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  • SIDNEY, Neb.— The Nebraska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission delayed a decision on a much-debated proposal for a Sioux County disposal site for wastewater from oil exploration. The commission heard 2½ hours of public comment Tuesday at its Sidney headquarters before convening a specific hearing on the proposal from Terex Energy Corp. The Broomfield,...

  • The wide-ranging bill would stop farmers in northwestern Ohio from spreading manure on frozen and rain-soaked fields. The measure would be the first passed in an effort to slow the spread of the algae since August, when a toxin contaminated the drinking water for more than 400,000 people in northwestern Ohio and southeastern Michigan. Jim Zehringer, the...

  • Duke Energy to appeal $25.1M fine by NC regulators Tuesday, 24 Mar 2015 | 11:09 AM ET

    CHARLOTTE, N.C.— Duke Energy will appeal a $25.1 million fine by North Carolina environmental regulators over pollution that has been seeping into groundwater for years from a pair of coal ash pits at a retired power plant. Duke Energy said Tuesday that it will file a formal appeal with the North Carolina Office of Administrative Hearings by April 9.

  • Mark Welch, chief restructuring officer of Freedom Industries, entered the plea on behalf of the company in federal court to negligent discharge of a pollutant and unlawful discharge of refuse matter, both misdemeanors, and violating a permit condition under the Clean Water Act, a felony. Thousands of gallons of a coal-cleaning agent from Freedom Industries...

  • KHARTOUM, Sudan— Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan on Monday signed an initial agreement on sharing water from the Nile River that runs through the three countries, as Addis Ababa presses ahead with its construction of a massive new dam it hopes will help alleviate the country's power shortages. The dam had been an issue of contention among the three countries, with Egypt...

  • BEIJING, March 23- China will no longer chase bumper grain harvests and instead make safer foods a priority and boost imports as it bids to tackle its rural environmental problems, government officials said. He said China had recently published its sustainable development plan for agriculture, which will cap water use as well as reduce the use of chemical...

  • California first to feel hydro-power crunch of drought Saturday, 21 Mar 2015 | 1:45 PM ET

    SAN FRANCISCO— Flying over the Sierra Nevada as California entered its fourth year of drought, the state's energy chief looked down and saw stark bare granite cloaked in dirty brown haze— not the usual pristine white peaks heaped with snow that would run the state's hydroelectric dams for the year. But what California is experiencing is historically low...

  • U.S unveils new rules to for fracking on federal lands Friday, 20 Mar 2015 | 12:03 PM ET

    WASHINGTON, March 20- The U.S. Department of Interior said on Friday it finalized new rules to govern drilling on federal land using a process known as fracking, including new measures to protect groundwater. The rules, the culmination of a four-year process, will affect over 100,000 oil and gas wells on federally managed lands, 90 percent of which use the...

  • PORT VILA/ SYDNEY, March 19- Villagers in Vanuatu buried food and fresh water as one of the strongest storms on record bore down on them, fleeing to churches, schools and even coconut drying kilns as 300 kph winds and massive seas tore their flimsy houses to the ground. Despite reports of utter devastation six days after Cyclone Pam pummelled the impoverished South...

  • Less noticed: One of the companies where he served on the board, Florida timber company Rayonier Inc., faced a flurry of lawsuits not long before his exit. One case alleges that a plant in Georgia violated the Clean Water Act and contaminated the Altamaha River, and five other suits from investors contend the company made false and misleading statements that...

  • California farmers: Selling water makes more money Wednesday, 18 Mar 2015 | 10:32 AM ET
    Irrigation water runs along a dried-up ditch between the rice farms to provide water for the rice fields in Richvale, Calif.

    In drought-stricken California, farmers make more selling water than rice. NBC News reports.

  • BEIJING, March 18- China will pursue "active" fiscal policy and make "flexible" use of its monetary policy tools to keep its economy growing at a reasonable speed, the Chinese cabinet said on Wednesday. In its latest attempt to relieve concerns about China's cooling economy, the State Council said it would increase "targeted" adjustments to policies to support the...

  • *Experts say Kenya needs bigger, irrigated plantations. MUMIAS, Kenya, March 18- In the sugar cane fields of western Kenya, farmers complain that falling prices mean they can barely make ends meet. With much of the production coming from small rain-fed plots rather than large irrigated plantations, costs are much higher than Kenya's competitors.

  • CHARLESTON, W.Va.— Two former employees at Freedom Industries pleaded guilty to a pollution charge Wednesday in last year's chemical spill in West Virginia that fouled a local tap water supply. Ex-Freedom plant manager Michael Burdette and environmental consultant Robert Reynolds entered the pleas at separate hearings to negligent discharge of a...

  • SACRAMENTO, Calif.— Californians won't be able to water their lawns more than twice a week under tougher drought regulations that are expected to be approved Tuesday as the state heads into a fourth particularly dry year. The State Water Resources Control Board will consider extending current restrictions on outdoor water use, such as a prohibition on washing...

  • DENVER— Snowpack in the mountains and valleys where the Colorado River originates has been shrinking since the beginning of March, a federal water expert said Tuesday. "We dried out relatively significantly here since the beginning of March," said Brian Domonkos, supervisor of the Colorado Snow Survey for the U.S. Agriculture Department. In addition to the...

  • NYC officials, activists oppose ocean gas terminal Monday, 16 Mar 2015 | 1:12 PM ET

    NEW YORK— Some New York City elected officials and environmentalists rallied on Monday against a plan to build a liquid natural gas terminal near New York Harbor and called on Governor Andrew Cuomo to veto the proposal they deemed an environmental danger. Liberty Natural Gas wants to build a deep-water port in federal waters 19 miles off Jones Beach, New York,...

  • GLENDIVE, Mont.— The city of Glendive's water system is back online after being shut down when residue from an oil spill along the Yellowstone River was detected at the water plant's intake. Crews on Sunday installed an aeration system to remove any future contaminants from Glendive's drinking water supply. "If we do see spikes like we had on Saturday, the aeration...

  • CHARLESTON, W.Va.— Two former owners of Freedom Industries pleaded guilty on Monday to environmental violations stemming from last year's Charleston chemical spill that prompted a temporary tap water ban for 300,000 residents. At separate hearings, William Tis, 60, and Charles Herzing, 64, entered the pleas to causing an unlawful discharge of a...

  • BEIJING, Feb 25- China is expanding an income-tax break to help more companies and will speed construction of water projects, the cabinet said on Wednesday, as it boosts fiscal support for a cooling economy. A scheme to discount corporate tax rates by a fifth will be widened to cover firms with annual taxable income of 200,000 yuan, the State Council said in an...