<![CDATA[Colorado Springs Gazette RSS - environment]]> http://gazette.com/rss/environment Tue, 27 Jun 2017 13:20:15 -0600 Zend_Feed http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/tech/rss <![CDATA[Wildfire near Kenosha Pass in Park County 50 percent contained]]> http://gazette.com/wildfire-near-kenosha-pass-in-park-county-50-percent-contained/article/1605901?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/wildfire-near-kenosha-pass-in-park-county-50-percent-contained/article/1605901?custom_click=rss

The 392 fire - burning near Kenosha Pass in Park County - doubled in size to 90 acres Sunday, but containment also rose to 50 percent, firefighting agencies reported.

The wildfire is being fought by several fire agencies and helicopters, according to a bulletin by the Pike and San Isabel National Forest fire service.

Reported nearly 10 miles northeast of Como, the fire forced campers to evacuate and threatened one ranch structure, officials said. It was human-caused but officials did not release details on how it started.

Firefighters continue to mop-up the perimeter and are catching hot spots close to the fire line, officials said.

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Sun, 25 Jun 2017 17:03:39 -0600
<![CDATA[Total solar eclipse 1st in 99 years to sweep width of U.S.]]> http://gazette.com/total-solar-eclipse-1st-in-99-years-to-sweep-width-of-u.s./article/1605766?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/total-solar-eclipse-1st-in-99-years-to-sweep-width-of-u.s./article/1605766?custom_click=rss

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — This August, the U.S. will experience its first coast-to-coast total solar eclipse in 99 years.

Total solar eclipses occur every year or two or three, often in the middle of nowhere like the South Pacific or Antarctic. What makes this one so special — at least for Americans — is that it will cut diagonally across the entire United States.

The path of totality on Aug. 21 — where day briefly becomes night — will pass over Oregon, continuing through the heartland all the way to Charleston, South Carolina. Those on the outskirts — all the way into Canada, Central America and even the upper part of South America — will be treated to a partial eclipse.

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Fri, 23 Jun 2017 10:30:28 -0600
<![CDATA[EPA prepares to dam mine waste in southwest Colorado]]> http://gazette.com/epa-prepares-to-dam-mine-waste-in-southwest-colorado/article/1605711?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/epa-prepares-to-dam-mine-waste-in-southwest-colorado/article/1605711?custom_click=rss

SILVERTON, Colo. — The Environmental Protection Agency is studying whether it can close a dam inside a southwestern Colorado mountain to stop the drainage of contaminated mine water into the Animas River.

The manmade dam, or bulkhead, was installed in 2004 at the abandoned Red and Bonita Mine, near the site of the 2015 Gold King Mine disaster that released millions of gallons of toxic wastewater.

Some 300 gallons of toxic water are released each week from the site above the town of Silverton. Closing the dam carries the risk of redirecting toxic flows emerging from the mountain through a maze of abandoned mine shafts or natural seeps and springs, The Denver Post reports (http://dpo.st/2ty2HwO).

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Thu, 22 Jun 2017 13:37:33 -0600
<![CDATA[Ruling on Dakota Access pipeline shutdown months away]]> http://gazette.com/ruling-on-dakota-access-pipeline-shutdown-months-away/article/1605657?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/ruling-on-dakota-access-pipeline-shutdown-months-away/article/1605657?custom_click=rss

BISMARCK, N.D. - A federal judge won't decide until later this year whether to shut down the disputed Dakota Access oil pipeline while federal officials conduct a more thorough environmental review.

U.S. District Judge James Boasberg on Wednesday approved a schedule under which both sides in a lawsuit over the pipeline will submit written arguments on the matter in July and August.

"We would expect a decision sometime after that, probably September," said Jan Hasselman, an attorney for the Standing Rock Sioux, which filed the lawsuit last summer that was later joined by three other Sioux tribes.

