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    Page Updated:
    May 31, 2021




     

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    Italy Judge Hands Riva Brothers
    Prison Terms over Ilva Pollution
    --REUTERS
    Climate Change
    May 31, 2021
    An Italian court on Monday sentenced the former owners of the Ilva Steelworks, Fabio and Nicola Riva, to 22 and 20 years in jail respectively for allowing it to spew out deadly pollution.
    Once the largest steel producer in Europe, the factory emitted a lethal cocktail of carcinogenic dioxins and mineral particles for more than half a century, that medics say caused a surge in cancer in the adjacent city of Taranto.
    Wrapping up a trial that lasted five years, a Taranto court also handed prison terms to 24 ex-managers at Ilva, consultants and local politicians, including the former head of the Puglia region, Nichi Vendola, who received a 3-1/2 year sentence.
    All the defendants have the automatic right to two appeals before a sentence becomes definitive.
    The Riva brothers have denied wrongdoing and their lawyers said they had spent heavily to respect environmental norms.
    "The Riva family has constantly invested large amounts of capital in Ilva in order to improve the plants and operate in compliance with the regulations," lawyer Luca Perrone said. Vendola issued a statement denying any wrongdoing and saying he would appeal.
    Angela Merkel Rejects Bringing
    Forward Germany's Exit From Coal
    --REUTERS
     
    May 16, 2021
    German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Saturday rejected demands to bring forward an exit date for ending coal generation in Germany, currently set at 2038.
    "Those affected need some reliability on the path to climate neutrality," Merkel said. "I don't want to unravel this again after one year."
    Climate activists say that without an earlier coal phase-out, the more ambitious climate protection targets which Merkel’s government just agreed on cannot be achieved.
    The draft law - stipulating that Germany aims for a 65% cut in carbon emissions by 2030 and net zero by 2045, up from a previous 55% for 2030 and net zero by 2050 - followed a court ruling last month that a 2019 law failed to ensure sufficient climate protection.
    Thousands of Barrels of Toxic
    DDT Dumped in California Ocean
    -The Guardian
    April 27, 2021
    Marine scientists say they have found what they believe to be as many as 25,000 barrels possibly containing DDT dumped off the southern California coast near Catalina Island, where a massive underwater toxic waste site dating back to the second world war has long been suspected.
    The 27,345 “barrel-like’” images were captured by researchers at the University of California San Diego’s Scripps Institution of Oceanography. They mapped more than 36,000 acres of seafloor between Santa Catalina Island and the Los Angeles coast in a region previously found to contain high levels of the toxic chemical in sediments and in the ecosystem.
    Historical shipping logs show that industrial companies in southern California used the basin as a dumping ground until 1972, when the Marine Protection, Research and Sanctuaries Act, also known as the Ocean Dumping Act, was enacted.
    Resting deep in the ocean, the exact location and extent of the dumping was not known until now.
    The territory covered was “staggering”, said Eric Terrill, chief scientist of the expedition and director of the Marine Physical Laboratory at Scripps Institution of Oceanography.
    This story contains a short video.
    Caribbean Volcanic Ash
    Reaches as Far as India
    --ZME Science
     
    April; 20, 2021
    On April 10-11, the La Soufrière volcano in Saint Vincent island had one major eruption, following several minor ones. The plume reached 20 km in the air, leaving the island covered in ashes and with poor visibility. Around 20,000 people needed to evacuate due to the eruptions, triggering a humanitarian crisis in the area.
    The impressive eruption moved swiftly across the globe. The plume managed to travel the whole Atlantic, the northern part of Africa, and reached India, more than 14,000 km (9,000 miles) away from the volcano.
    An impressive demonstration of that course was presented on the Adam Platform. The team collected images from the European Commission’s Copernicus program, the Sentinel 5P satellite. They used the data to compose an image that shows the SO2 emissions by La Soufrièrev.
    The real danger comes with sulfur dioxide (SO2), the volcano’s ashes emitted 400-600 million kilograms of the gas. This is not an imminent issue for the climate, but dangerous enough to cause acid rain and respiratory diseases in the plume’s path.
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