skip to main content
skip to newscasts

Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Public News Service Logo
facebook instagram linkedin reddit youtube twitter
view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

After the Trump assassination attempt, defining democracy gets even harder; Trump picks Sen. JD Vance of Ohio, a once-fierce critic turned loyal ally, as his GOP running mate; DC residents push back on natural gas infrastructure buildup; and a new law allows youth on Medi-Cal to consent to mental health treatment.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Donald Trump is formally put up for GOP nomination and picks Ohio Senator J.D. Vance as his running mate. Former presidential hopeful Vivek Ramaswamy and swing state delegates consider ticket.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Enticing remote workers to move is a new business strategy in rural America, Eastern Kentucky preservationists want to save the 20th century home of a trailblazing coal miner, and a rule change could help small meat and poultry growers and consumers.

SCOTUS Narrows 50-Year-Old Clean Water Act, Affecting NM Rivers

play audio
Play

Friday, May 26, 2023   

Thursday's U.S. Supreme Court ruling making it harder for the federal government to enforce clean-water rules has New Mexico environmental groups urging Congress to take the lead.

The 5-4 opinion by conservative justices, minus Bret Kavanaugh, is a blow to the Environmental Protection Agency's ability to regulate wetlands and waterways. The court decided wetlands under the 50-year-old Clean Water Act can only be protected if they have a "continuous surface connection" to larger, regulated bodies of water. As a very arid state, said Tannis Fox, a staff attorney for the Western Environmental Law Center, said New Mexico doesn't have many, leaving it especially vulnerable.

"That could displace from federal protection just a multitude, perhaps a majority, of New Mexico surface waters," she said, "at least New Mexico perennial, ephemeral waters and wetlands."

The ruling stems from Sackett vs. EPA, a 14-year-old court case filed after the EPA halted construction on an Idaho home owned by Michael and Chantell Sackett, arguing that it jeopardized protected wetlands. In Thursday's ruling, all nine justices agreed the wetlands on the Sacketts' property are not covered by the Clean Water Act, essentially protecting property rights over clean water.

New Mexico is one of only three states without a surface water-quality permitting program, leaving its wetlands with the fewest protections. However, Jon Devine, a senior attorney and director of federal water policy for the Natural Resources Defense Council, predicted that all communities across the country will pay the price.

"I would estimate that at least half of the wetlands in the country are now at risk of being destroyed without the federal safeguards the Clean Water Act provides," he said, "over 50 million acres of wetlands."

Environmental groups want Congress and states to beef up protections for water used for drinking, swimming, fishing, irrigation and more. In the court's minority opinion, Justice Elena Kagan said much like a previous ruling limiting the EPA's ability to fight climate change, the court again has appointed itself the "national decisionmaker on environmental policy."


get more stories like this via email

more stories
In the recent debate about the state of democracy, some political scientists said the donor class needs to shift more of its funding to nonpartisan foundations promoting healthy civic engagement. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

play sound

The Republican National Convention is underway in Milwaukee and the assassination attempt on former President Donald Trump is a focal point. Voters …


Environment

play sound

University of New Hampshire scientists said a common aquatic plant called duckweed could help filter polluting runoff from dairy farms and so-called m…

Health and Wellness

play sound

Summer is usually a fun time to enjoy the outdoors with family and friends, but experts said Missourians should be taking precautions to keep a day …


Colorado was awarded $156 million for "Solar for All," part of a $7 billion federal investment nationwide aiming to bring down energy bills for low-income households and mitigate climate change. (Adobe Stock)

Environment

play sound

Colorado is calling on solar energy entrepreneurs to put $156 million in Inflation Reduction Act funding to work accelerating rooftop and community-ba…

Social Issues

play sound

As the party announced Monday Sen. J.D. Vance, R-Ohio, is the vice presidential candidate on the GOP ticket, progressive groups said they are …

"It is more important than ever that we stand united, and show our true character as Americans, remaining strong and determined, and not allowing evil to win," Donald Trump wrote on social media. (Gage Skidmore/Flickr)

Social Issues

play sound

Plenty of political and social leaders are calling for unity and condemning political violence after this weekend's assassination attempt on former Pr…

Health and Wellness

play sound

Until the pandemic, telehealth and telemedicine were still outliers in health care but they have gone mainstream, especially benefiting underserved …

Health and Wellness

play sound

By LaGanzie Kale for KLEK-FM.Broadcast version by Freda Ross for Arkansas News Service reporting for the KLEK-FM-Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation-Publi…

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021