Environment & Energy

a photo of battalion chief Silverio Caggiano
JULIE GRANT / THE ALLEGHENY FRONT

new analysis by the nonprofit, Partnership for Policy Integrity finds that “trade secret” chemicals were injected into gas and oil wells nearly 11,000 times in Ohio for over five years. 

Greta Thunberg led a protest at the White House on Friday. But she wasn't looking to go inside — "I don't want to meet with people who don't accept the science," she says.

The young Swedish activist joined a large crowd of protesters who had gathered outside, calling for immediate action to help the environment and reverse an alarming warming trend in average global temperatures.

She says her message for President Trump is the same thing she tells other politicians: Listen to science, and take responsibility.

While critics of Ohio’s recent nuclear bailout are moving toward a referendum to repeal the law, the new policy has won some support from an unusual source.

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Working to support wind and solar has become almost standard in states nationwide. Some are even phasing out coal but not Ohio. It recently passed a law doubling down on subsidies for power plants. Ohio Public Radio's Andy Chow reports.

photo of Perry nuclear power plant
JERRY SHARP / SHUTTERSTOCK

A group is gathering signatures to put a rejection of Ohio's nuclear bailout law on next year's ballot. National environmental groups are weighing in on the debate, saying the energy policy overhaul takes Ohio in the opposite direction of most other states. 

Relief and recovery efforts in the Bahamas are hampered by the sheer devastation of Hurricane Dorian. Entire communities are gone and roadways disappeared, making it difficult for responders to even know where to look or go.

photo of Sen. Sherrod Brown
ANDY CHOW / STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown is criticizing the Trump administration for EPA rule waivers that he says are hurting Ohio farmers. The rules had required large oil companies to produce a certain amount of biofuel like ethanol.

By waiving the requirements of the Renewable Fuel Standard, Brown says it takes a market away from Ohio farmers who sell corn to be turned into ethanol.

A computer rendering of a land bridge
GREEN RIBBON COALITION

Labor Day Weekend traditionally marks the end of summer and many Northeast Ohio families may look to enjoy the weekend at Lake Erie. A Cleveland group is trying to advance the conversation around better connecting downtown Cleveland to the lakefront.

The Green Ribbon Coalition wants to bring the community into the development plans through panels and citizen advocacy.

Lakewood Makes Plans For Tree-Filled Future

Sep 1, 2019

Next month, Lakewood City Council will consider legislation to create an advisory group dedicated to protecting the city’s tree canopy. The idea actually originated seven years ago, when the western edge of Hurricane Sandy touched the Northeast Ohio lakeshore and downed a number of trees.

Updated at 11:30 p.m. ET

Hurricane Dorian strengthened into a catastrophic Category 5 storm on Sunday, reaching the Bahamas as "the strongest hurricane in modern records" to ever hit the archipelago, according to the National Hurricane Center, based on its sustained winds of 185 mph.

Officials from Cuyahoga County’s Board of Health will be back out to beaches in Bay Village this week to check for hazards from an algae bloom.

The algae at Columbia Park Beach and Bay Park Beach was found last week.

Tests for the harmful bacteria caused by algae came back under the hazardous threshold, said Tom Fink from the board of health.

An advisory was posted in the park at the end of Columbia Road and the public access was closed off by Bay Village officials.

photo of someone signing a petition
STEVE ESTVANIK / SHUTTERSTOCK

The battle lines have been drawn for the fight over Ohio's new energy law.

A ballot group is looking to collect signatures statewide to ask voters to overturn the law that bails out nuclear power plants. But a new group has formed to argue in favor of the ratepayer subsidies.

photo of trucks on highway
SHUTTERSTOCK

A new report finds that compared to the rest of the country, Ohio’s highways are getting better.

The study comes from the Reason Foundation, a nonpartisan think tank focused on market oriented solutions. It measured traffic fatalities, congestion and construction costs. 

Baruch Feigenbaum is the lead author on the report. He says Ohio’s overall ranking has improved.

DIARI LA VEU / FLICKR CC

Lake Erie has one of the highest concentrations of microplastic pollution in the world.

Sherri Mason, a researcher at Penn State Behrend in Erie, was the first to report that finding.

Her discovery led to congressional action banning microbeads in consumer products.

On this week’s Exploradio,  we spend some time with Mason finding out how microplastic pollution remains a health hazard.

Map of the proposed Lake Erie Water Trail water access points via Cleveland Metro Parks.
Cleveland Metroparks

Cleveland Metroparks has begun planning a Lake Erie Water Trail, spanning the Cuyahoga County shoreline. Kelly Coffman, the Metroparks Senior Strategic Park Planner, says the popularity of paddle boarding and kayaking is one reason for the proposed trail. She says interest in the Cuyahoga River Water Trail is another incentive.

An Ohio electricity company says it is canceling plans to build a gas-fired power plant because of the state's recent nuclear bailout.

a photo of smoke stacks
JAMES KELLEY / SHUTTERSTOCK

A new report says climate change has significant negative impacts on children's health. Environmental and health advocates say this highlights the urgency to reduce carbon emissions.

A dozen people are scurrying around a church basement in Youngstown, Ohio. They’re arranging tables and chairs, setting up paperwork, and hanging up signs that read “Ohio Health Registry.”

A photo of a flooded farm field
KAREN KASLER / STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

After weeks of heavy rainfall and flooding, 15 percent of Ohio farmland has gone unplanted. In states like Kansas, Minnesota and Nebraska this usually triggers an uptick in farms filing for bankruptcy. But a report from researchers at The Ohio State University shows Ohio farms have not followed this trend.

Ten years ago, the fracking industry was already booming in Pennsylvania, but people in Ohio were just starting to hear about it. Many were excited that it would help eastern Ohio's struggling rural economy. 

After three months of record high water, Lake Erie water levels are starting their seasonal decline, according to the Army Corps of Engineers.

“Lake Erie did establish new record highs for the month of May, for the month of June and the month of July,” said Keith Kompoltowicz, Chief of Watershed Hydrology for the Corps’ Detroit District office. “The June monthly mean is the highest recorded level over the past 100 years. So it has never been higher in any month going back to 1918.”

Deciding what happens on private property might seem like a basic right. But when it comes to energy development, Ohio and other oil and gas-producing states have laws that can force landowners to lease their underground mineral rights to energy companies.

A University of Cincinnati professor is predicting the Arctic Ocean could have no September sea ice if global temperatures continue to rise.

Photo of flooding in Kent
LYDIA TAYLOR / WKSU

The Summit County Council Planning Committee is expected to vote on Monday whether to re-establish a task force to advise the county on sustainability.

According to Summit County Council member Elizabeth Walters, the last few months show a green policy task force is necessary.

Across the nation, farmers were kept from planting almost 10 times as many acres this year as they were in 2018. 

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