US officials say 2 more places will test sewage for polio

By Mike Stobbe, AP Medical Writer

NEW YORK (AP) — Philadelphia and Oakland County, Michigan, are joining the small list of U.S. localities that are looking for signs of polio infections in sewage, U.S. health officials said Wednesday.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the communities will test for polio in sewage for at least four months.

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The Associated Press

Judge orders Enbridge, tribe to form emergency pipeline plan

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A federal judge has ordered energy company Enbridge Inc. and an American Indian tribe to come up with an emergency plan to prevent potential spills from an aging oil pipeline running across the tribe’s reservation.

The Bad River Band of Lake Superior Chippewa sued Enbridge in federal court in 2019 to force the company to remove a section of the Line 5 pipeline that runs across the tribe’s reservation in northern Wisconsin, arguing the nearly 70-year-old line poses an unreasonable risk to health and safety.

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The Associated Press

Mine opponents to ask Minnesota Supreme Court to void permit

By Steve Karnowski, Associated Press

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The Minnesota Supreme Court will hear arguments on an attempt by environmental groups to cancel a key permit for a long-stalled copper-nickel mine.

Opponents of PolyMet Mining Corp.′s project say state regulators should have included “end-of-pipe” limits on discharges of mercury, sulfates and other pollutants in the water quality permit.

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The Associated Press

No federal aid to restart Michigan nuclear power plant

COVERT, Mich. (AP) — The federal government has turned down a request for financial aid to restart a nuclear power plant in southwestern Michigan, the owner said.

Holtec International said it was notified Friday by the U.S. Energy Department.

The Palisades plant along Lake Michigan, formerly owned by Entergy, was shut down last spring after generating electricity for more than 50 years.

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The Associated Press

EPA orders Ohio power plant to stop dumping toxic coal ash

By Matthew Daly, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — In a major action to address toxic wastewater from coal-fired power plants, the Environmental Protection Agency on Friday ordered an Ohio utility to stop dumping dangerous coal ash into unlined storage ponds and speed cleanup of the site.

The order to the Gen.

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The Associated Press

After years of construction, Shell ethane cracker starts up

MONACA, Pa. (AP) — Years in the works, a massive petrochemical refinery in western Pennsylvania fed by the vast natural gas reservoir underneath Appalachia became fully operational Tuesday, oil and gas giant Shell plc said.

The refinery, built on the site of a former zinc smelter along the Ohio River some 30 miles (48 kilometers) northwest of Pittsburgh, will produce 3.5 billion pounds (1.6 billion kilograms) of polyethylene annually when it ramps up to full production by the second half of 2023, Shell said.

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The Associated Press

5 deaths at NYC nursing home blamed on Legionnaires’ disease

NEW YORK (AP) — Five people died of Legionnaires’ disease over the summer at a New York City nursing home that had been cited repeatedly for improper maintenance of the cooling towers where the Legionella bacteria can spread, The New York Times reported.

The outbreak at Amsterdam Nursing Home, a 409-bed facility in upper Manhattan, was the city’s worst since 2015 when a cooling tower in the Bronx was blamed for an infection that caused 16 deaths.

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The Associated Press

Detroit church to remember sailors lost on the Great Lakes

DETROIT (AP) — Sailors who lost their lives in shipwrecks on the Great Lakes and Michigan waterways will be remembered at a historic church in downtown Detroit.

The annual Great Lakes Memorial service will be held at 3 p.m. Sunday and will be livestreamed from Mariners’ Church along the Detroit River.

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The Associated Press

Indiana governor traveling to UN climate summit in Egypt

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana’s governor is planning his fifth overseas trip of the year, this time to attend a U.N. climate conference in Egypt.

Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb’s office announced Wednesday that he would take part in the COP27 climate change conference. Holcomb’s schedule includes giving a speech about Indiana’s efforts to increase use of clean energy in the state, the governor’s office said.

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The Associated Press

Fishermen plead not guilty to charges in tournament scandal

CLEVELAND (AP) — Two men accused of stuffing five walleye with lead weights and fish fillets during a lucrative fishing tournament on Lake Erie pleaded not guilty to cheating and other charges on Wednesday.

