<![CDATA[Colorado Springs Gazette RSS - environment]]> http://gazette.com/rss/environment Fri, 28 Aug 2015 11:19:21 -0600 Zend_Feed http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/tech/rss <![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[Landslides put Colorado Springs homes on brink of collapse]]> http://gazette.com/landslides-put-colorado-springs-homes-on-brink-of-collapse/article/1557241?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/landslides-put-colorado-springs-homes-on-brink-of-collapse/article/1557241?custom_click=rss

Several neighborhoods in southwest Colorado Springs have been fractured by landslides since the prolonged May rains, adding to a growing list of natural disasters that the city of Colorado Springs must oversee.

City officials are paying particular attention to one home just south of Cheyenne Mountain Boulevard. It towers above its neighbors and could spell disaster for everything downhill, from homes to sewer and utility lines. The home rests on the edge of what looks like an crumbling earthquake fault, a jagged line that cuts through rocks and Gambel oak as it makes its way several hundred feet down a hill overlooking downtown. The massive crack grows at least an inch a day, cutting closer to the house, which has lost its front

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Fri, 21 Aug 2015 06:10:10 -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
<![CDATA[Thousands of bees swarming in Cañon City neighborhood]]> http://gazette.com/thousands-of-bees-swarming-in-caon-city-neighborhood/article/1557742?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/thousands-of-bees-swarming-in-caon-city-neighborhood/article/1557742?custom_click=rss

A Cañon City neighborhood is dealing with a sticky situation, as beekeepers work to contain thousands of angry bees swarming near the heart of the city.

On Wednesday, three tree trimmers accidentally cut into a large beehive inside a tree in the area of Franklin Avenue and North 15th Street, reports Gazette news partner KKTV.

"We were just in the process of taking the tree down and got up there and got into a pretty nasty beehive," said Jason Sharp, a tree trimmer for Front Range Arborists.

Each of them got stung about 15 to 20 times. It's one of the worst colonies they've ever cut into.

"I've never seen it this bad before," said Sharp. "But we've come across it quite a bit.

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Thu, 20 Aug 2015 19:30:25 -0600
<![CDATA[EPA downplays dangers of mine spill, but concerns linger]]> http://gazette.com/epa-downplays-dangers-of-mine-spill-but-concerns-linger/article/1557772?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/epa-downplays-dangers-of-mine-spill-but-concerns-linger/article/1557772?custom_click=rss

More than two weeks after a mine spill fouled waterways in several Western states, officials expressed concern Thursday over the long-term effects of contaminated river bottoms as the federal agency that triggered the accident downplayed the dangers.

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency workers released more than 3 million gallons of contaminated water Aug. 5 while investigating an inactive mine site near Silverton, Colorado. The spill prompted the shutdown of public drinking-water systems and left rivers in the region tinged a disturbing yellow-orange color that has since faded.

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Thu, 20 Aug 2015 17:44:30 -0600
<![CDATA[Earthquake shakes southern Colorado]]> http://gazette.com/earthquake-shakes-southern-colorado/article/1557741?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/earthquake-shakes-southern-colorado/article/1557741?custom_click=rss An earthquake was reported in Las Animas County in southern Colorado late Wednesday night by the United States Geological Survey.

The 4.2 magnitude quake hit 24 miles west of Trinidad at 11:14 p.m., according to the USGS in Golden. The earthquake was centered southwest of Weston in the southern Sangre de Christo mountains.

The earthquake lasted for 95 seconds and had a depth of 3.1 miles, according to a USGS report.

No damage or injuries have been reported.

According to the USGS website, four people in southern Colorado and northern New Mexico reported feeling the earthquake.

Although quakes rock southern Colorado, most are minor and do not cause damage. In recent years, most quakes in the region have been

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]]> Thu, 20 Aug 2015 08:56:15 -0600 <![CDATA[Interior Department to lead review of Colorado river spill]]> http://gazette.com/interior-department-to-lead-review-of-colorado-river-spill/article/1557693?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/interior-department-to-lead-review-of-colorado-river-spill/article/1557693?custom_click=rss

WASHINGTON — The Interior Department will lead a review of the Colorado mine spill that tainted rivers in three western states.

The review was announced late Tuesday after elected officials from both parties questioned whether the Environmental Protection Agency should be left to probe its own heavily criticized response to the disaster. EPA and contract workers accidentally unleashed 3 million gallons of contaminated wastewater on Aug. 5 as they inspected the idled Gold King mine.

The Interior Department's report is expected to be released publicly in 60 days.

In addition, EPA's inspector general is conducting a separate review of the incident.

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Wed, 19 Aug 2015 14:29:36 -0600
<![CDATA[Ben Carson slams EPA in Colorado visit]]> http://gazette.com/ben-carson-slams-epa-in-colorado-visit/article/1557593?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/ben-carson-slams-epa-in-colorado-visit/article/1557593?custom_click=rss

DURANGO — Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson is visiting Colorado to see the aftermath of the mining wastewater spill in the Animas River.

Carson says he'll be in Durango on Tuesday to address the 3 million gallon spill and the failures of the Environmental Protection Agency.

An EPA-supervised crew doing investigation work at the Gold King Mine triggered the spill on Aug. 5. The spill temporarily closed the river to recreation and farmers stopped taking water from the river for irrigation as a result of the pollution.

A spokeswoman for the Durango Business Improvement District told The Durango Herald (http://bit.ly/1fmKtFU ) that Carson will tour the river and see the mine by helicopter.

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Tue, 18 Aug 2015 18:44:32 -0600