Reiters – March 17, 2016

Ecologists have a new tool for protecting the environment and monitoring ecological changes, according to an Australian study published on Thursday: drones. Aerial surveillance robots are more precise than traditional surveying techniques for tracking changes in animal populations and the broader environment, research from Monash University found. For full story, click here.

By Annie Snider – Politico – March 17, 2016

A House hearing on the Flint water crisis erupted into a bitter partisan clash Thursday over who was to blame for lead contamination in the Michigan city, with Republicans chastising the EPA chief and Democrats unloading on Michigan's governor. House Oversight Committee chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) zeroed in on EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy for the agency's failure to act quickly to warn residents about the dangers of the lead contamination in the drinking water. For full story, click here.

By Rebecca Wilhelm – Bloomberg BNA – March 16, 2016

Chief Judge Merrick Garland, President Barack Obama's nominee to fill the U.S. Supreme Court seat left vacant by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia, has generally been deferential to Environmental Protection Agency regulations, legal observers told Bloomberg BNA March 16. Garland, who has been a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit since 1997 and chief judge since 2013, has reviewed dozens of environmental law cases, including a challenge to the EPA's performance standards limiting particulate emissions from new power plants and a Commerce Clause challenge brought by a real estate developer whose construction plans were halted when the government determined that the project would jeopardize the endangered arroyo southwestern toad. For full story, click here.

By Gabriel Popkin – The Washington Post– March 14, 2016

“Where we’re standing was open water,” boasted Bhaskar Subramanian on a sun-soaked and unseasonably warm morning last fall. The Maryland Department of Natural Resources environmental scientist was standing on a sandy, crescent-shaped beach. Behind him, two small curved jetties, made of rock and covered in grasses, jutted into Chesapeake Bay. For full story, click here.

By Chris Mooney – The Washington Post – February 26, 2016

A group of forest scientists, ecologists and climate researchers has sent a strongly worded letter to the U.S. Senate, arguing that pending bipartisan energy legislation incorrectly claims that burning trees for energy is carbon neutral. “Legislating scientific facts is never a good idea, but is especially bad when the ‘facts’ are incorrect,” say the researchers, led by Phil Duffy, president of the Woods Hole Research Center. “We urge you and other members of the Senate to reconsider this well-intentioned legislation and eliminate the misrepresentation that forest bioenergy is carbon-neutral.” The letter is endorsed by 65 researchers, including a number of leaders of forest science, and also endorsed by several scientific societies. For full story, click here.