MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced $328 million in funding Monday to protect and restore farmlands, grasslands and wetlands across the country.
The initiative, using money provided in the new five-year farm bill, will buy conservation easements from farmers to protect the environment, help wildlife populations and promote outdoor recreation, the USDA said in its announcement. The agency selected 380 projects nationwide covering 32,000 acres of prime farmland, 45,000 acres of grasslands and 52,000 acres of wetlands.
LIMA, Peru (AP) — Peruvian authorities say an outspoken opponent of illegal logging and three other Ashaninka community leaders have been slain in a remote region bordering Brazil.
The activist, Edwin Chota, had received frequent death threats from illegal loggers he tried to expel from traditional Ashaninka lands for which his community was seeking title.
Ashaninka regional leader Reyder Quiltiquari said by phone Monday that Chota and the others were killed and dismembered a week ago while returning to their community, Saweto, on the Upper Tamaya river.
FRESNO, Calif. (AP) — Although California is locked in a third year of historic drought, many homeowners and businesses still don't have meters telling them just how much water they are using.
That's changing, but some say it's not fast enough. State law requires water meters by 2025, but the State Water Resources Control Board says dozens of water districts, many in the thirsty Central Valley, aren't totally metered.
TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) — Algae that turned Lake Erie green and produced toxins that fouled the tap water for 400,000 people in the Toledo area are becoming a big headache for those who keep drinking water safe even far beyond the Great Lakes.
But with no federal standards on safe levels for drinking algae-tainted water and no guidelines for treating or testing it either, water quality engineers sometimes look for solutions the same way school kids do their homework.
NEW DELHI (AP) — Every summer, when Minoo Phakey's water runs out, she does what most people do in her middle-class neighborhood: She calls the mafia.
Within an hour, a man in a tanker arrives, carrying a load of dubious water drawn illegally from the city's groundwater. With India's capital gripped by its annual hot season water shortage, the city's so-called tanker mafia is doing a roaring trade. An estimated 2,000 illegal tankers ply New Delhi's roads every day, lifelines to millions whose taps have run dry, and symptoms of a much bigger problem — the city's desperately dysfunctional water system.
BRISBANE, Australia (AP) — The government of Australia's Queensland state approved a plan Monday that will prevent 3 million cubic meters (106 million cubic feet) of seabed mud from being dumped in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park.
The state-owned North Queensland Bulk Ports Corp., or NQBP, already has federal approval to dump dredged sediment in the marine park in order to expand the Abbot Point coal port near the town of Bowen, a decision that environmentalists say will endanger one of the world's most fragile ecosystems.
But Queensland Premier Campbell Newman announced Monday that his Cabinet ministers had approved a new disposal plan that would have the material reused on land.
Costco will pay $335,000 in civil penalties and spend nearly $2 million over the next three years to cut releases of ozone-depleting refrigerant chemicals at 274 stores nationwide, under a settlement of alleged Clean Air Act violations, the Environmental Protection Agency said Wednesday.
The head of EPA's enforcement office, Cynthia Giles, said the popular warehouse chain failed from 2004 to 2007 to repair leaks of the hydroflurocarbon refrigerant R-22, and did not keep repair records for its refrigerators during that time, as required under the law.
FRIENDSHIP, Maine (AP) — Imagine Cape Cod without cod. Maine without lobster. The region's famous rocky beaches invisible, obscured by constant high waters.
It's already starting to happen. The culprit is the warming seas — and in particular the Gulf of Maine, whose waters are heating up faster than 99 percent of the world's oceans, scientists say.
Long-established species of commercial fish, like cod, herring and northern shrimp, are departing for colder waters. Black sea bass, blue crabs and new species of squid — all highly unusual for the Gulf — are turning up in fishermen's nets.
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Three-year-old Clara Centola seems unconcerned by the adults around her as she works at a mini-kitchen, deciding which cloth-toy fruits and vegetables to serve her imaginary guests. There are no plastic fast-food replicas to choose from at her Oklahoma City preschool, where the real food is vegan and gluten-free.
All the classroom papers are online here at The Green House. Countertops are wiped clean with natural oils and water. Any leftover food — all local or organic — is recycled or composted.
A failure to lift the ban on crude exports could have a chilling effect on the U.S. oil boom, Rice University economist Kenneth Medlock told a panel in Washington Wednesday, painting a “train wreck” scenario where falling domestic crude prices could encourage drillers to go elsewhere, FuelFix reports.
Meeting voters in Iowa, Vice President Joe Biden wouldn’t divulge it when asked his opinion on the Keystone XL pipeline -- although he said he had given it to President Obama -- commenting that he’s learned “not to step on the president’s lines,” The Guardian reports.
Taking a stance against measures to fight global warming will be "extremely harmful" to Republican candidates when voters cast ballots in the general election for president in November, 2016, activist Al Gore told National Journal in an interview Wednesday.
The same set of factors weighing on oil in recent weeks – ample supply, weak demand projections and a strong dollar – moderated by renewed Libya fighting that affected oil production, saw prices edge down Thursday. U.S. benchmark crude dropped 21 cents to $94.21 a barrel in electronic trading on the Nymex, while in London Brent slipped 7 cents to $98.90, Reuters reports.
Consol Energy and Noble Energy hope to raise more than $422 million on 20 million shares up for sale in an initial public offering for their firm Cone Midstream Partners, according to documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission Wednesday, the Houston Business Journal reports.
George P. Bush is unlikely to have much trouble winning his race to become Texas land commissioner, which gives him control over the state’s oil and gas contracts and has been a jumping off point for those seeking higher office in the past, E&E reports.
Massachusetts is selling $350 million in green bonds this week, more than three times what the state sold last year, as it tries to cash in on interest in environmentally friendly investments, The Wall Street Journal reports.
In a non-binding vote last week, shareholders of Cheniere Energy said no to the company’s 2013 plans for executive compensation, including a package for CEO Charif Souki worth $142 million, according to documents filed with regulators Wednesday, FuelFix reports.
A task force report recommending against fossil fuel divestment for the University of California right now was backed by a regents committee Wednesday and is expected to gain the support of the full board Thursday, the Los Angeles Times reports.