Environment

In a rare victory for environmentalists under President Trump, the Senate rejected efforts to roll back an Obama-era rule limiting methane emissions from energy production sites on federal land.

The vote over the greenhouse gas was close — 49-51 — with Republican Sens. John McCain, Lindsey Graham and Susan Collins coming down against the resolution, which would have repealed the Bureau of Land Management's Methane Waste and Prevention Rule.

Controversy around the pipeline increased when workers accidentally spilled millions of gallons of drilling mud into Stark County wetlands last month.
Ohio EPA

A battle is brewing between a natural gas pipeline company and the state's top environmental regulators. The Ohio EPA is slapping the pipeline company with a big fine after spilling millions of gallons of pollution. But that company is refusing to pay up.

Construction of the Rover Pipeline in Shelby, Ohio.
Trayden Schumacher / YouTube

Ohio's environmental regulators have issued a $430,000 fine against a company building a natural gas pipeline from West Virginia to Michigan.

There are thousands of parks, refuges and wilderness areas in the U.S. that are kept in something close to their natural state. But one form of pollution isn't respecting those boundaries: man-made noise.

New research based on recordings from 492 protected natural areas reveals that they're awash in noise pollution.

Google Earth

The Great Lakes have dodged a federal funding cut that would have eliminated 50 million dollars dedicated to restoration efforts for this year.

President Trump signed an executive order Friday that aims to expand offshore drilling for oil and gas, in a move welcomed by the oil and gas industry and greeted with alarm by environmental groups.

"Renewed offshore energy production will reduce the cost of energy, create countless new jobs, and make America more secure and far more energy independent," Trump said before signing the document. He said previous restrictions on exploration and production deprive the U.S. of "potentially thousands and thousands of jobs and billions of dollars in wealth."

President Trump is expected to sign an executive order Wednesday that could end up shrinking — or even nullifying — some large federal national monuments on protected public lands, as established since the Clinton administration.

NOAA Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory / Flickr

Several environmental groups in Ohio and Michigan are suing the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, saying the agency isn't doing enough to protect Lake Erie from toxic algae.

Rover Pipeline Spill and Ohio's Wetlands

Apr 25, 2017
Triangle Lake Bog State Nature Preserve
Bisnicks / Wikipedia Commons

The Rover Pipeline, which when completed will run from Washington County in southeast Ohio to Defiance in the northwest, was the source of a major spill. More than 2 million gallons of drilling mud was dumped into two Ohio wetlands. While the mud is naturally occurring, experts say the spill could be detrimental to the ecosystems of the already depleted wetland ecosystems.

Wetlands are crucial to the health of the environment, serving as natural incubators and purifiers, but over 90 percent of Ohio's wetlands have disappeared over the past several decades due to human activity. Today we'll take a look at how pipelines impact the environment, what will be done as a result of the spill and the state of Ohio's wetlands.

For years, opponents of the proposed NEXUS pipeline across Ohio have been mounting legal challenges to block the multi-billion dollar project. Now, a northeast Ohio opposition group is getting some help with the legal costs from an area city. 

Green is giving CORN -- the Coalition to Reroute NEXUS -- $10,000 to help it pursue a lawsuit against the federal agency that would approve NEXUS.

House Democrats and environmental advocates are warning of a public health threat that can be all around us but go unseen and they say it’s only getting worse. 

One reason President Trump gave for signing his order to dismantle climate policies was "to cancel job-killing regulations." But in places like coal country, environmental regulations are creating jobs, too.

Hackathon aims to clean up Lake Erie

Apr 10, 2017

Pollution and other problems plague areas all over the Great Lakes region. And they can make drinking or swimming dangerous.  There’s plenty of blame to go around for this – city water utilities, agriculture, and politicians to name a few.

Now an unlikely industry has joined the search for solutions -- technology is taking on Lake Erie.

