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Tuesday, May 26th

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Earthquake recorded overnight in Virginia

Virginia earthquakeThe U.S. Geological Survey recorded a magnitude 2.5 earthquake in Goochland at 3:48 a.m. The quake occurred about 24 miles northwest of Richmond.

Earlier this month, the USGS announced it had located a new fault zone in the aftermath of the Aug. 23, 2011 Virginia earthquake that rattled the entire East Coast.

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Brazil arrests alleged deforestation king of Amazon

Amazon deforestationBrazilian police have arrested the "biggest deforester" of the Amazon jungle, identified as Ezequiel Antonio Castanha, officials said.

Castanha was arrested last Saturday in a joint operation of Federal Police and the National Security Force in the Amazonian town of Novo Progresso in Para state, the Brazilian Environmental Institute (Ibama) said Monday.

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Feds predict 10 fuel trains could derail per year

trains could derail at ten per yearThe federal government predicts that trains hauling crude oil or ethanol will derail an average of 10 times a year over the next two decades, causing more than $4 billion in damage and possibly killing hundreds of people if an accident happens in a densely populated part of the U.S.

The projection comes from a previously unreported analysis by the Department of Transportation that reviewed the risks of moving vast quantities of both fuels across the nation and through major cities. The study completed last July took on new relevance this week after a train loaded with crude derailed in West Virginia, sparked a spectacular fire and forced the evacuation of hundreds of families.

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US charges Duke Energy with illegal pollution from 5 coal ash dumps

Duke enrgy chargedFederal prosecutors have filed criminal charges against Duke Energy with years of illegal pollution from coal ash dumps at five North Carolina power plants.

The three U.S. Attorney's Offices covering the state on Friday all charged Duke with felony violations of the Clean Water Act. The prosecutors say the nation's largest electricity company engaged in unlawful dumping since at least 2010 at coal-fired power plants in Eden, Moncure, Asheville, Goldsboro and Mt. Holly.

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‘Megadrought’ Coming to U.S.

madrought coming to USThe long and severe drought in the U.S. Southwest pales in comparison with what’s coming: a “megadrought” that will grip that region and the central Plains later this century and probably stay there for decades, a new study says.

Thirty-five years from now, if the current pace of climate change continues unabated, those areas of the country will experience a weather shift that will linger for as long as three decades, according to the study, released Thursday.

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GOP lawmakers push EPA to rethink clean water rule

Clean water act challenged  by GOPIn a year the Republican-controlled Congress is expected to take a significant whack at President Barack Obama’s environmental agenda, GOP lawmakers on Wednesday told top environmental officials they should scrap what was once a fairly obscure proposal to define what is and isn’t considered a body of water by federal law.

In an unusual joint hearing involving the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee and the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, the Republican majority that now controls both houses of Congress showed it is intent on trying to derail the president’s environmental agenda in his last two years in office.

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Second Oil “Bomb Train” Derailment in Philadelphia in One Year

Oil tran derails So. PhiladelphiaToday the second major oil “bomb train” derailment occurred in Philadelphia, risking residents’ lives, endangering drivers on one of the nation’s busiest highways, I-95, and putting waterways at risk. One year and eleven days ago, early on Martin Luther King Day 2014, seven cars carrying Bakken Shale crude derailed over the Schuylkill River in Philadelphia in a “near miss from disaster.”

That derailment put the entire University of Pennsylvania medical complex, the Schuylkill Expressway, the Veterans Administration, Children’s Hospital, and other major institutions at risk, along with a chunk of Philadelphia’s residential population too big to safely evacuate.

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