environment

New Battery Recycling Plant Emits Cloud Of Confusion

Feb 12, 2016
Amy Westervelt

A California tech company hopes to demonstrate eco-friendly lead battery recycling at its new plant in the Tahoe-Reno Industrial Center. But there's been plenty of confusion surrounding the new plant. Reno Public Radio's Amy Westervelt sorts it out.

Aqua Metals is tight-lipped about the specifics of its technology, but in broad terms it recycles batteries using a water-based solvent. Chief commercial officer Steven Cotton says the company's new recycling facility, currently being built in Storey County, will be "practically emission free."

Mack Male, Flickr, (CC by SA-2.0)

Nevada is ranked one of the top states in the country for LEED-certified green buildings - a program that encourages environmentally friendly building practices. Our contributor Luiza Vieira has more.

Nevada ranked sixth in the nation for LEED-certified buildings in 2015 — that's according to the U.S Green Building Council's annual review.

To get this certification, projects must factor in things such as location, water and energy efficiency, materials and resources used.

  The public comment period closes Tuesday, Dec. 22  for a new project next to Northstar Resort. While developers have reduced the project's size, some environmental groups remain concerned about its impact.

The Martis Valley West Project was initially submitted to Placer County two years ago, but has changed significantly since then after conservation groups pushed for more open space.

The current plan proposes moving the development from its original site to a parcel of land adjacent to Northstar.

Reno Hires Sustainability Manager

Dec 21, 2015

To boost its efforts to go green, Reno has hired a new sustainability manager. To learn more, our reporter Julia Ritchey caught up with their new hire.

Lynne Barker started her gig at the end of October after moving from Seattle, where she worked for a nonprofit focused on sustainable development.

She says the title of "sustainability manager" is becoming a more common one, for both corporations and cities.

"Sustainability managers use a collaborative process to identify goals and priorities that address equity, environment and economy."

Enviro Groups Conserve Former Sierra Logging Tract

Aug 13, 2015
American River Conservancy

More than 10,000 acres of Sierra Nevada forest will become a living laboratory for scientists to study forest restoration and wildfire-reduction techniques. That’s thanks to a deal finalized last week by The Nature Conservancy, American River Conservancy and Northern Sierra Partnership to acquire the land, which connects the North Fork American River with the Granite Chief Wilderness.

In addition to restoring habitat in the forest for the endangered spotted owl, scientists plan to study the impacts of forest thinning on wildfires, water quality and drought.

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. 

Where Have The Trees Gone?

Jul 29, 2015
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.  

www.fws.gov

The bi-state sage grouse, found only in Nevada and California, will not be listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. Reno Public Radio's Michelle Bliss reports.

All of the stakeholders involved in saving the Mono Basin sage grouse from extinction offered the same message at Tuesday's press conference in Reno on how the bird has avoided the need for federal protection:

"This collaborative partnership is a model for effective, long-term conservation," said Tony Wasley, director of the Nevada Department of Wildlife.

Sandoval Orders Drought Forum

Apr 8, 2015
gov.nv.gov

Governor Brian Sandoval has issued an executive order to create a panel for studying and combating Nevada's severe drought. Reno Public Radio's Michelle Bliss reports that Sandoval announced the order Wednesday during a press conference at Washoe Lake State Park.

The order will create a Nevada Drought Forum designed to study and analyze state water use and potential areas for water savings. Sandoval's order also requires a water audit of all state-owned facilities.

Pages