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Oct. 17, 2008 at 10:57 PM
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Sauropod found in dinosaur graveyard

LOS ANGELES, Oct. 17 (UPI) -- Researchers said a dinosaur graveyard discovered in Utah holds a wealth of fossils from the Jurassic and Cretaceous periods.

Luis Chiappe, director of the Dinosaur Institute and the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, said one of the most exciting finds so far is a 150-million-year-old sauropod named Gnatalie, the Los Angeles Times reported Friday. The fossil is estimated to be 50 feet long.

Chiappe said he was also excited to find the three-toed prints of a European stegosaur, named Deltapodus. It is the first time Deltapodus tracks have never been found in North America.

Researchers said it will take at least another decade to excavate the site southeast Utah site.


Ground beef linked to E. coli outbreak

WASHINGTON, Oct. 17 (UPI) -- A Vermont meat packer has recalled about 2,758 pounds of ground beef because it may be contaminated with E. coli, federal officials said Thursday.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture said officials have received 10 confirmed reports of illnesses associated with consumption of this product.

The Vermont Livestock, Slaughter and Processing Co. said the 5-pound vacuum packages of "VT BURGER CO GROUND BEEF" bear the establishment number "EST. 9558" as well as a lot code of "090508A," "090808A," "091208A," "091908A" or "092208A." This product was shipped two packages per box and were intended for restaurants, food service and institutional use.

The ground beef products were produced on Sept. 5, 8, 12, 19 and 22 and delivered to distribution centers intended for restaurants and institutions in Vermont and Plattsburgh, N.Y.


EPA tightens lead standards

WASHINGTON, Oct. 17 (UPI) -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said it has dramatically strengthened the nation's air quality standards for lead.

The new standards, changed for the first time in 30 years, tighten the allowable lead level 10 times to 0.15 micrograms of lead per cubic meter of air. The previous standards, set in 1978, were 1.5 micrograms per cubic meter of air.

"America's air is cleaner than a generation ago," EPA Administrator Stephen L. Johnson said Thursday in a statement. "With these stronger standards a new generation of Americans are being protected from harmful lead emissions."

The EPA said lead emissions have dropped nearly 97 percent nationwide since 1980, largely because of the phase-out of lead in gasoline.


Willow plants cleaning up contamination

SYRACUSE, N.Y., Oct. 17 (UPI) -- Researchers said 23,000 willow plants are helping clean up a 164,000-gallon underground fuel leak at a U.S. Army base.

The willows, along with other trees and plants, are part of an aggressive cleanup strategy to reduce volatile organic compounds such as benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene and xylenes from fuel that has leaked from the tank farm at New York's Fort Drum military installation. The plume of fuel has been spreading underground for more than 50 years.

Christopher Nowak, a silviculturist at the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, said he believes it is the largest phytoremediation effort in North America.

"Photosynthesis drives the system. It's a sun-driven system with transpiration of water as the key," he said Thursday in a release. "Ecological engineering projects like this relinquish control to nature. We're getting sedges and cattail in here. They came for free and are contributing to the phytoremediation."

Donald J. Beevers, the installation restoration project manager, said the project has cost roughly $1 million, a fraction of the estimated $8 million cost to construct a treatment plant.

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