<![CDATA[Colorado Springs Gazette RSS - environment]]> http://gazette.com/rss/environment Thu, 03 Sep 2015 11:13:16 -0600 Zend_Feed http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/tech/rss <![CDATA[Lawsuit against El Paso County over wind farm dismissed]]> http://gazette.com/lawsuit-against-el-paso-county-over-wind-farm-dismissed/article/1558570?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/lawsuit-against-el-paso-county-over-wind-farm-dismissed/article/1558570?custom_click=rss

El Paso County attorneys and lawyers for disgruntled residents reached an agreement this week to end a months' long lawsuit over a controversial wind farm, the county announced on Wednesday.

On Sept. 1, an El Paso County district court approved the mutual decision to dismiss the lawsuit with prejudice, a move that protects the El Paso County commissioners from being sued over their decision to approve the large wind farm project near Calhan. Tuesday's court ruling ended months of legal back-and-forth between the county officials and bitter eastern county residents, many of whom vehemently oppose the project out of fear of compromised property values and health effects.



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Thu, 03 Sep 2015 11:06:44 -0600
<![CDATA[Colorado mine spill prompts changes in warning system]]> http://gazette.com/colorado-mine-spill-prompts-changes-in-warning-system/article/1558574?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/colorado-mine-spill-prompts-changes-in-warning-system/article/1558574?custom_click=rss

DENVER — A massive wastewater spill from an old gold mine in Colorado has prompted state officials to expand the list of downstream users they will warn after such accidents.

Last month, Colorado health officials notified only agencies inside the state after 3 million gallons of water tainted with heavy metals gushed out of the Gold King mine near Silverton and eventually reached the Animas, San Juan and Colorado rivers in New Mexico and Utah.

In the future, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment will warn downstream states as well, department spokesman Mark Salley said.

Colorado officials didn't know the magnitude of the spill when they issued their warnings, he said.



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Wed, 02 Sep 2015 15:54:09 -0600
<![CDATA[BLM will trim rugged Colorado horse herd]]> http://gazette.com/blm-will-trim-rugged-colorado-horse-herd/article/1558372?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/blm-will-trim-rugged-colorado-horse-herd/article/1558372?custom_click=rss

GRAND JUNCTION — The Bureau of Land Management wants to take 167 horses off land in western Colorado and move them to long-term holding in Canon City next month so they can find them a new home.

Opponents are trying to find ways to block it.

According to the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel (http://tinyurl.com/p5m6sl6 ), oil and gas facilities are scattered across much of the area. Officials say the land doesn't have enough resources to support a large number of animals.

In 2012, horses nearly died after two springs on Texas Mountain all but dried up in a drought, leaving many horses in the herd severely parched.

Opponents say the horses deserve special status because of their long history on the land,



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Sun, 30 Aug 2015 10:03:46 -0600
<![CDATA[Commission ruling: No changes on net metering in Colorado]]> http://gazette.com/commission-ruling-no-changes-on-net-metering-in-colorado/article/1558346?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/commission-ruling-no-changes-on-net-metering-in-colorado/article/1558346?custom_click=rss DENVER — Colorado's Public Utility Commission has ruled that no changes are needed to the state's net metering process, which means that homeowners with solar installations will continue to receive retail rates for energy they produce.

Net metering provides a credit for every kilowatt-hour a solar-panel array puts on the grid at the same price residential customers are charged for electricity.

Xcel Energy, the state's largest utility provider, has been pushing a plan to cut the incentives for each kilowatt-hour produced to a fraction of a penny. Solar users and industry groups have lobbied hard against changes that would remove a key financial incentive to solar installations, the Boulder Daily Camera reported



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Sat, 29 Aug 2015 20:07:18 -0600
<![CDATA[Colorado attorney general to join in suit on Obama's Clean Power Plan]]> http://gazette.com/colorado-attorney-general-to-join-in-suit-on-obamas-clean-power-plan/article/1558320?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/colorado-attorney-general-to-join-in-suit-on-obamas-clean-power-plan/article/1558320?custom_click=rss

Colorado has joined a growing list of states that will sue the Environmental Protection Agency in an attempt to stop the implementation of President Obama's controversial Clean Power Plan.

Attorney General Cynthia Coffman said the lawsuit, challenging the EPA's authority, represents "crucial litigation" against the measure first proposed last year. More than 20 states are expected to be a part of the filing.

"We have been looking at (the plan) and evaluating whether or not there is such an impact on Colorado that we needed to put our name on a lawsuit ," Coffman, a Republican, said in an interview Friday with The Denver Post. "... We just determined this week that is exactly where we need to be.



