Eco-news in brief 5-15
By CG News Editor April Jaynes
Google Inc. wind power project works toward approval
On Monday, the United States Department of the Interior declared there was “no overlapping competitive interest” in the proposal for the Atlantic Wind Connection line, clearing the way for environmental review. The project is planned to cost $5 billion but will generate 7,000 megawatts of power. The environmental review, which is estimated to take up to 18 to 24 months, will consider factors such as the line’s impact on fishing. The AWC is supported by Google, Good Energies and Japan’s Marubeni Corp.
Water-diversion deal may endanger California’s Salton Sea
Environmentalists are concerned about a new water diversion system designed to transfer local farmers’ water to San Diego County for the city to use. They fear it will ultimately cause the Salton Sea to dramatically shrink, which would cause agricultural runoff, exposing chemicals such as arsenic and selenium in the dry lake bed to surrounding wildlife and people. The water transfer plan, officially known as the Quantification Settlement Agreement, was approved last month by the California Supreme Court. It is intended to reduce statewide dependence on water from the Colorado River, from which the Salton Sea was created via flooding in 1905.
Space report shows rise in consumption, decline in earth’s health
Astronauts with the European Space Agency recently journeyed to the International Space Station to record findings for the Living Planet Report for 2012. The report concluded that the world is still consuming more natural resources than the planet can replenish as well as an increasingly dramatic gap between the ecological footprints of rich and poor nations. The report also includes a list of the top ten polluting countries based on consumption of renewable resources compared to biocapacity, with Qatar, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates as the top three and the U.S. ranking as sixth.