Elizabeth Shogren http://publicradiodelmarva.net en Feds Hope $5 Billion Settlement A Lesson For Polluters http://publicradiodelmarva.net/post/feds-hope-5-billion-settlement-lesson-polluters This week, the federal government announced a record-breaking $5 billion settlement in a remarkable environmental case. The toxic legacy of the company involved, Kerr-McGee, stretches back 85 years and includes scores of sites across the country.<p>Kerr-McGee ran uranium mines in the Navajo Nation, wood-treating businesses across the Midwest and East Coast, and a perchlorate plant on a tributary of Lake Mead, the nation's largest reservoir — and it was messy.<p>"Kerr-McGee's business all over this country left significant, lasting environmental damage," said Deputy U.S. Sat, 05 Apr 2014 09:40:00 +0000 Elizabeth Shogren 52046 at http://publicradiodelmarva.net Feds Hope $5 Billion Settlement A Lesson For Polluters International Ruling Puts Stop To Japan's 'Scientific' Whaling http://publicradiodelmarva.net/post/international-ruling-puts-stop-japans-scientific-whaling Transcript <p>MELISSA BLOCK, HOST: <p>Whale lovers scored a major victory today. For almost two decades, Japanese whalers have been killing whales in the Antarctic Ocean. The Japanese government claimed it was all for scientific, not commercial, purposes. NPR's Elizabeth Shogren reports that today, an international court rejected that claim and said the whaling must stop.<p>ELIZABETH SHOGREN, BYLINE: Eighteen years ago, the International Whaling Commission banned commercial whaling. Mon, 31 Mar 2014 20:37:00 +0000 Elizabeth Shogren 51745 at http://publicradiodelmarva.net Toxic Chemical Dioxane Detected In More Water Supplies http://publicradiodelmarva.net/post/toxic-chemical-14-dioxane-detected-more-drinking-water-supplies Transcript <p>DAVID GREENE, HOST: <p>Earlier this year, a chemical spill in West Virginia forced officials to put a ban on drinking water that affected some 300,000 people. This also highlighted an unsettling truth: While officials test our drinking supply, they're only targeting a few chemicals. Many contaminants go undetected.<p>Here's NPR's Elizabeth Shogren.<p>ELIZABETH SHOGREN, BYLINE: Toxic chemicals can make it into tap water for years without experts knowing it. Wed, 26 Mar 2014 09:04:00 +0000 Elizabeth Shogren 51443 at http://publicradiodelmarva.net The Hearts Of Fish Still Bear Scars Of Oil Spilled Years Ago http://publicradiodelmarva.net/post/hearts-fish-still-bear-scars-oil-spilled-years-ago Transcript <p>AUDIE CORNISH, HOST: <p>The spill in the Houston Ship Channel is another assault on one of the world's richest fishing grounds. The channel drains into the Gulf of Mexico and new research out today shows the Gulf's marine life is very vulnerable to the effects of oil. Much of what scientists have learned comes from studying the underwater leak of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig back in 2010. Here's NPR's Elizabeth Shogren.<p>ELIZABETH SHOGREN, BYLINE: Scientists knew even trace amounts of oil can kill or injure fish eggs and young fish. Mon, 24 Mar 2014 20:24:00 +0000 Elizabeth Shogren 51347 at http://publicradiodelmarva.net Why The Exxon Valdez Spill Was A Eureka Moment For Science http://publicradiodelmarva.net/post/why-exxon-valdez-spill-was-eureka-moment-science <em>On March 24, 1989, the tanker Exxon Valdez struck a reef in Prince William Sound, Alaska, spilling 11 million gallons of crude oil into the pristine water. At the time, it was the single biggest spill in U.S. history. Sat, 22 Mar 2014 18:03:00 +0000 Elizabeth Shogren 51261 at http://publicradiodelmarva.net Why The Exxon Valdez Spill Was A Eureka Moment For Science Colorado Becomes First State To Restrict Methane Emissions http://publicradiodelmarva.net/post/colorado-becomes-first-state-restrict-methane-emissions Methane is a potent greenhouse gas from oil and gas production. The rules require companies to find and repair equipment leaks. The rules also will reduce air pollution that contributes to smog. Tue, 25 Feb 2014 10:11:00 +0000 Elizabeth Shogren 49859 at http://publicradiodelmarva.net Industry Challenges EPA's Greenhouse Gas Rules In High Court http://publicradiodelmarva.net/post/industry-challenges-epas-greenhouse-gas-rules-high-court The Supreme Court will hear arguments Monday about the Environmental Protection Agency's first-ever greenhouse gas regulations for the biggest polluting facilities.