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.
"On Friday, Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad signed into law a bill designed to thwart activists who go undercover to report animal abuse. This makes Iowa the first state in the country to pass such a law; Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New York and Utah are considering them. Undercover investigations, including videos and photographs, are a principal tool used by activists of all stripes to document abuse cases and have led to legislative reforms, prosecutions and even facility closures around the country."
"The Environmental Projection Agency on Friday said it is giving $500,000 to the city of Joplin, Missouri to clean up property contaminated by lead in a devastating May 22 tornado."
"Iowa’s attorney general is suing a corn processing plant, alleging it has released more air pollution than allowed for at least the past 18 months. Filing of the lawsuit came a day after the Center for Public Integrity’s iWatch News highlighted the state environmental agency’s passivity in curbing emissions at the plant in the Mississippi River town of Muscatine."
Because of a federal district court decision striking down Kansas' gas-safety law, neither the state nor federal government is inspecting gas storage fields which could present a fatal hazard.
"TIOGA - Brenda and Richard Jorgenson have a long list of reasons why they dislike and fear the reserve pit from an oil well buried on their land, located a half-mile from their house. They say it reeked of chemicals when it was being filled with diesel-saturated mud, rock cuttings and fluids left over from drilling last year."
"Wichita actually has thousands of jobs tied to improving the environment — in businesses such as organic farming, insulated building materials and wind turbine parts. But what makes the green economy different today is that it also attracts people who simply want to do well — as in, make money — rather than people who want to do good."
"The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers was warned from multiple sources early in the year that major flooding was likely on the Missouri River. But by the time officials moved to 'evacuate' upstream reservoirs in anticipation of snowmelt, they were hampered by downstream flooding that prevented them from releasing more water, internal emails show."
"Sunflower Electric has a calendar problem. The company has only a year left to begin construction of its controversial coal-fired plant in western Kansas, but a legal challenge to the plant’s air-quality permit is blocking progress."
"MINOT, ND -- Minot city officials, residents and the North Dakota National Guard today worked together to ensure a safe evacuation of some 12,000 people and 4,200 homes in Minot, as the Souris River overtopped its levees, flooding streets and washing away some homes."
"With the rising Missouri River threatening to encroach a South Omaha sewage treatment plant, the City of Omaha will dump 6 million gallons of raw sewage a day into the river as it takes part of the plant off-line."
"As residents confront a gigantic cleanup following the tornado that savaged Joplin, experts say environmental dangers could lurk amid the mountains of debris in the southwestern Missouri city and even in the water and air."
"A few momentary blasts, flashes of orange light, and the Mississippi River began pouring through a wide hole in a Missouri levee, intentionally blown open by the Army Corps of Engineers in the hope of saving a small Illinois town."
"Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon vetoed legislation Monday aimed at limiting nuisance lawsuits against large hog farms that produce foul odors, but he indicated a willingness to work with lawmakers on a revised version."
"The Red River was spreading out in a record swath across broad stretches of rural North Dakota and Minnesota on Tuesday and swelling toward a near-record crest in Grand Forks expected within three days."