Jacob Runyan, 42, of Broadview Heights, Ohio, and Chase Cominsky, 35, of Hermitage, Pennsylvania, made no comments during their brief court appearances in Cleveland.

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The Associated Press

Clean Water Act at 50: environmental gains, challenges unmet

By John Flesher, Associated Press

Lifelong Cleveland resident Steve Gove recalls when the Cuyahoga River symbolized shame — fetid, lifeless, notorious for catching fire when sparks from overhead rail cars ignited the oil-slicked surface.

“It was pretty grungy,” said the 73-year-old, a canoeist in his youth who sometimes braved the filthy stretch through the steelmaking city.

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The Associated Press

Ann Arbor sends partially treated wastewater into river

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — The City of Ann Arbor says an estimated 1.38 million gallons (5.2 million liters) of partially treated wastewater flowed into the Huron River during maintenance Tuesday at its treatment plant.

The wastewater had received all treatment except disinfection, the city announced Wednesday in a news release.

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The Associated Press

MN Supreme Court: Farm country stream is protected waterway

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — The Minnesota Supreme Court has ruled a western county in the state must conduct an environmental review to determine whether a proposed drainage ditch improvement could harm one of the last free-flowing creeks in the heavily agricultural area.

The ruling last week affirms a state Court of Appeals judgment that reversed a Renville County Board decision which said the study wasn’t necessary.

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The Associated Press

Authorities probing report of scandal at fishing tournament

By Mark Gillispie, Associated Press

CLEVELAND (AP) — The county prosecutor’s office in Cleveland has opened an investigation into an apparent cheating scandal during a lucrative walleye fishing tournament on Lake Erie last week.

A video posted to Twitter shows Jason Fischer, tournament director for the Lake Erie Walleye Trail, cutting open the winning catch of five walleye on Friday and finding lead weights and prepared fish filets inside them.

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The Associated Press

Minnesota Ojibwe harvest sacred, climate-imperiled wild rice

By Giovanna Dell’Orto, Associated Press

ON LEECH LAKE, Minnesota (AP) — Seated low in her canoe sliding through a rice bed on this vast lake, Kendra Haugen used one wooden stick to bend the stalks and another to knock the rice off, so gently the stalks sprung right back up.

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The Associated Press

Pennsylvania spending $45M to establish 3 new state parks

By Mark Scolforo, Associated Press

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Pennsylvania is spending $45 million to add new state parks at a nature preserve in Tunkhannock, on Big Elk Creek in the Philadelphia suburbs and along the Susquehanna River near Wrightsville, officials were set to announce Tuesday.

The additions to the state’s 121-park system will be an existing nearly 700-acre nature preserve on the Vosburg Neck in Wyoming County, a 1,700-acre tract in Chester County and some 1,100 acres in York County.

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The Associated Press

Evers administration relaunches efforts to limit PFAS

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Democratic Gov. Tony Evers’ administration is trying again to limit the levels of a group of chemicals known as PFAS in Wisconsin’s groundwater.

The Wisconsin State Journal reported that Evers authorized the Department of Natural Resources last week to begin work on administrative rules establishing limits.

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The Associated Press

State cracks down on Flint company after Flint River spill

FLINT, Mich. (AP) — State regulators on Monday ordered a Flint chemical company to truck wastewater to a water treatment plant, weeks after it was blamed for an oily discharge in the Flint River.

The 11-page order describes disputes between Lockhart Chemical and the Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy.

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The Associated Press

Michigan property owners settle PFAS case for $54 million

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — A judge has given tentative approval to a $54 million settlement involving 3M Co., a shoe manufacturer and property owners in western Michigan who said their land and wells were contaminated by toxic “forever chemicals.”

The deal involves approximately 1,700 properties north of Grand Rapids.

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The Associated Press

Judge: Pipeline can operate on reservation amid reroute work

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A federal judge will allow an oil and gas pipeline to continue to flow on a northern Wisconsin American Indian reservation while its operators work to reroute the line around the tribal land.

