environment

The Dakota Access Pipeline's route takes it over four states and nearly 1,200 miles, from the Bakken oil fields in northwestern North Dakota through South Dakota, Iowa and down to a terminal in Illinois.

But one Missouri River crossing just north of the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation in North Dakota has become the focal point of a fight over how the pipeline's route was analyzed and approved by the federal government.

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Joshua Roberts/Reuters 

Scott Pruitt, in his first address to staff since he took over as head of the Environmental Protection Agency, urged civility and said he would “listen, learn and lead.” 

“We ought to be able to get together and wrestle through some very difficult issues and do so in a civil manner,” Pruitt told staffers Tuesday at the EPA headquarters in Washington, DC.

Signaling a shift in the agency’s priorities, Pruitt focused his remarks on creating a pro-business, regulatory environment rather than cleaning up air or water.

Kate Stein / WLRN

Businesses and entrepreneurs, it's your chance to shape greater Miami's future.

 

That's the message of chief resiliency officers from Miami-Dade, Miami Beach and the city of Miami, as they put together a plan to address challenges from affordability to Zika.

Florida’s invasive species problem can be daunting, with real implications for the state’s ecology and economy. The breadth of the issue is spurring some lawmakers to ask if state funding makes a difference.

Southern Africa is facing an invasion by an army — but not the sort of force you can defeat with ammunition. This foreign invader is an agricultural pest that is threatening the breadbasket of the region.

Zambian farmer Daniel Banda noticed in late December that something was munching through his crop of corn, destroying the maize fields on his small farm just outside the capital, Lusaka. Voracious caterpillars, known as fall armyworms, had nestled in the cobs and chomped through the leaves.

David Adam Kess / Via Wikimedia Commons

South Florida residents and businesses are urged to conserve water through May, when the dry season ends. That’s because the current dry season has been, well… really, really dry.

 

The South Florida Water Management District reports rainfall has been only 41 percent of what the region normally sees from November to February. The district says November 2016 was the driest month since regional record-keeping began in 1932.

 

The Environmental Protection Agency's presence at an environmental conference in Alaska this week was cut in half, after the Trump administration's transition officials ordered the change. The agency had helped to plan the Alaska Forum on the Environment — but days before it was to start, word came that half of the EPA's 34 planned attendees wouldn't be making the trip.

Blue Tubes Help Beachgoers Keep Beaches Clean

Feb 9, 2017

Visiting the beach is a big part of the lifestyle of coastal Florida residents.From time to time, however, our beaches can become littered. It’s something Ft. Pierce resident Ron McCallen says he has noticed.

“Oh yeah, a lot of people leave their stuff behind, but that’s the way it goes. So we do our best we can,” said McCallen, as he mentions they try to pick up the trash they find.

South Florida Water managers heard presentations recently on their options for underground water storage. These are possible solutions to excess fresh water that sometimes fills Lake Okeechobee, leading to harmful discharges in the Caloosahatchee and St. Lucie Rivers. Experts say one choice is more ideal than another.

Updated at 4:45 p.m. ET

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has granted an easement allowing the Dakota Access Pipeline to cross under the Missouri River north of the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation, paving the way for construction of the final 1.5 miles of the nearly 1,200-mile pipeline.

In doing so, the Army cut short its environmental impact assessment and the public comment period associated with it.

Palm Beach Aggregates, LLC

The budget proposed by Florida's governor could increase potable water supplies in Broward and Palm Beach counties.

 

Gov. Rick Scott requested that legislators allocate $20 million towards construction of the C-51 reservoir in Palm Beach County. That reservoir is not directly related to much-debated reservoirs intended to reduce discharges from Lake Okeechobee. But officials say it could provide South Florida residents with more drinking water -- much of it from stormwater.

 

The innovation of synthetic fleece has allowed many outdoor enthusiasts to hike with warmth and comfort. But what many of these fleece-wearing nature lovers don't know is that each wash of their jackets and pullovers releases thousands of microscopic plastic fibers, or microfibers, into the environment — from their favorite national park to agricultural lands to waters with fish that make it back onto our plates.

This has scientists wondering: Are we eating our sweaters' synthetic microfibers?

Wildlife managers are hoping the proliferation of cell phone cameras will translate to better protections for the endangered Florida panther.

Kate Stein / WLRN

Five, 15 or 50 years from now, what’s the future of Miami and its metro area?

At times, it looks traffic-jammed, Zika-infected, unaffordable and drowning under rapidly rising seas.

But if the region's trio of chief resiliency officers have their way -- maybe not.

USGS, via Wikimedia Commons

The U.S. Sugar Corporation could be required to sell land for a water storage plan proposed by Florida Senate President Joe Negron.

 

Senate Bill 10, filed last week, contains Negron's proposal to build one or more water storage reservoirs on 60,000 acres south of Lake Okeechobee. The reservoirs would help mitigate blue-green algae growth along Florida's coasts. Under the bill, the South Florida Water Management District would have until the end of 2017 to find a willing seller of 60,000 acres of land.

 

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