Friday, April 24, 2015

What We Learned This Week - "Try, try again"

The West Virginia Rivers Coalition and Kentucky Waterways Alliance called for reduced mercury discharges to the Ohio River. The White House said that House appropriators' plans to block a proposed Clean Water Act rule are "irresponsible."    Exxon Mobil agreed to a $5 million settlement with Arkansas and the federal government over a 2013 oil spill. The month of March and the first quarter of this year were the warmest on record.  The Obama Administration found that growing energy demands are squeezing the nation's road, rail and waterway transportation capacity.   Environmental groups sued the U.S. EPA to end a 2008 pollution-reporting exemption for animal feeding operations. Environmental groups contested a U.S. EPA decision to allow more widespread use of new 2,4-D version used on genetically modified corn and soybeans.   The USDA will spend $112 million for rural water and wastewater infrastructure projects across the country. Between 2000 and 2012, about 7 million acres of agricultural, range and forest lands were shifted into to oil and gas drilling in the U.S.  If Oklahoma's state House has its way, that trend may continue.  On the heels of proposed agency budget cuts, 57 Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources employees are receiving formal layoff notices.  Kansas lawmakers are facing some potential budget cutting of their own - to a tune of about $400 million.   A national coalition called for significant changes to U.S. natural disaster policies. Only a quarter of U.S. consumers believe the country "has a responsibility to provide food for the rest of the world.” The owners of a Missouri meat processing plant said they didn't mean to release slaughterhouse waste into a nearby creek.  After failing on its first attempt, a company seeking to build a landfill in a Louisiana wetland again asked the U.S. Supreme Court to take up an Army Corps jurisdiction case.  St. Bernard Parish opposed Louisiana state funding for several proposed Mississippi River sediment diversion projects.  And last but not least, Louisiana may be the least eco-friendly state, but the state can at least boast one of the 353 most environmentally responsible colleges in the country.

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