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Sat, 29 Aug 2015 12:40:27 -0600
<![CDATA[4th congressional hearing planned on Colorado mine blowout]]> http://gazette.com/4th-congressional-hearing-planned-on-colorado-mine-blowout/article/1558302?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/4th-congressional-hearing-planned-on-colorado-mine-blowout/article/1558302?custom_click=rss

DENVER — A fourth congressional hearing is planned on the release of tainted wastewater from a Colorado gold mine that affected three states.

The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee announced Friday it plans a hearing on Sept. 16. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy, whose agency accidentally triggered the release, is scheduled to testify.

Other planned hearings include the House Science, Space and Technology Committee, Sept. 9; the Senate Indian Affairs Committee, Sept. 16; and House Oversight and Natural Resources committees, Sept. 17.

An EPA-led cleanup crew triggered the 3-million-gallon spill Aug. 5. Wastewater polluted with potentially toxic heavy metals flowed



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Fri, 28 Aug 2015 21:20:18 -0600
<![CDATA[Why so many Colorado bear stories in the summer of 2015?]]> http://gazette.com/why-so-many-colorado-bear-stories-in-the-summer-of-2015/article/1558227?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/why-so-many-colorado-bear-stories-in-the-summer-of-2015/article/1558227?custom_click=rss

Along the Front Range in recent weeks, the media has been teeming with bear tales. There's the cute stories, like a cub with its head stuck in a bottle and saved by Colorado Springs police officers. Or sad ones, like a bear shot and killed in Fort Collins after it was found sleeping in a yard.

But while bear stories might be great for generating Internet traffic (aren't we all suckers for a good bear story?), the truth is that there are more stories lately because more bears are appearing in urban areas.

Wildlife officials say that the bears' cute, or deadly, encounters with humans are happening because bears are hungry and will go wherever they need to find their next meal.



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Fri, 28 Aug 2015 07:29:17 -0600
<![CDATA[Documents: Workers had no way to issue warning after spill]]> http://gazette.com/documents-workers-had-no-way-to-issue-warning-after-spill/article/1558209?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/documents-workers-had-no-way-to-issue-warning-after-spill/article/1558209?custom_click=rss

BILLINGS, Mont. — Members of a federal cleanup crew were initially trapped and unable to warn downstream communities that they had accidentally unleashed toxic waste water from a Colorado gold mine, according to government documents released Thursday.

During that time, a trickle of water started by excavation work at the site grew to a torrent and 3 million gallons eventually poured out of the remote Gold King Mine near Silverton, fouling downstream rivers in Colorado, Utah and New Mexico.

The federal Environmental Protection Agency released the documents after coming under increasing political pressure to explain how the Aug. 5 accident occurred and why it took so long to issue the warning.



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Thu, 27 Aug 2015 15:20:21 -0600
<![CDATA[Million dollar caravan: Weekend electric vehicle rally starts in Colorado Springs]]> http://gazette.com/million-dollar-caravan-weekend-electric-vehicle-rally-starts-in-colorado-springs/article/1558150?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/million-dollar-caravan-weekend-electric-vehicle-rally-starts-in-colorado-springs/article/1558150?custom_click=rss

Want to see what a million dollars worth of electric vehicles looks like?

Take a spot by the side of the road on Saturday and watch 10 Tesla Model S EVs, each worth about $100,000, caravan from Colorado Springs to Cripple Creek during the Million Dollar Tesla Electric Vehicle Rally. Car owners will meet in the Cripple Creek city parking lot and eventually move to the parking lot at Wildwood Casino.

Mac McCauley and his wife are excited to be part of the convoy in a silver 2013 Tesla they've had for about 18 months.

"My car runs on sunshine," McCauley, 70, said. The couple's first EV was a Chevy Volt they purchased in 2011. Electric cars are powered by an electric motor and a battery that must be regularly charged by



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Thu, 27 Aug 2015 14:53:47 -0600
<![CDATA[Investigation: EPA, state underestimated Colorado mine spill potential]]> http://gazette.com/investigation-epa-state-underestimated-colorado-mine-spill-potential/article/1558132?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/investigation-epa-state-underestimated-colorado-mine-spill-potential/article/1558132?custom_click=rss

BILLINGS, Mont. — Despite prior warnings that dangerous levels of toxic water were building inside a Colorado mine, federal and state regulators mistakenly concluded the pressure was not high enough to cause an accident, an investigation released Wednesday found.

The pressure blew, however, when a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency team started excavation and cleanup work at the site, unleashing a 3-million-gallon torrent of poisoned mine water that fouled rivers in Colorado, New Mexico and Utah.

