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.
"ST. LOUIS -- Illinois rejected an application for a permit for a strip coal mine that opponents claimed would have threatened a tiny village's water supply and various animals in a nearby wildlife area."
"A byproduct of the ongoing heat wave, increased smog, may ultimately bring more and longer-lasting annoyance than the heat itself. The heat wave will eventually break, but Wichita’s smog reports probably already have been damaged to the extent of triggering some mandatory -- and potentially costly and inconvenient -- pollution controls like those in other big cities."
Politicians touted the use of tax credits to clean up the long-abandoned Carondelet Coke brownfields site site in St. Louis and turn it into an industrial park. But corner-cutting and lax oversight meant companies would benefit and taxpayers would get a raw deal, an investigation shows.
"STUART, Neb. -- Stepping carefully through a 12-foot-deep canyon gouged into the sandy soil of their family ranch by a long-gone storm, Kurt and Laura Meusch ask a Shakespearean question: What's in a name?"
"The historic Texas drought caused the Ogallala Aquifer to experience its largest decline in 25 years across a large swath of the Texas Panhandle, new numbers from a water district show."
"Oil drilling has sparked a frenzied prosperity in Jeff Keller's formerly quiet corner of western North Dakota in recent years, bringing an infusion of jobs and reviving moribund local businesses. But Keller, a natural resource manager for the Army Corps of Engineers, has seen a more ominous effect of the boom, too: Oil companies are spilling and dumping drilling waste onto the region's land and into its waterways with increasing regularity."
"Mason Hansen guns his pickup and cranks the steering wheel to spin through sand up to 4 feet high, but this is no day at the beach. Hanson once grew corn and soybeans in the sandy wasteland in western Iowa, and his frustration is clear. Despite months spent hauling away tons of sand dropped when the flooded Missouri River engulfed his farm last summer, parts of the property still look like a desert."
"In a St. Louis courtroom last month, attorneys geared up for a trial more than a year away that will center on whether 17 children allegedly poisoned by the lead smelter in Herculaneum can prove their ailments deserve compensation."
"A new study looking at key aquifers beneath the Great Plains and California's Central Valley suggests that areas of Texas and Kansas are drawing groundwater at an unsustainable rate."
"KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Cattle farmers complained on Wednesday that a federal agency is 'spying' on their operations by flying airplanes over Midwest cattle feedlots to see if they are complying with clean water regulations."
"July 4 is the normal standard for wheat harvest in Southeast Nebraska. This year, Memorial Day might not be far off the mark. It’s the fastest pace from green to gold that Steve Baenziger has experienced in 26 years as a wheat breeder at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln."
"The Bitterroot Salish, Kootenai and Pen d'Oreilles tribes consider Montana's National Bison Range part of their heritage, a link to the animals their ancestors once hunted and worshipped."
"BLAIR, Neb. -- Federal regulators said Wednesday it's unlikely the Fort Calhoun nuclear power plant will restart before fall because of the extensive inspections and repairs needed."
"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."