"This winter has already brought significant snowfall to much of the U.S. Historically, more snow has meant more road salt. It’s an effective way to clear roads — but also brings cascading environmental impacts as it washes into rivers and streams."
Great Plains (IA KS ND NE MO SD)
The complex legal obstacles that face U.S. energy projects prompted political machinations over permitting reform in the last Congress and likely will again in the new one. The latest Backgrounder explores how the energy permitting system works (or doesn’t), why Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin may really be pushing for its reform and the reason some environmentalists concede reform may have green benefits.
"The Environmental Protection Agency announced Monday that it has reached an agreement with a pipeline operator to clean up a spill that dumped 14,000 bathtubs’ worth of crude oil into a rural Kansas creek."
"The oil spilled from TC Energy Corp’s ruptured Keystone pipeline was diluted bitumen, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said on Thursday, adding complications to the cleanup."
"An oil spill in a creek in northeastern Kansas shut down a major pipeline that carries oil from Canada to the Texas Gulf Coast, briefly causing oil prices to rise Thursday."
The lesser prairie-chicken is in dire need of protection, but a decision on listing it under the Endangered Species Act is months overdue. Environmental reporter Mike Smith looks at the causes and potential consequences of the bureaucratic delay and muses on whether this unique bird will go the way of its even more imperiled relative, the Attwater’s prairie-chicken.
"A Missouri school board decided Tuesday to shut down a grade school that sits near a contaminated creek after a study funded by law firms involved in a class-action lawsuit found high levels of radioactive material inside the school."
"A federal judge has struck down the third attempt by the Iowa Legislature to stop animal welfare groups from secretly filming livestock abuse, finding once again that the law passed last year violates free speech rights in the U.S. Constitution."
How water moves through the global ecosystem and shapes our landscapes is the subject of a must-read new book by writer Erica Gies, according to BookShelf editor Tom Henry. A significant part of water’s story is how humanity invariably fails when trying to manipulate it. But hope may reside with Gies’ various “water detectives,” who explore how to “let water go where it wants to go.”