EJToday: Top Headlines
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"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."
"DALLAS -- Environmental groups have notified the Energy Futures Holdings Corp. and its subsidiary, Luminant Generation Company, that they intend to sue the company for more than 38,000 alleged violations of the Clean Air Act at two Texas coal-fired power plants."
"An enormous cloud hits Lubbock, where residents compare it to the Dust Bowl of the 1930s. The ongoing drought helped produce the storm, an expert says."
"Several environmental groups sued Arizona Public Service Co. and the other owners of the Four Corners Power Plant in New Mexico on Tuesday, seeking to shut down the power plant if they won't add additional pollution controls to the facility."
"ALBUQUERQUE -- Acquisition of 570 acres to establish a national wildlife refuge along the Rio Grande in Albuquerque has been approved, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar announced today in Albuquerque."
"A devastating Texas drought that has browned city lawns and caused more than $5 billion in damages to the state's farmers and ranchers could continue for another nine years, a state forecaster said on Thursday."
"'It is possible that we could be looking at another of these multiyear droughts like we saw in the 1950s, and like the tree rings have shown that the state has experienced over the last several centuries,' State Climatologist John Nielson-Gammon told Reuters.