EPA Criminal Cases At 30 Year Low

EPA Criminal Cases At 30 Year Low

The advocacy group Public Employees for Environment Responsibility (PEER) announced on Monday that criminal cases brought by the Department of Justice for cases originating at the Environmental Protection Agency have plummeted in the Trump Administration to only 166, and of those, only 62 resulted in prosecutions, the lowest number since 1992. 

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Groundwater Supplies Are Depleted And at Risk From Fracking

Groundwater Supplies Are Depleted And at Risk From Fracking

The Revelator, a publication of the Center for Biological Diversity, reported on a new study that found that “fresh” groundwater is 50% less plentiful in several key U.S. regions than scientists previously believed.  Therefore, digging deeper to find groundwater that is drinkable (not too salty or contaminated) is an increasingly infeasible answer to water shortages across the country.

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One Happy Thing: A Baby Orca!

One Happy Thing: A Baby Orca!

Great news for the Southern Resident Killer Whale population in Washington state whose numbers had been dwindling in recent years.  Whale L77 has a new calf, known now as L124, which was born in the last few weeks.  The Seattle PI reported that this new baby brings the population’s number to 75, but the Center for […]

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Pass on the oxybenzone, protect Florida’s reefs

Pass on the oxybenzone, protect Florida’s reefs

The Miami Herald reported yesterday that the Key West City Commission on Tuesday unanimously voted to ban the sale of sunscreens that contain two ingredients — oxybenzone and octinoxate — that a growing body of scientific evidence says harm coral reefs. While opponents to the ban claim that it will increase rates of skin cancer City […]

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UN forms formal alliance to address sustainable fashion

UN forms formal alliance to address sustainable fashion

The fashion industry is one of the most resource-intensive and polluting industries in the world. According to a report published in the journal Nature Climate Change last year, textile production produces 1.2 billion tons of CO2 equivalent per year, which is more emissions than international flights and maritime shipping. There hasn’t yet been a global governing body that tackled the issue of fashion sustainability in a coordinated manner and that’s why this week the United Nations announced that it will officially launch the UN Alliance on Sustainable Fashion on March 14th, during a media event of the 4th U.N. Environment Assembly in Nairobi, Kenya.

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More snow, more salt, more problems

More snow, more salt, more problems

Just as one storm passed last weekend, here in D.C. (as well as across central and eastern parts of the country) we’re expected to get more winter weather. As USA Today reported, a pair of winter storms will dump snow and ice across the central and eastern U.S. over the next several days, with the second storm a potential blockbuster in some spots, with a foot of snow possible. However, with snow comes road salt to help it melt and prevent ice from forming. The downside of melting snow with rock salt is that when the snow melts most of that salt makes its way into waterways where it can harm aquatic species should enough of it accumulate. As CNN explained, salt can also change the way the water mixes and lead to the formation of salty pockets near the bottom of lakes, creating biological dead zones.

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EVs for Show at the Auto Show in Detroit

EVs for Show at the Auto Show in Detroit

The major U.S. and foreign auto companies are racing to catch up to Tesla in the EV market, and are using this year’s auto show in Detroit to make the PR point, but there are few vehicles ready for market yet.   According to the AP, one of the reasons is that SUVs and trucks make up 72% of the new vehicles sold in the U.S. last month, compared to 49% in December 2012.  Thus, these new EVs will need to be SUVs, according to Axios.  But only two of the vehicles scheduled to be “rolled out” at the Detroit auto show are electrified, AP notes, and neither is available for sale yet. 

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Private Weather Company To Use Different Hurricane Severity Scale

Private Weather Company To Use Different Hurricane Severity Scale

The nation’s largest private weather provider, AccuWeather, is going to begin to use a new “scale” for conveying the severity of hurricanes in the future, diverging from the current scale used by the National Weather Service (NWS) and followed by all private weather forecasters and meteorologists.  AccuWeather’s CEO, Joel Myers, claims that the current scale only measures wind, but that recent hurricanes from Sandy to Florence have proved that storm surge and flooding can be quite dangerous or deadly even when a hurricane’s wind is not at the top level of severity.

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Antarctica Now Melting Faster Than It Was In the 80’s

Antarctica Now Melting Faster Than It Was In the 80’s

A new study published by the National Academy of Sciences delivered some sobering news on Monday — that Antarctica is losing ice at a  rate six times faster than it has in the past.  According to CNN, the rate of ice loss has increased each decade over the last 40 years — from a loss of 40 gigatons (a gigaton is one billion tons) per year from in the decade from 1979 to 1990 to a loss of 252 gigatons per year in the decade from 2009 to 2017.  And Axios explained that this finding is “important” because “previous studies had regarded that part of the continent as stable or not yet undergoing a net loss.”

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One sweet thing: a tanker carrying molten chocolate crashes and spills

One sweet thing: a tanker carrying molten chocolate crashes and spills

There is a river of chocolate blocking/flowing in the westbound lanes of I-40 at milepost 211, east of Flagstaff. A tanker truck carrying 40-thousand gallons of liquid chocolate rolled over. This will be a sweet cleanup! pic.twitter.com/G03eVdNQZD — Dept. Public Safety (@Arizona_DPS) January 14, 2019 According to CNN a tanker hauling 40,000 pounds of liquid […]

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Farm lobby an equal conspirator in spreading climate denial

When you think of the most powerful industry lobby that spreads misinformation about climate change and environmental regulations you’d likely think of the fossil fuel industry. Groups like the American Petroleum Institute (API) conjure images of highly-paid federal lobbyists feeding politicians canned lines like “environmental action kills American jobs” but the truth is there’s another powerful industry lobby right up there with API spreading climate denial: the American Farm Bureau Federation. Inside Climate News put out the first of a series called Harvesting Peril that investigates the lengths the Farm Bureau went to in order to stop climate action in America.

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Increasingly frequent wildfires threaten California’s shrublands

Increasingly frequent wildfires threaten California’s shrublands

California’s chaparral ecosystem is the state’s iconic shrub-dominant vegetation that covers broad areas of foothills stretching across the state but particularly southern California. Chaparral wilderness occupies more than 8.5 million acres and the drought-resistant and woody shrubs and as the California Chaparral Institute explained, provides essential protection against erosion, allows underground water supplies to recharge, moderates local climates, provides important habitat for an interesting assortment of animals. Yet because of the increasing frequency of major wildfires in California, these shrublands are coming further under threat.

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