"HELENA, Mont. -- Montana wildlife regulators suspect more and more people are faking disabilities to take advantage of privileges granted to disabled hunters, so they want to remove one of those perks in hopes of curbing abuse."
Mountain West (CO ID MT NV UT WY)
"DENVER -- Colorado regulators decided Monday night to wait a week before they start deliberating a proposal to require oil and gas companies to publicly disclose what chemicals they use in hydraulic fracturing."
Designating lands as wilderness or some other highly protected status always is contentious, but the BLM has identified 24 areas in 9 western states the agency says have significant local support for this idea: CA (9 areas), CO (3), ID (1), MT (1), NM (2), NV (2), OR (2), UT (3), and WA (1).
"Several times a day, long trainloads of coal trundle through Missoula to power plants in Washington. Those routine runs generate lots of electricity for homes and lots of consternation for politicians and scientists concerned about the trade-offs. In the short term, coal's convenience and low price make it a simple answer to the nation's energy needs. But its pollution, damage to water supplies and impact on global climate may produce a long-term cost we're unable to afford."
"FAIRFIELD -- The arsenic exposure risk in Fairfield is official, the health danger real. Those who live in the Cedar Valley town stand a higher risk of getting some cancers, nerve damage and brain injury with exposure to contaminants from old mine tailings over an extended period of time, according to a new Utah study."
The agency says the remaining 17 sites covering ~285,000 acres in six states have the best solar gain and energy transmission traits, the fewest conflicts with environmental, cultural, and historic resources, and the best compatibility with each state's efforts. Public meetings commence Nov 30 and a 90-day public comment period ends Jan. 27, 2012. A variance process could be used to approve additional solar development elsewhere.
The naturally-occurring erionite causes malignant mesothelioma and evidence suggests it is much more toxic than asbestos. Concern is rising as development that disturbs erionite deposits occurs in 12 western states.
As part of its push to improve the nation's power system, the Obama administration is trying to expedite construction of 7 transmission lines, in various stages of planning and design, spanning 3,100 miles in 12 states.