Friday, April 25, 2014

Rockies Today, April 25

Posted By on Fri, Apr 25, 2014 at 11:25 AM

Top news links, courtesy of Mountain West News.

Study finds widespread groundwater pollution on Montana reservation
The U.S. Geological Survey began studying the aquifer underlying the Fort Peck Reservation in 1989, and in 1997, a plume of briny water found in the aquifer was tied to the East Poplar Oil Field in the southeastern quadrant of the reservation, which is still producing, and the latest study estimated the contamination at 15 to 37 billion gallons spread across 17.9 square miles.
Billings Gazette; April 25

Philanthropic groups step in to help on national park projects
As federal budgets shrink, the backlog on projects in the United States' national park system grows, but in Yosemite National Park and others, philanthropic groups are stepping in with funding to get things done.
New York Times; April 25

U.S. promises action after Canada issues train safety rules
On Wednesday, Canada announced that it would quickly retire older tank cars prone to rupture during derailments and to require railroads to have emergency plans in place to respond to explosions, eliciting a promise on Thursday from U.S. Transportation officials that they would pursue rules on enhancing safety features on tank cars.
New York Times; April 25

Canadian Pacific Railway CEO responds to new regulations
On Wednesday, Transport Minister Lisa Raitt announced a number of new regulations designed to improve rail safety in Canada, and while Canadian Pacific Railway CEO Hunter Harrison commended the agency's rules to get older tank cars off the rails, he said imposing new slower speeds on sections of lines will do nothing to improve rail safety.
Calgary Herald; April 25

Derailments in British Columbia in 2013 at five-year high
The Vancouver Sun's review of documents provided by the federal Transportation Safety Board indicate that there were 110 train derailments in British Columbia, a 20 percent increase from the year before, and with shipments of oil by rail on the rise, communities along the rail lines are concerned about what's passing through their towns and cities.
Vancouver Sun; April 25

U.S. DOE puts 'Teapot Dome' oilfield in Wyoming up for sale
The oilfield in Wyoming that was part of the 1920s' Teapot Dome scandal is on the market, with U.S. Department of Energy officials estimating the 9,500-acre oilfield north of Casper still contains 300 million barrels of oil, although not all that oil is recoverable.
Casper Star-Tribune (Denver Post); April 25

Groups ask Wyoming to revoke permit for Two Elk Power Plant
It's been 18 years since the Colorado-based North American Power Group first applied for a permit to build the coal-fired Two Elk power plant in Wyoming's Campbell County, although the air-quality permit first issued by the state Department of Environmental Quality in 2003 is still considered valid by the state, which the Sierra Club and the Powder River Basin Resource Council formally challenged this week.; April 25

Tribe, Idaho group file federal lawsuit to stop Idaho gold exploration project
The Nez Perce Tribe and the Idaho Conservation League have sued the U.S. Forest Service, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Marine Fisheries Service over their approval of permits for a subsidiary of B.C.-based Midas Gold Corp.'s to explore for gold in central Idaho.
Idaho Statesman (AP); April 25

After parents resist, company changes plan to drill near Colorado school
Mineral Resources Inc. officials touted their decision to withdraw applications to drill 19 wells within 900 feet of Frontier Academy, an elementary school in Greeley as an example of how they listen to Colorado residents.
Denver Post; April 25

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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