- - Thursday, July 28, 2011


Air pollution from gas drilling boom targeted

The federal government is proposing for the first time to control air pollution at oil and gas wells, particularly those drilled using a method called hydraulic fracturing.

The proposal, issued Thursday to meet a court deadline, addresses air pollution problems reported amid a natural gas drilling boom in places such as Wyoming, Texas, Pennsylvania and Colorado.

The regulations will nearly eliminate releases of smog- and soot-forming pollutants from fractured wells, those drilled by injecting sand, water and chemicals underground. New controls on equipment and transmission pipelines will reduce toxic and heat-trapping pollution from drilling sites on land.

The gases escape during drilling, along pipelines and from other equipment.

The EPA says the rules will save companies about $30 million annually.


Governor cites asthma for sudden hospitalization

SOMERVILLE — Gov. Chris Christie was “in charge and at work” in a hospital room Thursday after emergency treatment for asthma, his deputy chief of staff said.

The blunt-talking governor, who some Republicans have been trying to persuade to run for president, was taken to the Somerset Medical Center on Thursday morning after he had difficulty breathing.

Mr. Christie, who uses an inhaler for asthma and is overweight, was headed to a bill signing when he felt ill. The governor was driven to the hospital by his state police security detail out of an “abundance of caution,” gubernatorial spokesman Michael Drewniak said.

The 48-year-old politician walked into Somerset Medical Center about 10:30 a.m. and was working from there Thursday afternoon, said Maria Comella, his deputy chief of staff. Mr. Christie’s EKG, blood work and chest X-ray were normal, and the governor expected to be discharged from the hospital later Thursday, Ms. Comella said.

In a post on Facebook, Mr. Christie’s brother Todd Christie described the problem as an asthma attack.


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