Environment

Mayors release climate actions survey

Washington, April 22, 2014, 2:15 pm

U.S. Conference of Mayors hold media teleconference to announce survey of steps by cities to curb carbon emissions, adapt to climate change. 

Apple offering free recycling of all used products

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Apple is offering free recycling of all its used products and vowing to power all of its stores, offices and data centers with renewable energy to reduce the pollution caused by its devices and online services.

The iPhone and iPad maker is detailing its efforts to cultivate a greener Apple Inc. in an environmental section on the company's website that debuted Monday. The site highlights the ways that the Cupertino, Calif., company is increasing its reliance on alternative power sources and sending less electronic junk to landfills.

Calif. farmers forgoing food crops as drought bites

Source: 
The New York Times

As much as 7 percent of California’s farmland could remain fallow this year as farmers forgo planting because of a lack of water, The New York Times reports.

China says one-fifth of its farmland is polluted

BEIJING (AP) — Faced with growing public anger about a poisonous environment, China's government released a yearslong study that shows nearly one-fifth of the country's farmland is contaminated with toxic metals, a stunning indictment of unfettered industrialization under the Communist Party's authoritarian rule.

The report, previously deemed so sensitive it was classified as a state secret, names the heavy metals cadmium, nickel and arsenic as the top contaminants.

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.

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