<![CDATA[Colorado Springs Gazette RSS - environment]]> http://gazette.com/rss/environment Sun, 05 Jul 2015 17:26:28 -0600 Zend_Feed http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/tech/rss <![CDATA[Why is Pikes Peak a giant lightning rod? Blame Denver]]> http://gazette.com/why-is-pikes-peak-a-giant-lightning-rod-blame-denver/article/1554823?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/why-is-pikes-peak-a-giant-lightning-rod-blame-denver/article/1554823?custom_click=rss

America's mountain appears to be one of Colorado's biggest lightning rods.

A 20-year composite map of cloud-to-ground lightning strikes across the state shows some of the highest concentrations across the Pikes Peak region, according to a National Weather Service analysis using data from Vaisala. That includes the Palmer Divide and most of El Paso and Teller counties.

The data, from 1994 through 2014 (except the year 2000) comes on the heels of a major lightning storm Sunday evening that lit up El Paso County's skies with about 900 cloud-to-ground strikes. And more should be on the way, with the most high-voltage storms forming in July and August.

Why here? Blame "the Denver cyclone.



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America's mountain appears to be one of Colorado's biggest lightning rods.

A 20-year composite map of cloud-to-ground lightning strikes across the state shows some of the highest concentrations across the Pikes Peak region, according to a National Weather Service analysis using data from Vaisala. That includes the Palmer Divide and most of El Paso and Teller counties.

The data, from 1994 through 2014 (except the year 2000) comes on the heels of a major lightning storm Sunday evening that lit up El Paso County's skies with about 900 cloud-to-ground strikes. And more should be on the way, with the most high-voltage storms forming in July and August.

Why here? Blame "the Denver cyclone.

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Thu, 02 Jul 2015 04:05:13 -0600
<![CDATA[Archaeologists call on feds to protect Chaco Canyon area]]> http://gazette.com/archaeologists-call-on-feds-to-protect-chaco-canyon-area/article/1554758?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/archaeologists-call-on-feds-to-protect-chaco-canyon-area/article/1554758?custom_click=rss

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Tucked away among northwestern New Mexico's sandstone cliffs and buttes are the remnants of an ancient civilization whose monumental architecture and cultural influences have been a source of mystery for years.

Scholars and curious visitors have spent more than a century trying to unravel those mysteries and more work needs to be done.

That's why nearly 30 top archaeologists from universities and organizations around the nation called on the U.S. Interior Department on Tuesday to protect the area surrounding Chaco Culture National Historical Park from oil and gas development.



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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Tucked away among northwestern New Mexico's sandstone cliffs and buttes are the remnants of an ancient civilization whose monumental architecture and cultural influences have been a source of mystery for years.

Scholars and curious visitors have spent more than a century trying to unravel those mysteries and more work needs to be done.

That's why nearly 30 top archaeologists from universities and organizations around the nation called on the U.S. Interior Department on Tuesday to protect the area surrounding Chaco Culture National Historical Park from oil and gas development.

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Tue, 30 Jun 2015 16:37:50 -0600
<![CDATA[Colorado Springs power plant not affected by Supreme Court's EPA ruling]]> http://gazette.com/colorado-springs-power-plant-not-affected-by-supreme-courts-epa-ruling/article/1554705?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/colorado-springs-power-plant-not-affected-by-supreme-courts-epa-ruling/article/1554705?custom_click=rss

Despite a U.S. Supreme Court ruling Monday that blasted federal limits on toxic power plant emissions, Colorado Springs Utilities will continue installing multimillion-dollar scrubbers to reduce hazardous emissions.

The ruling, though widely heralded by Republicans and lamented by conservationists, leaves intact the latest rule set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

The high court found that health risks cannot be the only consideration under the Clean Air Act, and that the EPA also must research and weigh the billions of dollars in costs to affected utilities.

The case will be returned to lower courts for the EPA to decide how to account for costs.

"The mercury air toxic standard they promulgated went

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]]> Despite a U.S. Supreme Court ruling Monday that blasted federal limits on toxic power plant emissions, Colorado Springs Utilities will continue installing multimillion-dollar scrubbers to reduce hazardous emissions.

The ruling, though widely heralded by Republicans and lamented by conservationists, leaves intact the latest rule set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

The high court found that health risks cannot be the only consideration under the Clean Air Act, and that the EPA also must research and weigh the billions of dollars in costs to affected utilities.

