Environment

Supreme Court Could Shift More Control Over Wetlands to States

The court will begin its new term with a long-running dispute over when wetlands fall under the nation's main water quality law. Depending on how the justices rule, it could leave federal regulators with less authority and states taking up the slack.

How a School’s ‘Bike Bus’ Won Over Students and Charmed the Internet

Nearly 200 kids in Portland, Oregon join a weekly bicycle ride to school, instead of relying on buses or drop-offs. The fun-spirited, pedal-powered convoys have drawn nationwide attention and the teacher behind them says they have many benefits.

There’s Bipartisan Interest in Reworking the Brownfields Program

The infrastructure law tripled funding to clean up and redevelop polluted sites. Two key senators are looking at ways to help more communities take advantage of the additional money.

Manchin Drops Push to Overhaul Energy Infrastructure Permitting

West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin wanted to speed environmental approvals for projects like power plants and pipelines. But he couldn’t muster the votes to tie his proposal to legislation needed to keep the federal government open.

3 Reasons Hurricane Ian Poses a Major Flooding Hazard for Florida

COMMENTARY | A meteorologist explains why the looming storm could be especially dangerous for the state's Gulf Coast.

California’s 2030 Ban on Gas Heaters Opens a New Front in the War on Fossil Fuels

The first-of-its-kind plan will purge gas from existing buildings, not just new construction.

How Manchin’s Permitting Plan Would Restrict State Power

The senator’s proposal seeks to codify into law Trump-era rules narrowing how states can evaluate projects like gas pipelines and power plants under the Clean Water Act.

Preventing the Next Jackson-Like Water Crisis

COMMENTARY | There’s federal funding available to make badly needed water infrastructure upgrades in communities of color harmed by years of disinvestment. But the onus is on state lawmakers to direct the money to places that need it most.

States Take on PFAS ‘Forever Chemicals’ With Bans, Lawsuits

Rising awareness has prompted action in more than two dozen states.

Why the Permitting Reform Debate Isn’t Going Away Anytime Soon

Even if Sen. Joe Manchin succeeds in getting his proposed overhaul of environmental regulations for infrastructure attached to a critical spending bill, Republicans plan to push for further changes, including restoring Trump-era policies.

Minneapolis is the Latest US City to Demand Emissions-Free Shipping

The city, where Target is headquartered, is pressuring big brands to “abandon fossil-fueled ships.”

Clash Over Infrastructure Permitting Heats Up on Capitol Hill

Despite objections from fellow Democrats, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer says he will press ahead with a deal to attach an overhaul of energy project permitting to a must-pass spending bill. Meanwhile, Republicans have a plan of their own.

Against Federal Guidance, States Plan to Expand Highways

A new report says money from the infrastructure package could be funneled to “highway boondoggles.”

Parched California Prepares for First-Ever Colorado River Cuts

State officials are nearing an agreement that would leave 10% of California's allocation in reservoirs next year.

Tree Canopies Cool Neighborhoods. The Inflation Reduction Act Commits $1.5B to Plant Many More

The massive federal measure offers a five-fold increase in funding tree planting nationwide, especially in low-income communities that are typically hotter in summers.

As Colorado River Dries, US Teeters on the Brink of Larger Water Crisis

The megadrought gripping the western states is only part of the problem. Alternative sources of water are also imperiled, and the nation’s food along with it.

Forget Politics. Science-based Policymaking Is Critical to Combat Climate Change

COMMENTARY | Climate change policy has become collateral damage amid partisan discord. Until government leaders leave their political biases at the door and follow the scientific facts, climate change will worsen.

Deer Are Threatening American Forests. Is More Hunting the Solution?

To protect habitats and carbon-capturing forests, scientists say the deer population needs to be drastically reduced in many areas.

Biden Signs Major Climate, Health Care, Tax Law

The legislation will mean new federal support for a range of state and local programs, as well as the extension of key health insurance subsidies. Most GOP governors oppose the measure.