil Rights Investigation for Jackson, Mississippi’s Ongoing Water Crisis

The Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) accepted for investigation an administrative complaint filed against the Mississippi Department of Health (MDH) and the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) based on their role in the City of Jackson, Mississippi’s ongoing water crisis. This is an investigation opened by the EPA’s new Office of Environmental Justice and External Civil Rights (“OEJECR.”). The agency announced on Thursday October 20, 2022, that it will investigate whether MDEQ and MDA discriminated against Jackson’s mostly Black population by refusing to provide funding for much needed repairs to Jackson’s water infrastructure. 

For those not aware, Mississippi’s …

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