The Bad River Band of Lake Superior Chippewa sued Enbridge in 2019 demanding it remove the section of line that runs across the tribe’s reservation in Ashland County.

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Isle Royale wolf population surges after nearly dying off

By John Flesher, AP Environmental Writer

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) — Isle Royale National Park’s gray wolf population has reached 28, a dramatic comeback after the species nearly disappeared from the Lake Superior island chain, researchers said.

Health problems from inbreeding caused a die-off that left only two wolves a few years ago, leading park officials to authorize an airlift of mainland replacements.

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The Associated Press

Wisconsin court: Conservative holdover can stay on DNR board

By TODD RICHMOND, Associated Press

 

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Wisconsin’s conservative-controlled Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that a conservative member of the Department of Natural Resources policy board may remain on the panel indefinitely in a far-reaching decision that leaves Democratic Gov. Tony Evers all but powerless to seat any of his appointees who need legislative approval.

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The Associated Press

Michigan panel wants more details on Great Lakes oil tunnel plan

By John Flesher, AP Environmental Writer

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) — A Michigan regulatory panel said Thursday that it needs more information about safety risks before it can rule on Enbridge Energy’s plan to extend an oil pipeline through a tunnel beneath a waterway linking two of the Great Lakes.

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The Associated Press

Wisconsin court bats down challenge to Kohler golf course

By Harm Venhuizen, Associated Press/Report for America

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Conservatives on the Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled June 30 that a conservation group couldn’t challenge an agency’s decision to sell state park land for the construction of a high-end golf course along the shores of Lake Michigan.

Opponents said the ruling will make it much harder for the public to challenge decisions of state agencies.

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The Associated Press

DNR monitoring crappie kill at Loon Lake in NE Indiana

COLUMBIA CITY, Ind. (AP) — State Department of Natural Resources fisheries biologists have collected fish and water samples at a northeastern Indiana lake as the result of a fish kill involving thousands of crappies, the agency said June 23.

The fish kill began last week at Loon Lake in Whitley and Noble counties.

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Court kills Flint water charges against ex-governor, others

By Ed White, Associated Press

DETROIT (AP) — The Michigan Supreme Court on Tuesday threw out charges against former Gov. Rick Snyder and others in the Flint water scandal, saying a judge sitting as a one-person grand jury had no power to issue indictments under rarely used state laws.

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The Associated Press

Feds issue draft assessment that could doom Minnesota mine

By Steve Karnowski, Associated Press

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — The U.S. Forest Service issued a draft environmental assessment Thursday to lay the foundation for a proposed 20-year moratorium on copper-nickel mining upstream from the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness.

Formally, the proposal would “withdraw” from new mineral leasing for 20 years about 352 square miles within the Rainy River watershed in the Superior National Forest around the town of Ely.

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From ‘carp’ to ‘copi’: unpopular fish getting a makeover

By John Flesher, Associated Press

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) — You’re in the mood for fish and your server suggests a dish of invasive carp. Ugh, you might say. But how about broiled copi, fresh from the Mississippi River?

Here’s the catch: They’re the same thing.

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The Associated Press

State: Chemical company likely source of Flint River spill

FLINT, Mich. (AP) — Authorities focused on a chemical company Thursday as the likely source of a spill that has left a dark oily sheen for miles on the Flint River.

Lockhart Chemical in Flint was cooperating with state regulators and removing material from underground storage areas, said Jill Greenberg, spokeswoman at the Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy.

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The Associated Press

Several thousands of gallons of oily material in Flint River

FLINT, Mich. (AP) — Several thousands of gallons of an oil-based, dark black material with a petroleum smell spilled into the Flint River in Flint, authorities said Wednesday.

The spilled appeared to be 5 miles (8 kilometers) miles long, Jill Greenberg, a spokeswoman for Michigan’s environmental agency, told MLive.com.

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Wisconsin Republicans allow PFAS standards to take effect

By Todd Richmond, Associated Press

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Wisconsin Republicans will allow regulations Democratic Gov. Tony Evers’ administration developed to control pollution from a group of chemicals known as PFAS to take effect, a spokesman for the lawmaker who controls the Legislature’s rules committee said Monday.

