Energy & Environment

Judy Fahys/KUER

 A former top lands leader says America’s latest Sagebrush Rebellion is a danger to the nation's public-lands heritage. Former Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt, speaking at the Outdoor Retailers trade show in Salt Lake City Thursday, urged the industry to fight back.

Courtesy: / Utah Division of Wildlife Resources

  Fishers and farmers have been working together more than a decade to make life better for Bonneville cutthroat trout on the upper Bear River. Funding from the Farm Bill passed by Congress last year will help that collaboration continue.

Ken Lund / Flickr Creative Commons

  The Colorado River is often called the lifeblood of the West, and now a new study shows just how economically vital the river is to the seven states that rely on it.

Wisconsin Dept of Natural Resources

15 to 20 percent of urban trees in Utah are Ash Trees, and according to the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food, they are all in danger of an insect infestation.  

David Lewis / Courtesy: Utah Division of Wildlife Resources

Water levels in the Great Salt Lake have dropped close to record low, prompting the Great Salt Lake Advisory Council to talk about how that low water affects everyone and everything that depends on the lake.

Utah Division of Wildlife Resources

Biologists at the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources have confirmed the existence of quagga mussels at Deer Creek Reservoir.

Courtesy: / Kennecott Utah Copper web page

Utah’s near the top of the nation’s list for toxic releases once again, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

File: Lopi

National and local wood burning advocates are pushing back on the Utah Division of Air Quality’s proposed ban on any solid fuel burning between November 1st and March 15th. 

Credit:Flickr Creative Commons

The Salt Lake County Health Department has voted to expand its authority by further restricting burning of wood, charcoal and pellets in stoves and fireplaces.

Courtesy: / Hawkwatch International

Many Americans know the success story about the recovery of bald eagles. But few realize their cousins, the golden eagles, are in trouble.

File: Utah Department of Agriculture and Food

The Utah Department of Agriculture and Food is asking people with backyard poultry to monitor their flock particularly closely due to the threat of two strains of bird influenza virus. H-P-A-I, the acronym for highly pathogenic avian influenza has been reported in California, Washington and Oregon. 

Judy Fahys/KUER

More than a dozen water managers met at the National Weather Service office in Salt Lake City Tuesday to hear from forecasters, and many left cautiously optimistic about 2015 even though the past three years have been drier than normal in Utah.

Dmitri / Flickr Creative Commons

The end of December may have been bitterly cold, but last year was surprisingly warm overall in Utah, continuing a trend that began three years ago.

Courtesy: / Utah State Parks

Utah’s state parks will continue a new tradition this year by offering guided hikes at six locations on New Year’s Day.

The RealLifeProject via Flickr

Arctic winds spilling into northern Utah overnight are dissipating as they travel south to central Utah. But as the wind dies down, freezing temperatures continue.

Mike Siemen is a meteorologist with the national weather service in Salt Lake City. He says the easterly winds will continue into the evening, dying down around midnight, with wind-chill values expected to dip to -13 degrees.

“Tomorrow looks dry, not nearly as windy, but still quite cold with temperatures struggling to make it to the 20 degree mark along the Wasatch Front,” Siemen says.

DEQ Report Looks at Environmental Challenges

Dec 29, 2014
Lin Meiyun / National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

  The Utah Department of Environmental Quality issued its annual report on Monday. It talks about some of the success the department’s had this year, but also looks at challenges that lie ahead.

Judy Fahys/KUER


San Juan County Commissioner Phil Lyman says he might look to the county for legal help after he was told to find a new lawyer to fight federal criminal charges over an ATV protest he led last spring.

Courtesy: / City of Provo

Christmas trees have brightened the holidays throughout the Salt Lake Valley for weeks. Soon they can repurposed by being recycled.

plakboek / Flickr Creative Commons

More Christmas gifts and parties mean more waste.  And the Salt Lake Valley Waste and Recycling District says customers can cut that waste by recycling more.

Cathy / Flickr Creative Commons

Environmentalists want state regulators to come up with a tougher plan to clean up air pollution in rural Utah caused by coal-fired power plants.

Don Sharaf / American Avalanche Institute

Jim Steenburgh began probing the deep questions about the Greatest Snow on Earth since he settled in Utah after college.

Fusatia / Flickr Creative Commons


Utah lawmakers will be taking a hard look next year at how much water developers pledge for each new property.

Mike Mozart / Flickr Creative Commons

Gas prices are tumbling, thanks to a glut of petroleum on the world market. That may be great for consumers, but it’s tough for Utah’s petroleum industry and the state budget.

Phil Douglass / Utah Division of Wildlife Resources

 Congress is facing a midnight deadline to pass a huge spending bill.  One of its provisions would put a possible endangered species listing for the sage grouse on hold. 

The US Fish and Wildlife Service is facing a deadline based on a court settlement with environmental groups.  It has until September next year to make a decision on whether to put the greater sage grouse on the list of endangered or threatened species.

Photo courtesy Foxboro residents

The Utah Air Quality Board has approved a 2.3 million dollar settlement between the medical waste company Stericycle and state environmental regulators.

To be clear, Vice President of Stericycle’s Corporate Communications Jennifer Koenig says the company is not admitting fault for alleged emissions violations at its North Salt Lake incinerator, but she says they’re pleased with the settlement.


The Governor’s Office of Energy Development launched Tuesday.

Jeffery Barrett is the Office’s Deputy Director. He says it’s an effort by Governor Herbert to be a leader in transportation advances like electric vehicles while recognizing the Wasatch Front’s air quality challenges.

Brian Grimmett / KUER

The company that operates a medical waste incinerator in North Salt Lake City has agreed to pay a record 2.3 million dollar fine. If approved by Utah’s Air Quality Board at their meeting Wednesday, the settlement would resolve allegations that Stericycle’s incinerator violated emissions limits and falsified stack test results. Bryce Bird, Director of the Utah Division of Air Quality, says it’s a strong settlement.

Eastern Utah Oil Shale Permit Challenged

Nov 20, 2014
U.S. National Archives and Records Administration

  A battle is shaping up over a permit to produce oil from oil shale on state land in eastern Utah.  The permit is based on technology that’s still being developed.

Courtesy: / Utah Public Lands Policy Coordinating Office

Utah lawmakers will have to wait a little longer for an analysis of a federal lands transfer.

The state public lands policy coordinating office told them Wednesday a report on transferring federal lands to state hands still needs finishing touches.

Assistant Attorney General Tony Rampton said the analysis is clear-eyed, scrupulously objective and exhaustive at nearly 800 pages.


The Utah Department of Environmental Quality is planning to consolidate two state agencies to improve efficiency.

Utah’s Radiation Control Division oversees everything from dental X-ray machines to a massive radioactive waste site, and the proposal has scientists and engineers joining the state’s solid and hazardous waste program. DEQ Director Amanda Smith says the plan retains staff expertise and institutional knowledge.