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  • Death By A Thousand Cuts | Environment Florida
    and Policy Center Release date Tuesday January 7 2014 Download Report PDF As President Obama finalizes his budget for fiscal year 2015 and final Congressional budget negotiations get underway Environment Florida Research and Policy Center released a new analysis Death by a Thousand Cuts exposing the impacts of funding cuts to the Everglades National Park and Big Cypress National Preserve and to Floridians enjoyment of these natural wonders Parks closures

    Original URL path: http://environmentflorida.org/reports/fle/death-thousand-cuts (2016-05-01)
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  • Shalefield Stories | Environment Florida
    on the frontlines of fracking and so Environment America Research Policy Center is supporting the Shalefield Stories project a booklet designed and published by Friends of the Harmed group of volunteer citizen journalists committed to providing support to affected individuals and families living in the shalefields of Western Pa People who recount their fracking incidents in Shalefield Stories include Marilyn Hunt of Wetzel County W V who found toxic chemicals in her water which migrated from a drilling site one mile from her home Judy Armstrong Stiles of Bradford County Pa who tells of finding barium and arsenic in her drinking water and then in her own blood after Chesapeake began drilling on her land William Sciscoe Mayor of Dish Texas who explains how air quality tests near a compressor station found cancer causing substances at 400 times the safe exposure levels set by U S Environmental Protection Agency June Chappel of Washington County Pa who has lived with a 15 million gallon fracking waste pit just 200 feet from her house Jaime Frederick of Coitsville Ohio who discovered barium strontium toluene and other contaminants in her water after 25 drilling wells began operating within a mile of her home She experienced several illnesses and says her property value has been reduced to nothing Laura Amos of Colorado whose story is summarized by others because she is barred by a gag order in a legal settlement with a drilling company from talking about how fracking chemicals polluted her water These are just a few examples of how dirty drilling operations are causing grave damage to people s lives That s why Environment America is working to stop fracking wherever we can and to support immediate steps to protect communities already living on the frontlines of fracking And we re also

    Original URL path: http://environmentflorida.org/reports/fle/shalefield-stories (2016-05-01)
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  • Fracking by the Numbers | Environment Florida
    Water use Fracking requires huge volumes of water for each well Fracking operations have used at least 250 billion gallons of water since 2005 See Table ES 2 While most industrial uses of water return it to the water cycle for further use fracking converts clean water into toxic wastewater much of which must then be permanently disposed of taking billions of gallons out of the water supply annually Farmers are particularly impacted by fracking water use as they compete with the deep pocketed oil and gas industry for water especially in drought stricken regions of the country Chemical use Fracking uses a wide range of chemicals many of them toxic Operators have hauled more than 2 billion gallons of chemicals to thousands of fracking sites around the country In addition to other health threats many of these chemicals have the potential to cause cancer These toxics can enter drinking water supplies from leaks and spills through well blowouts and through the failure of disposal wells receiving fracking wastewater Air pollution Fracking related activities release thousands of tons of health threatening air pollution Nationally fracking released 450 000 tons of pollutants into the air that can have immediate health impacts Air pollution from fracking contributes to the formation of ozone smog which reduces lung function among healthy people triggers asthma attacks and has been linked to increases in school absences hospital visits and premature death Other air pollutants from fracking and the fossil fuel fired machinery used in fracking have been linked to cancer and other serious health effects Global warming pollution Fracking produces significant volumes of global warming pollution Methane which is a global warming pollutant 25 times more powerful than carbon dioxide is released at multiple steps during fracking including during hydraulic fracturing and well completion and in the processing and transport of gas to end users Global warming emissions from completion of fracking wells since 2005 total an estimated 100 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent Damage to our natural heritage Well pads new access roads pipelines and other infrastructure turn forests and rural landscapes into industrial zones Infrastructure to support fracking has damaged 360 000 acres of land for drilling sites roads and pipelines since 2005 Forests and farmland have been replaced by well pads roads pipelines and other gas infrastructure resulting in the loss of wildlife habitat and fragmentation of remaining wild areas In Colorado fracking has already damaged 57 000 acres of land equal to one third of the acreage in the state s park system The oil and gas industry is seeking to bring fracking into our national forests around several of our national parks and in watersheds that supply drinking water to millions of Americans Fracking has additional impacts not quantified here including contamination of residential water wells by fracking fluids and methane leaks vehicle and workplace accidents earthquakes and other public safety risks and economic and social damage including ruined roads and damage to nearby farms To address the environmental

