EJToday: Top Headlines
EJToday is SEJ's selection of new and outstanding stories on environmental topics in print and on the air, updated every weekday. SEJ also offers a free e-mailed digest of the day's EJToday postings, called SEJ-beat. SEJ members are subscribed automatically, but may opt out here. Non-members may subscribe here. EJToday is also available via RSS feed. Please see Editorial Guidelines for EJToday content.
"Weary of plastic litter, Grand Canyon National Park officials were in the final stages of imposing a ban on the sale of disposable water bottles in the Grand Canyon late last year when the nation’s parks chief abruptly blocked the plan after conversations with Coca-Cola, a major donor to the National Park Foundation."
"LAUREL, Mont. — State workers on Tuesday set fire to an oil-tainted logjam on an island along the Yellowstone River, the last of dozens of debris piles smeared with crude from an Exxon Mobil pipeline break that dumped 42,000 gallons of oil into the waterway."
"WASHINGTON -- The Obama administration cautiously offered up more areas in the Gulf of Mexico and off Alaska's coast to oil and gas drilling Tuesday but didn't go far enough to satisfy Republicans pushing to greatly expand drilling as a way to create jobs and wean the country off foreign oil."
"Back in February, the Parnell administration told a judge that Cook Inlet beluga whales didn't need the protection of the federal Endangered Species Act because the state was perfectly capable of protecting them itself, in part because of the Alaska Coastal Management Program. But in a notice belatedly filed in the case Friday, the Alaska attorney general's office acknowledged the state had lost that conservation and enforcement tool four months ago."
"ELDORADO -- Gold prospectors chasing $1,600-an-ounce flecks in river bottoms east of Charlotte also might be sucking life out of the streams, experts say."
"The Obama administration on Thursday unveiled its road map for solar energy development, directing large-scale industrial projects to 285,000 acres of desert land in the western U.S. while opening 20 million acres of the Mojave for new development."
"WASHINGTON -- A new fast-track planning effort could shave years off the next phase of Everglades restoration, putting more fresh and clean water into the central and southern portions of Florida's 'River of Grass' more quickly."
"The US Department of Interior plans to integrate the responsibilities of two sub-agencies with diverse portfolios overseeing surface mining, federal land management, oil and natural gas royalty collection and hard-rock mining, among other areas, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said Wednesday."
"New uranium mining claims on 1 million acres around the Grand Canyon will be blocked for 20 years under a decision the Bureau of Land Management announced Wednesday."
"The leaseholder for a controversial coal mine proposed in the Matanuska Valley has withdrawn its application for a state air quality permit for a second time, according to the Department of Environmental Conservation and the company, Usibelli Coal Mine, Inc."
"A few hundred voters in the remote hills of western Alaska cast ballots this week -- in one of the most closely watched elections in the country -- to halt big mining projects that might poison fishing streams. That initiative was targeted squarely at the giant Pebble Mine.
"MIAMI -- Interior Secretary Ken Salazar is in South Florida to learn about the progress of the Tamiami Trail Bridge Project.
A press release says Salazar and U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe on Thursday will be highlighting the Department's work to help preserve and protect America's great outdoors."
With a $10 billion maintenance backlog, the National Park Service is struggling to make do as aging buildings deteriorate. This week it shuttered the Grand Teton's Indian Arts Museum, because uncontrolled humidity and other conditions there were ruining a world-class collection of ancient Native American artifacts.
"MONUMENT, Colo. -- The 50,000 drivers who cruise daily along Interstate 25 between Denver and Colorado Springs drive through ranch and farm land marked by dramatic buttes and the presence of wild animals, a vista that might have been very different but for a little-known federal program. "The Land and Water Conservation Fund, which Congress created in 1965, helped pay for this open space, along with large swaths of land in other areas across the country. But there is a fight looming in Washington as Congress plans to drastically cut the program’s budget, and President Obama, who had accepted cuts in the past, appears ready to oppose them."
"A federal judge in Washington, D.C., has ruled with the coal industry — and the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection — in the first phase of a lawsuit challenging the Obama administration’s crackdown on mountaintop removal mining."