Environment

Fish found with mercury in remote Western regions

FRESNO, Calif. (AP) — Federal scientists have found high amounts of mercury in sport fish caught in remote areas of national parks in the West and Alaska, according to a study released Thursday.

Researchers for the U.S. Geological Survey and National Park Service said that most fish they caught had acceptable levels of mercury, but 4 percent exceeded healthy levels.

Mercury occurs naturally, but scientists say its presence in national parks, which are supposed to leave wildlife unimpaired for future generations, was cause for concern.

US agency to reopen public comment on mussels

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — The U.S. Fish and Wildlife service says it will reopen a public comment period on a proposed critical habitat and a draft economic analysis about two mussel species found in 13 states, including Arkansas.

The two threatened species are the Rabbitsfoot mussel and the Neosho Mucket mussel. Under the Endangered Species Act, the service must consider areas thought to be crucial to a species' conservation and to mark them as a critical habitat.

Va. justices: Academic emails can be withheld

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — The Virginia Supreme Court on Thursday rejected a conservative group's attempt to obtain a University of Virginia climate researcher's emails.

The justices said retired Arlington Circuit Judge Paul Sheridan was right when he ruled that Michael Mann's emails are proprietary records dealing with scholarly research and therefore are exempt from disclosure under the Virginia Freedom of Information Act. The ruling ends the American Tradition Institute's three-year court battle to obtain the emails.

Heavy winter storms weigh on DuPont during 1Q

DOVER, Del. (AP) — DuPont's agricultural sales suffered and its operating costs rose during extensive winter storms that dragged on first-quarter earnings, although volumes increased in the company's industrial segments and margins improved in almost every one of them.

The Wilmington, Del., chemical maker reported net income Thursday of $1.4 billion, or $1.54 per share, for the quarter ended March 31. That's down from $3.35 billion, or $3.58 per share, for the same quarter a year ago, which included a one-time gain from completion of the sale of DuPont's performance coatings unit.

Court rules for environmentalists, Delta smelt, in water fight

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — An appeals court said Wednesday that federal officials should have consulted wildlife agencies about potential harm to a tiny, threatened fish before issuing contracts for water from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.

An 11-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco ruled that the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation violated the Endangered Species Act when it failed to consult with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service or the National Marine Fisheries Service in renewing 41 contracts a decade ago. The appeals court sent the case back to a trial judge for further proceedings.

The ruling arises from one of several lawsuits filed by the Natural Resources Defense Council and other environmentalists seeking to protect the Delta smelt. The ruling won't affect water flows because protections for the smelt were kept in place during the lawsuit.

Drought finally could push Calif. into recycling water

Source: 
National Journal

California’s extreme drought conditions finally may get residents and communities past the psychological hump that’s been turning them away from recycling wastewater to get drinking water, National Journal reports.

Officials gather in ND to discuss new EPA rules

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — Agency and industry representatives from about two dozen states are meeting in Bismarck to discuss new federal clean air rules.

The two-day summit begins Wednesday and is hosted by the state Health Department and Bismarck-based Basin Electric Power Cooperative.

Organizers say the intent is to decide how states should respond to new federal Environmental Protection Agency requirements aimed at cutting pollution from power plants and oil refineries.

Associated Press

U.S. greenhouse emissions fell in 2012

The latest U.S. greenhouse gas inventory shows domestic carbon emissions fell in 2012 to the lowest levels since 1994, driven by reduced energy consumption and increased use of natural gas for electricity generation.

The Environmental Protection Agency, which runs the inventory, said Tuesday that energy efficiency and a relatively warm winter also contributed to the drop of 3.4 percent in U.S. emissions compared to 2011.

Court upholds EPA emission standards for mercury, other pollutants

WASHINGTON (AP) — A federal appeals court on Tuesday upheld the Environmental Protection Agency's emission standards for mercury and other hazardous air pollutants from coal- and oil-fired power plants.

In its ruling, the court rejected state and industry challenges to rules designed to clean up chromium, arsenic, acid gases, nickel, cadmium as well as mercury and other dangerous toxins.

The standards are the first federal mercury controls for power plants.

Google buys drone maker Titan Aerospace

NEW YORK (AP) — Google has bought Titan Aerospace, a maker of solar-powered drones, saying it could help bring Internet access to remote parts of the world as well as solve other problems.

Financial terms were not disclosed. Google Inc. said Monday that atmospheric satellites could also be used in disaster relief and assessing environmental damage.

Pages

Subscribe to Environment