Energy & Environment

Judy Fahys/KUER

Many Utah leaders are applauding last week's federal court ruling that stymies updates to federal clean water regulations. In the end, they’re looking to the courts and Congress to kill the rules.

Judy Fahys/KUER

The water year begins on October 1st, and the water community is hoping a string of dry years is finally coming to an end.

Ryan Luke, an engineer with the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation’s Provo Area office, says a few reservoirs are at close to normal levels but most are low for this time of year.

Two cement-company partners and their businesses are accused of illegally dumping building waste in wetlands near the Jordan River.

Screen Shot / House Natural Resources Committee YouTube Channel

Utah Gov. Gary Herbert used a congressional hearing Wednesday to drive home his top message as chairman of the National Governors Association: States govern better.

U.S. Rep. Rob Bishop, a Utah Republican and chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee, hosted the oversight hearing on respecting state authority in managing resources and developing energy.

Judy Fahys

Utah water watchers are reminding Wasatch Front residents that October 1st is the time of year to stop watering lawns and gardens.

Judy Fahys/KUER

Fall colors in Utah’s mountains are getting people thinking about prospects for a snowy winter. Weather forecasters also have been thinking about it, especially the role the strong El Nino might play and how “the Blob” could factor in.

Photo by Phil Douglass, Utah Division of Wildlife Resources</i>

Interest groups across the political spectrum stood behind federal leaders Tuesday as they announced the Greater Sage Grouse won’t be added to endangered species list. The solution didn’t suit Utahns on either end of the political spectrum, even after U.S. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell said states can stick with strategies they’re already using to restore the iconic bird on millions of acres in 11 states. Jewell praised the approach as a model for the future.

Andrea Smardon / KUER

Environmental activist and NASCAR driver Leilani Munter is in Utah, talking about her efforts to fight climate change. She’s speaking Tuesday night at the University of Utah as part of a series called Trailblazers of Clean Energy.

Judy Fahys/KUER

Salt Lake City has put its big open-space bond measure on hold. But that hasn’t dampened enthusiasm throughout the valley for restoring the Jordan River.

Here at Oxbow Nature Park, money from the 2010 Red Butte oil spill has helped build wetlands where railroad cars used to roll by. These meanders and pools now provide habitat for birds and fish and control storm water. And the riverside vegetation helps remove toxic chemicals from the soil.

Judy Fahys/KUER

Utah agriculture and wildlife officials have joined together to help backyard poultry producers understand the threat of avian flu.

Backyard chickens may be enjoying this pleasant summer afternoon in their Sugar House pen, but the people who oversee wild and domestic birds in Utah are scrambling to protect them from avian flu.

Brian Grimmett

Legislators continued their two-day site visit through rural Utah Thursday with visits to Emery and Sanpete counties.

Judy Fahys/KUER

Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker wants to get children outdoors and inspire a new generation of environmental stewards.

Used by permission /

This text was updated on 9/18 with the latest death tally.  

Weather forecasters say the risk of flash floods is fading in southwestern Utah after waves swept 20 people to their deaths on Monday. Meanwhile, forecasters are already looking towards preventing future tragedies.

Linh Do / Via Flickr Creative Commons

Critics of the Obama administration’s climate change policies gathered Tuesday in Washington, D.C., across the street from the White House. 

One of them was Tim DeChristopher, who says it's time to take a harder line.

Judy Fahys/KUER

A bit of science history goes on display at the Utah Museum of Natural History this weekend, giving Utah a new perspective on Charles Darwin’s groundbreaking book on evolution and one of the pigeons that helped shape its ideas.


The Nature Conservancy has a new tool to combat invasive plants on marshes along the Great Salt Lake.

Judy Fahys/KUER

The Land and Water Conservation Fund is one of the items on Congress’ to-do list in September, and its supporters are rallying the public in hopes of preventing Washington from letting the fund fade away.

From here at Sugarhouse Park to the Bonneville Shoreline Trail to Zion National Park – the fund’s secured open space for half a century.

UAMPS Web Page / Screen Grab 9/4/15

A few Utah communities are exploring an energy future that includes nuclear power. The Utah Associated Municipal Power Systems, a co-op comprised of 45 cities and utility districts, is considering small modular reactors. The co-op’s been thinking about next-generation nuclear power for years, says UAMPS spokesman LaVarr Webb, because these 50-megawatt reactors promise safe, stable electricity that doesn’t pollute.

Whittney Evans

Salt Lake City is getting in on the rain barrel craze. They’re offering barrels to water customers, hoping it will increase participation in the city’s existing conservation efforts.

EPA / Flickr Creative Commons

Two Utah congressmen want the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to explain how it spilled millions of gallons of polluted mine water last month into rivers the agency was supposed to protect.

Roger N. Clark

A saying in Utah’s national parks holds that “half the park is in the dark,” and on Monday Canyonlands National Park announced it has received new recognition for its darker half.

Screen Shot / Envision Utah web page

The Your Utah Your Future survey last spring showed that people are concerned about water. It also shows a majority supports building the Lake Powell Pipeline. But some critics are now questioning those results.

Lynn Chamberlain / Utah Division of Wildlife Resources

The state wildlife board put finishing touches Thursday on a plan to manage cougar hunting.

Judy Fahys/KUER

Utah’s water development community celebrated a milestone Wednesday that was half a century in the making with the latest addition to the Central Utah Project.

RMoseley / Courtesy: Utah Division of Emergency Management

Northern Utah is due for a major earthquake. Seismologists can’t predict exactly when the Big One might happen, but they have been looking at the hazards Utah is likely to face. 

Judy Fahys/KUER

The nonprofit Envision Utah asked people last spring what they think about the future of energy. One surprising result was the growing importance of conservation.

Judy Fahys/KUER

Attorney General Sean Reyes said he’s still gathering information for any lawsuit Utah might decide to file over the Gold King Mine wastewater spill.

Judy Fahys/KUER

Utah lawmakers pondered two of Utah’s great passions Wednesday as they discussed deregulating beekeeping.

Judy Fahys/KUER

A poll by Envision Utah suggests Utahns want to be more self-sufficient when it comes to food and preserving farming.

Utah Division of Water Quality

Life’s getting back to normal in southeastern Utah after the dramatic Gold King Mine spill, and the San Juan River has been declared safe for irrigation and livestock watering.

Now attention’s shifting toward preventing another toxic mine spill in Utah and elsewhere.