“Hackathons” are widespread throughout the world -- weekend-long events aimed at solving a problem with technology and new software.  Teams form, develop an idea, and present it all in a couple of days.

President Donald Trump’s proposed cuts to the U.S. EPA are raising concerns about federal help for cleaning up and reclaiming brownfields. One organization closely watching the potential loss of funding helps developers with brownfield sites in Summit County.

Update 7:06 P.M. Eastern: The EPA says it's reversing course and keeping chlorpyrifos on the market.

That's despite the agency's earlier conclusion, reached during the Obama administration, that this pesticide could pose risks to consumers. It's a signal that toxic chemicals will face less restrictive regulation by the Trump administration.

President Trump signed a sweeping executive order Tuesday that takes aim at a number of his predecessor's climate policies.

The wide-ranging order seeks to undo the centerpiece of former President Obama's environmental legacy and national efforts to address climate change.

It could also jeopardize America's current role in international efforts to confront climate change.

In a symbolic gesture, Trump signed the document at the headquarters of Environmental Protection Agency.

Ohio Trains Farmers To Help Lake Erie, But Is It Working?

Mar 27, 2017

The buildup of nutrients in western Lake Erie can trigger algae growth – and contaminate drinking water in nearby cities. That happened as recently as 2014, when Toledo residents could not drink their water for two days.

Updated at 11 a.m. ET Friday

The U.S. State Department has signed and issued a presidential permit to construct the Keystone XL pipeline. That reverses former President Barack Obama's 2015 decision to reject the controversial pipeline.

The lighthouse on Lake Erie in Lorain, Ohio at sunset.
Rona Proudfoot / Flickr Creative Commons

The outline of President Trump’s 2018 budget is out – and it eliminates the $300 million in annual funding for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, which finances environmental projects all over the region.

U.S. automakers may not have to reach fuel efficiency standards that were set during President Obama's administration, as the Environmental Protection Agency says it's reopening a review of the rules.

President Trump is expected to make that announcement Wednesday in meetings with auto industry executives and workers in Michigan.

In Washington, a senior White House official said the president wants to "set standards that are technologically feasible, economically feasible and allow the auto industry to grow and create jobs."

Sea ice in the Arctic has been melting at a record-breaking pace. Scientists blame a warming climate for most of that, but researchers have now teased out a natural cycle for how Arctic sea ice melts year-to-year.

Based on that cycle, they conclude that 30 percent to 50 percent of the melting is due to natural causes, while human-caused warming is responsible for the rest.

Fish and the Health of the Great Lakes

Mar 13, 2017
Asian Carp
Chris Young / Illinois Department of Natural Resources

Asian carp pose one of the greatest threats to Lake Erie's ecosystem.  These invasive fish would displace prized native species, such as walleye and rainbow trout.  

Now,  the Trump Administration's EPA budget cuts will halt a plan to prevent species of Asian carp from entering Lake Erie.

Join us as we discuss fish and the health of the Great Lakes.   

While some GOP lawmakers push to repeal Ohio's green-energy standards, one of the world's first fresh-water wind farms is taking shape in Lake Erie.
WKSU

When Gov. John Kasich vetoed another two-year freeze on the state’s renewable energy benchmarks last year, his fellow Republicans in the legislature promised they’d be back with a total repeal of those benchmarks. Statehouse correspondent Karen Kasler reports they appear to have taken the first step.

President Trump's head of the Environmental Protection Agency says he does not believe that carbon dioxide is a major cause of global warming.

"I would not agree that [CO2] is a primary contributor to the global warming that we see," Scott Pruitt said Thursday in an interview with CNBC's Joe Kernen.

A federal judge has denied a request by the Standing Rock Sioux and Cheyenne River tribes to halt construction of the final piece of the Dakota Access Pipeline.

According to two new World Health Organization reports, about 1.7 million children under the age of 5 die each year because of environmental hazards. It's the first such estimate of the child death toll from environmental causes.

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