Environmental and public health groups are suing the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to force the EPA to issue a rule on the chemical dispersants used in oil spill recovery, WaterWorld reports. Millions of gallons of chemical dispersants were used in the Gulf of Mexico after BP’s Deepwater Horizon spill in 2010, and the groups claim that rules are not in place to properly protect marine ecosystems and human health.
It is still hot and dry in the nation’s mid-section. Reports from various federal agencies last week revealed that the weather is setting all-time temperature records, while pummeling the corn crop. Links to reports from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the most recent U.S. Drought Monitor can be found here.
Last week, the Obama Administration announced US$30 million in emergency funds for farmers and ranchers.
The Obama Administration also announced that it would put seven solar and wind projects in the western U.S. on the fast track for regulatory approval. This comes two weeks after the federal government designated 17 blocks of public land in the region as priority zones for solar development.
Federal regulators are giving the operators of a large coal-fired power plant in northwestern New Mexico a choice for how to reduce haze-producing emissions, the Associated Press reports. Arizona Public Service, the plant operator, can upgrade all five units at Four Corners power plant or retire three units and make improvements to the other two, which is the operator’s preferred option.
Brett writes about agriculture, energy, infrastructure, and the politics and economics of water in the United States. He also writes the Federal Water Tap, Circle of Blue’s weekly digest of U.S. government water news. He is the winner of two Society of Environmental Journalists reporting awards, one of the top honors in American environmental journalism: first place for explanatory reporting for a series on septic system pollution in the United States(2016) and third place for beat reporting in a small market (2014). He received the Sierra Club’s Distinguished Service Award in 2018. Brett lives in Seattle, where he hikes the mountains and bakes pies. Contact Brett Walton