<![CDATA[Colorado Springs Gazette RSS - environment]]> http://gazette.com/rss/environment Mon, 23 Apr 2018 05:47:35 -0600 Zend_Feed http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/tech/rss <![CDATA[The Yellowstone supervolcano is a disaster waiting to happen]]> http://gazette.com/the-yellowstone-supervolcano-is-a-disaster-waiting-to-happen/article/1624759?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/the-yellowstone-supervolcano-is-a-disaster-waiting-to-happen/article/1624759?custom_click=rss

Yellowstone National Park sits squarely over a giant, active volcano. This requires attention.

Yellowstone has been a national park since 1872, but it was only in the 1960s that scientists realized the scale of the volcano — it's 44 miles across — and not until the 1980s did they grasp that this thing is fully alive and still threatens to erupt catastrophically.

Yellowstone is capable of eruptions thousands of times more violent than the Mount St. Helens eruption of 1980. The northern Rockies would be buried in multiple feet of ash. Ash would rain on almost everyone in the United States. It'd be a bad day. Thus geologists are eager to understand what, exactly, is happening below all those volcano-fueled hot



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Sat, 21 Apr 2018 19:41:06 -0600
<![CDATA[Colorado Senate Democrats take a stand on the Great Sand Dunes]]> http://gazette.com/colorado-senate-democrats-take-a-stand-on-the-great-sand-dunes/article/1624751?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/colorado-senate-democrats-take-a-stand-on-the-great-sand-dunes/article/1624751?custom_click=rss

Every Democrat in the Colorado Senate has signed a letter opposing the Trump administration's proposal to sell off public land for energy development near Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve.

But Gov. John Hickenlooper is not joining them in challenging the plan, noting that the parcels involved are on the opposite side of the towering Sangre de Cristo mountains from the famous dunes.

The administration aims to auction off mineral rights on about 18,000 acres of federal land. That would allow oil and gas developers to set up shop within several miles of the dunes, which are on the eastern edge of the San Luis Valley.

Senate Democrats addressed their letter to the state leader of the U.S.



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Sat, 21 Apr 2018 13:06:56 -0600
<![CDATA[Air Force to pay nearly $1M to clean up contamination, provide drinking water]]> http://gazette.com/air-force-to-pay-nearly-1m-to-clean-up-contamination-provide-drinking-water/article/1624570?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/air-force-to-pay-nearly-1m-to-clean-up-contamination-provide-drinking-water/article/1624570?custom_click=rss

Nearly two years after toxic chemicals from Air Force firefighting foam were found in water drawn from the Widefield aquifer, the military announced a string of measures Wednesday to deliver clean drinking water to residents of southern El Paso County.

Under the deal, the Air Force will pay more than $900,000 to procure untainted water and filter water from the aquifer to remove perfluorinated compounds that studies have found were released at Peterson Air Force Base when airmen used the foam, which has since been banned by the military.

"As a longtime member of the Front Range, we place an extremely high value on all of our community partnerships, and are pleased we can move forward with these support agreements," Peterson



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Thu, 19 Apr 2018 06:09:31 -0600
<![CDATA[Nearly half of Americans breathe dirty air, report finds]]> http://gazette.com/nearly-half-of-americans-breathe-dirty-air-report-finds/article/1624559?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/nearly-half-of-americans-breathe-dirty-air-report-finds/article/1624559?custom_click=rss

More than two of every five Americans reside in counties with unhealthy levels of smog and air pollution, thanks largely to the effect of global warming, health researchers report.

Ozone levels spiked in the United States in 2016, which was the nation's second-hottest year on record, according to the American Lung Association's annual State of the Air report, released Wednesday.

"As heat increases, ozone forms more rapidly, so we had more cities with more ozone days," said report author Janice Nolen, assistant vice president of national policy for the lung association. "We saw a lot of evidence in 2016 of the impact that climate change and global warming is going to have on us.



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Wed, 18 Apr 2018 12:42:43 -0600
<![CDATA[Colorado Springs City Council approves $425,000 lawsuit settlement without public vote]]> http://gazette.com/colorado-springs-city-council-approves-425000-lawsuit-settlement-without-public-vote/article/1624518?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/colorado-springs-city-council-approves-425000-lawsuit-settlement-without-public-vote/article/1624518?custom_click=rss

In yet another apparent violation of the state's open meetings law, the Colorado Springs City Council approved a lawsuit settlement worth nearly half a million dollars without a public vote.

The lawsuit alleged thousands of Clean Air Act violations at the Martin Drake Power Plant.

WildEarth Guardians, the New Mexico-based nonprofit that filed the suit last year, hailed the settlement as a victor.

But it's a source of anger, confusion and surprise for some council members.

Councilman Bill Murray is chief among them. He said the council approved the settlement during an executive session April 9.

Murray said he was the sole voice opposing the vote but would have supported it had it been done



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Wed, 18 Apr 2018 06:26:04 -0600
<![CDATA[Colorado officials await Army's chemical-weapons destruction plan for Pueblo depot]]> http://gazette.com/colorado-officials-await-armys-chemical-weapons-destruction-plan-for-pueblo-depot/article/1624401?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/colorado-officials-await-armys-chemical-weapons-destruction-plan-for-pueblo-depot/article/1624401?custom_click=rss

Colorado's state and federal political leaders are cautiously optimistic the Army will avoid new hazards as it switches to a new process for destroying chemical weapons in Pueblo.