Officials previously offered only partial information on events leading up to the Aug. 5 accident that has drawn sharp criticism of the EPA for causing the spill and for its lackluster response.



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Wed, 26 Aug 2015 21:55:11 -0600
<![CDATA[In reversal, Colorado mine town to seek federal cleanup help]]> http://gazette.com/in-reversal-colorado-mine-town-to-seek-federal-cleanup-help/article/1558050?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/in-reversal-colorado-mine-town-to-seek-federal-cleanup-help/article/1558050?custom_click=rss

SILVERTON — The Colorado town where a toxic mine leak earlier this month unleashed a torrent of heavy metals into Western rivers has decided to change course and request a federal disaster funds to clean up the mine.

The Silverton Board of Trustees and the San Juan County Commission approved a joint resolution Monday to seek the money. It's a reversal for local officials who long feared that designation as a federal Superfund site would harm economic development.

That decision same under fire when the partly collapsed Gold King mine ruptured Aug. 5, spewing 3 million gallons of metal-laced water. The waste entered a creek that feeds major rivers in several Western states.

A crew from the U.S.



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Tue, 25 Aug 2015 14:35:45 -0600
<![CDATA[New documents raise more questions about Colorado mine spill]]> http://gazette.com/new-documents-raise-more-questions-about-colorado-mine-spill/article/1558001?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/new-documents-raise-more-questions-about-colorado-mine-spill/article/1558001?custom_click=rss

Documents released by U.S. officials have revealed that the Environmental Protection Agency knew of the potential for a blowout of toxic wastewater from a Colorado mine more than a year before a government cleanup team accidentally triggered such a release earlier this month.

About 3 million gallons of water from the mine flowed into Colorado's Animas River and the San Juan River in New Mexico before reaching Lake Powell on the Utah-Arizona border. Public drinking water systems were temporarily shut down and farmers from the Navajo Nation stopped using river water for irrigation.

Here are some questions and answers about the newly released documents.



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Mon, 24 Aug 2015 17:59:24 -0600
<![CDATA[EPA knew of 'blowout' risk for tainted water at gold mine in 2014]]> http://gazette.com/epa-knew-of-blowout-risk-for-tainted-water-at-gold-mine-in-2014/article/1557872?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/epa-knew-of-blowout-risk-for-tainted-water-at-gold-mine-in-2014/article/1557872?custom_click=rss

WASHINGTON — U.S. officials knew of the potential for a catastrophic "blowout" of toxic wastewater from an inactive gold mine, yet appeared to have only a cursory plan to deal with such an event when government contractors triggered a 3-million-gallon spill, according to internal documents released by the Environmental Protection Agency.

The EPA released the documents late Friday following weeks of prodding from The Associated Press and other media organizations.

The Aug. 5 spill came as workers excavated the entrance to the idled Gold King Mine near Silverton, Colorado, accidentally unleashing a torrent of pent-up, toxic water that fouled rivers in three states.



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Sat, 22 Aug 2015 12:45:25 -0600
<![CDATA[Haze from wildfires expected to continue in Colorado]]> http://gazette.com/haze-from-wildfires-expected-to-continue-in-colorado/article/1557876?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/haze-from-wildfires-expected-to-continue-in-colorado/article/1557876?custom_click=rss

DENVER — Forecasters say a grey haze from western wildfires is expected to continue over parts of Colorado this weekend.

Forecasters also say the fire danger is high in the northern area of the state because of gusty winds, low humidity and dry vegetation.

Gusty winds behind a cold front are expected to bring additional smoke from forest fires burning in the Pacific Northwest.

Officials say people with respiratory health issues should remain indoors.



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Sat, 22 Aug 2015 11:53:35 -0600
<![CDATA[Drake gets more time for air quality compliance after state commission ruling]]> http://gazette.com/drake-gets-more-time-for-air-quality-compliance-after-state-commission-ruling/article/1557783?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/drake-gets-more-time-for-air-quality-compliance-after-state-commission-ruling/article/1557783?custom_click=rss

DENVER - Clean air advocates and experts from Colorado Springs on Thursday disputed data that say sulfur dioxide emissions from the Martin Drake Power Plant meet the federal standard.

They implored the state Air Quality Control Commission to deem Drake a non-attainment area for SO2, but commissioners voted unanimously to label Drake "unclassifiable" due to insufficient data.

About 10 people contested the numbers submitted by Colorado Springs Utilities. The most compelling testimony, though, came from fourth-grader Jamie Weise.

His K-8 charter school, the Academy for Advanced and Creative Learning, has about 450 students and "is located right where the pollution falls," Jamie said.



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Thu, 20 Aug 2015 20:44:12 -0600