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.
"SAN ANTONIO -- A federal appeals court scolded the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Tuesday for rejecting a series of state pollution control projects in Texas that federal regulators said failed to satisfy requirements of the Clean Air Act."
"SAN FRANCISCO -- A plan to dig a vast copper mine in arid southern Arizona is pitting the needs of American industry -- and arguably the national economy -- against a coalition of local residents and environmentalists."
"ROBERT LEE, Texas -- All the cars in this town are dirty. Gripped by drought, the lake that has provided the town's only source of water has just about dried up -- as of last month, it was less than 1 percent full. And as a result, residents are prohibited from using water to wash cars, water trees and lawns and irrigate plants."
"DONNA, Texas -- Signs bearing a skull and crossbones dot the banks of a reservoir and canal near this town on the U.S.-Mexico border, but the fishermen standing in the reeds nearby ignore them, casually reeling in fish that are contaminated with toxic chemicals and banned for human consumption."
"There are an estimated 11,000 private and commercial injection and disposal wells in Oklahoma. Each year those wells are injected with billions of gallons of oil and gas wastewater. According to the Oklahoma Corporation Commission commercial disposal wells pumped at least 8.8 billion gallons of wastewater into the earth in the last two years. A spokesperson for the Corporation Commission said they have not tallied the amount of water injected through private wells." One of those operations may have ruined the well water of Rusty Russell.
"About 5.6 million trees in cities and towns across Texas were killed by last year’s record-setting drought, the Texas Forest Service has estimated after studying before-and-after satellite imagery."
"This 'dramatic' toll on the state’s urban forest is “a slow-moving disaster, not like a hurricane or ice storm,” lead researcher Pete Smith of the Forest Service told Texas Climate News.
"FORT WORTH, Texas — A new Texas Railroad Commission rule requiring oil and natural gas operators to publicly disclose the chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing of natural gas and oil wells takes effect Wednesday."
"BLACKWELL, Okla. — Blackwell Zinc Co. paid one of the best wages in Kay County before environmental problems and contamination concerns closed it in 1974. Now some residents here are entitled to one last payday — this time for damages caused by the smelter operation."
"Angered that a riverside industrial waste pit leached potent toxins into the San Jacinto River for almost half a century, the Harris County [Texas] Attorney's Office is asking that those responsible be fined as much as the law allows -- $25,000 a day -- all the way back to the site's 1965 opening."
"A monstrous bloom of toxic algae looming across the Texas coast has shut down oyster season. Fueled by Texas' ongoing drought, the algae — known as Karenia brevis— thrives in warm, salty water and has spread through the bays and islands along Texas' 350-mile coast, says Meridith Byrd, a marine biologist for the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. The algae could cause nausea, vomiting and diarrhea in humans and is harmful to fish but not fatal to people, she says."
"New Mexico has passed some of the most progressive dairy-related water regulations in the West."
"TUCSON -- For the first time since 2009, a jaguar has been found roaming the wilds of southern Arizona. The jaguar was photographed by a hunter on Saturday and confirmed by the Arizona Game and Fish Department to be a roughly 200-pound male in good condition."
"AUSTIN — The drought map created by University College London shows a number of worryingly dry areas around the globe, in places including East Africa, Canada, France and Britain.
But the largest area of catastrophic drought centers on Texas. It is an angry red swath on the map, signifying what has been the driest year in the state’s history. It has brought immense hardship to farmers and ranchers, and fed incessant wildfires, as well as an enormous dust storm that blew through the western Texas city of Lubbock in the past month.
"PRESIDIO, Texas (AP) — Unofficially, the state of Texas celebrates donkeys and their historical and cultural significance in shaping the American West. Officially? The policy on wild burros out here is shoot to kill."