The Standing Rock tribe sued because it believes the $3.8 billion pipeline built by Texas-based Energy Transfer Partners

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Wed, 21 Jun 2017 17:54:46 -0600
<![CDATA[EPA just gave notice to dozens of scientific advisory board members that their time is up]]> http://gazette.com/epa-just-gave-notice-to-dozens-of-scientific-advisory-board-members-that-their-time-is-up/article/1605581?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/epa-just-gave-notice-to-dozens-of-scientific-advisory-board-members-that-their-time-is-up/article/1605581?custom_click=rss

The Environmental Protection Agency has given notice to dozens of scientists that they will not be renewed in their roles in advising the agency, continuing a scientific shake-up that has already triggered resignations and charges from some researchers that the administration is politicizing the agency.

Members of the EPA’s Board of Scientific Counselors (BOSC) whose terms end in August will not see them renewed, according to an email sent to members and obtained by The Washington Post, though they can reapply for their posts. Moreover, five meetings of subcommittees of the board, planned for the late summer and the fall, will now be canceled because of lack of membership. They will be held once the board is

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Tue, 20 Jun 2017 20:04:54 -0600
<![CDATA[New Mexico lab ships mislabeled waste container to Colorado]]> http://gazette.com/new-mexico-lab-ships-mislabeled-waste-container-to-colorado/article/1605348?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/new-mexico-lab-ships-mislabeled-waste-container-to-colorado/article/1605348?custom_click=rss

SANTA FE, N.M. — Correspondence between Los Alamos National Laboratory and New Mexico regulators shows the lab has failed more than once to accurately label drums of liquid waste shipped to a disposal center in Colorado.

The most recent incident happened last month and involved chemicals used to remove buildup from pipes in a cooling system, the Santa Fe New Mexican reported.

The problem was outlined in an email to the New Mexico Environment Department that was made public Monday. It marked the second time in recent months that the lab failed to accurately document the pH level of waste sent to Veolia ES Technical Solutions.

Los Alamos spokesman Kevin Roark said the lab believes the lower pH value was

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Sat, 17 Jun 2017 08:22:52 -0600
<![CDATA[Extra-windy March boosts wind, solar power’s share of Colorado’s energy to 24 percent]]> http://gazette.com/extra-windy-march-boosts-wind-solar-powers-share-of-colorados-energy-to-24-percent/article/1605333?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/extra-windy-march-boosts-wind-solar-powers-share-of-colorados-energy-to-24-percent/article/1605333?custom_click=rss

Solar and wind power for the first time accounted for 10 percent of a month’s electricity generated in the U.S., according to a new report that also shows Colorado deriving nearly one-quarter of its electricity from those renewable sources.

That’s according to a U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) report released this week that shows roughly 24 percent of all March electricity production in Colorado came from wind and solar. That pushes the state closer to its long-term goals involving electricity derived from renewables and coming despite efforts by President Trump’s administration to boost coal production.

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Fri, 16 Jun 2017 20:16:07 -0600
<![CDATA[Company shamed for picture in restricted Colorado lake]]> http://gazette.com/company-shamed-for-picture-in-restricted-colorado-lake/article/1605301?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/company-shamed-for-picture-in-restricted-colorado-lake/article/1605301?custom_click=rss

GLENWOOD SPRINGS — An activewear company is facing backlash after posting a photo on Instagram of its models swimming in Colorado's Hanging Lake and doing yoga on the lake's log.

KUSA-TV reported Thursday that Liquido Active has since removed the picture from its account. Swimming in the lake and getting on the iconic log is not allowed. There are signs forbidding it.

Company owner Renata Facchini publically apologized for the picture. She says they didn't see any signs saying not to swim or climb on the log.

Aaron Mayville, district ranger with the Forest Service, says people getting into the lake can damage the limestone deposit that gives the water its clear blue color.

