Elizabeth Shogren http://kvpr.org en Feds Hope $5 Billion Settlement A Lesson For Polluters http://kvpr.org/post/feds-hope-5-billion-settlement-lesson-polluters This week, the federal government announced a record-breaking $5 billion settlement in a remarkable environmental case. The toxic legacy of the company involved, Kerr-McGee, stretches back 85 years and includes scores of sites across the country.<p>Kerr-McGee ran uranium mines in the Navajo Nation, wood-treating businesses across the Midwest and East Coast, and a perchlorate plant on a tributary of Lake Mead, the nation's largest reservoir — and it was messy.<p>"Kerr-McGee's business all over this country left significant, lasting environmental damage," said Deputy U.S. Sat, 05 Apr 2014 09:40:00 +0000 Elizabeth Shogren 30753 at http://kvpr.org Feds Hope $5 Billion Settlement A Lesson For Polluters International Ruling Puts Stop To Japan's 'Scientific' Whaling http://kvpr.org/post/international-ruling-puts-stop-japans-scientific-whaling Transcript <p>MELISSA BLOCK, HOST: <p>Whale lovers scored a major victory today. For almost two decades, Japanese whalers have been killing whales in the Antarctic Ocean. The Japanese government claimed it was all for scientific, not commercial, purposes. NPR's Elizabeth Shogren reports that today, an international court rejected that claim and said the whaling must stop.<p>ELIZABETH SHOGREN, BYLINE: Eighteen years ago, the International Whaling Commission banned commercial whaling. Mon, 31 Mar 2014 20:04:00 +0000 Elizabeth Shogren 30498 at http://kvpr.org Why The Exxon Valdez Spill Was A Eureka Moment For Science http://kvpr.org/post/why-exxon-valdez-spill-was-eureka-moment-science <em>On March 24, 1989, the tanker Exxon Valdez struck a reef in Prince William Sound, Alaska, spilling 11 million gallons of crude oil into the pristine water. At the time, it was the single biggest spill in U.S. history. Sat, 22 Mar 2014 18:03:00 +0000 Elizabeth Shogren 30093 at http://kvpr.org Why The Exxon Valdez Spill Was A Eureka Moment For Science Colorado Becomes First State To Restrict Methane Emissions http://kvpr.org/post/colorado-becomes-first-state-restrict-methane-emissions Methane is a potent greenhouse gas from oil and gas production. The rules require companies to find and repair equipment leaks. The rules also will reduce air pollution that contributes to smog. Tue, 25 Feb 2014 10:11:00 +0000 Elizabeth Shogren 28938 at http://kvpr.org Industry Challenges EPA's Greenhouse Gas Rules In High Court http://kvpr.org/post/industry-challenges-epas-greenhouse-gas-rules-high-court The Supreme Court will hear arguments Monday about the Environmental Protection Agency's first-ever greenhouse gas regulations for the biggest polluting facilities.<p>The case focuses on a 3-year-old <a href="http://www.epa.gov/nsr/ghgpermitting.html">requirement</a> that companies get permits anytime they construct new plants or modify existing ones that will emit a lot of greenhouse gases.<p>EPA's supporters and most of its challengers agree this case is narrow in scope; the court's ruling is not expected to threaten EPA's broader strategy to fight global warming.<p>Some industries challengi Mon, 24 Feb 2014 08:28:00 +0000 Elizabeth Shogren 28884 at http://kvpr.org Industry Challenges EPA's Greenhouse Gas Rules In High Court State Dept. Delivers Unwelcome News For Keystone Opponents http://kvpr.org/post/state-dept-delivers-unwelcome-news-keystone-opponents The U.S. Fri, 31 Jan 2014 22:11:00 +0000 Elizabeth Shogren 27897 at http://kvpr.org State Dept. Delivers Unwelcome News For Keystone Opponents Drinking Water Not Tested For Tens Of Thousands Of Chemicals http://kvpr.org/post/water-companies-cant-monitor-all-chemicals-theres-too-many The fact that a second contaminant in West Virginia's drinking water eluded detection for nearly two weeks — despite intense testing of the water — reveals an important truth about how companies test drinking water: In most cases, they only find the contaminants they're looking for.<p>Freedom Industries earlier this week revealed it had spilled two chemicals, not just one. The second chemical is PPH, a mixture of polygycol ethers. Fri, 24 Jan 2014 10:57:00 +0000 Elizabeth Shogren 27547 at http://kvpr.org Drinking Water Not Tested For Tens Of Thousands Of Chemicals To Save Threatened Owl, Another Species Is Shot http://kvpr.org/post/save-threatened-owl-another-species-shot In desperation to save the rare northern spotted owl, biologists are doing something that goes against their core — shooting another owl that's rapidly taking over spotted owl territory across the northwest.