Top news links, courtesy of Headwaters News.
Encana officials ask EPA to suspend public comment on Wyoming report
The Alberta-based company that owns the natural gas field in central Wyoming where federal Environmental Protection Agency officials have found a potential link between the use of hydraulic fracturing and contaminated drinking water wells near Pavillion asked the EPA to suspend the public comment period on its draft report.
Billings Gazette (AP); Jan. 10
EPA fines oil companies for not using unavailable cellulosic ethanol
In 2007, Congress passed a mandate requiring oil refiners to blend into their gasoline and diesel fuel 6.6 million gallons of cellulosic biofuel by 2011, but processes to create that biofuel in commercial quantities have yet to emerge, so companies were fined about $6.8 million dollars, and will no doubt pay penalties at the end of this year, if they cannot meet the new requirement of 8.65 million gallons.
New York Times; Jan. 10
Montana farmers file class action against MF Global over missing funds
MF Global, an international brokerage firm that recently filed for bankruptcy, held funds from Montana farmers to guarantee futures contracts for cattle and grain sales and to set prices for fuel, fertilizer and seeds, and those funds were supposed to be protected from monies deposited with the brokerage firm for investment, but that didn't happen, and those Montana farmers have filed a class action lawsuit against the principals of MF Global, as well as JP Morgan Chase and Co. and PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP.
Missoulian; Jan. 10
Federal judge rules Atlanta Gold must clean up arsenic contamination in Idaho
A federal judge in Idaho ruled that Canada-based Atlanta Gold is responsible for the arsenic-laden water flowing out of an abandoned mining tunnel in Idaho, and that the company must continue to operate a water-treatment plant built in 2006 to address that arsenic contamination.
Idaho Statesman; Jan. 9
Canada kicks off months of hearings on Northern Gateway pipeline project
An energy lawyer, an environmental consultant and a geologist make up the three-member panel appointed by Canada to hear testimony on the Northern Gateway pipeline proposed to move Alberta crude west to ports on British Columbia's Pacific coast, with 53 official intervenors signed up to present testimony on the plan, and at least 4,000 more who have asked to speak at the hearings, which are scheduled to run until next April.
Toronto Globe and Mail; Jan. 10
Idaho governor fashions economic development plan on Utah's
Idaho Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter proposed a $5-million economic development plan that would send $2 million to universities in the state to further research, $2 million into the Center for Advanced Energy Studies at the Idaho National Laboratory, and another $1 million into a business fund to help commercial development of products.
Idaho Statesman; Jan. 10
U.S. Supreme Court justices appear sympathetic to Idaho couple in EPA case
On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments in a case that pitted an Idaho couple seeking to build a home near Priest Lake against the Environmental Protection Agency, with the primary issue before the court if landowners can sue the EPA when it issued a compliance order or if they must wait until the EPA takes them to court.
Idaho Statesman (McClatchy Newspapers); Jan. 10
Lack of snowpack has Utah officials looking ahead to fire season
A record-dry December and forecasts for a drier-than-normal January has Utah state firefighters looking ahead to wildfire season and what drought means for forests already falling prey to beetles.
Salt Lake Tribune; Jan. 10
Headwaters News is a project of the Center for the Rocky Mountain West at The University of Montana. It provides a daily snapshot of news and opinion in the Rocky Mountain region of North America, giving the changing mountain West a tool to understand itself and a platform for the exchange of ideas.