Southwest (AZ NM OK TX)

"Catastrophic Drought in Texas Causes Global Economic Ripples"

"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.

Source: NY Times, 10/31/2011

Erionite, Like Asbestos, Can Cause Cancer

The naturally-occurring erionite causes malignant mesothelioma and evidence suggests it is much more toxic than asbestos. Concern is rising as development that disturbs erionite deposits occurs in 12 western states.

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Obama Administration Trying To Speed up Transmission Line Approvals

As part of its push to improve the nation's power system, the Obama administration is trying to expedite construction of 7 transmission lines, in various stages of planning and design, spanning 3,100 miles in 12 states.

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"Grim Predictions Say 9 More Years Of Texas Drought Possible"

"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.

Source: Reuters, 09/30/2011

EPA Finalizes 15 Additional Superfund Sites, Proposes 11 More

Sites in CA, GA, IL, IN, MS, NC, NJ, NM, NY, OR, SC, TN, and TX received a final designation of Superfund status, meaning they are among the most toxic in the country, due to contamination from industrial operations, mining, military activities, landfills, and other sources.

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