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Tuesday, Feb 07th

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EPA Finalizes Water Rule That Repeals Trump-Era Changes

EPA finalizes water rulesPresident Joe Biden’s administration on Friday finalized regulations that protect hundreds of thousands of small streams, wetlands and other waterways, repealing a Trump-era rule that federal courts had thrown out and that environmentalists said left waterways vulnerable to pollution.

The rule defines which “waters of the United States” are protected by the Clean Water Act. For decades, the term has been a flashpoint between environmental groups that want to broaden limits on pollution entering the nation’s waters and farmers, builders and industry groups that say extending regulations too far is onerous for business.

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‘Life-threatening hazard’: 28 dead in Arctic storm battering US

Life-threatening bomb cycloneThe monstrous Arctic storm that has gripped most of the continental US over the Christmas holiday continued to batter the northern city of Buffalo, New York, on Sunday, as freezing temperatures trailing across the nation created what forecasters called a “potentially life-threatening hazard”.

Twenty-eight deaths attributed to the weather have been recorded across the nation, with officials warning that the number of fatalities would probably rise as “the Arctic air enveloping much of the eastern two-thirds of the US would be slow to moderate”.

“In some areas, being outdoors could lead to frostbite in minutes,” the National Weather Service (NWS) said in a bulletin. The service advised anyone traveling or going outside to “prepare for extreme cold by dressing in layers, covering as much exposed areas of skin as possible and pack winter safety kits in your vehicles”.

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Emperor penguin at risk of extinction, along with two-thirds of native Antarctic species, research shows

Empero penguin at risk of extincction

Two-thirds of Antarctica’s native species, including emperor penguins, are under threat of extinction or major population declines by 2100 under current trajectories of global heating, according to new research that outlines priorities for protecting the continent’s biodiversity.

The study, an international collaboration between scientists, conservationists and policymakers from 28 institutions in 12 countries, identified emperor penguins as the Antarctic species at greatest risk of extinction, followed by other seabirds and dry soil nematodes.

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Gigantic US winter storm leaves millions without power and cancels holiday plans

Storm cripples travel plans

The w​inter storm that forecasters dubbed Elliott intensified into a bomb cyclone near the Great Lakes on Friday, bringing high winds and blizzard conditions from the Northern Plains to western and upstate New York, along with life-threatening flooding, flash-freezing and travel chaos as it went.

More than 4,600 flights were canceled as of 3pm, on top of 2,700 cancellations Thursday, grounding tens of thousands of holiday travelers in airports with limited expectations of making further progress, according to FlightAware.

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Arctic blast sweeping US threatens ‘crippling impacts’ to travel and utilities

Arctic blast sweepong USUS forecasters warned on Thursday of “potentially crippling impacts across central and eastern” parts of the country, producing widespread disruption to travel and utilities over the holiday season, as an arctic blast surged from west to east.

About 200 million people in the lower 48 states were under extreme weather alerts as a freezing air mass sent temperatures into a nosedive, said Bob Oravec, a forecaster with the National Weather Service (NWS) in College Park, Maryland.

An NWS advisory said the “powerful winter storm” would “produce widespread disruptive and potentially crippling impacts across the central and eastern United States”.

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Magnitude 6.4 earthquake rocks parts of Northern California; 70,000 power outages reported

No. Cal. quake 12/22A preliminary magnitude 6.4 earthquake rocked Northern California early Tuesday morning, jolting residents awake, damaging infrastructure, and cutting off power to thousands of homes and businesses.

Officials reported at least two people suffered injuries in the quake that caused damages to buildings and roads around Humboldt County, located about  250 miles north of San Francisco.

The U.S. Geological Survey said the quake struck at 2:34 a.m. PT in Pacific Ocean waters about 7.5 miles west of Ferndale at a depth of just over 16 miles. The city is about 19 miles south of Eureka, near the California and Oregon state line.

The USGS warned of "many" aftershock earthquakes coming in the wake of the 6.4 magnitude shake, including some that could reach magnitude 4. More than two dozen aftershocks were recorded on the USGS website, most of which were less than magnitude 4.

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Company Owned By Family Of West Virginia GOP Gov Is Fined $925,000

Jim JusticeA company owned by the family of West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice is paying a $925,000 fine to an Alabama health agency, after it shut down a coke plant it said was leaking polluting gases.

Under a consent decree approved Wednesday by a state court judge, Bluestone Coke will pay the fine to the Jefferson County Health Department for air pollution violations at its coking plant north of downtown Birmingham.

A coking plant heats coal at very high temperatures in what are supposed to be closed, oxygen-free ovens, cooking off impurities while not burning the coal.

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