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.
"The Kentucky coal industry's compliance with U.S. surface mining regulations dropped sharply from 2008 to 2010, while the environmental impact of the violations has worsened, federal records show."
"Brazil's environment agency gave its definitive approval on Wednesday for construction of the Belo Monte hydroelectric dam, a controversial $17 billion project in the Amazon that has drawn criticism from native Indians and conservationists."
"First came lumber certified as environmentally friendly, then seafood. Now a move is afoot to give gravel -- blasted out of open-pit mines, then hauled out using diesel-belching trucks -- the green seal of approval."
"The Elwha River on Washington's Olympic Peninsula once teemed with legendary salmon runs before two towering concrete dams built nearly a century ago cut off fish access to upstream habitat, diminished their runs and altered the ecosystem." Now the dams are being removed.
"The Texas House gave a final OK [May 17] to the 'pork chopper' bill and sent it off to the governor's office. The bill would allow licensed hunters to hire helicopters and contract with landowners to shoot feral hogs and coyotes on their property from the sky."
"A dead zone -- already the size of the state of New Jersey -- is growing in the Gulf of Mexico, fueled by nutrient runoff from the swollen Mississippi River."
"The eight Arctic nations pledged Thursday to create international protocols to prevent and clean up offshore oil spills in areas of the region that are becoming increasingly accessible to exploration because of a changing climate."
"Expanding Kennecott’s open-pit mine wouldn’t create enough air pollution to stop the copper giant from burrowing deeper into the Oquirrh Mountains. So ruled the Utah Air Quality Board in giving Kennecott Utah Copper a critical go-ahead Wednesday to enlarge its mine on the western edge of Salt Lake County — despite objections from anti-pollution advocates and a warning from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency that the expansion may not be approved."
"This year's federal budget resolution stripped money for a controversial conservation program. The move put millions of acres of Western lands back on the table for oil and gas drilling. One of those areas is a place called South Shale Ridge, a remote stretch of rugged canyons in western Colorado. The area is prized for its scenery and its natural gas. It's not considered wilderness, but the area has become a battleground over the new Interior Department term 'Wild Land.'"
"It's gold vs. golden trout. And gold vs. coho salmon. And gold vs. Shasta crayfish. The California Department of Fish and Game is wrestling – under court order – with a new set of rules to control suction dredge mining in the state's rivers and streams."
"A little-spoken-of war is taking place behind California's fences and property lines – trespassing marijuana growers are setting booby traps, resorting to violence and vandalism, and spoiling the land by stealing water and spraying dangerous chemicals that leach into streams."
"Wild rice is sacred to the Ojibwe of Minnesota, but that may not be enough to protect it from the promise of jobs that a new copper-nickel mining industry would bring to the state."
"The Pew Environment Group says the Grand Canyon is especially at risk. Critics of the mining say an 1872 law gives companies 'carte blanche.'"
"To reach a lost American place, here just a moment ago, follow a thin country road as it unspools across an Appalachian valley’s grimy floor, past a coal operation or two, a church or two, a village called Twilight. Beware of the truck traffic. Watch out for that car-chasing dog."