<p>"If we don't do it, what we're essentially doing, in my view, is dooming the spotted owl to extinction," says Lowell Diller, senior biologist for Green Diamond, a timber company.<p>The decision to shoot the more aggressive barred owls has been wrenching for biologists and the federal government. Thu, 16 Jan 2014 22:23:00 +0000 Elizabeth Shogren 27250 at http://kvpr.org To Save Threatened Owl, Another Species Is Shot The Big Impact Of A Little-Known Chemical In W.Va. Spill http://kvpr.org/post/mysteries-persist-surrounding-west-virginia-chemical-spill The chemical that was found last week to be contaminating the drinking water of hundreds of thousands of West Virginians is used to clean coal. But very little is known about how toxic it is to people or to the environment when it spills.<p>The chemical is called 4-methyl-cyclohexane-methanol, or MCHM. If you've never heard of it, you're in good company. Tue, 14 Jan 2014 01:53:00 +0000 Elizabeth Shogren 27115 at http://kvpr.org A Scientist's New Job: Keeping The Polar Bears' Plight Public http://kvpr.org/post/scientists-new-job-keeping-polar-bears-plight-public The Endangered Species Act, which turns 40 on Saturday, helped bring back iconic species such as the wolf, grizzly bear and bald eagle, after hunting, trapping and pesticides almost wiped those animals out.<p>But a very different kind of threat — global warming — is pushing some species like the polar bear to the brink of extinction.<p>One government biologist discovered the best way he could help save polar bears was to quit his job.<p><strong>A New Kind Of Conservation Problem</strong><p>Several years ago, the polar bear was under consideration for placement on the endangered species list. Sat, 28 Dec 2013 15:42:00 +0000 Elizabeth Shogren 26441 at http://kvpr.org Saving The Native Prairie — One Black-Footed Ferret At A Time http://kvpr.org/post/saving-native-prairie-one-black-footed-ferret-time American pioneers saw the endless stretches of grassland of the Great Plains as a place to produce grain and beef for a growing country. But one casualty was the native prairie ecosystem and animals that thrived only there.<p>Some biologists are trying to save the prairies and they've picked a hero to help them: the black-footed ferret. Sun, 01 Dec 2013 10:21:00 +0000 Elizabeth Shogren 25237 at http://kvpr.org Saving The Native Prairie — One Black-Footed Ferret At A Time Is Running Your Car On Rubbish The Future Of Fuels? http://kvpr.org/post/running-your-car-rubbish-future-fuels Transcript <p>AUDIE CORNISH, HOST: <p>The Environmental Protection Agency today proposed to scale back the amount of renewable fuels in our nation's gasoline supply, biofuels like ethanol made from corn. The EPA is responding, in part, to oil companies that say they're already taking as much ethanol as they can. They say any more and it will hurt quality. But there's another reason for the EPA's action. Sat, 16 Nov 2013 01:07:00 +0000 Elizabeth Shogren 24607 at http://kvpr.org Widespread Plague In Wildlife Threatens Western Ecosystems http://kvpr.org/post/bubonic-plague-backsmall-animals-american-west Transcript <p>MELISSA BLOCK, HOST: <p>This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.<p>AUDIE CORNISH, HOST: <p>And I'm Audie Cornish.<p>Most Americans' experience with plague is limited to history books. In the 14th century, it famously wiped out half of Europe's population. Wed, 23 Oct 2013 21:17:00 +0000 Elizabeth Shogren 23464 at http://kvpr.org Supreme Court To Weigh EPA Permits For Power Plant Emissions http://kvpr.org/post/supreme-court-weigh-epa-permits-power-plant-emissions The Supreme Court has agreed to review an Obama administration policy that requires new power plants and other big polluting facilities to apply for permits to emit greenhouse gases.<p>To get these permits, which have been required since 2011, companies may have to use pollution controls or otherwise reduce greenhouse gases from their operations — although industries report that so far they haven't had to install special pollution control equipment to qualify for the permits.<p>The rule is part of a larger effort by the EPA to regulate greenhouse gases.