<p>The case focuses on a 3-year-old <a href="http://www.epa.gov/nsr/ghgpermitting.html">requirement</a> that companies get permits anytime they construct new plants or modify existing ones that will emit a lot of greenhouse gases.<p>EPA's supporters and most of its challengers agree this case is narrow in scope; the court's ruling is not expected to threaten EPA's broader strategy to fight global warming.<p>Some industries challengi Mon, 24 Feb 2014 08:28:00 +0000 Elizabeth Shogren 49787 at http://publicradiodelmarva.net Industry Challenges EPA's Greenhouse Gas Rules In High Court Illegal, Remote Pot Farms In California Poisoning Rare Wildlife http://publicradiodelmarva.net/post/illegal-remote-pot-farms-california-poisoning-rare-wildlife People who grow marijuana illegally in the backwoods of Northern California use large amounts of rat bait to protect their plants — and these chemicals are killing several species of wild animals, including rare ones, biologists say.<p>Here's what happens: The growers plant their marijuana in remote locations, hoping to elude detection. They irrigate their plants — with water from streams — which lures animals looking for water. Rodents chew the flourishing plants to get moisture, which kills the plants. Fri, 14 Feb 2014 23:32:00 +0000 Elizabeth Shogren 49329 at http://publicradiodelmarva.net Illegal, Remote Pot Farms In California Poisoning Rare Wildlife State Dept. Delivers Unwelcome News For Keystone Opponents http://publicradiodelmarva.net/post/state-dept-delivers-unwelcome-news-keystone-opponents The U.S. Fri, 31 Jan 2014 22:46:00 +0000 Elizabeth Shogren 48577 at http://publicradiodelmarva.net State Dept. Delivers Unwelcome News For Keystone Opponents Drinking Water Not Tested For Tens Of Thousands Of Chemicals http://publicradiodelmarva.net/post/water-companies-cant-monitor-all-chemicals-theres-too-many The fact that a second contaminant in West Virginia's drinking water eluded detection for nearly two weeks — despite intense testing of the water — reveals an important truth about how companies test drinking water: In most cases, they only find the contaminants they're looking for.<p>Freedom Industries earlier this week revealed it had spilled two chemicals, not just one. The second chemical is PPH, a mixture of polygycol ethers. Fri, 24 Jan 2014 10:12:00 +0000 Elizabeth Shogren 48137 at http://publicradiodelmarva.net Drinking Water Not Tested For Tens Of Thousands Of Chemicals To Save Threatened Owl, Another Species Is Shot http://publicradiodelmarva.net/post/save-threatened-owl-another-species-shot In desperation to save the rare northern spotted owl, biologists are doing something that goes against their core — shooting another owl that's rapidly taking over spotted owl territory across the northwest.<p>"If we don't do it, what we're essentially doing, in my view, is dooming the spotted owl to extinction," says Lowell Diller, senior biologist for Green Diamond, a timber company.<p>The decision to shoot the more aggressive barred owls has been wrenching for biologists and the federal government. Thu, 16 Jan 2014 21:11:00 +0000 Elizabeth Shogren 47796 at http://publicradiodelmarva.net To Save Threatened Owl, Another Species Is Shot The Big Impact Of A Little-Known Chemical In W.Va. Spill http://publicradiodelmarva.net/post/mysteries-persist-surrounding-west-virginia-chemical-spill The chemical that was found last week to be contaminating the drinking water of hundreds of thousands of West Virginians is used to clean coal. But very little is known about how toxic it is to people or to the environment when it spills.<p>The chemical is called 4-methyl-cyclohexane-methanol, or MCHM. If you've never heard of it, you're in good company. Tue, 14 Jan 2014 01:53:00 +0000 Elizabeth Shogren 47636 at http://publicradiodelmarva.net Interior Secretary Wants To Create Jobs For Conservationists http://publicradiodelmarva.net/post/interior-secretary-wants-create-jobs-conservationists Transcript <p>DAVID GREENE, HOST: <p>During the Great Depression, President Franklin D. Roosevelt put hundreds of thousands of Americans to work in National Parks and forests in the Civilian Conservation Corps. President Obama's Secretary of the Interior wants to bring back that spirit, to create jobs and a new generation of conservationists.