Energy and Environment

Environmental and energy related news

City Officials Tout Reno's Clean Energy Potential

5 hours ago
Julia Ritchey

Following today's Environment Protection Agency announcement on carbon emissions, Reno city officials say the local clean energy industry is in a good position to capitalize on these new rules. Reno Public Radio’s Julia Ritchey explains why.

 

Mayor Hillary Schieve and two other City Council members held a short press conference on the heels of the Environmental Protection Agency’s new plan designed to combat climate change.

Amy Westervelt

 

A controversial proposal to use herbicides on invasive plants in the Tahoe Keys, in South Tahoe, is expected to win EPA any day now.

  

EPA officials say the agency is still evaluating potential water quality issues, but even critics of the Tahoe Keys plan say they've been told approval is imminent. 

Julia Ritchey

  Earlier this week, Reno Public Radio investigated the city's shrinking tree canopy, which has dwindled by as much as 20 percent over the last two years. Councilwoman Naomi Duerr, a member of the tree commission and geologist, says she wants to do something about that. She sat down with reporter Julia Ritchey to tell us how Reno can better protect its trees. 

Julia Ritchey

Reno was designated a Tree City by the Arbor Foundation nearly 33 years ago — a distinction held thanks to its healthy, mature canopy. But the city’s tree population is disappearing — by as much as 20 percent over the last two decades. Reno Public Radio’s Julia Ritchey investigates the city’s shrinking tree cover. 

“This is an example on St. Lawrence and Gordon Avenue in the old Southwest neighborhood where we have five mature 60-year-old Green Ash trees that the Western Ash Bark Beetle has just destroyed,” says Steve Churchillo, the city's urban forester.  

KUNR

  A report detailing the state of Lake Tahoe was released on Thursday, raising concerns about the continued impact of low water levels. Reno Public Radio’s Julia Ritchey reports.

A packed conference room listened raptly as Geoff Schladow went over a few of the most salient points in this year’s report at the Sierra Nevada College in Incline Village.

Schladow directs the the University of California-Davis’ Tahoe Environmental Research Center. He says some of their main concerns are increasing amounts of microscopic algae and the rate of evaporation.

Democratic Senator Harry Reid says the designation of a sprawling national monument in rural Nevada last week was not part of an effort to fend off a nuclear waste dump. Reno Public Radio's Michelle Bliss reports.

In an interview Monday with KNPR in Las Vegas, the outgoing senator was asked whether the designation of the Basin and Range National Monument was meant to prevent the construction of a railroad that would ship nuclear waste to the proposed Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository.

Nevada's New National Monument Draws Criticism

Jul 10, 2015
Bureau of Land Management

President Barack Obama used executive powers Friday to designate a huge swath of Southern Nevada as a new national monument, but the move has drawn criticism from several local lawmakers. Reno Public Radio's Michelle Bliss reports. 

The president's decision will protect more than 1,100-square miles of desert and mountain terrain by creating the Basin and Range National Monument. U.S. Senator Harry Reid and other Democrats are hailing the move as historic.

The Truckee Meadows Water Authority is now using drought reserves to meet customer demand.

Usually, surface water from the Truckee River provides 90 percent of what area customers use, but since river flows are so low, the authority has now tapped into its upstream drought reserves in Boca Reservoir. 

"We actually anticipated being in this position several weeks ago," says Bill Hauck, senior hydrologist for the agency, "but the rain we had in May brought a significant amount of rainfall which found its way to the river. It basically enhanced our supply by several weeks."

Reno Public Radio

The rain coupled with customer response to the drought in northern Nevada has led to good news for the water supply. 

 

The Truckee Meadows Water Authority reports water production for May was 19 percent lower than the same month in 2013. That equals approximately half a billion gallons in saved water.  

National Park Service

Nevada's warming weather means reptiles like rattlesnakes will be out during the daytime hours - and when that's the case, they can pose dangerous threats to residents.

Ninety percent of rattlesnake bites can be avoided if the animal is left alone. That's according to Chris Healy from the Nevada Department of Wildlife. He says many snake bites result from people approaching, rather than avoiding the snake.

Pages