The Legislature’s Republican-controlled Joint Committee for Review of Administrative Reviews has no objections to the regulations and will allow the Department of Natural Resources to implement them, said Mike Mikalsen, an aide to the committee’s co-chairman, Sen.

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Coast Guard: Oil spill closes shipping on St. Mary’s River

SAULT STE. MARIE, Ontario. (AP) — An oil spill temporarily closed shipping traffic on the St. Marys River between Ontario and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, the U.S. Coast Guard said Thursday.

The 5,300-gallon (20,063-liter) spill originated from Algoma Steel in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, around 10:30 a.m. Thursday.

The 75-mile (121-kilometer) river connects Lake Superior and Lake Huron and serves as part of the border between Michigan and Ontario.

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Climate-driven flooding poses well water contamination risks

By Michael Phillis and John Flesher, Associated Press

ST. LOUIS (AP) — After a record-setting Midwestern rainstorm that damaged thousands of homes and businesses, Stefanie Johnson’s farmhouse in Blandinsville, Illinois, didn’t have safe drinking water for nearly two months.

Flood water poured into her well, turning the water a muddy brown and forcing Johnson, her husband and their two young children to use store-bought supplies.

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Pennsylvania public water utilities say Senate bill will force up rates

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Legislation criticized by opponents as a vehicle for-profit water companies to take over municipal water authorities in Pennsylvania by imposing expensive regulations on them passed the Republican-controlled state Senate on Tuesday.

Opponents also warned that the bill will precipitate ratepayer increases when water authorities must meet the new regulations or after they are forced to sell out to for-profit water companies.

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The Associated Press

Wisconsin judge leaves PFAS regulation ruling on hold

By Scott Bauer, Associated Press

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A Wisconsin judge on Tuesday agreed to keep on hold his ruling from April that prevented state regulators from requiring businesses and others responsible for pollution by PFAS chemicals to investigate and clean up the contamination.

Waukesha County Circuit Judge Michael Bohren said because of the importance and impact of his ruling, it made sense to keep it on hold while the state Department of Natural Resources appeals.

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Landmark bill to limit cryptomining passes NY Legislature

By Michael Hill, Associated Press

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — New York lawmakers have passed a milestone environmental measure designed to tap the brakes on the spread of cryptocurrency mining operations that burn fossil fuels.

Both supporters and opponents say that the closely watched bill, approved early Friday by the state Senate, is the first of its kind in the U.S.

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COVID hits Buttigieg, others who attended Michigan event

MACKINAC ISLAND, Mich. (AP) — At least 15 people who attended a public affairs conference last week on Michigan’s Mackinac Island have tested positive for COVID-19, including U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg.

The gathering is put on each year by a business group, the Detroit Regional Chamber, and attracts more than 1,000 public officials, journalists and others who discuss a variety of political and policy issues.

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The Associated Press

Pressure growing to remove PFAS from fast food wrappers

By Michael Casey, Associated Press

BOSTON (AP) — Brenda Hampton first came across the toxic industrial compound PFAS after finding it was part of the cocktail of contaminants that tainted the drinking water in her North Alabama community.

Hampton, who believes the contaminated water contributed to kidney problems she and other residents suffer, soon learned the chemicals were found in another source that hit close to home — fast food wrappers, boxes and plates.

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The Associated Press

Marshfield, Adams shut down wells due to PFAS pollution

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Marshfield and Adams have joined the list of Wisconsin cities that have shut down municipal wells due to PFAS contamination.

Wisconsin Public Radio reported that the state Department of Natural Resources announced Thursday that sampling in the two cities has detected PFAS high enough to concern state health officials.

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Infrastructure plan: $33M to clean up hundreds of oil wells

By Janet McConnaughey, Associated Press

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — About $33 million of the $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure plan recently signed into law by President Joe Biden will go toward cleanning up 277 of an estimated 15,000 abandoned oil and gas wells on federal land, the nation’s interior secretary said Wednesday.

