Environment

Mass starvation of manatees impels federal lawsuit over FL water pollution

BY: - May 25, 2022

The mass starvation of manatees in Florida last year was caused by preventable water pollution, and state government should be forced to clean up the state’s waterways, says a federal lawsuit filed this month on behalf of three major environmental groups. More than 1,100 manatees died last year – an unprecedented number — mainly of […]

Summer hurricanes, wildfires and storms loom as FEMA faces pressure to step up

BY: - May 24, 2022

WASHINGTON — Another grueling summer disaster season is arriving, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency is under intense pressure even as its portfolio balloons, it pleads for more money from Congress and criticism comes on several fronts. The agency manages more than 300 disaster declarations a year, a dramatic increase from the average of 108 […]

DEQ: Numeric nutrient criteria will remain in effect for now

BY: - May 19, 2022

The Montana Department of Environmental Quality is delaying implementation of revised water quality standards following a letter from federal regulators warning that some of the changes violate the U.S. Clean Water Act, state officials said this week. In the mean time, Montana’s existing numeric standards for nitrogen and phosphorous pollution in the state’s wadeable streams […]

U.S. Sens. Tester, Moran reach deal on care for veterans exposed to toxic burn pits

BY: - May 18, 2022

The two leaders of the U.S. Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, Montana Democrat Jon Tester and Kansas Republican Jerry Moran, have reached a deal with House leaders to pass a bill to extend health care access to veterans for conditions related to exposure to toxic chemicals during their service, the pair announced Wednesday. The consensus bill […]

Last week’s quake was the biggest in Yellowstone National Park in five years

BY: - May 16, 2022

Last week, Yellowstone National Park experienced its largest earthquake in nearly five years, with a magnitude 4.2 earthquake happening about 23 miles northeast of the East Entrance to the park. The earthquake happened in an area known for earthquakes, scientists said. The University of Utah seismograph stations reported the earthquake at 7:32 a.m., on May […]

Four Montana organizations to receive nearly $10M from EPA for cleanup

BY: - May 12, 2022

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said Thursday that four Montana organizations will receive nearly $10 million in revolving loan funds to clean up brownfields, or sites where reuse is complicated by pollution. “With this funding, four impactful organizations will advance the progress they’ve already made cleaning up and redeveloping polluted sites across the State of […]

Seven groups threaten to sue Forest Service over grazing north of Yellowstone National Park

BY: - May 11, 2022

Seven different conservation groups have sent a letter of intent to sue the United States Forest Service for disregarding thousands of acres of grizzly habitat in order to allow more livestock grazing not far from Yellowstone National Park. The letter, which demands the national Forest Service reconsider its action and puts the agency on notice, […]

EPA stymies Montana effort to overhaul nutrient standards for streams and rivers

BY: - May 11, 2022

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has ruled that several changes to Montana’s water quality standards passed in the 2021 legislative session do not comply with the federal Clean Water Act, asserting in a letter sent to state officials this week that previously approved standards are on the books until the feds say otherwise. The changes […]

Grizzly bear confirmed in North Moccasin Mountains near Lewistown

BY: - May 4, 2022

Bear tracks and hair samples collected in the North Moccasin Mountains near Lewistown confirm the presence of a grizzly bear in the area, Montana Fish Wildlife & Parks officials said Monday. “Having a grizzly bear in this area is not surprising after what we’ve seen the last few years in terms of bears moving further east […]

University of Montana poll: Quality of life down, growth too fast

BY: - May 3, 2022

Montanans value public lands and wildlife, but 57 percent consider the rate of growth in the state to be too fast, and 55 percent report their quality of life has gotten worse in the last five years. That’s according to poll results of the Montana Statewide Survey 2022 released Tuesday by the University of Montana […]

Montana 2022 fire season likely better than ’21, but high firefighter vacancies among challenges

BY: - May 3, 2022

Montanans should expect another worse-than-average wildfire season this year, state fire managers and officials told Gov. Greg Gianforte at his annual fire briefing this week, though likely not as bad as the drought-aggravated 2021 season. That’s if you still choose to think of fire season as a season. Officials told the governor, as they did […]

Sniffing out Yellowstone gases in real time

BY: - May 3, 2022

Much is known about how the chemical compositions of gases vary across the Yellowstone volcanic system, but how they vary in time has remained largely a mystery.  Our understanding should greatly improve with a recent installation of a station that continuously monitors gases and communicates those data in real time. During the past several decades, […]