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Stories by Jessica Swarner

Environmental prosecutions have declined under Obama administration

Environmental prosecutions have fallen sharply under the Obama administration, a change the EPA attributes to shift to focus on bigger, high-impact investigations. Prosecutions for environmental crimes fell from 225 per year under President Bush to 181 per year under President Obama.... Read more»0

Tribes, Grijalva ask Obama to protect 1.7M acres at Grand Canyon

Tribal leaders joined Rep. Raul Grijalva on Tuesday urging President Barack Obama to designate 1.7 million acres around the Grand Canyon as a national monument, bypassing Congress in the process. ... Read more»0

Court ordered to review life-without-parole sentence for Navajo teen

A federal appeals court ordered a resentencing Monday for a Navajo man who was sentenced to life without parole for murder and conspiracy to murder in 2002, when he was just 16 years old. ... Read more»0

Grand Canyon looks to record year, but needs millions for maintenance

Grand Canyon National Park officials say the park should break last year’s record of 5.5 million visitors this year, but advocates are worried the park may not be able to handle such large crowds — the park has $371.6 million in deferred maintenance projects.... Read more»0

Tucson, Phx set to increase joint water conservation effort

Tucson and Phoenix water officials used the of the first-ever White House Water Summit to announced plans Tuesday for a more than five-fold increase in the conservation effort between the two cities.... Read more»0

Feds begin environmental review of proposed Resolution Copper mine

The U.S. Forest Service has started its formal review of the environmental impact of the proposed Resolution Copper mine, but opponents charge the outcome of the process is “already pre-ordained.”... Read more»0

VA firing 3 top officials at troubled Phx hospital

The Department of Veterans Affairs said Tuesday that it has issued “notices of proposed removal” to three top executives at the Phoenix health care system – two years after problems there were first reported.... Read more»0

Oak Flat historic designation a win for mine opponents, but fight continues

Opponents of a proposed copper mine at the Oak Flat campground scored a point when it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places this month – but while they won the battle, they haven’t won the war.... Read more»0

White House, Congress feud over future of popular park-funding program

Both sides agree with the intent of the Land and Water Conservation Fund – to help acquire and improve federal and local park projects – but they disagree on how it should be implemented.... Read more»0

Arizonans weigh in on picking Supreme Court successor to Scalia

Washington officials may be arguing over what will follow the sudden weekend death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, but to Phoenix resident David Plummer the answer is obvious – the president should nominate a replacement, and quickly.... Read more»0

National parks need $11.9 billion in maintenance, $580M in Arizona

Arizona parks and monuments had more than $580 million in deferred maintenance at the end of fiscal 2015, part of a national backlog totaling $11.9 billion, according to a National Park Service report. The backlog is up at both the state and national level at a time when parks are seeing increased numbers of visitors.... Read more»0

'No other water' — Navajo drinking from uranium-contaminated wells

Residents of Sanders, Ariz. residents know their water contains dangerously high amounts of uranium, but with no other source — they are still using it.... Read more»0

Report: Arizona fares poorly on health insurance for Hispanic kids

Arizona had the 10th-highest percentage of uninsured Hispanic children in the nation in 2014 – the third-highest among states with the largest numbers of Hispanic children, according to a new report.... Read more»0