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Coal ash threatens the middle fork of the Vermilion River. Eco-Justice Collaborative / CC BY-SA 2.0

Groups Sue Utility Company for Leaking Coal Ash Into National Scenic River

Illinois environmental groups filed a lawsuit Wednesday alleging that a utility company is violating the Clean Water Act by letting coal ash leak into a protected river.

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Animals
Coho spawning on the Salmon River. Bureau of Land Management Oregon and Washington / CC BY 2.0

New Farm Bill Contains Sneak Attack on the Environment With Toxic Pesticides

By Derrick Z. Jackson

If fish could wail, they would scream over the lethal powers granted to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in part of the draft farm bill recently rolled out by the House Agriculture Committee. The bill, passed out of committee by Chairman Mike Conaway (R-TX) on a party-line vote last month, desperately fails farmers and low-income families. It also contains a number of sneak attacks on the environment. One such provision would allow the EPA to approve new pesticides with no assessment of their potential impact on fish and wildlife covered under the Endangered Species Act.

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Microplastics Pollute Rivers and Lakes, Too

By Kennedy Bucci and Chelsea Rochman

When you think of microplastic pollution, plastic debris less than five millimeters in size, you likely envision the ocean—probably because ocean gyres gained notoriety for being a microplastic soup.

But what about our lakes, rivers, forests and fields? They can be just as contaminated with microplastic debris as the oceans.

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Animals
Disco-Dan / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

'Sick Joke': House Agriculture Committee Advances Farm Bill Attacking Environment, Endangered Species

The House Agriculture Committee passed H.R. 2, the 2018 Farm Bill, Wednesday on a party-line basis. The legislation, sponsored by Rep. Mike Conaway (R-Texas), includes dozens of poison-pill riders that would gut fundamental environmental safeguards.

Most significantly it would completely exempt the use of pesticides from the Endangered Species Act, effectively dooming hundreds of endangered species to extinction and making it legal to kill any endangered species with a pesticide at almost any time.

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Drug Waste Flushed Into World's Freshwater Ecosystems to Rise 65% by 2050

It's no surprise that chemicals can get flushed into our water supply from the pills we take. But as the world's population grows, the rampant consumption of pharmaceuticals has become an emerging threat to the world's freshwater ecosystems, researchers said.

The research, presented at the European Geosciences Union General Assembly on Tuesday, warns that if no action is taken to mitigate the flow, the amount of drug waste entering waterways such as rivers and lakes could increase by 65 percent by 2050, endangering fish and other species' health.

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Big Sunflower River (Mississippi). American Rivers

10 Most Endangered U.S. Rivers of 2018 Ranked​

American Rivers released its America's Most Endangered Rivers report Tuesday identifying ten rivers under imminent threat.

The annual report, now in its 33rd year, is unique in its spotlight on the Trump administration and industry-friendly members of Congress pushing policies that directly harm the iconic rivers.

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Aftermath of the 2015 Benito Rodrigues dam disaster in which an iron-ore mining dam failed, leading to Brazil's largest environmental disaster. Senado Federal / Flickr

Controversial Amazon Gold Mine Close to Getting Permit, Say Activists Raising Alarm

The activist group Avaaz has launched a petition against the Canadian Belo Sun Mining Company's Volta Grande gold mine in Brazil's Amazon region, claiming that the company is close to getting the permits it needs for the controversial project, MINING.com reported March 30.

The project has already been denied a construction license more than once since 2013 for failing to adequately assess the impact of the mine on nearby indigenous communities, according to MINING.com.

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Earth Hour 2018: Globe Unites to Celebrate People’s Connection to Planet

Individuals, businesses and organizations in a record 188 countries and territories worldwide joined WWF's Earth Hour Saturday to spark unprecedented conversation and action on stopping the loss of nature, a day after 550 scientists warned of a "dangerous decline" in global biodiversity.

Close to 18,000 landmarks switched off their lights in solidarity as people across the globe generated more than 3.5 billion impressions of #EarthHour, #connect2earth and related hashtags to show their concern for the planet. The hashtags trended in 33 countries.

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RiverBlue

The Environmental and Human Cost of Making a Pair of Jeans

Americans do love their denim, so much so that the average consumer buys four pairs of jeans a year. In China's Xintang province, a hub for denim, 300 million pairs are made annually. Just as staggering is the brew of toxic chemicals and hundreds of gallons of water it takes to dye and finish one pair of jeans. The resulting environmental damage to rivers, ecosystems and communities in China, Bangladesh and India is the subject of a new documentary called The RiverBlue: Can Fashion Save the Planet?.

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