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Climate
Construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline near New Salem, North Dakota. Tony Webster / Flickr / CC. BY 2.0

Dakota Access Pipeline to Remain Operational During Environmental Impact Study

On Wednesday, a federal judge ruled that the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) can continue operating pending an environmental review by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe sued the Corps in July 2016, arguing that the pipeline destroyed sacred sites and threatens the water quality of the Standing Rock Indian Reservation that sits downstream of the site where the pipeline crosses the Missouri River in North Dakota.

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Earthjustice attorney Ted Zukoski (left) stands in Colorado's Sunset Roadless Area. Wild Earth Guardians / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Battle to Protect 50 Million Forest Acres May Finally Be Won After 16 Years

By Jessica A. Knoblauch

A decades-long fight over a landmark rule protecting wild forests nationwide took another successful–and possibly final–turn last week after a U.S. district court threw out a last-ditch attack by the state of Alaska against the Roadless Rule.

Adopted in the closing days of the Clinton administration, the Roadless Rule prohibits most logging and road construction in roadless areas of national forests. These lands, today equaling about 50 million acres or about the size of Nebraska, are some of the wildest places left in America.

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Orcas have been listed as endangered species in both the U.S. and Canada. Miles Ritter / Flickr

Endangered Species Act Protections in House Committee Crosshairs

One of our nation's core environmental safeguards is at risk of being hollowed out, as the House Natural Resources Committee takes up legislation Wednesday to weaken the Endangered Species Act.

Starting at 11 a.m. ET, the committee is voting on five bills that aim to weaken a variety of protections offered by the flagship conservation law. A detailed description of each proposal is included in this letter of opposition.

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The nation's largest oil refinery, owned by Motiva and located in Port Arthur, Texas, was forced to shut down due to flooding from Hurricane Harvey. Alex Glostrum / Louisiana Bucket Brigade

Hurricanes Irma and Harvey Cast Spotlight on Toxic Sites In Our Midst

By Diane Carman

Our country has just witnessed two of the worst hurricanes in our history and the work of rebuilding shattered lives in Texas, Florida, and elsewhere has barely begun. Toxic cleanup will be a part of the work ahead.

This is an area dotted with oil refineries, chemical plants, Superfund sites and coal-fired power plants. All of these structures represent toxic waste and contamination threats during the best of weather times; with storms, these issues become even more dire.

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Health

Groups Sue EPA for Weakening Toxic Chemical Rules

By Gail Koffman

"The fox guarding the hen house" aptly describes the inner workings of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) under the Trump administration.

A major case in point: The EPA official tasked to head up the Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention office, Nancy Beck, came to the job after working as a former high-level official for a chemical industry association. She was charged with updating the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), which addresses the production, use and disposal of such chemicals as polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), asbestos, radon and lead-based paint.

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Rep. Nydia Velazquez / Twitter

Senators Unveil Bill to Ban Chlorpyrifos

Senators Tom Udall (D-NM), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Kamala Harris (D-CA) , Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Ben Cardin (D-MD) and Edward J. Markey (D-MA) unveiled Tuesday a first-of-its-kind bill that would ban chlorpyrifos, a widely used agricultural pesticide that has been linked to reduced IQ and attention deficit disorder in children. Chlorpyrifos, an organophosphate which comes from the same chemical family as sarin nerve gas, is used on staple foods like strawberries, apples, citrus, broccoli and more.

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Tom Reichner | Shutterstock.com

Trump Administration Proposes Repeal of Fracking Protections

Three days before oral arguments are scheduled in the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals on Bureau of Land Management safety measures to regulate fracking operations on public lands, the U.S. Department of Interior is moving ahead with its plan to rescind the 2015 rule.

The rule, which was the product of nearly five years of agency work, expert input, public comments and hearings, never went into effect after it was challenged immediately by oil and gas industry trade associations. After a district court judge set aside the rule in 2016, BLM and citizen groups appealed to the 10th Circuit in late 2016.

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Bald Eagle, Alaska. Wikimedia Commons

Here's Who's Getting Paid to Destroy the Endangered Species Act

By Rebecca Bowe

A small yet vocal group of congressmen are gearing up this summer to dismantle the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Campaign finance records of these lawmakers reveal that they have all taken significant money from extractive industries frustrated by the law's protection of critical habitat for endangered species.

The ESA has proven to be a powerful, effective conservation safeguard. More than 99 percent of species that have been designated for federal protection continue to exist in the wild today, including the bald eagle, grizzly bear, the leatherback sea turtle and the Florida manatee.

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A photovoltaic array at the Mesa Verde Visitor and Research Center in Montezuma County, Colorado. Dennis Schroeder / NREL

4 Ways Colorado Is Expediting Renewable Energy

By Michael Hiatt

Colorado is now the 11th U.S. state to commit to the Paris climate agreement in a repudiation of the Trump administration's decision to walk away from the deal.

The growing revolt at the state level over Trump's climate policies reflects unwillingness among policymakers to turn away from years of work transitioning to clean energy. Colorado is a case in point. Gov. John Hickenlooper's recent executive order committing Colorado to meeting or exceeding the greenhouse gas reduction targets set in Paris follows regulatory developments that will propel the state toward a new clean energy economy.

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