<p>But as NPR's Elizabeth Shogren reports, it's not the easiest thing to do in tight budget times.<p>ELIZABETH SHOGREN, BYLINE: Interior Secretary Sally Jewell has set an epic goal. Thu, 09 Jan 2014 09:47:00 +0000 Elizabeth Shogren 47386 at http://publicradiodelmarva.net Archeologists Race Against Time In Warming Arctic Coasts http://publicradiodelmarva.net/post/archeologists-race-against-time-warming-arctic-coasts Archeologists who study the people who lived in the Arctic thousands of years ago are in a race against time. Coastal settlements are being washed away by erosion, storm surges and other climate changes related to global warming. Clues to the past that were frozen intact in permafrost for thousands of years are melting and being destroyed by the elements. Archeologists are looking to climate scientists to predict where the erosion will be the fastest so they can pinpoint their research on the places that will disappear the soonest. Wed, 01 Jan 2014 21:02:00 +0000 Elizabeth Shogren 47033 at http://publicradiodelmarva.net A Scientist's New Job: Keeping The Polar Bears' Plight Public http://publicradiodelmarva.net/post/scientists-new-job-keeping-polar-bears-plight-public The Endangered Species Act, which turns 40 on Saturday, helped bring back iconic species such as the wolf, grizzly bear and bald eagle, after hunting, trapping and pesticides almost wiped those animals out.<p>But a very different kind of threat — global warming — is pushing some species like the polar bear to the brink of extinction.<p>One government biologist discovered the best way he could help save polar bears was to quit his job.<p><strong>A New Kind Of Conservation Problem</strong><p>Several years ago, the polar bear was under consideration for placement on the endangered species list. Sat, 28 Dec 2013 15:10:00 +0000 Elizabeth Shogren 46856 at http://publicradiodelmarva.net After Major Comeback, Is The Gray Wolf Still Endangered? http://publicradiodelmarva.net/post/after-major-comeback-gray-wolf-still-endangered Transcript <p>ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST: <p>The law that protects endangered species turns 40 tomorrow and perhaps the most controversial thing the government has done under the law is to reintroduce the gray wolf. Ranchers and hunters strongly opposed the move and now the federal government wants to take the gray wolf off the endangered species list. Fri, 27 Dec 2013 21:21:00 +0000 Elizabeth Shogren 46835 at http://publicradiodelmarva.net Unrealized, Unforeseen Environmental Results Of NAFTA http://publicradiodelmarva.net/post/unrealized-unforeseen-environmental-results-nafta When the U.S., Canadian, and Mexican governments were negotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement back in the 1990s, environmentalists warned that it would create a race to the bottom: Countries would compete to gut environmental rules to attract businesses. But by and large, those fears were not realized. Still, the trade deal had other unforeseen environmental consequences. Sun, 08 Dec 2013 22:06:00 +0000 Elizabeth Shogren 45931 at http://publicradiodelmarva.net Saving The Native Prairie — One Black-Footed Ferret At A Time http://publicradiodelmarva.net/post/saving-native-prairie-one-black-footed-ferret-time American pioneers saw the endless stretches of grassland of the Great Plains as a place to produce grain and beef for a growing country. But one casualty was the native prairie ecosystem and animals that thrived only there.<p>Some biologists are trying to save the prairies and they've picked a hero to help them: the black-footed ferret. Sun, 01 Dec 2013 10:21:00 +0000 Elizabeth Shogren 45528 at http://publicradiodelmarva.net Saving The Native Prairie — One Black-Footed Ferret At A Time Is Running Your Car On Rubbish The Future Of Fuels? http://publicradiodelmarva.net/post/running-your-car-rubbish-future-fuels Transcript <p>AUDIE CORNISH, HOST: <p>The Environmental Protection Agency today proposed to scale back the amount of renewable fuels in our nation's gasoline supply, biofuels like ethanol made from corn. The EPA is responding, in part, to oil companies that say they're already taking as much ethanol as they can. They say any more and it will hurt quality. But there's another reason for the EPA's action. Fri, 15 Nov 2013 21:34:00 +0000 Elizabeth Shogren 44785 at http://publicradiodelmarva.net Widespread Plague In Wildlife Threatens Western Ecosystems http://publicradiodelmarva.net/post/bubonic-plague-backsmall-animals-american-west Transcript <p>MELISSA BLOCK, HOST: <p>This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.