The water is off limits in an

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Fri, 16 Jun 2017 11:00:24 -0600
<![CDATA[Scientists just documented a massive recent melt event on the surface of Antarctica]]> http://gazette.com/scientists-just-documented-a-massive-recent-melt-event-on-the-surface-of-antarctica/article/1605223?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/scientists-just-documented-a-massive-recent-melt-event-on-the-surface-of-antarctica/article/1605223?custom_click=rss

Scientists have documented a recent, massive melt event on the surface of highly vulnerable West Antarctica that, they fear, could be a harbinger of future events as the planet continues to warm.

In the Antarctic summer of 2016, the surface of the Ross Ice Shelf, the largest floating ice platform on Earth, developed a sheet of meltwater that lasted for as long as 15 days in some places. The total area affected by melt was 300,000 square miles, or larger than the state of Texas, the scientists report.

That's bad news because surface melting could work hand in hand with an already documented trend of ocean-driven melting to compromise West Antarctica, which contains over 10 feet of potential sea level rise.

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Thu, 15 Jun 2017 08:59:46 -0600
<![CDATA[Boulder declares intent to uphold Paris climate goals]]> http://gazette.com/boulder-declares-intent-to-uphold-paris-climate-goals/article/1605137?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/boulder-declares-intent-to-uphold-paris-climate-goals/article/1605137?custom_click=rss

The Boulder City Council unanimously passed a resolution Tuesday night to declare the city's "commitment to honor and uphold the Paris climate agreement goals."

Boulder is one of hundreds of American municipalities to announce an intent to continue supporting the Paris agreement, from which President Donald Trump withdrew the U.S. — the world's second-largest polluter — on June 1.

More than 1,000 businesses and investors, as well as about 200 universities and colleges, have also issued declarations similar to Boulder's.

"It sends exactly the wrong message about the commitment to solving the massive challenge that is climate change," Councilman Sam Weaver said of Trump's decision.

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Wed, 14 Jun 2017 10:50:24 -0600
<![CDATA[Rarest fish in Colorado, the greenback cutthroat trout, gets an assist from biologists near Colorado Springs]]> http://gazette.com/rarest-fish-in-colorado-the-greenback-cutthroat-trout-gets-an-assist-from-biologists-near-colorado-springs/article/1605090?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/rarest-fish-in-colorado-the-greenback-cutthroat-trout-gets-an-assist-from-biologists-near-colorado-springs/article/1605090?custom_click=rss

Zipped in drysuits, Cory Noble and Josh Nehring led a team of Colorado Parks and Wildlife biologists through a thick maze of tree branches, slick rocks and black flies in Bear Creek Watershed southwest of Colorado Springs. Each carried a tool critical to capturing a greenback cutthroat trout: namely, a net or bucket.

Noble carried something else - a gray plastic box hitched to a backpack with a wire hanging off the back and a yellow wand connected to the front. At first sight, the contraption looks more like a small vacuum cleaner, as opposed to a $10,000 piece of electronic fishing equipment.

As they hiked up the creek, Noble, an aquatics biologist for the Southeast Region of Colorado Parks and Wildlife, swung the wand back and forth across the surface

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Wed, 14 Jun 2017 10:22:39 -0600
<![CDATA[Investigators: EPA had no rules for working at risky mines]]> http://gazette.com/investigators-epa-had-no-rules-for-working-at-risky-mines/article/1605004?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/investigators-epa-had-no-rules-for-working-at-risky-mines/article/1605004?custom_click=rss

DENVER — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency had no rules for working around old mines when the agency inadvertently triggered a massive spill from a Colorado mine that polluted rivers in three states, government investigators said Monday.

The agency started work on safety standards after the spill and expects to finish them Friday, investigators from the EPA's Office of Inspector General said.

