What Environmental News to Watch the Week of Oct. 24

wellness programs

Here’s a list of some top stories, events and other environmental controversies to watch for this week.

Ruling Expected in Volkswagen $14.7 Billion Settlement. Volkswagen AG learns on Tuesday whether a San Francisco district court judge will accept its proposed $14.7 billion settlement with drivers affected by the auto manufacturer’s emissions-cheating scandal. Watch Patrick Ambrosio for any developments.

What’s the Future of Nuclear Power Generation? The Nuclear Energy at a Crossroads conference today takes a look at nuclear power and the challenges it faces from economics to public safety perception on a global scale, with Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz giving the keynote speech. Rebecca Kern is listening for news and will report.

California Voters Face Host of Environmental Issues on Ballot. California may be the first state to ban carryout plastic bag use, if voters approve the ballot measure next month. Carolyn Whetzel has a preview story in the works on that issue and others.

Headed to Work? Don’t Forget Your Running Shoes. The National Safety Council and other safety groups are making the case that more companies need to launch wellness programs, which are voluntary health programs, because a growing number of workers are affected by health issues, such as obesity, smoking or hypertension. Bruce Rolfsen has the story.  

UN Urges Biking, Walking to Fight Climate Change. Significant investment in biking and walking infrastructure is needed worldwide to combat climate change and address a highway death toll of more than 1 million people a year, the United Nations Environment Program says. Wachira Kigotho is reporting.

What Is TSCA and What Does It Mean for You? The updated chemicals law, also known as the Lautenberg Act, which amended the Toxic Substances Control Act, and its effect on consumers is the feature of a podcast coming Wednesday. David Schultz is the one to watch. 

Environmental Justice Takes the Spotlight.  A Georgetown Environmental Law Society conference on Thursday called the Nature of Injustice takes a hard look at policies involving human health and includes Mustafa Ali, senior adviser to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy for environmental justice, as a speaker. Rachel Leven is covering.    

Global Climate Change Conference Kicks Off Next Month. World leaders descend on Marrakech, Morocco, Nov. 7-18 for the 22nd COP United Nations Climate Change Conferences – just two days after the landmark Paris climate agreement enters into force Nov. 5. Dean Scott has a curtain raiser coming.

Slideshow From Appalachia. West Virginia’s coal sector is in freefall, raising questions about the health of the state’s environment. Stephen Lee recently traveled to the state and has a slideshow depicting its environmental and economic status.