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Louisiana Levee Authority’s Suit Against Oil & Gas Companies Survives Move to Kill It – June 20, 2014

Governor Bobby Jindal’s effort to quash the environmental damages claim might backfire

A New Orleans area regional levee board voted yesterday to continue pursing an environmental damages lawsuit against 97 (yes, 97!) oil, gas, and pipeline companies. The vote — which came almost two weeks after Governor Bobby Jindal signed off on a bill that strips the levee board of the power to file such lawsuits — was a boon to environmentalists and a bust for opponents, who had hoped the board would dismiss the lawsuit and end its contentious yearlong battle with the Louisiana governor.

levee with oil pipelinePhoto by Miles Wolf Tamboli/FlickrThe levee agency's suit argues that the damage caused by oil and gas drilling… more

by: Zoe Loftus-Farren

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New Report Calls Attention to Untapped Water Savings Within California – June 11, 2014

State could save up to 13.8 million acre-feet of water a year through water-saving and recycling strategies

By now, most Californians know that we are in a serious drought. We’ve seen the headlines, heard the calls for voluntary (and sometimes mandatory) reductions in water use, and have started to think twice about leaving the water running while brushing our teeth, or taking those long, relaxing showers.

Folsom DamsPhoto by Robert Couse-BakerFolsom Dam, the source of water for about 500,000 Sacramento-area residents, was at just 18 percent of its capacity in January,prompting officials to reduce flows into the American River.

What has been less clear, however, is how California is planning for a drought-resistant future, or whether Sacramento-based policymakers will take advantage… more

by: Zoe Loftus-Farren

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New Futuristic Nanofoods Sneaking Into Grocery Stores Every Week – June 9, 2014

Lack of regulation of these potentially dangerous, microscopic ingredients raises concerns about human health

Nanofoods. They may sound like an idea from a sci-fi movie or the wild musings of a mad-scientist, but in reality, nanomaterials — particles on the miniscule scale of atoms and molecules — have already found their way into our food. More likely than not, they are somewhere in your kitchen at this very moment. After all, commonly purchased products such plain yogurt, Hershey’s chocolate bars, Kraft Parmesan cheese, and Silk soymilk all contain nanomaterials, usually to either increase their shelf lives or make them appear more attractive to consumers.

a bowl of yogurt and fruit Photo by Janine/FlickrYour breakfast bowl of yogurt might… more

by: Zoe Loftus-Farren

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Oyster Beds Still Empty Four Years After Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill – April 21, 2014

Gulf communities and wildlife still reeling from the damage, but BP ends cleanup efforts

Four years ago, on April 20, 2010, the United States suffered the greatest oil spill in American history. With the explosion of a British Petroleum (BP) offshore oil rig, five million barrels (roughly 206 million gallons) of oil were released from the Deepwater Horizon oil well into the Gulf of Mexico. Eleven rig workers lost their lives, and immeasurable damage was wrought on coastal communities and wildlife.

photo of oyster shells in a huge stackphoto by faungg on Flickr

Four years later, many Gulf communities are still coping with the Deepwater Horizon disaster, and scientists are still struggling to understand… more

by: Zoe Loftus-Farren

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California’s San Joaquin tops list of America’s 10 Most Endangered Rivers – April 9, 2014

This isn’t a list of the worst rivers, but of rivers at crossroads, says American Rivers

For many Americans, rivers bring to mind languid summer days, exuberant tubing adventures, or family fishing excursions. For me, they represent a kind of wild, untamed beauty, which I take every opportunity to enjoy.

In reality, few of America’s 250,000 rivers are truly untamed. They have been used for centuries as a source of energy, drinking water, agricultural irrigation, and recreation. This use has taken a steep toll, and many rivers are now threatened by excessive water diversions and withdrawals, outdated water management plans, dams, and pollution.

photo of a grassland and a reservoir, sailboats visiblephoto by eutrophication&hypoxia on FlickrMillerton Lake on the… more

by: Zoe Loftus-Farren

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