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US-ENVIRONMENT Summary

Jul 22, 2011, 10:54 p.m.

U.S. delays final report on BP oil spill probe

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A U.S. team probing the causes of last year's massive BP oil spill has delayed the release of its final report in order to more fully weigh the evidence, investigators said on Friday. The government's findings on the spill that killed 11 workers and ravaged the Gulf coast last summer has been widely anticipated by investors for clues on possible legal ramifications BP and its partners may face from the disaster.

Japan nuclear scare triggers run for radiation checks

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japanese private research labs with radiation testing gear have been flooded with orders for checks on food and soil samples after shipments of contaminated beef deepened public anxiety over radiation leaks from the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant. Private institutions are bearing the brunt of the surge in demand from the public for radiation inspection, with public research facilities already overwhelmed with requests from the central and local governments, schools and farm cooperatives.

Strong quake jolts northern Japan, no tsunami warning issued

TOKYO (Reuters) - An earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 6.5 hit northeastern Japan on Saturday, the Japan Meteorological Agency said. The agency said the epicenter of the earthquake was off the Pacific coast of Miyagi prefecture, about 300 kilometers (187 miles) from the capital Tokyo, adding that no tsunami warning had been issued.

Alaska volcano shows signs of impending eruption

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (Reuters) - Recent satellite images of a remote Alaska volcano along a flight route for major airlines show it may be poised for its first big eruption in 10 years, scientists said. The Alaska Volcano Observatory has issued an eruption advisory for the 5,676 foot-tall Cleveland Volcano, located on the uninhabited island of Chuginadak in the Aleutian chain about 940 miles southwest of Anchorage.

U.S. State Department to assess Canada oil pipe next month

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. State Department said Friday it expects to issue a final environmental assessment next month on TransCanada Corp's proposed $7 billion pipeline that would deliver crude from Canada's oil sands to refineries to Texas. The pipeline has been opposed by many lawmakers and environmentalists for greenhouse gas emissions associated with oil sands production and because the line would run across one of the world's largest aquifers.

Canada to step up oil sands monitoring

OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canada will boost monitoring of pollution from its oil sands projects, hoping to speed up U.S. approval of a pipeline to transport crude to the Gulf Coast, Environment Minister Peter Kent said on Thursday. Green groups have long campaigned against developing the oil sands of northern Alberta -- the world's third largest petroleum reserve -- on the grounds that development produces unacceptable amounts of greenhouse gases and other toxins.

Small fish said vital to seas; lower catches urged

OSLO (Reuters) - Small fish play a big role in the oceans and catches should be cut sharply to safeguard marine food chains from plankton to blue whales, an international team of experts said on Thursday. Rising human exploitation of little fish -- including anchovy, sardine, herring, mackerel and capelin -- had had far less attention in marine research compared to big commercial species such as cod, tuna, swordfish or salmon, they said.

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