    Original URL path: http://environmentflorida.org/reports/fle/fracking-numbers (2016-05-01)
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  • America's Dirtiest Power Plants | Environment Florida
    41 percent of all U S emissions of carbon dioxide the leading pollutant driving global warming There are nearly 6 000 electricity generating facilities in the U S but most of the global warming pollution emitted by the U S power sector comes from a handful of exceptionally dirty power plants For example about 30 percent of all power sector carbon dioxide emissions in 2011 came from the 50 dirtiest power plants about half came from the 100 dirtiest plants and about 90 percent came from the 500 dirtiest plants See Figure ES 1 The dirtiest power plant in the United States Georgia Power s Plant Scherer produced more than 21 million metric tons of carbon dioxide in 2011 more than the total energy related emissions of Maine Dirty power plants produce a disproportionate share of the nation s global warming pollution especially given the relatively small share of total electricity they produce For example despite producing 30 percent of all power sector carbon dioxide emissions the 50 dirtiest power plants only produced 16 percent of the nation s electricity in 2011 The dirtiest U S power plants are major sources of global warming pollution on a global scale If the 50 most polluting U S power plants were an independent nation they would be the seventh largest emitter of carbon dioxide in the world behind Germany and ahead of South Korea These power plants emitted carbon dioxide pollution equivalent to more than half the emissions of all passenger vehicles in the United States in 2010 The 100 most polluting U S power plants produced more than 3 percent of the world s carbon dioxide emissions from energy use in 2011 while the 500 most polluting power plants were responsible for about 6 percent To protect our health our safety and our environment from the dangers of global warming America must clean up polluting power plants The Obama Administration should set strong limits on carbon dioxide pollution from new power plants to prevent the construction of a new generation of dirty power plants and force existing power plants to clean up by setting strong limits on carbon dioxide emissions from all existing power plants New plants The Environmental Protection Agency EPA should work to meet its September 2013 deadline for re proposing a stringent emissions standard for new power plants It should also set a deadline for finalizing these standards no later than June 2015 Existing plants The EPA should work to meet the timeline put forth by President Obama for proposing and finalizing emissions standards for existing power plants This timeline calls for limits on existing plants to be proposed by June 2014 and finalized by June 2015 The standards should be based on the most recent climate science and designed to achieve the emissions reduction targets that are necessary to avoid the worst impacts of global warming In addition to cutting pollution from power plants the United States should adopt a suite of clean energy policies at the

