Environment

water faucet
Jenn Durfey / flickr

  Missouri has filed a lawsuit accusing a Lincoln County developer of violating the state's water laws.

Cade Cleavelin / KBIA

  The University of Missouri Extension Service says continued wet weather has led to serious problems in the state's wheat fields.

Gary Grigsby / KBIA News

Sometime later this month the city of Columbia will likely begin a test project at the city power plant on Business Loop 70.

Tech. Sgt. Oscar Sanchez USDA / Flickr

Flooding has forced nearly a dozen Missouri parks to close some areas for the Fourth of July weekend.

There'll be no waterskiing at the Lake of the Ozarks, at least maybe not till Saturday at the earliest.

The high-water level due to heavy rainfall has led Gov. Jay Nixon to declare the entire lake a "no-wake zone," meaning that boaters can travel no faster than basic idle speed.

Under the Microscope: Record-Breaking Spring Storms could be the New Normal

Jul 2, 2015
Abby Wendle / Harvest Public Media

 Driving down a two-lane highway in rural Missouri, Matt Plenge squinted at a patch of gray clouds hanging low over his farm fields in the distance.

“Does it look hazy up there?” he asked. “We only had a 20 percent chance today. We shouldn't get any rain.”

Plenge, like most farmers, always keeps one eye on the weather. But this spring, it’s been his primary and constant concern.

 


Columbia Parks and Recreation

July 1 marked the thirtieth anniversary of National Parks and Recreation Month, dedicated to promoting and celebrating the accomplishments of local parks and recreation departments.

Kirk Kittell / flickr

A panel of Missouri utility regulators has denied one company's request to construct a high-voltage power line in Missouri for a multi-state wind energy project.

Invasive Insect Threatens Missouri Ash Trees

Jun 29, 2015
USDAgov / Flickr

The Missouri Department of Conservation has found an invasive tree pest in 11 Missouri counties.

A bipartisan group of lawmakers from Missouri and Illinois are cosponsoring legislation to make labeling of genetically modified foods voluntary as a national standard and to block individuals states from adopting their own laws.

Barring a federal law to circumvent it or court action to block its implementation, beginning next year, a Vermont law requires companies to label genetically engineered food.

stormwater drain
Thirteen of Clubs / flickr

A former wastewater treatment plant operator accused of submitting false reports in violation of the Clean Water Act has been indicted by a federal grand jury.

More Rain, Floods Coming to Central Missouri

Jun 16, 2015
File Photo / KBIA

The next few days in Central Missouri will see more rain and flooding. The National Weather Service predicts 4-6 inches of rain by June 18, and it has issued flood watches and warnings across the state.

The Missouri River has reached over 27 feet in Jefferson City, surpassing the flood stage by 4 feet but not yet breaking the 30-foot levee. Cole County Emergency Management Director Bill Farr said he doesn’t expect the water to reach that height, but he will be prepared in the meantime.

Peggy Lowe / Harvest Public Media

Agriculture officials don’t know just how the massive outbreak of avian flu in the Midwest was spread, but believe the culprits include humans breaking biosecurity measures and the virus going airborne.

Construction of Stephens Lake Ampitheater
File Photo / KBIA

The Columbia Parks and Recreation and the city manager are proposing the parks and recreation sales tax be renewed every six years rather than five years.

Gary Grigsby / KBIA

When you're investing millions of dollars in a building project you might think twice before installing a type of  heating and air conditioning system that while growing in popularity, you are not all that familiar with.

Mid-Missouri Seeing Increase in Armadillos

Jun 12, 2015
Shellie Gonzalez / flickr

Mid-Missouri is seeing an increase in its population of armored inhabitants.

Armadillo sightings are becoming a normal occurrence for both residents and motorists north of the Missouri River.

Missouri Conservation Agent Bob Lyons says the river itself was assumed to be a roadblock in armadillos’ path to Mid-Missouri.

“They’ve moved up from the south and have progressively increased over the years,” Lyons said. “Everybody always thought that they’d never be able to cross over the Missouri River, but they certainly know how in some fashion.”

KBIA

Deer hunters in Boone and 12 other counties will now be able to purchase a second firearm antlerless permit for the 2015-2016 deer season.

Gary Grigsby / KBIA

Buildings are energy gluttons.

Federal government statistics show buildings use about 42% of the energy consumed in the U.S. each year.  Not too surprising really, everything from heating and air conditioning to lighting.  But planners, builders and such now have more ways than ever to reduce that level of gluttony.  Call it what you want, green building or sustainable building practices.  But what it really comes down to is building smarter.

water faucet
Jenn Durfey / flickr

Columbia’s tap water will soon have a different taste because of changes to water treatment for the summer. 

Stew Dean / Flickr

 A Missouri city near Joplin that sustained damage from the 2011 deadly tornado will get $2 million for road repairs.

Jacob Fenston / KBIA

 Missouri Republican Senator Roy Blunt said proposed rules to lower carbon emissions by electricity-generating power plants will force unnecessary rate increases.  

Macroscopic Solutions / Flickr

A green beetle blamed for destroying tens of millions of ash trees in 25 states is advancing in the St. Louis area.

The buzz around bees has been bad lately. As we've reported, beekeepers say they lost 42 percent of honeybee colonies last summer.

Jean yard / Flickr

Entomologists are predicting a noisy summer in Missouri as two broods of long-living cicadas emerge.

Jason Hoffman / KBIA

With new housing developments being built at a rapid rate in Columbia, developers need to find ways to make their projects uniqueWhile some build a golf course or a pool, The Gates on the southwest side of Columbia is focusing on food, specifically Urban Agriculture.  What that means is that the common space in the development will have fruit and vegetable plants instead of just ornamental landscaping.  Adam Saunders from the Columbia Center for Urban Agriculture is in charge of the project and he believes this will give the development a unique identity. 

The House of Representatives approved legislation Tuesday evening requiring the Environmental Protection Agency and the Army Corps of Engineers to scrap a proposed rule defining “Waters of the United States.”  At issue is what bodies of water are subject to the federal Clean Water Act.

Agricultural interests have especially expressed concern that the rules would cover ponds and ditches that do not reach navigable water or wells, forcing the landowner to get federal permits for actions that could affect the water.

When restaurateur Nora Pouillon moved to the United States from Austria in the 1960s, she was surprised by how hard it was to get really fresh food. Everything was packaged and processed. Pouillon set out to find the find the best ingredients possible to cook for her family and friends. She brought that same sensibility to her Restaurant Nora, which eventually became the first certified organic restaurant in the country.

Pouillon writes about her lifelong devotion to food in a new memoir, My Organic Life: How A Pioneering Chef Helped Shape The Way We Eat Today.

America's biggest food production companies face a growing threat of water scarcity, according to a new report from Ceres, an environmental sustainability group.

Producing food, after all, requires more water than almost any other business on Earth. And the outlook isn't pretty: One-third of food is grown in areas of high or extremely high water stress, while pollution and climate change are further limiting supplies of clean water around the world.

Here's a job that sounds perfect for either a superhero or a glutton for punishment: Get nearly 200 countries to finally agree to take serious action on climate change.

Two men have taken on this challenge. They're leading some international negotiations that will wrap up later this year in Paris at a major United Nations conference on climate change.

Warm weather has finally arrived in the Northeast. And along a wild stretch of New York state's Hudson River in the Adirondack Mountains, a section has been opened to paddlers for the first time in decades.

New landmark conservation deals in New York state have protected vast swaths of wilderness. Those deals have also opened waterways that had been closed to the public for more than a century.

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