Inside Climate News
A key piece of data related to the biggest tar sands oil spill in U.S. history has disappeared from the Environmental Protection Agency’s website, adding to confusion about the size of the spill and possibly reducing the fine that the company responsible for the accident would be required to pay. Sometime in March, the EPA’s website for the accident stopped showing how much oil has been collected at the site—1,149,460 gallons at last count. Web archives show that number was deleted between March 9 and March 27.
The epicenter of agricultural production has moved north and west over the past half-century, and that trend will likely continue at an accelerated pace due to global warming, a new study finds. Published yesterday in the online version of the journal Nature Climate Change, the study depicts how such a shift could put new strains on U.S. infrastructure, as rails and trains replace riverboats as the primary mode of agricultural transportation.
Gulf Oil Spill: Mental Health Impacts On Affected Communities Should Be Considered, Researcher Argues
It’s been three years since the Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded in the Gulf of Mexico, killing 11 workers and forever changing the way the world views the Gulf Coast. While the $4 billion verdict against BP has finally been handed down as justice for damages, it’s not going to help many of the people directly impacted by the spill’s impacts. It’s time for a reminder of the long-term impacts accompanying technological disasters — and for the development of a better system for addressing the mental well-being of coastal residents and their communities after these all-too-frequent events.
With the weather lending a helping hand, officials were cautiously optimistic that the raging fire, called the Springs Fire, near Los Angeles was being brought under control as of late Saturday. Firefighters reportedly had contained more than 50 percent of the fire, as they were aided by calmer winds and cooler temperatures, and Sunday’s forecast had a 20 percent chance of rain.
The Springs Fire started right as a new outlook by the National Interagency Fire Center released its wildfires outlook, which highlighted how fire season may come early this year in the West, thanks to ongoing drought conditions and increasing temperatures. The NIFC predicted that major wildfires in California could begin as early as May, nearly a month ahead of schedule. Wildfire season is also expected to come early in southern Oregon and Washington, as well as in the central Rocky Mountains and parts of the Southwest.
The Nature Conservancy
Partners engaged in projects that will restore about 2,500 acres of marsh in the western Lake Erie basin gathered Friday to celebrate the successful completion of the first major task – turning a 100-acre former wheat field into a coastal marsh. While wading birds enjoyed new feeding areas in the background, U.S. Rep. Marcy Kaptur cut a ribbon over one of the earthen levees that help maintain this newly created wetland. The project, funded through a $1.3 million grant awarded by NOAA in 2011, will involve 500 acres of wetland restoration. The first phase includes about 100 acres of restored wetland, new pumps and water control devices and fish ladders that allow most fish to enter the wetland but can also be used seasonally to block troublesome species such as carp.
Greenwire via Red Lodge Clearinghouse
Sequestration has affected the federal government’s ability to put in place conservation measures on farmland, according to several organizations that work closely with the Agriculture Department. The effects of the across-the-board spending cuts on farmland conservation programs, which have already taken large cuts in the last several budget cycles, have been lost amid all the talk about furloughs to meat inspectors and reductions in farmers’ subsidies, they say. The groups worry that the next round of budget cuts could bring the programs, which include the popular Conservation Stewardship Program and the Conservation Reserve Program, past their breaking point.