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Monthly Headlines July 2022

Supreme Court Limits the EPA’s Power to Enforce Clean Air Standards (Boston Globe, Associated Press, Reuters)

  • At the end of last month, the Supreme Court ruled that the EPA does not have the power to regulate emissions from existing power plants.

  • This decision strikes down the Obama era Clean Power Plan, which would have allowed the agency to limit pollution from power plants.

  • For more on the SCOTUS decision, check out our education section!

Carbon Dioxide Levels Reach New Peak (Associated Press, Axios, New York Times)

  • For the first time since the Pliocene, over 4 million years ago, carbon dioxide levels reached 421 ppm.

  • The last time carbon dioxide levels were this high, sea levels were 78 feet higher than they are today and forests grew in the arctic.

  • This peak is 50% higher than the preindustrial levels, and is driven by fossil fuel combustion and pollution of greenhouse gasses.

UPS Buys Electric Cargo Planes (Washington Post, Seattle Times)

  • The United Postal Service (UPS) has placed an order for 10 eVOTL aircraft, or electrical aircraft with the ability to take off and land like a helicopter but glide like an aircraft.

  • Touted as the Tesla of the sky, these electric planes manufactured by Beta Technologies could make shipping both greener and faster.

  • The planes would reduce road traffic and emissions, with a single charge distance of 250 miles and the ability to fully charge within an hour; all while having a 1,400 lb cargo capacity.

MA Nuclear Plant Proposes Dumping One Million Gallons of Nuclear Waste in Cape Cod Bay (Boston Globe, CBS)

  • More than one million gallons of radioactive wastewater is currently laying at the decommissioned Pilgrim Nuclear Power Plant on Massachusetts’ south shore.

  • The nuclear power plant, which operated for 47 years and is closing due to financial reasons, is now in the process of decommissioning and Holtec, the company in charge of that process, has proposed releasing the wastewater directly into Cape Cod Bay.

  • While other options exist for removing the waste pond, letting the water drain into the bay is the cheapest. After a public town hall, Holtec has agreed to hire a third party to test the water’s radioactive properties.

Allergy Season Expected to Get a Lot Worse (NJ spotlight news, National Institute of Food and Agriculture)

  • Due to climate related weather shifts, you can expect your allergy season to last longer than in prior years.

  • Studies have found that an increase in greenhouse gas is directly correlated to an increase in pollen levels, a leading allergen.

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