Environment

Proposal would fine California water-wasters

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — In one of the most drastic responses yet to California's drought, state regulators on Tuesday will consider fines up to $500 a day for people who waste water on landscaping, fountains, washing vehicles and other outdoor uses.

The rules would prohibit the watering of landscaping to the point that runoff spills onto sidewalks or streets. Hosing down sidewalks, driveways and other hard surfaces would be banned along with washing vehicles without a shut-off nozzle.

Court KOs New Jersey bid to block ocean blasting

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) — A federal appeals court on Monday cleared the path for seismic testing off the coast of New Jersey that will blast the floor of the Atlantic Ocean with loud noises as part of a climate change research project.

The 3rd Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals rejected New Jersey's request to block the testing off Long Beach Island, which aims to use acoustic research to examine sediment dating back tens of millions of years. The barrier island stretches along the central New Jersey coast for about 18 miles.

Mary Robinson named UN envoy for climate change

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has appointed former Irish president Mary Robinson as his special envoy for climate change.

She has a mandate to mobilize world leaders to take action at the climate summit the U.N. chief is hosting in September.

NOAA braces for blind spot as satellites age

Source: 
E&E

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is not set to launch a new polar-orbiting satellite until 2017, creating potential for a blind spot in forecasting as several satellites approach the end of their lifespans in 2016, E&E reports.

Near spill, reservation wrestles with oil's impact

MANDAREE, N.D. (AP) — Growing up, Ruth Anna Buffalo would follow the dirt track behind her house into the rugged North Dakota badlands, swimming in creeks picketed with beaver dams, finding artifacts and climbing bluffs overlooking Lake Sakakawea. For the young, the lake and the land around it were a wonderland.

Buffalo's grandfather, though, looked at the lake with pained eyes. Created by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' building of the Garrison Dam in the 1940s and '50s, it flooded out a significant portion of the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation and swallowed his town of Elbowoods. Families were forced to leave their homes for higher ground.

Equity group turns marsh restoration into profit

Source: 
The New York Times

Ecosystem Investment Partners, a private equity group, is looking to profit from its restoration of marshlands in Louisiana by selling the environmental restoration credits it earns to developers and agencies looking to offset their projects' environmental damage, The New York Times reports.

ND pipeline breach renews call for more monitoring

MANDAREE, N.D. (AP) — A saltwater spill from an underground pipeline in North Dakota has renewed calls from farmers and environmentalists to require new monitoring to help ensure that such breaches are prevented or caught quickly.

State Rep. Dick Anderson, a Republican farmer from Willow City, said he plans to revisit legislation the state Legislature rejected last year that would mandate flow meters and cutoff switches on such lines.

Hundreds battle central Washington wildfire

ENTIAT, Wash. (AP) — Several hundred firefighters worked Friday to contain a fire that has burned grass and brush across nearly 30 square miles in central Washington.

The blaze threatened more than 200 homes and damaged a few outbuildings in Chelan County near Entiat, roughly midway between Seattle and Spokane.

National Weather Service backs off polar vortex prediction

Source: 
The Washington Post

The National Weather Service is retreating from a forecast made by some of its offices that suggested the U.S. would experience a polar vortex next week, though unseasonably cool weather is expected, The Washington Post reports.

Parts of US Capitol closed after asbestos accident

WASHINGTON (AP) — An accident involving asbestos work forced a temporary closure of the House side of the Capitol on Thursday and prompted House leaders to delay the day's session for two hours.

No injuries were reported. The incident occurred around 2:30 a.m. or 3 a.m., Capitol Police said.

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