Details of the Army's changing methods at the Pueblo Chemical Depot were expected to be revealed soon in its upcoming environmental impact assessment.

A division of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment must approve any changes.

The Army is destroying 780,000 mortar shells filled with liquid mustard agent. However, some of the decades-old shells contain more rust than expected, meaning the Army must revise its technique for destroying the shells at its $4.5 billion plant.

Part of the proposed method would add chambers



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Sun, 15 Apr 2018 14:19:55 -0600
<![CDATA[Colorado Springs revives interest in sustainability with annual Sustain-a-Fest]]> http://gazette.com/colorado-springs-revives-interest-in-sustainability-with-annual-sustain-a-fest/article/1624377?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/colorado-springs-revives-interest-in-sustainability-with-annual-sustain-a-fest/article/1624377?custom_click=rss

Colorado Springs' second annual Sustain-a-Fest on Saturday marked a revival of city-sponsored interest in sustainability, organizers and participants said.

Held a week in advance of Earth Day, the event drew a mix of around 300 people who came to check out the booths, neighbors interested in the live-music and food, and Middle Shooks Run park-goers who stumbled upon the event. By the end of the day, event organizers hoped for 500 or more people to come out.

Gusts ruffled plastic tents while people milled around booths and exhibits put on by the City's Office of Innovation and Sustainability and more than 30 nonprofit partners.



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Sat, 14 Apr 2018 21:03:51 -0600
<![CDATA[El Paso County making a 'clean sweep' of hazardous household wastes]]> http://gazette.com/el-paso-county-making-a-clean-sweep-of-hazardous-household-wastes/article/1624254?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/el-paso-county-making-a-clean-sweep-of-hazardous-household-wastes/article/1624254?custom_click=rss

Got junk? El Paso County will hold a "clean sweep" from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, allowing residents to drop off old mattresses, TVs, tires and other household items for free.

The items can be dropped off at the county's Household Hazardous Waste Facility at 3255 Akers Drive in Colorado Springs. It's open to El Paso and Teller county residents.

Similar hazardous waste collections will be held from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on June 9, August 11 and October 13. Residents will be able to properly dispose of the following items:

- Electronics: any size computer or TV (limited to three total per vehicle), printers, fax machines, laptops, electronic tablets, DVD players, VCRs, radios, stereos and video game consoles.



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Fri, 13 Apr 2018 22:31:35 -0600
<![CDATA[The oceans’ circulation hasn’t been this sluggish in 1,000 years. That’s bad news]]> http://gazette.com/the-oceans-circulation-hasnt-been-this-sluggish-in-1000-years.-thats-bad-news/article/1624192?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/the-oceans-circulation-hasnt-been-this-sluggish-in-1000-years.-thats-bad-news/article/1624192?custom_click=rss

The Atlantic Ocean circulation that carries warmth into the Northern Hemisphere’s high latitudes is slowing down because of climate change, a team of scientists asserted Wednesday, suggesting one of the most feared consequences is already coming to pass.

The Atlantic meridional overturning circulation has declined in strength by 15 percent since the mid-20th century to a “new record low,” the scientists conclude in a peer-reviewed study published in the journal Nature. That’s a decrease of 3 million cubic meters of water per second, the equivalent of nearly 15 Amazon rivers.

The AMOC brings warm water from the equator up toward the Atlantic’s northern reaches and cold water back down through



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Wed, 11 Apr 2018 15:34:04 -0600
<![CDATA[Colorado Springs Utilities to settle lawsuit alleging thousands of Clean Air Act violations at Martin Drake plant downtown]]> http://gazette.com/colorado-springs-utilities-to-settle-lawsuit-alleging-thousands-of-clean-air-act-violations-at-martin-drake-plant-downtown/article/1623947?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/colorado-springs-utilities-to-settle-lawsuit-alleging-thousands-of-clean-air-act-violations-at-martin-drake-plant-downtown/article/1623947?custom_click=rss

Colorado Springs Utilities will settle a lawsuit against WildEarth Guardians, which alleged more than 3,000 Clean Air Act violations at the coal-fired Martin Drake Power Plant downtown and sought more than $112 million in fines.

Utilities and WildEarth Guardians have until April 13 to finalize the settlement negotiations, said Samantha M. Ruscavage-Barz, WildEarth Guardians' senior staff attorney.

The New Mexico-based environmental nonprofit claimed through the lawsuit - which was filed in U.S. District Court in February 2017 - that Utilities failed to monitor "opacity" from Drake's smokestacks for more than 300 hours between April 11, 2011, and Dec. 13, 2015.



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Sat, 07 Apr 2018 17:13:20 -0600
<![CDATA[Big crack is evidence that East Africa could be splitting in two]]> http://gazette.com/big-crack-is-evidence-that-east-africa-could-be-splitting-in-two/article/1623864?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/big-crack-is-evidence-that-east-africa-could-be-splitting-in-two/article/1623864?custom_click=rss

A large crack, stretching several kilometres, made a sudden appearance recently in south-western Kenya.

The tear, which continues to grow, caused part of the Nairobi-Narok highway to collapse and was accompanied by seismic activity in the area.
The Earth is an ever-changing planet, even though in some respects change might be almost unnoticeable to us. Plate tectonics is a good example of this. But every now and again something dramatic happens and leads to renewed questions about the African continent splitting in two.
The Earth's lithosphere (formed by the crust and the upper part of the mantle) is broken up into a number of tectonic plates.

Read the full story at CNN.



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Thu, 05 Apr 2018 15:41:27 -0600