NPR News - Environment

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Breaking news on the environment, climate change, pollution, and endangered species. Also featuring Climate Connections, a special series on climate change co-produced by NPR and National Geographic.
Updated: 19 hours 11 min ago

Snot Otter Emerges Victorious In Vote For Pennsylvania's Official Amphibian

Thu, 2019/04/18 - 2:43am

The Eastern hellbender salamander may not be a looker. But its sensitivity to pollution and changing water conditions makes the creature a useful indicator for water quality in rivers and streams.

(Image credit: Rick Callahan/AP)

Categories: Environment

Protests Calling For Climate Action Disrupt London For 3rd Day

Wed, 2019/04/17 - 11:42am

Activists occupied four of London's landmarks and thoroughfares and, on Wednesday, targeted the city's rail service. The organizers want a zero-carbon Britain by 2025.

(Image credit: Leon Neal/Getty Images)

Categories: Environment

Climate Change Was The Engine That Powered Hurricane Maria's Devastating Rains

Wed, 2019/04/17 - 7:41am

Maria was the rainiest storm known to have hit Puerto Rico. Scientists say a storm of such severity is nearly five times more likely to occur today, with warmer air and ocean water, than in the '50s.

(Image credit: Carlos Giusti/AP)

Categories: Environment

Paradise, Calif., Water Is Contaminated But Residents Are Moving Back Anyway

Tue, 2019/04/16 - 8:36am

Despite public health warnings about benzene contamination in the town's water supply, some Paradise residents say they have no choice but to return.

(Image credit: Kirk Siegler/NPR)

Categories: Environment

Colorado's Oil And Gas Regulators Must Now Consider Public Health And Safety

Tue, 2019/04/16 - 4:52am

After years of tension over expanded oil and gas drilling, including a deadly explosion that galvanized critics, the state is moving to tighten regulations on the booming industry.

(Image credit: Grace Hood/CPR)

Categories: Environment

Microplastic Found Even In The Air In France's Pyrenees Mountains

Mon, 2019/04/15 - 3:05pm

Tiny fragments broken down from larger pieces of plastic have already been found in rivers, lakes, oceans and in agricultural soil. But very few studies of wind-borne microplastic have ever been done.

(Image credit: VW Pics/UIG via Getty Images)

Categories: Environment

Trump Administration Moves Forward With Proposal To Re-Define Waterway Protections

Mon, 2019/04/15 - 1:15pm

The Trump administration's revisions to the Waters of the U.S. rule will strip federal water protections from millions of miles of rivers. The impact will be even more pronounced in the arid Southwest.

Categories: Environment

Can This Breakfast Cereal Help Save The Planet?

Sat, 2019/04/13 - 5:16am

Some environmentalists say food production needs a fundamental reboot, with crops that stay rooted in the soil for years, like Kernza, a prairie grass. Even General Mills says it likes the idea.

(Image credit: Olivia Sun/NPR)

Categories: Environment

Friday News Roundup - Domestic

Fri, 2019/04/12 - 7:06am

A shakeup at the Department of Homeland Security has left some wondering about the direction of President Trump's immigration policy.

(Image credit: National Science Foundation via Getty Images)

Categories: Environment

Tusk Luck: Alaska Man Sentenced To Federal Prison For Stealing Mammoth Fossil

Fri, 2019/04/12 - 3:43am

An Alaska man and his co-conspirator took a fossilized tusk from a Bureau of Land Management museum. Then, they cut it up and sold off the pieces.

(Image credit: Bob Wick/BLM via Flickr)

Categories: Environment

One Man's Quest To Protect A Rare Kind Of Hazelnut Tree

Thu, 2019/04/11 - 1:48pm

The hazelnut business is in a bind. Demand is rising, supply is tight, and a deadly fungal disease is constraining production. But one man may have found a solution.

Categories: Environment

Alaska's Ice Roads Are Melting Early This Year, With Devastating Consequences

Thu, 2019/04/11 - 1:48pm

In Bethel, Alaska, record warm temperatures mean a frozen river that serves as an ice road is melting early. That's been deadly for some, and is leaving others unable to travel.

Categories: Environment

Trump Signs Executive Orders In Push To Make It Easier To Build Oil And Gas Pipelines

Thu, 2019/04/11 - 6:48am

President Trump issues two executive orders that could make it harder for states to block companies from building oil and gas pipeline projects.

(Image credit: Evan Vucci/AP)

Categories: Environment

As Weeds Outsmart The Latest Weedkillers, Farmers Are Running Out Of Easy Options

Thu, 2019/04/11 - 2:12am

In the long-running war between farmers and weeds, it's advantage, weeds. Scientists in Kansas have found examples of the dreaded pigweed that are immune to the newest weed-killing technologies.

(Image credit: Dan Charles/NPR)

Categories: Environment

New Mexico Is Divided Over The 'Perfect Site' To Store Nation's Nuclear Waste

Thu, 2019/04/11 - 2:00am

A private company wants to store high-level nuclear waste in a rural corner of New Mexico. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission is considering the proposal, but local support may be a challenge.

(Image credit: Nathan Rott/NPR)

Categories: Environment

Climate Change Is Forcing Farmers In Guatemala To Leave Their Land For The U.S.

Wed, 2019/04/10 - 1:46pm

NPR's Ari Shapiro talks with Jonathan Blitzer of The New Yorker about how climate change is forcing farmers in Guatemala to leave their land and attempt to make it to the United States.

Categories: Environment

W.Va. Governor's Family Owes Millions In Mining Violations, Despite Promises To Pay

Wed, 2019/04/10 - 12:44pm

The companies belonging to the family of West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice owe millions for mine safety violations. Justice promised to pay the bill when he was running for governor in 2016, but hasn't.

(Image credit: Tyler Evert/AP)

Categories: Environment

This Oil Spill Has Been Leaking Into The Gulf For 14 Years

Wed, 2019/04/10 - 7:10am

In the Gulf of Mexico, an oil spill triggered by a powerful hurricane has been leaking for more than 14 years with no solution in sight. The federal government is stepping in to try and contain it.

(Image credit: Tegan Wendland/WWNO)

Categories: Environment

As Dunes Disappear, Fiber Rolls Protect Cape Cod Homes From Coastal Erosion

Tue, 2019/04/09 - 1:21pm

Beachfront homeowner Laura Wing in Sandwich, Mass., says the sand in front of her house is eroding away. Her best option is to create man-made dunes by installing huge fiber rolls along the shore.

(Image credit: Hayley Fager/WCAI)

Categories: Environment

Are Plastic Bag Bans Garbage?

Tue, 2019/04/09 - 5:04am

A national movement to ban plastic bags is gaining steam, but these restrictions may actually hurt the environment more than help it.

(Image credit: Fiona Goodall/Getty Images)

Categories: Environment