The case will be returned to lower courts for the EPA to decide how to account for costs.

"The mercury air toxic standard they promulgated went]]> Tue, 30 Jun 2015 04:10:36 -0600 <![CDATA[Could El Paso County disaster policy be endangering lives and property?]]> http://gazette.com/could-el-paso-county-disaster-policy-be-endangering-lives-and-property/article/1554582?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/could-el-paso-county-disaster-policy-be-endangering-lives-and-property/article/1554582?custom_click=rss

When flood waters blasted Fountain Creek in 2013, longtime farmer Dave Kinischtzke knew more was at stake than his farm - with state utility poles and pipelines crossing his land and an important watershed downstream, Kinischtzke needed to stabilize the swollen creek that ran along his property.

Kinischtzke was awarded hundreds of thousands of federal dollars to fix the creek through an obscure government program that funnels money to private land owners. For counties with post-wildfire flooding, the money is coveted for its flexibility to help homeowners such as Kinischtzke, whose private property flooding could have major impacts on homes, public infrastructure and watersheds around him.



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When flood waters blasted Fountain Creek in 2013, longtime farmer Dave Kinischtzke knew more was at stake than his farm - with state utility poles and pipelines crossing his land and an important watershed downstream, Kinischtzke needed to stabilize the swollen creek that ran along his property.

Kinischtzke was awarded hundreds of thousands of federal dollars to fix the creek through an obscure government program that funnels money to private land owners. For counties with post-wildfire flooding, the money is coveted for its flexibility to help homeowners such as Kinischtzke, whose private property flooding could have major impacts on homes, public infrastructure and watersheds around him.

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Mon, 29 Jun 2015 12:27:15 -0600
<![CDATA[Environmental group files suit to halt Colorado ski resort]]> http://gazette.com/environmental-group-files-suit-to-halt-colorado-ski-resort/article/1554431?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/environmental-group-files-suit-to-halt-colorado-ski-resort/article/1554431?custom_click=rss

DURANGO — Environmental groups trying to halt a proposed development near the Wolf Creek Ski Area have filed a federal lawsuit to halt the land swap that would allow construction.

The Durango Herald reports (http://bit.ly/1GJcAsB ) that a coalition of conservation groups filed a federal lawsuit Wednesday after the U.S. Forest Service gave the land swap the go-ahead in May. The suit argues that the federal environmental impact analysis was narrow in scope.

Forest officials, however, say the swap is their only recourse given legal parameters.

The swap would give developer Leavell-McCombs about 200 acres of Rio Grande National Forest land for a road connecting a highway to the proposed development.



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DURANGO — Environmental groups trying to halt a proposed development near the Wolf Creek Ski Area have filed a federal lawsuit to halt the land swap that would allow construction.

The Durango Herald reports (http://bit.ly/1GJcAsB ) that a coalition of conservation groups filed a federal lawsuit Wednesday after the U.S. Forest Service gave the land swap the go-ahead in May. The suit argues that the federal environmental impact analysis was narrow in scope.

Forest officials, however, say the swap is their only recourse given legal parameters.

The swap would give developer Leavell-McCombs about 200 acres of Rio Grande National Forest land for a road connecting a highway to the proposed development.

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Thu, 25 Jun 2015 10:10:50 -0600
<![CDATA[Seeking more information, judge stays federal oil, gas rules]]> http://gazette.com/seeking-more-information-judge-stays-federal-oil-gas-rules/article/1554332?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/seeking-more-information-judge-stays-federal-oil-gas-rules/article/1554332?custom_click=rss CASPER, Wyo. — New federal rules for oil and gas development on federal lands, including one that would require disclosure of chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing, now won't take effect until at least mid-August after a judge on Tuesday told the U.S. Bureau of Land Management to disclose more information about how it developed the standards.

The last-minute stay by U.S. District Judge Scott Skavdahl suspends requirements described by two petroleum industry groups as extremely costly and by four states as poison to their fossil-fuel-reliant economies.



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CASPER, Wyo. — New federal rules for oil and gas development on federal lands, including one that would require disclosure of chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing, now won't take effect until at least mid-August after a judge on Tuesday told the U.S. Bureau of Land Management to disclose more information about how it developed the standards.

The last-minute stay by U.S. District Judge Scott Skavdahl suspends requirements described by two petroleum industry groups as extremely costly and by four states as poison to their fossil-fuel-reliant economies.

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Tue, 23 Jun 2015 21:33:02 -0600