By Tom Philott – MotherJones – September 11, 2015

On Thursday, a federal appeals court struck down the Environmental Protection Agency's approval of a pesticide called sulfoxaflor. Marketed by agrichemical giant Dow AgroSciences, sulfoxaflor belongs to a class of pesticides called neonicotinoids, which have been implicated by a growing weight of evidence in the global crisis in bee health. In a blunt opinion, the court cited the "precariousness of bee populations" and "flawed and limited data" submitted by Dow on the pesticide's effects on beleaguered pollinating insects. For full story, click here.

By Agence France-Presse – – September 3, 2015

High levels of radioactive contaminants have been found in coal ash in major coal-producing regions of the United States, raising concern about the dangers of this unregulated waste, researchers said Wednesday. "Levels of radioactivity in the ash were up to five times higher than in normal soil, and up to 10 times higher than in the parent coal itself because of the way combustion concentrates radioactivity," said the study in the September 2 edition of the peer-reviewed journal Environmental Science and Technology. Coal ash is currently unregulated and is stored in holding ponds and landfills near coal-fired power plants, which are blamed for much of the fossil fuel pollution that is leading to climate change. Leaks from these ponds can contaminate groundwater, and experts have long known that coal contains harmful agents such as selenium and arsenic. For full story, click here.



By Gabrielle Chan – The Guardian – September 7, 2015

A new study has found open-cut mines that modify groundwater levels can affect trees and ecosystems several kilometres away from mine sites. The study has implications for the $1.2bn Shenhua Watermark coalmine and the federal government’s proposed “green lawfare” legislation which aims to limit the power of people to challenge projects unless they are directly effected. For full story, click here.

By Timothy Cama – The Hill – August 27, 2015

A federal judge in North Dakota acted late on Thursday to block the Obama administration’s controversial water pollution rule, hours before it was due to take effect. Judge Ralph Erickson of the District Court for the District of North Dakota found that the 13 states suing to block the rule met the conditions necessary for a preliminary injunction, including that they would likely be harmed if courts didn't act and that they are likely to succeed when their underlying lawsuit against the rule is decided. For full story, click here.

EPA – August 10, 2015

Waters on the majority of Indian reservations do not have water quality standards under the Clean Water Act to protect human health and the environment. Only 40 of the more than 300 federally recognized tribes with reservations have completed the process of obtaining EPA's approval to be treated in a manner similar to a state (TAS), and adopting standards for their waters that EPA has approved. EPA proposes to streamline how tribes apply for TAS for the water quality standards program and other Clean Water Act regulatory programs. The proposal would reduce the burden on applicant tribes and advance cooperative federalism by facilitating tribal involvement in the protection of reservation water quality as intended by Congress. For full story, click here.