Natural Resources

Get Wise on Water Rule

Wondering what WOTUS is? Or how the Clean Water Rule relates to the Clean Water Act and to the Section 404 permitting program meant to prevent the destruction of U.S. wetlands? Our Beat Basics column explains the history and background of the rule to help you cover White House, EPA and court action likely ahead.

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Draining a Different Kind of Swamp

As the Trump administration last week began its rollback of the Clean Water Rule, reporters are likely to see many more stories about wetlands permitting — especially on the local level. The latest TipSheet walks you through the Section 404 permitting maze and helps you find out what's happening in your locale and state.

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Court Backs Oil Firms, Not Levee Authority In Wetlands Damage Suit

"A federal appeals court refused Friday (March 3) to revive the east bank levee authority's controversial lawsuit charging oil and gas companies with threatening hurricane levees by digging exploration and production canals through Louisiana's coastal wetlands. It was the latest setback to the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East's four-year effort to make the companies pay for environmental damage inflicted decades ago."

Source: New Orleans Times-Picayune, 03/06/2017

White House Proposes Steep Budget Cut To Leading Climate Science Agency

"The Trump administ"ration is seeking to slash the budget of one of the government’s premier climate science agencies by 17 percent, delivering steep cuts to research funding and satellite programs, according to a four-page budget memo obtained by The Washington Post."

Source: Washington Post, 03/06/2017

As Fight Flares Over Public Lands, Summoning Power of Past Bond

Bobby Magill, in his most recent SEJ President's Report, recalls his time traversing federal wilderness areas that are now increasingly the subject of dispute. How are they to be used? Who is to hold them? Will these vast Western lands remain in the public domain? And what is the role of journalists in covering this story?

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