<p>AUDIE CORNISH, HOST: <p>And I'm Audie Cornish.<p>Most Americans' experience with plague is limited to history books. In the 14th century, it famously wiped out half of Europe's population. Wed, 23 Oct 2013 22:01:00 +0000 Elizabeth Shogren 43456 at http://publicradiodelmarva.net 15 Years Of Wrangling Over Yellowstone Snowmobiles Ends http://publicradiodelmarva.net/post/finally-yellowstone-snowmobile-plan-satisfies-most The U.S. government Tuesday announced new rules for snowmobiles in Yellowstone that should make the country's oldest national park cleaner and quieter.<p>The rules were 15 years in the making because of intense wrangling between snowmobile operators and environmentalists. But both groups support the plan and give credit to snowmobile makers for designing cleaner machines.<p>Under the new plan, fewer than 51 groups of snowmobiles — each with up to 10 vehicles — will be allowed into the park per day, beginning in December 2014. Tue, 22 Oct 2013 20:54:00 +0000 Elizabeth Shogren 43377 at http://publicradiodelmarva.net 15 Years Of Wrangling Over Yellowstone Snowmobiles Ends Supreme Court To Weigh EPA Permits For Power Plant Emissions http://publicradiodelmarva.net/post/supreme-court-weigh-epa-permits-power-plant-emissions The Supreme Court has agreed to review an Obama administration policy that requires new power plants and other big polluting facilities to apply for permits to emit greenhouse gases.<p>To get these permits, which have been required since 2011, companies may have to use pollution controls or otherwise reduce greenhouse gases from their operations — although industries report that so far they haven't had to install special pollution control equipment to qualify for the permits.<p>The rule is part of a larger effort by the EPA to regulate greenhouse gases.<p>The EPA started with automobiles. Tue, 15 Oct 2013 21:03:00 +0000 Elizabeth Shogren 42968 at http://publicradiodelmarva.net Supreme Court To Weigh EPA Permits For Power Plant Emissions EPA Wants To Limit Greenhouse Gases From New Coal Power Plants http://publicradiodelmarva.net/post/epa-wants-limit-greenhouse-gases-new-coal-power-plants The Environmental Protection Agency's second stab at a proposal to set the first-ever limits on greenhouse gas emissions from new power plants would make it impossible for companies to build the kind of coal-fired plants that have been the country's biggest source of electricity for decades.<p>Under the proposal, released Friday, any new plant that runs on coal would be permitted to emit only about half as much carbon dioxide as an average coal plant puts into the air today.<p>EPA administrator Gina McCarthy tells NPR the steps the EPA is proposing in the rule to address climate change "can ac Fri, 20 Sep 2013 04:08:00 +0000 Elizabeth Shogren 41495 at http://publicradiodelmarva.net EPA Wants To Limit Greenhouse Gases From New Coal Power Plants Debate Revs As Decision Stalls Over Oil Pipeline From Canada http://publicradiodelmarva.net/post/climate-change-concerns-slows-debate-over-keystone-xl-pipeline Five years ago this week, a Canadian company proposed building a pipeline to send heavy crude oil from Alberta to U.S. refineries. Although the Obama administration's answer on the Keystone XL pipeline is not expected anytime soon, politicians in Washington and Canada are ramping up the pressure for the project, while environmentalists are pushing hard against it.<p>The intense focus on the decision reflects the fact that the Keystone XL pipeline has become a proxy for the larger debate on climate change emissions. Mon, 16 Sep 2013 08:12:00 +0000 Elizabeth Shogren 41201 at http://publicradiodelmarva.net Debate Revs As Decision Stalls Over Oil Pipeline From Canada Bald Eagles Are Back In A Big Way — And The Talons Are Out http://publicradiodelmarva.net/post/bald-eagles-are-back-big-way-and-talons-are-out "It's a jungle if you're an eagle right now on the Chesapeake Bay," says <a href="http://www.wm.edu/as/biology/people/faculty/watts_b.php">Bryan Watts</a>, a conservation biologist at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Va. "You have to watch your back."