An EPA-led contractor crew was excavating at the inactive Gold King Mine in southwestern Colorado in 2015 when a debris pile blocking the entrance collapsed. That released 3 million gallons of wastewater tainted with iron, aluminum, lead, copper, arsenic and other heavy metals into rivers in Colorado, New Mexico

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Mon, 12 Jun 2017 16:39:26 -0600
<![CDATA[World leaders double down on clean energy research, as U.S. holds out]]> http://gazette.com/world-leaders-double-down-on-clean-energy-research-as-u.s.-holds-out/article/1604889?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/world-leaders-double-down-on-clean-energy-research-as-u.s.-holds-out/article/1604889?custom_click=rss

Energy ministers from around the world gathered in Beijing this week to report increased spending to help counter climate change. Yet one prominent voice, that of U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry, delivered a starkly countervailing message as the Trump administration seeks to roll back spending on clean energy and promote fossil fuels.

India, France, Norway, Canada, Australia, Japan and others said during a private meeting of ministers earlier this week that they were on track to double government research budgets.

When Perry's turn came, he said deep cuts to research in Trump's proposed budget reflected an increased understanding that developing new technologies into commercial projects should be left

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Sat, 10 Jun 2017 21:26:03 -0600
<![CDATA[New network of trails for hikers, cyclists coming north of Colorado Springs]]> http://gazette.com/new-network-of-trails-for-hikers-cyclists-coming-north-of-colorado-springs/article/1604835?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/new-network-of-trails-for-hikers-cyclists-coming-north-of-colorado-springs/article/1604835?custom_click=rss

El Paso County is acquiring 60 acres of land in Palmer Lake that will eventually offer hikers and cyclists a vantage point of a fabled sandstone safari animal.

In late May, county commissioners approved the purchase of the open space less than a mile from Elephant Rock. Once the county has closed on the sale, which officials anticipate will happen in the next two months, staff will begin a master plan process to devise a network of trails on the property.

The open space, east of Colorado 105, could open to the public as early as next year, if the county can find the funding to build trails, said Elaine Kleckner, planning manager for El Paso County Community Services.

From the property's highest point, Elephant Rock

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Sat, 10 Jun 2017 21:08:20 -0600
<![CDATA[Point/Counterpoint: Was President Trump right to withdraw from the Paris climate accord?]]> http://gazette.com/pointcounterpoint-was-president-trump-right-to-withdraw-from-the-paris-climate-accord/article/1604895?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/pointcounterpoint-was-president-trump-right-to-withdraw-from-the-paris-climate-accord/article/1604895?custom_click=rss

Dave Gardner

President Donald Trump's decision to renege on the Paris climate accord lets everyone down - U.S. citizens, the nations of the world and all our children.

It took the world a long time to take climate change seriously. It took the U.S. even longer. Getting 195 nations on board the Paris Agreement was a major milestone. The accord isn't enough to avoid significant climate disruption, but it is a step in that direction. Taking the next step is now a bigger leap.

Here, Trump cedes the very thing he wants - the U.S. being looked to as a leader. Failing to honor the accord, abdicating our responsibility, instead cements our place as a Third World country.

Around the world, many still prioritize economic

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Sat, 10 Jun 2017 19:09:45 -0600
<![CDATA[Climate change raises new risk: Are inland bridges too low?]]> http://gazette.com/climate-change-raises-new-risk-are-inland-bridges-too-low/article/feed/466756?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/climate-change-raises-new-risk-are-inland-bridges-too-low/article/feed/466756?custom_click=rss

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A century-old train trestle stands as one of the trophies of Des Moines' push to spruce up its downtown. Bicyclists and pedestrians pose for pictures beside the brightly painted beams of the Red Bridge and gather on viewing platforms overlooking the Des Moines River.

But little more than a decade after it was restored, crews went back to the site with a crane to hoist the span 4½ feet (1.4 meters) higher, at a cost of $3 million, after experts concluded that the river's flooding risk was nearly double earlier estimates. Climate change was likely to blame.

"It was like a bomb was dropped off in our lap," City Engineer Pam Cooksey said of the revised flood forecasts from the Army Corps of Engineers.

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