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Biden forest plan stirs dispute over what counts as “old”

By Matthew Brown and Matthew Daly, Associated Press

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — President Joe Biden’s order to protect the nation’s oldest forests against climate change, wildfires and other problems devastating vast woodlands is raising a simple yet vexing question: When does a forest grow old?

Millions of acres are potentially on the line — federal land that could eventually get new protections or remain open to logging as the administration decides which trees to count under Biden’s order covering “old growth” and “mature” forests.

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National Guard to help with northeastern Minnesota flooding

ST. PAUL (AP) — Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz on Thursday activated the National Guard to help control record flooding in areas of northeastern Minnesota.

Emergency management officials in St. Louis and Koochiching counties requested the assistance to deal with high water caused by heavy spring rains and rapid snowmelt throughout the Rainy River Basin.

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The Associated Press

Flint residents get extension to file claims over bad water

FLINT, Mich. (AP) — A judge granted a seven-week extension Monday to file claims for a share of $626 million settlement over Flint’s lead-contaminated water.

U.S. District Judge Judith Levy approved a request to stretch the May 12 deadline to June 30.

“Although it is clear that all involved are working diligently to compile the information and documentation necessary to support claims, some claimants have experienced delays or difficulties in obtaining certain required documents,” Levy said, quoting a summary by special master Deborah Greenspan.

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AP analysis finds growing number of poor, high-hazard dams

By David A. Lieb, Michael Casey and Michelle Minkoff, Associated Press

Constructed four generations ago, the massive rock and clay dam at El Capitan Reservoir is capable of storing over 36 billion gallons of water, enough to supply every resident in San Diego for most of a year.

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16 states that want to electrify USPS fleet file lawsuits

By David Sharp, Associated Press

California and 15 states that want the U.S. Postal Service to electrify its mail delivery vehicles are suing to halt purchases of thousands of gas-powered trucks as the agency modernizes its delivery fleet.

Three separate lawsuits, filed Thursday by the states and environmental groups in New York and California, ask judges to order a more thorough environmental review before the Postal Service moves forward with the next-generation delivery vehicle program.

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The Associated Press

Madison mayor wants to spend $425K on PFAS filtration system

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Madison Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway wants to spend $425,000 to design a system to filter PFAS chemicals out of a city well.

The Wisconsin State Journal reported Monday that the mayor said the system would be the first in Wisconsin designed to filter the so-called “forever chemicals” out of drinking water.

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The Associated Press

New Ohio law eases state regulation of some streams

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — State regulation of streams that flow temporarily after rainfall will be restricted under legislation signed into law by Republican Gov. Mike DeWine.

Construction companies, the mining industry and other business groups say removing so-called ephemeral streams from regulation would make Ohio’s practice consistent with federal law.

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The Associated Press

Coal interests sue to block Pennsylvania’s carbon policy

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Coal-related interests sued on April 28 to block the centerpiece of Gov. Tom Wolf’s plan to fight climate change, a carbon-pricing policy that will impose a cost for emitting planet-warming carbon dioxide from fossil fuel-fired power plants.

The lawsuit filed in Commonwealth Court by owners of coal-fired power plants, owners of coal mines and labor unions that mine coal and maintain the power plants say the regulation written by Wolf’s administration is “patently unlawful.”

The regulation took effect Saturday after a long regulatory vetting process and fights with a hostile Legislature controlled by Republicans who are historically protective of Pennsylvania’s coal and natural gas industries.

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The Associated Press

Canada lynx protections deal sealed by US, environmentalists

By Matthew Brown, Associated Press

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — U.S. wildlife officials have agreed to craft a new habitat plan for the snow-loving Canada lynx that could include more land in Colorado and other western states where the rare animals would be protected, according to a legal agreement made public Tuesday.

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The Associated Press

Big greenhouse gas state taking biggest climate step yet

By Marc Levy, Associated Press

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — More than two years after he started work on it, Gov. Tom Wolf is set to enact the centerpiece of his plan to fight climate change, making Pennsylvania the first major fossil fuel state to adopt a carbon pricing policy — but it might be a short-lived victory.

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The Associated Press