    Original URL path: http://environmentflorida.org/reports/fle/americas-dirtiest-power-plants (2016-05-01)
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  • In the Path of the Storm | Environment Florida
    ever recorded in any U S state smashing the previous record set by Oklahoma during the Dust Bowl summer of 1934 by an astonishing 1 6 degrees see correction below The high temperatures combined with Texas driest 12 month period on record triggered an exceptional drought that ruined crops and led to the state s worst wildfire season in history Wildfires claimed the lives of 10 people in Texas while more than 20 people in Texas and Oklahoma perished from extreme heat Parts of the upper Plains experienced their wettest spring on record contributing to massive flooding along the Missouri River The Missouri basin topped its all time record for monthly runoff while the nearby Souris River overwhelmed defenses that had been designed to withstand a 100 year flood inundating much of Minot North Dakota and forcing cancellation of the North Dakota State Fair At least five people died in flooding in the upper Plains Much of the Ohio River Valley experienced its wettest spring on record causing the Mississippi River to approach a 74 year high at Memphis inflicting more than 6 billion in damage and resulting in at least seven deaths New Jersey experienced its wettest month in its history August 2011 punctuated by heavy rains from Hurricane Irene that sent rivers to historic highs and damaged more than 2 000 homes Chicago experienced its third biggest snowfall in history while much of the Northeast experienced its heaviest October snowfall in at least two centuries Some types of extreme weather events have become more common in recent years in the United States and worldwide while science projects that global warming will likely fuel further changes in extreme weather in the years ahead The United States has experienced an increase in heavy precipitation events with the rainiest 1 percent of all storms delivering 20 percent more rain on average at the end of the 20th century than at the beginning The trend toward extreme precipitation is projected to continue even though higher temperatures and drier summers will likely also increase the risk of drought in between the rainy periods and for certain parts of the country The United States has experienced an increase in the number of heat waves over the last half century Scientists project that heat waves and unusually hot seasons will likely become more common in a warming world Hurricanes are expected to become more intense and bring greater amounts of rainfall even though the number of hurricanes may remain the same or decrease Global warming may also increase the danger posed by extreme weather events Rising sea level ecosystem changes and changes in the form of precipitation could reduce the ability of natural and man made systems to withstand even normal weather events The United States should reduce global warming pollution now and begin planning for a future in which many types of extreme weather events are more severe and occur more frequently The United States including federal state and local governments should adopt clean

    Original URL path: http://environmentflorida.org/reports/fle/path-storm (2016-05-01)
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  • Summer on the Road | Environment Florida
    s also when Americans most feel not just the environmental consequences of oil but the economic pain at the pump Americans are expected to spend more than 132 billion at the gas pump this summer American ingenuity has provided the technology to make our current vehicle fleet much cleaner and more fuel efficient Automakers have developed plug in hybrid cars that can travel 100 miles on a gallon of gas and U S auto dealers are selling electric cars that can go more than 200 miles on one charge Meanwhile numerous technologies are already being put to use to make conventional internal combustion engine vehicles more efficient Recognizing this the Obama administration is currently developing new fleet wide fuel efficiency and global warming pollution standards for cars and light trucks through 2025 If our cars and trucks today met the proposed 54 5 mpg standard Americans would cut gasoline consumption by 16 billion gallons over the course of this summer slashing global warming pollution by more than 146 million metric tons and saving consumers over 64 billion at the gas pump The average American family would save 551 in just three months Not only could families take road trips to their favorite summer destinations without worrying about the impacts of the gasoline they burn along the way but they could book a hotel for a couple of extra days with the money they would be saving While all 50 states would experience similar savings California Texas Florida New York and North Carolina would see the largest overall reductions in gasoline consumption and global warming pollution Meanwhile individual families would be able to save the most gasoline as well as the most money in Wyoming Mississippi Montana North Dakota and North Carolina The proposed standards build on the recently finalized light

    Original URL path: http://environmentflorida.org/reports/fle/summer-road (2016-05-01)
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  • When it Rains, it Pours | Environment Florida
    produced by the largest storm in each year at each station increased by 10 percent over the period of analysis on average across the contiguous United States This trend was most pronounced in New England and the Middle Atlantic Connecticut Delaware Massachusetts Maine New Hampshire New Jersey New York Pennsylvania and Vermont all saw the intensity of the largest storm each year increase by 20 percent or more The trend also occurred across the Midwest the South and the West In total 43 states experienced a statistically significant increase in the amount of precipitation produced by the largest annual rain or snow storm Only one Oregon recorded a significant decrease Figure ES 2 The Biggest Storms are Getting Bigger Global warming driven by pollution from the combustion of fossil fuels is helping to fuel the increasing severity of downpours The U S Global Change Research Program composed of a wide range of leading experts from the U S National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and universities called the increase in heavy downpours one of the clearest precipitation trends in the United States and linked the phenomenon to global warming in its report Global Climate Change Impacts in the United States The average temperature in the United States has increased by 2 F over the last 50 years Nine of the ten warmest years on record have occurred since 2000 Warmer temperatures increase evaporation and enable the air to hold more water Scientists have found that the water content of the atmosphere is now increasing at a rate of about 1 3 percent per decade The additional moisture loaded into the atmosphere by global warming provides more fuel for intense rainstorms and snowstorms Global warming will very likely drive future increases in extreme downpours with a wide range of harmful consequences Experts at the U S Global Change Research Program project that heavy downpours are very likely to become more frequent and more intense with further warming Heavy downpours that are now 1 in 20 year occurrences are projected to occur about every 4 to 15 years by the end of this century according to their report while producing 10 to 25 percent more precipitation per storm depending on location and on the scale of future emissions of global warming pollution Extreme rain and snowstorms can harm people and property primarily by increasing the risk of flooding In 2011 floods killed more than 100 people and caused more than 8 billion in damage to property and crops Bigger and heavier rainstorms and snowstorms will not necessarily lead to more water being available for ecosystems or human use Indeed scientists warn that some areas of the country may experience both heavier extreme rainstorms and more frequent and severe drought due to higher evaporation of soil moisture and longer dry spells between significant rainstorms To protect our communities our safety and our environment we must rapidly and substantially reduce pollution that causes global warming Federal and state governments