<p>The EPA started with automobiles. Tue, 15 Oct 2013 21:54:00 +0000 Elizabeth Shogren 23065 at http://kvpr.org Supreme Court To Weigh EPA Permits For Power Plant Emissions EPA Wants To Limit Greenhouse Gases From New Coal Power Plants http://kvpr.org/post/epa-wants-limit-greenhouse-gases-new-coal-power-plants The Environmental Protection Agency's second stab at a proposal to set the first-ever limits on greenhouse gas emissions from new power plants would make it impossible for companies to build the kind of coal-fired plants that have been the country's biggest source of electricity for decades.<p>Under the proposal, released Friday, any new plant that runs on coal would be permitted to emit only about half as much carbon dioxide as an average coal plant puts into the air today.<p>EPA administrator Gina McCarthy tells NPR the steps the EPA is proposing in the rule to address climate change "can ac Fri, 20 Sep 2013 04:08:00 +0000 Elizabeth Shogren 21843 at http://kvpr.org EPA Wants To Limit Greenhouse Gases From New Coal Power Plants Debate Revs As Decision Stalls Over Oil Pipeline From Canada http://kvpr.org/post/debate-revs-decision-stalls-over-oil-pipeline-canada Five years ago this week, a Canadian company proposed building a pipeline to send heavy crude oil from Alberta to U.S. refineries. Although the Obama administration's answer on the Keystone XL pipeline is not expected anytime soon, politicians in Washington and Canada are ramping up the pressure for the project, while environmentalists are pushing hard against it.<p>The intense focus on the decision reflects the fact that the Keystone XL pipeline has become a proxy for the larger debate on climate change emissions. Mon, 16 Sep 2013 15:18:00 +0000 Elizabeth Shogren 21630 at http://kvpr.org Debate Revs As Decision Stalls Over Oil Pipeline From Canada Bald Eagles Are Back In A Big Way — And The Talons Are Out http://kvpr.org/post/bald-eagles-are-back-big-way-and-talons-are-out "It's a jungle if you're an eagle right now on the Chesapeake Bay," says <a href="http://www.wm.edu/as/biology/people/faculty/watts_b.php">Bryan Watts</a>, a conservation biologist at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Va. "You have to watch your back."<p>Americans have long imagined their national symbol as a solitary, noble bird soaring on majestic wings. Wed, 04 Sep 2013 07:04:00 +0000 Elizabeth Shogren 21023 at http://kvpr.org Bald Eagles Are Back In A Big Way — And The Talons Are Out N. America's Oldest Known Petroglyphs Discovered In Nevada http://kvpr.org/post/n-americas-oldest-known-petroglyphs-discovered-nevada Ancient North Americans gouged elaborate rock art into a heap of big boulders northeast of Reno, Nev., more than 10,000 years ago and perhaps 15,000 years ago. Fri, 16 Aug 2013 22:22:00 +0000 Elizabeth Shogren 20166 at http://kvpr.org N. America's Oldest Known Petroglyphs Discovered In Nevada The Grid Of The Future Could Be Brought To You By ... You http://kvpr.org/post/grid-future-could-be-brought-you-you The electricity system is experiencing growing pains these days. But it's not only demand for electricity that's expanding — it's the sources of electricity, particularly unpredictable kinds, like wind farms and solar panels.<p>And grid operators know that we're just at the beginning. States are requiring more renewable power to fight climate change, and it may be the customers who will play a big role in helping grid operators manage these clean, but finicky, sources of power.<p>Take Hawaii, which is thousands of miles from anywhere, and has to ship in oil to make much of its electricity. Wed, 14 Aug 2013 21:27:00 +0000 Elizabeth Shogren 20046 at http://kvpr.org The Grid Of The Future Could Be Brought To You By ... You EPA Wants To Allow Continued Wastewater Dumping In Wyoming http://kvpr.org/post/epa-wants-allow-continued-wastewater-dumping-wyoming The Environmental Protection Agency is proposing to let oil companies continue to dump polluted wastewater on the Wind River Reservation in Wyoming. This includes chemicals that companies add to the wells during hydraulic fracturing, an engineering practice that makes wells produce more oil.<p>An <a href="http://www.npr.org/2012/11/15/164688735/loophole-lets-toxic-oil-water-flow-over-indian-land">NPR investigation last year</a> discovered that the EPA was allowing oil companies to send so much of this contaminated water onto dry land that it was creating raging streams. Wed, 07 Aug 2013 22:18:00 +0000 Elizabeth Shogren 19667 at http://kvpr.org EPA Wants To Allow Continued Wastewater Dumping In Wyoming