Climate Change and the West

Will Western skies be clear enough?
The Western Regional Air Partnership has a plan to clear the air over the Colorado Plateau, but critics say the plan is much too soft and likely to prove ineffective.
Cement glues citizens together
Pueblo, Colo., citizens, who worked for years to restore air and water polluted by their city's one-time steel mills, now fear a planned cement manufacturing plant will make their newly livable community unlivable and polluted once again.
Composting takes out the trash
California has cut its landfill waste by 40 percent, and some give composting the credit.
Dumping diesel
Southern California is trying to reduce diesel emissions by turning to cleaner-burning energy sources for public vehicles.
Los Alamos races against time
In the wake of the Cerro Grande fire, Los Alamos faces a new problem: how to prevent summer rainstorms from flooding the fire-denuded canyons and washing the laboratory's hazardous wastes into the Rio Grande.
Mining tops toxic list
Hardrock mining tops the list of industrial polluters in the EPA's annual Toxics Release Inventory.
Western weather waffles
A look at this last winter in the West shows snow in the Northwest and Sierra Nevada, variable weather in the Rockies, and what looks like the beginning of a long, hot, dry summer in the Southwest.
Boss must pay for poisoning employee
In a precedent-setting case, Allan Elias is convicted of "knowing endangerment" for exposing employee Scott Dominguez to cyanide in an accident that damaged his nervous system.
Cooling the waters
The EPA orders the Potlatch Corp. pulp mill in Lewiston, Idaho, to cool its wastewater and reduce its pollution of the Snake River.
A spick-and-span plan
The state of Oregon has ordered Portland to reduce sewage overflow into the Willamette River by 94 percent by 2011, but City Commissioner Dan Saltzman says the pollution problem is more complex than that.
Clean-air program may suffocate
In Washington, a tax-slashing ballot initiative is going to hurt the state's clean-air program.
Desert development raises dust
In Phoenix, Ariz., cases of "Valley Fever" are rising as rapid development stirs up pathogens in the area's dust.
Decision may help a granddaddy keep its teeth
The Montana Supreme Court's "clean environment" ruling may help clarify the Montana Environmental Policy Act, considered the "granddaddy" of the state's environmental laws.
Court reads the environment its rights
A precedent-setting legal ruling by the Montana Supreme Court says that Montana citizens have a right to a "clean and healthful" environment.
A lasting chemical legacy
The video, "A Toxic Train Runs Through It," investigates the long-lasting health impacts of a 1996 trail derailment and toxic chemical spill in Alberton, Montana.
Mohave agrees to clean up its act
The Mohave Generating Station in southern Nevada agrees to clean up its operation, which has been notorious for fouling the air over Arizona's Grand Canyon.
Western weather: feast or famine
Meteorologists blame La Niûa for recent extreme weather in the West, with record-breaking snow and rain in the Northwest and Northern Rockies, and drought in the Southwest raising fears of summer wildfires.
Affluent effluent stinks, too
Big Sky, Montana's plan to discharge treated sewage into the Gallatin River has environmentalists, locals and even some of the ritzy ski resort's homeowners in an uproar.
Wyoming regulators gamble on Amoco cleanup
Casper, Wyo.'s Amoco oil refinery is one of the state's most notorious hazardous waste sites, and some fear that EPA's decision to turn over responsibility to the Wyoming Dept. of Environmental Quality means that cleanup will not be complete.
Plant pays hefty fine for polluting the air
FMC Corp.'s phosphorous plant near Pocatello, Idaho, is fined $11.8 million for environmental violations that include a fire that sent poisonous gas wafting onto Shoshone-Bannock tribal land.