Environmental Protection Agency

  • Fire closes Snow DogsĀ in Paonia
  • Telluride entrepreneur project produces a new business for Montrose
  • EPA releases report on Animas River spill
  • Montrose County cuts top jobs to save money
  • Mesa County woman faces felony if convicted of repeat DUI
John Hickenlooper
Laura Palmisano

Governor John Hickenlooper and members of his cabinet were in Montrose on Thursday for a community forum.

The Obama administration unveiled plans Tuesday that would curb the methane that leaks from facilities related to oil and natural gas production. Methane is one of the greenhouse gases that trap heat in the Earth's atmosphere.

The Environmental Protection Agency was investigating an old mine near Silverton, Colo., earlier this month, when it accidentally released 3 million gallons of toxic waste water into the Animas River.

Initially the agency downplayed the incident and provided little information. So Navajo President Russell Begaye traveled to the source of the toxic spill and posted a video of it on Facebook.

In the video, he stands in front of the still-leaking mine.

In Colorado, New Mexico and Utah, towns that are downstream from the old gold mine where contaminated wastewater spewed into a river have shut off their water supplies' connections to the spill. Two rivers will remain closed until at least Monday, officials say.

In an event that has led to health warnings and turned a river orange, the Environmental Protection Agency says one of its safety teams accidentally released contaminated water from a mine into the Animas River in southwest Colorado.

The spill, which sent heavy metals, arsenic and other contaminants into a waterway that flows into the San Juan National Forest, occurred Wednesday. The EPA initially said 1 million gallons of wastewater had been released, but that figure has risen sharply.

From member station KUNC, Stephanie Paige Ogburn reports for our Newscast unit:

An epic legal battle is about to begin over President Obama's plan to address climate change, in which the Environmental Protection Agency is putting in place new limits on greenhouse gases from power plants. Critics argue the plan is on shaky legal ground, but the administration says it's prepared to defend the regulations in court.

In announcing the "Clean Power Plan" on Monday, Obama predicted some of the arguments his critics would make.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Monday that the Environmental Protection Agency made a mistake when it told electric power plants to reduce mercury emissions. The high court says the EPA should first have considered how much it would cost power plants to do that.

The decision comes too late for most power companies, but it could affect future EPA regulations.

Mercury in the air is a health risk. When you burn coal or oil, you create airborne mercury that can end up in fish we eat and cause serious health problems.

Hundreds of people are expected to testify in Denver on proposed rules to reduce carbon emissions from coal-fired power plants. The Denver hearing is one of several the Environmental Protection Agency is hosting across the country on the plans.

Elizabeth Wynne Johnson (CC BY)

Last Wednesday, the Environmental Protection Agency held a hearing in Denver on its upcoming carbon dioxide regulations for power plants.