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Officials Reject Gas Pipeline Route That Would Have Run Through National Forests

Officials reject pipelineA massive interstate natural gas pipeline proposed to run through two national forests suffered a setback Thursday, as the proposed route was rejected following concerns about endangered wildlife.

The U.S. Forest Service said in documents that the $5 billion Atlantic Coast Pipeline and its 550-mile route lacks “minimum requirements” to safeguard wildlife. The now-rejected route would have crossed the Monongahela and George Washington national forests, and in doing so, the forest agency said, threaten endangered salamanders, flying squirrels, and red spruce ecosystem restoration areas.

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Michigan governor suspends state workers over Flint water crisis

Snyder fires state workersMichigan Governor Rick Snyder on Friday suspended two state workers in connection with water testing failures in the Flint contamination crisis, and the state restored some powers to Mayor Karen Weaver.

Snyder, who NBC news reported has hired a public relations crisis firm, suspended two Michigan Department of Environmental Quality workers in an increasing national furor over elevated lead readings in tap water and the blood of some children.

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US seeks to limit methane gas 'flaring' at drilling sites

methane gasThe Obama administration on Friday proposed new rules to clamp down on oil companies that burn off natural gas on public land, arguing the effort will reduce waste and harmful methane emissions as part of President Barack Obama's bid to curb climate change.

Energy companies frequently "flare" or burn off vast supplies of natural gas at drilling sites because it does not earn as much money as oil. A report by the Government Accountability Office said 40 percent of the methane gas being burned or vented could be captured economically and sold.

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EPA official to resign over Flint water crisis

Flint official at EPA resignsThe regional Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) chief responsible for Michigan is resigning amid charges that she did not do enough to prevent the Flint, Mich., drinking water crisis.

Susan Hedman, regional administrator for the EPA’s Chicago-based region 5, submitted her resignation Thursday, effective Feb. 1, the EPA said.

“EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy has accepted given Susan’s strong interest in ensuring that EPA region 5’s focus remains solely on the restoration of Flint’s drinking water,” an EPA spokeswoman said late Thursday.

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Study: By 2050 more plastics than fish in sea

plastics in ocean to outnumber fish by 2050Plastic trash will outweigh fish in the oceans by 2050 unless the world takes drastic action to recycle the material, a report warned Tuesday on the opening day of the annual gathering of the rich and powerful in the snow-clad Swiss ski resort of Davos.

An overwhelming 95 percent of plastic packaging worth $80 billion to 120 billion a year is lost to the economy after a single use, said a global study by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, which promotes recycling in the economy.

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Scientists: 2015 was Earth's hottest year

2015 hottest year on recordLast year was easily the Earth's hottest on record, federal scientists declared Wednesday — but don't expect the news to change any minds on the presidential campaign trail.

The Republicans' White House candidates still uniformly oppose President Barack Obama's efforts to combat climate change, and some reject the idea that it's even a problem worth tackling. So Wednesday's news opens them up to more attacks from Hillary Clinton and other Democrats who have sought to paint the GOP as anti-science.

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Environmentalists warn of disaster for Everglades if oil fracking bill passes

Everglades in danger from frackingEnvironmentalists are warning of a potential ecological disaster for the Florida Everglades if state lawmakers approve a measure that would open the door to fracking in the sensitive wetlands.

On Tuesday, politicians in Tallahassee were debating a proposed new law that would remove the right of local municipalities to pass ordinances or resolutions banning fracking and instead place all regulation and oversight of drilling for oil into the hands of a single state agency.

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