"A flash of red streaked through the trees: a vermilion flycatcher. The brightly colored bird chirped and trilled, adding to a chorus that rang from the towering trees. ... The ecosystem depends on the river, and the river itself depends on an unseen source. Much of its flow is fed by groundwater, emerging from the aquifer in springs and seeps, sustaining the river."
Southwest (AZ NM OK TX)
"State officials have identified a cancer cluster in a north Houston neighborhood near a site contaminated over many decades by railroad operations that treated wooden ties with the hazardous product creosote."
"Authorities on Thursday lifted a second evacuation order in a week for thousands of people in a Texas city as U.S. safety officials began examining what caused the latest in a series of chemical plant fires in the state."
"A major pipeline operator is suing the Texas Railroad Commission — the state agency that regulates oil and gas drilling — alleging that it has blatantly disregarded longstanding state law that restricts the controversial and growing practice of burning off natural gas."
"A mandatory evacuation order issued after a series of explosions at a Texas chemical plant has been lifted, a county official said Friday morning."
"Native American tribes, environmentalists, state and federal agencies, river rafters and others say they have significant concerns about proposals to dam a Colorado River tributary in northern Arizona for hydropower."
"The vast majority of Arizona waters now regulated by the state under the federal Clean Water Act could be excluded from protection under the Trump administration’s narrowed definitions of federal waters, according to state environmental officials."
"Texas coal companies are leaving behind contaminated land. The state is letting them."
"Chaco Culture National Historical Park is at the center of a decades-long debate over how to manage oil and gas development in a sprawling area of northwestern New Mexico that is dotted by sites tied to the park but that lie outside its boundaries. The U.S. House is set to vote Wednesday on legislation that would prohibit drilling on the checkerboard of federal land that borders the park."
When it comes to telling environment and energy stories, especially about place and scale, data visualizations can turn an average story into a standout. Reporter’s Toolbox takes a look at some recent examples of inspiring data-mapping projects that provide insight into everything from auto emissions and floods to vanishing rivers and whipping winds.