Pollution

An unfrozen North
An unfrozen North
The world’s permafrost holds vast stores of carbon. What happens when it thaws?
A look into a climate-altered Alaska
A look into a climate-altered Alaska
Experiments in the permafrost zone near Denali simulate a warmer North.
The big public land sell-out
The big public land sell-out
Even without wholesale land transfers, public lands are already being conveyed to industry.
Contaminated soil lingers where apples once grew in Washington
Contaminated soil lingers where apples once grew in Washington
Soil at hundreds of properties contains lead and arsenic that can lower children’s IQs and increase cancer risk.
A pumpjack is not a coal mine
A pumpjack is not a coal mine
Eight things you need to know about coalbed methane mining.
Legal challenges over Exxon Valdez sputter to an end
Legal challenges over Exxon Valdez sputter to an end
Lingering oil remains and ecological monitoring will continue. But Alaskans are moving on.
In Colorado, a ‘rental crisis’ forces workers into the woods
In Colorado, a ‘rental crisis’ forces workers into the woods
Tent cities, waste and overcrowding have created something foul in Crested Butte.
No direction home
No direction home
Nearly a year after San Jose shut down the Bay Area’s biggest homeless encampment, hundreds still live along city creeks. What went wrong?
EPA releases a stricter, health-based smog standard
EPA releases a stricter, health-based smog standard
Failure to meet the new requirements can trigger serious economic consequences for some communities.
Can herbicides keep Tahoe blue?
Can herbicides keep Tahoe blue?
A new chemical weed management plan has the lake’s water suppliers nervous.
Feds find Santa Barbara pipeline operator violated safety requirements
Feds find Santa Barbara pipeline operator violated safety requirements
A look at the Refugio spill and what goes into to preventing and cleaning up oil pipeline spills.
Oil spill funds race to catch up to rise in rail transportation
Oil spill funds race to catch up to rise in rail transportation
Risks shift from coastal facilities and marine vessels to inland pipelines and railways.
Washington state sues feds over worker safety at Hanford
Washington state sues feds over worker safety at Hanford
A watchdog group also filed, citing 'toxic roulette' for workers at the former nuclear facility.
Why Silverton still doesn't want a Superfund site
Why Silverton still doesn't want a Superfund site
A polluted Colorado town wants to clean up on its own terms. But it’s been saying that for years.
Tracking energy’s ‘fugitive emissions,’ from above
Tracking energy’s ‘fugitive emissions,’ from above
Scientists are trying to understand what’s released from the nation’s biggest energy producing regions.
Unlocking the mystery of the Four Corners Methane Hot Spot
Unlocking the mystery of the Four Corners Methane Hot Spot
Scientists zero in on the culprits behind a giant plume of greenhouse gases.
Is Yucca Mountain back on the table?
Is Yucca Mountain back on the table?
Obama mothballed the nuclear waste storage project. Now some Republicans seem determined to bring it back out.
Many still living in FEMA’s toxic trailers, investigation finds
Many still living in FEMA’s toxic trailers, investigation finds
From oil fields to reservations, post-Katrina trailers have spread far and wide.
Gold King Mine water was headed for the Animas, anyway
Gold King Mine water was headed for the Animas, anyway
The nuts and bolts of acid mine drainage.
Could fugitive methane help out remote communities?
Could fugitive methane help out remote communities?
The greenhouse gas that seeps from underground is both a problem and opportunity.
Five Western waterways worse than the orange Animas
Five Western waterways worse than the orange Animas
Colorado’s Animas River has gotten the most attention — but it’s hardly alone.
Animas dispatch: Hundreds celebrate the river’s reopening
Animas dispatch: Hundreds celebrate the river’s reopening
Durango may be moving on, but wider fears about the toxic spill still reverberate.
Animas River spill: only the latest in 150 years of pollution
Animas River spill: only the latest in 150 years of pollution
Mapping the other threats to the Animas and San Juan Rivers.