In the news..

Drought and war heighten threat of not just 1 famine, but 4.

Six years after its last famine, another is about to tighten its grip on Somalia. South Sudan, Nigeria and Yemen are also at risk.New York Times.

Seattle plant failure dumps millions of gallons of sewage.

Millions of gallons of raw sewage and untreated runoff have poured into the United States’ second-largest estuary since a massive sewage treatment plant experienced equipment failures that forced it to stop fully treating Seattle’s waste.Associated Press.

Trump to sign executive order undoing Obama’s clean power plan.

Donald Trump will on Tuesday sign an executive order to unravel Barack Obama’s plan to curb global warming, the head of the Environmental Protection Agency said on Sunday, claiming the move would be “pro-growth and pro-environment”.The Guardian.

Defying Man & Nature, The Sea Otters Of Morro Bay Have Made A Comeback

“On a day of cozy coastal grays — soft cloud cover, a silver foil-wrap sea — a dozen gray fur balls brought visitors the most comfort. Bobbing 20 feet from a harbor walkway, the sea otters were part of a record number in California. They once were believed to be as extinct as the dodo bird or the Tyrannosaurus rex.” Diana Marcum reports for the Los Angeles Times March 27, 2017.

“Defunding Appalachia: Coal Communities Resist President’s Budget Cuts”

“Danny Ferguson didn’t like what he saw happening in Lincoln County, West Virginia, where he grew up. The downturn in the coal industry had hit hard, and young people had few job options beyond some fast food places.” Benny Becker and Jeff Young report for Ohio Valley ReSource March 24, 2017.

Icahn raises ethics flags with dual roles as investor and Trump adviser.

The billionaire is advising on regulations, including pressing for a change in an EPA rule that has cost an oil refinery he’s invested in millions of dollars.New York Times.

China air quality got markedly worse in Jan-Feb: ministry.

China’s air quality was markedly worse in the first two months of the year than the same period of 2016 following a series of smog outbreaks in northern China, official data published on Friday showed.Reuters.

VIDEO: Conservation versus communities in Cameroon.

In Cameroon’s Korup National Park, groups are seeking to overcome the ‘conservation or communities’ conundrum by promoting sustainable forestry and wildlife management. But it’s no easy task.Deutsche Welle, Germany.

North Dakota pipeline spill larger than previously thought.

An initial appraisal of the Belle Fourche Pipeline spill in December estimated that 176,000 gallons of oil had been released from the leaking pipe. But now, officials are saying that number was actually about three times larger – 529,839 gallons of leaked oil.Christian Science Monitor.

New Zealand anger as pristine lakes tapped for bottled water market.

A plan to extract millions of litres of water out of a Unesco world heritage site, send it by pipe to the coast and ship it to foreign markets for bottling has ignited a campaign over water resources in New Zealand.The Guardian.

This ice cream is made from food waste (it’s delicious).

The Portland-based Salt & Straw is releasing a new series of flavors crafted exclusively from food that otherwise would have ended up in the trash to bring attention to all the good food we throw away.Fast Company.

School lunch share tables fight food waste and hunger.

Some states are trying to halt the practice of share tables, which offer unopened, unwanted food to hungry students.Civil Eats.

In China, Syngenta deal feeds local GMO fears.

Acquisition is expected to bring more genetically engineered products to China, but many consumers are resisting.Wall Street Journal.

VIDEO: Detoxify your clothes.

German outdoor outfitter Vaude has vowed to eliminate hazardous chemicals from its supply chain by 2020. But are customers willing to pay more for greener textiles?Deutsche Welle, Germany.

Inspectors find safety irregularities at Creusot nuclear forge in France.

An international team of inspectors has found evidence of doctored paperwork and other failings at a forge in France that makes parts for nuclear power stations around the world.The Guardian.

In the news..

Abnormal El Nino In Peru Unleashes Deadly Downpours; More Flooding Seen

“A sudden and abnormal warming of Pacific waters off Peru has unleashed the deadliest downpours in decades, with landslides and raging rivers sweeping away people, clogging highways and destroying crops.” Mitra Taj reports for Reuters March 18, 2017. .

“Climate Change Financing Dropped From G20 Draft Statement”

“Opposition from the United States, Saudi Arabia and others has forced Germany to drop a reference to financing programs to combat climate change from the draft communique at a G20 finance and central bankers meeting.” Jan Strupczewski and Michael Nienaber report for Reuters March 17, 2017. 

“EPA Awards $100 Million To Upgrade Flint Water System”

“The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said on Friday it had awarded $100 million to upgrade Flint, Michigan’s drinking water infrastructure to address a crisis that exposed thousands of children to lead poisoning.” Valerie Volcovici reports for Reuters March 17, 2017. 


“Effort To Replace Pipes To Flint Homes Off To Slow Start” (AP)

“U.S. Judge Signs Peabody Bankruptcy Exit After Environmental Deal”

“A U.S. judge formally approved Peabody Energy Corp’s plan to emerge from bankruptcy late Friday after the coal producer struck a settlement with the U.S. government over legacy environmental claims at a gold and metal mining subsidiary.” Tracy Rucinski reports for Reuters March 18, 2017. 

“Maryland Governor Throws Support Behind Permanent Fracking Ban”

“In a stunning reversal, Gov. Larry Hogan (R) on Friday called for lawmakers to pass legislation permanently banning the natural gas drilling technique known as ‘fracking’ in Maryland.” Timothy B. Wheeler reports for the Bay Journal March 17, 2017. 

“Push To Close Last Nevada Coal Plant Centers On Money”

“RENO — Sierra Club lawyers who’ve preached against the environmental evils of coal-burning power plants for decades are trying to force the closure of the last significant one in renewable energy-rich Nevada with arguments based on a different sort of green: money.” Scott Sonner reports for the Associated Press March 19, 2017. 


“Moapa Power Plant Ceases Operations After 52 Years” (Las Vegas Review-Journal)

“The Tiny Trump Budget Cut That Could Blind America to the Next Zika”

“The Obamacare repeal would halve a little-known fund that’s vital for monitoring unexpected infectious threats.” Ed Yong reports for the Atlantic March 18, 2017. 

Judge Dismisses Des Moines Water Works Lawsuit Over Nitrates

“A federal judge has dismissed Des Moines Water Works’ lawsuit against drainage districts in three northern Iowa counties the utility claimed are funneling high levels of nitrates into the Raccoon River, a source of drinking water for 500,000 central Iowa residents.” Donnelle Eller reports for the Des Moines Register March 18, 2017. 


“Des Moines Council To Vote Monday On Water Works Bill” (Des Moines Register)

“Offices of Volkswagen and Audi Chiefs Searched in Raid, Warrant Says”

“German officials included the offices of both Volkswagen’s chief executive and the head of the Audi division when they raided company premises last week as part of an investigation into emissions fraud, according to a copy of the search warrant.” Jack Ewing reports for the New York Times March 19, 2017. 

People Sending EPA Employees Chocolate Chip Cookies, Thank You Cards

“The cookies showed up Monday morning, hundreds of them packed tightly in cardboard boxes, and made their way to offices throughout the Environmental Protection Agency’s headquarters in downtown Washington.” Brady Dennis reports for the Washington Post March 17, 2017.