6 Top Eco News Stories

Week of February 8, 2016

This week our summary of the news covers the EPA, from budgeting to a new bill about water, the California Coastal Commission and lead contamination issues around the country.


US Oil Sands Inc. is slowing development of an extraction project in Utah due to low oil prices and financing issues. The project is 85% complete, but environmentalists see the slow-down as a positive considering the project’s potential to destroy wildlife habitats and contaminate the local water supply. (Calgary Herald)

The California Coastal Commission dismissed Executive Director Charles Lester in a private session vote of 7-5 on Thursday without much explanation and despite overwhelming support during a public comment period. The Coastal Commission is responsible for regulating development along the California coast to minimize environmental impacts. (LA Times)


3095052057_cc7c23a1c2_zThe Supreme Court temporarily halted climate change regulation on Tuesday. The action goes against commitments made at the Paris Climate Accord and could injure trust established with other nations that have high GHG emissions. The regulation, which calls for reduced emissions from coal-fired power plants, will be blocked until challenges from 29 states and industry groups are considered in an appeals court. (NYT)

The House of Representatives passed a bill that requires the EPA to notify the public upon discovery of lead-contamination in water supplies
on Wednesday. The bill was passed 416-2. (Reuters)

469244225_c446ff8a85_zPresident Obama’s new budget plan calls for 200$ million more than last year’s to be allocated to the Environmental Protection Agency. This would fund new climate change regulation, greener public transportation and water infrastructure improvements, among other projects. (The Hill)

EPA research indicates Chicagoans may also be at risk of lead exposure, due to disruptions in corrosion prevention treatments, which can occur during road and water-line related construction. Though the city is undergoing a number of expansive public works projects, water-testing procedures remain at a minimal federal requirement to test 50 homes every 3 years. (Chicago Tribune)

-Aidan Kelly

Photo Credit: Flickr/L.C. N√łttaasen Flickr, Flickr/Vadim Kurland, Flickr/Gillian Thomas, Flickr/Dan Lurie, Flickr/TheeErin

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