Arkansas Environment

An electric utility that serves about 113,000 customers in western Arkansas says it plans to buy a significant portion of the nation's largest wind farm, currently being built in the Oklahoma panhandle and scheduled for completion in 2020.

https://twitter.com/EPAScottPruitt

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt visited Little Rock Thursday and met with state and agricultural leaders. He attended meetings with Gov. Asa Hutchinson, Attorney General Leslie Rutledge and other agricultural stakeholders.

According to an EPA spokeswoman, Pruitt was to talk about the agency’s partnerships with the state. But a local chapter of the Sierra Club suggested his visit was "to promote the Trump Administration’s anti-environmental agenda."

GOP presidential primary frontrunner Donald Trump.
Charlie Neibergall/ AP

Despite objections from world leaders, big business, Democrats, and people within his party and family, President Donald Trump announced Thursday he’s removing the U.S. from the historic Paris Climate Accord.

Talk Business and Politics reports:

Leslie Rutledge attorney general
oversight.house.gov/

Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge is praising President Donald Trump’s executive order Tuesday telling federal agencies to rewrite environmental regulations. She was part of a coalition of 29 entities involved in litigation against the Environmental Protection Agency over the Obama Administration’s Clean Power Plan.

In a written statement Tuesday, Rutledge said:

Members of the Ponca Nation and others (2015).
YouTube

Tribal representatives and environmentalists are promising an encampment similar to the ongoing protest against the Dakota Access pipeline in North Dakota to oppose the Diamond Pipeline planned from Oklahoma through Arkansas to Tennessee.

Mekasi Camp Horinek of the Ponca Nation and the Bold Oklahoma protest group said Monday there "definitely" will be an encampment in Oklahoma, but declined to say where or when.

Critics of the project say the pipeline threatens the environment, rivers and Indian burial grounds.

Pipe laying idle in the yard of Welspun Tubular in east Little Rock (2014 file photo).
Jacob Kauffman / KUAR

Arkansas's congressional delegation is lining up to support President Donald Trump's moves to revive the Dakota Access and Keystone XL pipelines. President Trump utilized the power of executive orders on Tuesday to expedite reviews of the projects and re-start processes halted or delayed by former President Obama.

Following Trump's moves U.S. Representative French Hill, of the 2nd District in central Arkansas, issued a statement praising the President. Hill referenced a direct connection to a manufacturer in Little Rock, Welspun Tubular.

An aerial view of a wildfire near Charleston, Arkansas from November, 2017.
Arkansas Forestry Commission

Arkansas forestry officials say 2016 was a relatively quiet year for wildfires, but the fires still burned nearly 30 square miles in the state.

The Arkansas Forestry Commission says there was a total of 1,248 wildfires last year, and the busiest months were February, March and November. Officials say the top two causes of wildfires in the state were fires unintentionally started by outdoor burning and arson.

Clean Line
Arkansas Business

Plains and Eastern Clean Line Holdings LLC officials have asked a federal court in eastern Arkansas to move a fall hearing date on a lawsuit protesting a $2 billion wind energy transmission line, saying the controversial development is “time sensitive” and that legal delays could imperil the project’s financing and three-year construction schedule.

Jayme Frye / flickr.com

With the growing season still weeks away, chicken waste that will be used as fertilizer is piling up in barns across the South and causing worries about spontaneous combustion.

A chicken litter pile this week triggered a wildfire that destroyed a mobile home before being brought under control. Agriculture officials say the right mix of moisture, texture and decomposition is needed to produce a burning pile of waste, and that farmers should be mindful of how high they stack manure in their barns.

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