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EPA sets first national standard for coal waste

EPA coal waste standardsThe Obama administration on Friday set the first national standards for waste generated from coal burned for electricity, treating it more like household garbage rather than a hazardous material.

Environmentalists had pushed for the hazardous classification, citing the hundreds of cases nationwide in which coal ash waste had tainted waterways or underground aquifers, in many cases legally. A hazardous classification would have put the federal government in charge of enforcement, which has been uneven across states that have varying degrees of regulation.

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Enbridge Inc shuts down pipeline to U.S. after leak releases 1,350 barrels of oil at pumping station

Embridge, Inc.Canadian oil supplies to the U.S. Midwest were disrupted after Enbridge Inc. shut a pipeline because of a leak.

The company isolated its Line 4 pipe at the Regina terminal in Saskatchewan yesterday after about 1,350 barrels of oil were released within an on-site pumping station, according to a statement. The company is excavating the line around a pumphouse and hasn’t provided an estimate for how long repairs may take, Gerard Kay, deputy chief of operations at Regina Fire and Protective Services, said by phone.

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Gov. Cuomo to Ban Fracking in New York State, Citing Health Risks

Andrew CuomoNo one understands better than impacted people — residents and workers in shale country, from the Barnett Shale of Texas and the Haynesville Shale of Louisiana to the Bakken Shale of North Dakota and the Marcellus and Utica Shales in Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia and beyond — the wisdom of Governor Cuomo’s historic decision today to ban fracking in New York State:

ALBANY — The Cuomo administration announced Wednesday that it would ban hydraulic fracturing in New York State, ending years of uncertainty by concluding that the controversial method of extracting gas from deep underground could contaminate the state’s air and water and pose inestimable public-health risks.

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Obama blocks Bristol Bay oil, gas development

Bristol Bay protectedPresident Barack Obama moved to permanently bar oil and gas drilling in a sensitive area off the Alaskan coast on Tuesday, the latest action in an environmental push that appears to be gaining steam as he enters his last two years in office.

The area that includes offshore Bristol Bay is “too precious for us to be putting out to the highest bidder,” Obama said in a video message announcing his decision, which drew cheers from greens.

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California Needs 11 Trillion Gallons of Water

California needs 11Trillion gallons of waterIt will take about 11 trillion gallons of water (42 cubic kilometers) -- around 1.5 times the maximum volume of the largest U.S. reservoir -- to recover from California's continuing drought, according to a new analysis of NASA satellite data.

The finding was part of a sobering update on the state's drought made possible by space and airborne measurements and presented by NASA scientists Dec. 16 at the American Geophysical Union meeting in San Francisco. Such data are giving scientists an unprecedented ability to identify key features of droughts, data that can be used to inform water management decisions.

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Fracking is poisoning the air we breathe

fracking poisoning the airToxic air pollution from fracking causes a wide spectrum of health problems for Americans across the country, an environmental group charged in a report released Tuesday.

"The health risks from fracking are not limited to what's in our drinking water -— oil and gas operations are also poisoning the air we breathe," said senior scientist Miriam Rotkin-Ellman of the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC), which produced the report.

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Remote Alaskan Town Experiences Climate Change First Hand

Alaska town shows climate change unpreparednessI t's a Wednesday morning in late August, the first day of classes at the Shishmaref School. The doors of the pale blue building haven't opened yet, and the new principal is hurriedly buttering toast in the kitchen for the students’ breakfasts. Teachers are scrambling to make last-minute adjustments to their classrooms, while anxious kids, ranging from pre-K students through high schoolers, wait on the porch, their jackets zipped against the chill of the early-morning air.

It's all so incredibly normal, you might not know that, just a few years ago, no one thought Shishmaref would be here anymore.

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