Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Top 7 local environmental stories this week

Posted By on Tue, Aug 27, 2019 at 5:00 PM

In late August, these stories were making headlines:

1) Groundwater samples from several areas on the Air Force Academy tested above the Environmental Protection Agency’s advisory level for two toxic, man-made chemicals, PFOS and PFOA.
click to enlarge COURTESY THE CITY OF COLORADO SPRINGS
  • Courtesy the City of Colorado Springs
2) Colorado Springs city officials continue to look for a way to settle the Environmental Protection Agency’s 2016 lawsuit against the city alleging violations of the Clean Water Act. Recent court filings cited efforts toward a “global settlement” with defendants: EPA, Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, Pueblo County and the Lower Arkansas Valley Water Conservancy District.

The lawsuit claims the city violated its federal and state discharge permits by neglecting its stormwater system. A settlement could include higher monthly stormwater fees for Springs residents to fund additional drainage work.

3) Gov. Jared Polis issued an executive order directing the state to conserve wildlife migration corridors and big game winter range.

4) Blue-green algae has been found in Homestead Ranch Regional Park pond, El Paso County said in an Aug. 23 release. Test results from other ponds in the county are pending. It’s the third body of water found to contain the algae, which poses a health risk. Some authorities report dogs have died in other states after being exposed. Algae also taints Prospect Lake at Memorial Park, and Pikeview Reservoir, part of Colorado Springs Utilities’ system. All three are closed until further notice.

5) The Colorado State Forest Service began accepting grant applications from organizations seeking to restore forested areas, improve forest health and reduce wildfire risk on non-federal land in the state.

6) State and national experts confirmed the presence of the emerald ash borer, an invasive and highly destructive tree pest, in Broomfield.

7) Colorado Springs Utilities will kick off a series of workshops to devise integrated resource plans for electric and natural gas by hosting a meeting Aug. 28 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Conservation and Environmental Center, 2855 Mesa Road. The meetings will help determine how the city achieves its “energy vision” in the next 30 years. Factors include economic, environment, resiliency and innovation. Watch the meeting on Utilities’ Facebook page; submit questions and comments to energyvision@csu.org.

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