Friday, March 29, 2013

Rockies Today, March 29

Posted By on Fri, Mar 29, 2013 at 10:53 AM

Top news links, courtesy of Mountain West News.

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Western lawmakers furious about demand for return of Secure Rural Schools funds
The U.S. Forest Service is requesting the return of $17.6-million in payments made to counties under the Secure Rural Schools payment program because the payments were sent out without accounting for sequestration cuts, and in Oregon, counties have been asked to return $3.6 million in payments.
Portland Oregonian; March 29

Utah's loss of $9M in federal mineral royalties will hit rural counties hardest
Royalties from federal mineral leases flow into the Community Impact Fund in Utah, which disburses the money for such things as road projects in rural counties where oil and gas development is occurring, but with a $9 million reduction in those funds between now and the end of September, projects in mostly rural Utah may go unfunded.
Deseret News; March 29

Nation's beekeepers said colony collapse disorder spread rapidly in 2012
The loss of 40 to 50 percent of hives needed to pollinate crops last year is causing alarm among beekeepers and farmers who need the busy pollinators, and while the cause of the mysterious die-offs is not yet know, a class of pesticides known as neonicotinoids, which are incorporated into plants, are being scrutinized.
New York Times; March 29

Gov. Herbert says Utah will take role in pipeline oversight after spill
After a Chevron pipeline split and spilled 27,000 gallons of diesel fuel at Willard Bay State Park, Utah Gov. Gary Herbert criticized the level of oversight of pipelines by the federal Pipeline and Hazardous Material Safety Administration, and his office is working with the state's Commerce and Environmental Quality departments to see if the state can take a more active role in overseeing pipelines.
Salt Lake Tribune; March 29

Benzene found in groundwater near natural-gas plant spill in Colorado
Water pulled from groundwater monitoring wells near the Williams Midstream natural gas plant north of Parachute has levels of benzene nearly 3,600 times the level considered safe for drinking water, with the highest levels reported closest to a trench dug to contain the liquid spilling from a pipeline from the plant.
Denver Post; March 29

Alberta orders Suncor to fix its wastewater problem
The Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resource Development's order that Suncor stop discharging water from a wastewater pond into the Athabasca River and to present a plan by April 30, 2013 to address "soluable toxicity" problems at its industrial wastewater treatment system is not related to Monday's incident where process water from pipeline leaked into that river.
Edmonton Journal; March 29

Idaho NCRS: Dust storm sped up snowmelt in Owyhee Mountains
A dust storm that occurred on March 6 caused unprecedented snowmelt at the Reynolds Creek Experimental Watershed in the northern Owyhees in Idaho.
Idaho Statesman; March 29

Mountain West 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.

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