Arkansas Environment

The National Weather Service says the danger of wildfire is high across Arkansas and a fire weather watch is in effect.

The Arkansas Forestry Commission has also declared a high to extreme fire danger in all of Arkansas.

A burn ban is in effect for all but far northern Arkansas and the weather service says outdoor burning is not recommended

The weather service says warm temperatures, southerly winds and low humidity mean fires can start easily and spread quickly.

Arkansas Drought Map for October 15th, 2015
droughtmonitor.unl.edu

Nearly half of Arkansas is in severe drought, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor. The drought is most concentrated in the southern part of the state. Consequently, 51 of the 75 counties in Arkansas have instituted burn bans. Chris Buonanno, a science and operations officer with the National Weather Service in North Little Rock said the worst conditions are concentrated near the state's border with Louisiana.

 

Chris Hickey / KUAR News

Top Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy was in Little Rock Wednesday, touting the city's water quality project along Main Street's Creative Corridor.

The project, completed earlier this year, was largely funded through a 900,000 dollar grant from the federal agency. McCarthy also visited with science students from eStem charter school and with city officials. She said the water quality project shows a commitment by the city toward sustainable development.

 

Mayflower Oil Spill
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Federal regulators are assessing a $2.6 million civil penalty against ExxonMobil Pipeline Co. for a 2013 oil spill in Arkansas.

white bluff entergy power plant coal energy
Arkansas Business

A federal judge is being asked to issue a summary judgment in a lawsuit by an environmental group wanting Arkansas and federal officials to finalize plans for implementation of the so-called regional haze rule. It would limit pollution in national parks and wildlife areas largely created by coal-fired power plants.

Glen Hooks, executive director of the Arkansas chapter of the Sierra Club says officials have so far failed to adequately respond.

New Hog Farms Near Buffalo River Banned For Five Years

Aug 30, 2015

The Arkansas Pollution Control and Ecology Commission in Little Rock  on Friday barred any new permits for big swine factory farms on the Buffalo National River Watershed over the next five years.

The new rule prohibits Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality from issuing new permits to operations confining more than 750 swine weighing over 55 pounds, or 3,000 swine weighing less than 55 pounds.

For now the only permitted operation is C&H Hog Farms near Mt. Judy in Newton County situated on Big Creek, a tributary to the Buffalo River—which counts 6500 swine.

ADEQ Clean Power Plan ADEQ Director Becky Keogh and APSC Chairman Ted Thomas
Chris Hickey / KUAR News

The Arkansas Public Service Commission and Department of Environmental Quality say they’re working on a plan to abide by a final federal rule on reducing carbon emissions at the state’s power plants. They say its “less stringent” than a previously proposed rule.

A company is considering alternate routes for a proposed $2 billion transmission line that would carry wind-generated electricity from Oklahoma to Tennessee following concerns by property owners and state officials.

The Muskogee Phoenix reports that several landowners had objected to the use of eminent domain to secure access and easements for the project.

Attorneys argued over state and federal powers for more than four hours Friday on an effort by 13 states to block a new rule that gives federal authorities jurisdiction over some state waters.

The states, led by North Dakota, argue that the rules from the EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers illegally expand those agencies' powers under the federal Clean Water Act.

The law goes into effect next week. The states want the judge to order an injunction to suspend the new rules, which they say are causing confusion and anxiety.

Mayflower Oil Spill
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A settlement between the federal government, the state of Arkansas and ExxonMobil is now final over a lawsuit the governments had filed against the pipeline company over environmental violations arising from the 2013 Mayflower oil spill. U.S. District Judge Kristine Baker approved the agreement Wednesday.

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