Environment

States turn up the heat on ESG investing

At issue is whether mandates about environmental, social and governance investment strategies infringe upon a state fiduciary’s duty to maximize returns.

Federal permitting hampers climate goals and natural disaster mitigation, counties say

Officials, who are calling for reforms, say environmental regulations shouldn’t lead to yearslong waits to build transmission lines or impede their ability to respond to natural disasters.

Cities pay a climate penalty as air pollution worsens

Communities vulnerable to deteriorating air conditions and the resulting public health issues may find it ever more difficult to adapt to the changing environment, a new report suggests.

EPA finalizes new standards for deadly particulate matter

The restrictions on soot pollution will prevent thousands of premature deaths every year. Industry groups say it will hurt local economies.

9 states band together to phase out fossil fuel heating in homes

The signatories say the agreement’s focus on building emissions will signal to manufacturers that there will be a robust market for heat pumps in the coming years.

No more prizes for killing ‘nuisance’ animals under these hunting contest bans

Such contests kill tens of thousands of coyotes, foxes, squirrels and other animals each year.

Groundwater levels are falling worldwide — but there are solutions

New research shows how to protect the aquifers that hold most of the world’s fresh water.

Plastic bag bans have already prevented billions of bags from being used, report finds

Twelve states and more than 500 cities have implemented bans on single-use plastic bags. New data shows those efforts are paying off.

The cost of freeing drinking water from ‘forever chemicals’

The EPA is set to limit PFAS in drinking water to barely detectable levels. Can water utilities meet the standard?

GOP lawsuit over CO2 rules attacks Biden administration for overreach, pushes climate denial

Joined by 21 states, the complaint falsely claims there is “no consensus” on the causes of climate change. One environmental advocate said the argument is “like suing NASA for saying the world is round.”

The latest youth climate lawsuit tries a novel argument: The unique environmental vulnerability of children

Eighteen California children say the EPA fails to recognize the unique physical and mental impacts climate change has on kids.

Another large bank plans to exit the muni market

It’s the second big bank to drop its municipal bond business this year. But its decision, which many believe is the result of anti-ESG politics, could have a significant impact.

Should the EPA let Chicago have 40 years to remove lead pipes?

Some cities with a high number of lead pipes would be given more than the 10 years set by the EPA to replace them. The exception in the proposed rule is drawing criticism from residents and environmentalists.

EPA proposes all lead pipes be replaced within 10 years

The requirement would be a “massive unfunded mandate,” said a group representing local water utilities. But it does give cities, particularly those with lots of lead pipes, some leeway.

Former coal towns get money for clean energy projects

Coal, oil and gas communities are receiving an amount of investment that is far above their share of the population.

White House finalizes rule requiring states to target vehicle pollution

The controversial requirement will almost certainly meet resistance from Republicans both in states and Congress, who question the legal basis for the new rules.

The best and worst states for green, equitable transportation

A new ranking looks at how well states are directing money from the infrastructure law to improve equity and climate outcomes in their transportation networks.

House proposes slashing $4B from the EPA

The GOP funding cuts, passed along party lines, would significantly impact state and local efforts to improve drinking water and reduce water pollution. Additional cuts would severely hamper environmental justice projects.

Earth is getting extra salty, an ‘existential threat’ to freshwater supplies

Salt pollution, like that used to make roads safer after snow or ice storms, is contaminating the nation's water supplies and corroding underground pipes. States are exploring salt alternatives to combat the “existential threat to our freshwater."

Cities ask the EPA to help them curb methane emissions from landfills

Despite local efforts, millions of tons of the powerful greenhouse gas, mostly from thrown-out food, are being released into the atmosphere. In a letter, cities have asked the EPA for grants, trainings and stronger regulations.