Natchez, Mississippi - Ohio River ValleyJan. 18, 1937: About 1 million people are left homeless as two weeks of flooding consumes the Ohio River Valley (seen at right, 2009). The cities of Cincinnati, Pittsburgh and Louisville are beneath several feet of icy water. The death toll is 365.

Jan. 18, 1994: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) publishes a Citizens' Right-to-Know list, giving communities and public safety agencies data on toxic chemicals and gases stored at industrial sites. Advocates say the free flow of information will help them respond to accidents. The chemical industry says the move could put that info in the wrong hands. The industry’s argument prevails after the Sept. 11 attacks.

Jan. 18, 2001: Oil begins to leak from the Jessica, a tanker bringing diesel and heating oil to tourist bases and science outposts in the Galapagos Islands. Several thousand gallons of oil are lost, and rescuers work to clean oiled pelicans and sea lion pups.

Jan. 18, 2012:  U.S. President Obama rejects a permit that would allow construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline.  The object of mass protests by opponents and intense lobbying by supporters, Keystone would carry oil from Canada’s controversial tar sands project to the Gulf of Mexico.

Photo: Ken Lund/Flickr

This feature is compiled by Peter Dykstra, an MNN contributor and publisher of Environmental Health News and The Daily Climate.

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