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Colorado Investigates a Spike in Fetal Abnormalities Near Natural Gas Drilling Site

Fetal abnormalities near frackingThe Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) has  called in an epidemiologist to investigate a recent spike in fetal abnormalities in Garfield County on Colorado's western slope. Stacey Gavrell, Director of Community Relations for Valley View Hospital in Glenwood Springs, said area prenatal care providers reported the increase in fetal abnormalities to the hospital, which then notified CDPHE.

So far neither the hospital nor the state have released information about the numbers of cases reported, over what span of time, or the amount of the increase.

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Large explosion rocks Washington natural gas plant; 5 workers hurt, 400 residents evacuated

gas explosion washingtonA large explosion rocked a natural gas processing plant on the Washington-Oregon border Monday, injuring five workers, causing about 400 people to evacuate from nearby farms and homes, and emitting a mushroom cloud of black smoke that was visible for more than a mile.

The 8:20 a.m. blast at the Williams Northwest Pipeline facility near the Washington town of Plymouth, along the Columbia River, sparked a fire and punctured one of the facility's two giant storage tanks for liquefied natural gas.

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U.N. court orders Japan to halt Antarctic whaling program

Japan whaling ordered to stopThe International Court of Justice on Monday ordered a temporary halt to Japan's Antarctic whaling program, ruling that it is not for scientific purposes as Japan had claimed.

Australia had sued Japan at the U.N.'s highest court in hopes of ending whaling in the icy Southern Ocean. Australia, which said Japan has slaughtered more than 10,000 whales since 1988, insisted that the Japanese program was a thinly disguised commercial exploit under the cover of scientific research.

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Yellowstone Earthquake: Volcanic Eruption Not Expected After Strongest Tremor in 34 Years

Yellowstone earthquakeYellowstone National Park was shaken by its largest earthquake in 34 years Sunday, but scientists say there is no concern that the quake will lead to an eruption of the Yellowstone Caldera, a supervolcano located in the park.

The magnitude-4.8 earthquake struck inside the park boundaries at 6:34 a.m. MDT Sunday. The epicenter was near the middle of the par, near the Norris Geyser Basin, according to Peter Cervelli of the U.S. Geological Survey.

The quake, the largest since another 4.8 tremor on February 22, 1980, was preceded by two foreshocks measuring 2.8 and 3.0 at 12:23 a.m. and 4:36 a.m. Sunday, respectively. The main shock was then followed by at least four aftershocks ranging in magnitude from 2.5 to 3.3 later Sunday morning.

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Toxic coal ash poses persistent threat to US waters

Toxic coal ash"This place was where I first knew God was real," Mr. Adkins drawls, gazing down at a narrow segment of the river known as Draper Landing. That's where he learned to fish and swim as a boy, where he first felt a spiritual connection to nature, he says. Gesturing toward his 2-year-old son, Benson, he adds, "I was planning on teaching him how to fish and swim right here, too.

"Now, I wouldn't let my dog come in here," Adkins adds.

Less than two months earlier, a storm pipe underneath an unlined coal ash basin two miles upstream from Draper Landing ruptured and spewed more than 30,000 tons of coal ash into the Dan. The plume of gray sludge spread 70 miles downstream, depositing toxins along the way.

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Oklahoma Earthquakes: Overnight Swarm Produces State's Strongest Quakes of 2014

oklahoma earthquake swarmA swarm of earthquakes struck central Oklahoma Saturday and early Sunday, producing the state's strongest quakes so far in 2014, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

The primary swarm of earthquakes was centered in northwestern Logan County and northeastern Kingfisher County, about 12 miles north of Crescent.

In that cluster, the USGS recorded nine earthquakes ranging in magnitude from 2.6 to 4.3 between 10 p.m. CDT Saturday and 7 a.m. Sunday. The two earthquakes measuring 4.3 on the moment magnitude scale were the strongest earthquakes so far in 2014 in Oklahoma, eclipsing a 4.1 jolt centered near Langston on Feb. 8.

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Earth Hour 2014: World To Turn Off The Lights For 60 Minutes In Honor Of The Environment

earth hour 2014The Great Wall. Times Square. The Eiffel Tower.

Many of the worlds greatest, and most illuminated, monuments will go dark for an hour on Saturday for the eightth annual Earth Hour. More than 150 countries and millions of people will engage in a crowd-sourced conservation effort from 8:30 to 9:30 p.m. local time, highlighting a growing need to protect the environment, while encouraging global action.

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