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EPA decision to lower ozone standard a ‘major challenge’ for Arizona

The EPA's reduction of its limit for ground-level ozone will put an additional seven Arizona counties out of compliance and pose a significant challenge, an official said Friday.... Read more»

Enviro sees toxic mine danger in Arizona; officials disagree

With Arizona home to thousands of abandoned mines, the head of a state environmental group says an incident similar to the recent toxic spill in Colorado could happen here.... Read more»

State files motion to intervene in lawsuit over wolf recovery program

The state has filed a motion to involve itself in a lawsuit in which environmental groups allege that federal officials are failing to abide by the Endangered Species Act and environmental and administrative laws in a recovery plan for Mexican gray wolves.... Read more»

Groups to feds: Tighten mining rules in light of Colorado spill

Citing the release of millions of gallons of toxic wastewater into a southwestern Colorado river earlier this month, a coalition of conservation groups, two Native American tribes and two county governments in Arizona petitioned federal agencies Tuesday to tighten mining regulation on public lands.... Read more»

Az officials hopeful, watchful as toxic release moves toward Colorado River

Arizona officials said Tuesday they continue to monitor a massive spill of toxic mining sludge that is heading downstream toward the Colorado River, but are hopeful that it will have little impact by time it reaches the state. ... Read more»

Arizona enviros cheer EPA Clean Power Plan, utilities wary

Arizona environmental groups cheered the final version of the Clean Power Plan unveiled Monday, a first-ever national standard that aims to cut power plant emissions by a third by 2030. But Arizona utilities and state officials both were more cautious, saying they need to study the plan that has been more than a year in the making.... Read more»1

New ‘Waters of U.S.’ rule does little to settle feud over EPA regulation

Federal officials have unveiled a rule meant to settle the question of which bodies of water are subject to the Clean Water Act – but it did little to settle the fight over the issue. Waters covered could include wetlands or waterways that go dry for parts of the year, such as Arizona's washes, as well as lakes and rivers. ... Read more»3

Invasive buffelgrass no longer just Southern Arizona’s problem

Buffelgrass has colonized landscapes across Southern Arizona over the decades, increasing wildfire intensity and threatening native vegetation. Now officials point with worry at stands of buffelgrass taking root in and near Phoenix.... Read more»1

Environmental impact statement clears way for forest thinning

The Forest Service signed off on the final environmental impact statement for the Four Forest Restoration Initiative last week, clearing the way for thinning 600,000 acres of Arizona forest.... Read more»

Endangered species condoms mark Earth Day with an earthy message

The Center for Biological Diversity worries that Earth Day has lost its focus on overpopulation, so it will deliver an unusual reminder – 50,000 free endangered species condoms. The condom giveaway is just one of many ways people are marking Earth Day. ... Read more»

Bill puts destructive Grand Canyon bison in the cross hairs

Arizona lawmakers have a simple solution to the problem of bison that are overgrazing and damaging Grand Canyon National Park's North Rim area - hunting. They're backing bills to allow "skilled volunteers" to hunt bison in the normally hunting-free park and to keep their kill. ... Read more»

Two Az lawmakers push bills promoting state sovereignty over land

At least eight bills, each of them authored by Rep. Brenda Barton, R-Payson, or Rep. Bob Thorpe, R-Flagstaff, deal with state sovereignty in one form or another. All eight were still alive as of Thursday.... Read more»1

Endangered razorback sucker makes comeback

Researchers have found evidence that razorback suckers, once thought to have disappeared from the Grand Canyon, have moved upriver from Lake Mead and are reproducing in the canyon. The endangered fish was last seen in that part of the Colorado River in the 1990s. ... Read more»

Senate panel approves bill to streamline tribal energy development

Navajo officials applauded a committee's approval of an energy bill that has provisions making it easier for the tribe to sign mining leases on its lands. But while critics liked the bill's renewable-energy language, they worried about the possibility of increased coal mining. ... Read more»

Tucson water rates higher than Phx, usage lower here

It’s a complex calculation, but at the most fundamental level this much is true: The amount of water needed to have a lush, green lawn in Phoenix would yield a substantially higher water bill for a homeowner in Tucson. As Arizona leaders ponder the long-term future of the state’s water supply, some say that raising water prices is an option for encouraging conservation.... Read more»

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