<p>Americans have long imagined their national symbol as a solitary, noble bird soaring on majestic wings. Wed, 04 Sep 2013 07:04:00 +0000 Elizabeth Shogren 40512 at http://publicradiodelmarva.net Bald Eagles Are Back In A Big Way — And The Talons Are Out N. America's Oldest Known Petroglyphs Discovered In Nevada http://publicradiodelmarva.net/post/n-americas-oldest-known-petroglyphs-discovered-nevada Ancient North Americans gouged elaborate rock art into a heap of big boulders northeast of Reno, Nev., more than 10,000 years ago and perhaps 15,000 years ago. Fri, 16 Aug 2013 21:44:00 +0000 Elizabeth Shogren 39573 at http://publicradiodelmarva.net N. America's Oldest Known Petroglyphs Discovered In Nevada The Grid Of The Future Could Be Brought To You By ... You http://publicradiodelmarva.net/post/grid-future-could-be-brought-you-you The electricity system is experiencing growing pains these days. But it's not only demand for electricity that's expanding — it's the sources of electricity, particularly unpredictable kinds, like wind farms and solar panels.<p>And grid operators know that we're just at the beginning. States are requiring more renewable power to fight climate change, and it may be the customers who will play a big role in helping grid operators manage these clean, but finicky, sources of power.<p>Take Hawaii, which is thousands of miles from anywhere, and has to ship in oil to make much of its electricity. Wed, 14 Aug 2013 21:27:00 +0000 Elizabeth Shogren 39446 at http://publicradiodelmarva.net The Grid Of The Future Could Be Brought To You By ... You EPA Wants To Allow Continued Wastewater Dumping In Wyoming http://publicradiodelmarva.net/post/epa-wants-allow-continued-wastewater-dumping-wyoming The Environmental Protection Agency is proposing to let oil companies continue to dump polluted wastewater on the Wind River Reservation in Wyoming. This includes chemicals that companies add to the wells during hydraulic fracturing, an engineering practice that makes wells produce more oil.<p>An <a href="http://www.npr.org/2012/11/15/164688735/loophole-lets-toxic-oil-water-flow-over-indian-land">NPR investigation last year</a> discovered that the EPA was allowing oil companies to send so much of this contaminated water onto dry land that it was creating raging streams. Wed, 07 Aug 2013 21:58:00 +0000 Elizabeth Shogren 39049 at http://publicradiodelmarva.net EPA Wants To Allow Continued Wastewater Dumping In Wyoming Sold! First Parcels Auctioned For Future Offshore Wind Farms http://publicradiodelmarva.net/post/sold-first-parcels-auctioned-future-offshore-wind-farms A Rhode Island company was the highest bidder in the federal government's first-ever auction for the right to build an offshore wind farm.<p>After 11 rounds, Deepwater Wind <a href="http://www.boem.gov/Renewable-Energy-Program/State-Activities/Rhode-Island.aspx?utm_source=Note+to+Stakeholder%3A+RIMA+Auction+Reminder&utm_campaign=RIMA+Wind+Lease+Sale&utm_medium=email">outbid two other companies</a> for two patches of ocean off the coasts of Massachusetts and Rhode Island. Thu, 01 Aug 2013 00:52:00 +0000 Elizabeth Shogren 38665 at http://publicradiodelmarva.net Sold! First Parcels Auctioned For Future Offshore Wind Farms La. Flood Board Sues Oil Industry Over Wetlands http://publicradiodelmarva.net/post/la-flood-board-sues-oil-industry-destroying-wetlands Since the 1930s, Louisiana has lost roughly as much land as makes up the state of Delaware.<p>"If you put the state of Delaware between New Orleans and the ocean, we wouldn't need any levees at all," says John Barry, vice president of the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East. "There is this large buffer of land that has disappeared, and that buffer makes New Orleans much more vulnerable to hurricanes."<p>Barry's board has the job of maintaining and improving the levee system that the federal government fortified after Hurricane Katrina pummeled the city in 2005. Thu, 25 Jul 2013 07:38:00 +0000 Elizabeth Shogren 38275 at http://publicradiodelmarva.net La. Flood Board Sues Oil Industry Over Wetlands