    Original URL path: http://environmentflorida.org/reports/fle/when-it-rains-it-pours (2016-05-01)
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  • Danger in the Air | Environment Florida
    air The major data and findings of our report are broken down into the following categories National rankings of the smoggiest metropolitan areas across the country in 2010 The top five smoggiest metropolitan areas in the country in 2010 were in California Riverside San Bernardino CA ranked as the smoggiest metropolitan area in the country with 110 smog days meaning that the area home to more than 3 million residents had unhealthy air on one out of three days in 2010 Baltimore MD Washington DC MD VA WV Philadelphia PA NJ Houston TX and Atlanta GA made up the rest of the top ten smoggiest metropolitan areas list for 2010 Rankings of smoggiest cities across the country by population size Of large metropolitan areas or those with populations over 1 million people Riverside San Bernardino California suffered the worst smog pollution in 2010 by far with 41 more days than the area in second place Los Angeles Long Beach CA The top five continue with Baltimore MD Washington DC VA MD WV and Philadelphia PA NJ Two metropolitan areas in each of the following states were among the top 20 smoggiest large areas for 2010 New Jersey New York North Carolina Ohio Pennsylvania and Texas Among mid sized metropolitan areas or those with populations between 250 000 and 1 million people areas in California again topped the list for worst smog pollution followed by areas in Tennessee Delaware New Jersey Louisiana Alabama and Ohio The top twenty smoggiest mid sized metropolitan areas include three areas in both Ohio and Pennsylvania and two areas each in Louisiana Texas and Connecticut San Luis Obispo Atascadero Paso Robles California was the smoggiest small metropolitan area population less than 250 000 in 2010 Three places in Wisconsin were among the top 10 smoggiest small metropolitan areas State by state rankings of smog in 2010 Across the state of California there were 135 days in 2010 or more than a third of the year when at least part of the state experienced smog levels exceeding the health standard California Texas Utah Maryland Pennsylvania New Jersey Ohio and New York each had at least 30 days in 2010 when part of the state experienced smog levels exceeding the health standard as many as a month s worth of days when breathing the air could put people s health at risk Seventeen states experienced at least one red alert day for unhealthy air indicating pollution levels high enough in a particular area so that anyone could start experiencing adverse health effects Nine states did not record any days in 2010 on which levels of smog pollution exceeded the standard Alaska Hawaii Idaho Montana Nebraska North Dakota South Dakota Vermont and Wyoming National rankings of the smoggiest metropolitan areas across the country in 2011 through August 21 The areas of Los Angeles Long Beach Riverside CA Atlanta Sandy Springs Gainesville GA AL Fresno Madera CA Washington Baltimore Northern Virginia DC MD VA WV and New York Newark Bridgeport

    Original URL path: http://environmentflorida.org/reports/fle/danger-air (2016-05-01)
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