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State environmental agency defends decision to reduce the scope of tainted mine-water in cleanup report

The Anaconda Copper Mine
May 5th, 2021 - 3:01pm
The Nevada Division of Environmental Protection (NDEP) is defending a groundwater report that reduced the extent of uranium and arsenic contamination linked to the former Anaconda Copper Mine in Yerington, an agricultural town about 70 miles from Reno.

Reporting on heat and climate change. Send us your stories.

May 5th, 2021 - 8:00am
This week’s Indy Environment newsletter asks readers to share stories about the impact of heat. As the climate changes, temperatures are increasing across the state and the region. Yet the struggles that people face dealing with heat are often hidden, and it seems that they are rarely discussed and rarely factored into policy. We want to hear your stories.

Legislative Coverage

Check out our comprehensive, wall-to-wall coverage of the 2021 Legislature

The state said it relied on the ‘best available science’ in a toxic mine report. Records show the science was negotiated with the company

April 25th, 2021 - 2:00am
When the Nevada Division of Environmental Protection released a revised report on polluted groundwater in May 2020, the agency’s administrator said in a press release that the report would “chart a path forward based on the best available science” for cleaning up a toxic mine. But a review of more than 2,000 pages of records shows the “best available science” was the product of negotiation between NDEP and a company.

Nevada Recovery Dashboard

As the state’s economy continues its recovery, The Nevada Independent will track the most important economic indicators across the state on this page, including unemployment numbers, gaming revenue and housing prices.

New report finds significant decline in Great Basin sage-grouse population, offers framework to focus recovery efforts

April 21st, 2021 - 8:00am
This week’s Indy Environment newsletter looks at a recent report that documented significant declines in Greater sage-grouse populations, especially in the Great Basin, over the past few decades. The report also presents a framework to better focus conservation efforts.


Power Play: How Southwest Gas beat back efforts by environmentalists to start moving Nevada away from natural gas

April 18th, 2021 - 2:00am
Although Democratic lawmakers overwhelmingly approved a 2050 net-zero emissions goal two years ago, the two pieces of natural legislation — and the debates around them — show that tensions remain in the party (which controls both the legislative and executive branches) over how to best move forward on facilitating a transition toward decarbonization.

Natural gas legislation, water bills fail to advance after legislative deadline

The Nevada Legislature Building
April 14th, 2021 - 8:00am
This week’s Indy Environment newsletter looks at what natural resources legislation died and what bills are still alive after a major deadline in the Legislature last week.

Legislative committee advances water authority proposal aimed at removing decorative turf to conserve Colorado River water

April 9th, 2021 - 4:59pm
The Assembly Committee on Natural Resources voted Friday to advance a legislative proposal, pushed by the Southern Nevada Water Authority, to require the removal of about 5,000 acres of unused grass, an action that could save billions of gallons of Colorado River water each year.

Natural gas legislation looks to implement state climate strategy, faces opposition from utility

April 7th, 2021 - 8:00am
This week’s Indy Environment newsletter looks at a hearing Tuesday on AB380, legislation that would require gas utilities to go through a comprehensive planning process meant to consider the effects of decarbonization on their operations and ratepayers.

Two water infrastructure projects and the complex puzzle to improve ‘efficiency’

March 31st, 2021 - 8:00am
This week’s Indy Environment newsletter looks at two federal water infrastructure projects that illustrate the complex puzzle involved in improving “efficiency.”

What to watch in the Legislature as lawmakers weigh changes to natural gas regulation, mining oversight and water law

March 24th, 2021 - 8:00am
With the legislative session almost halfway over, this week’s Indy Environment newsletter looks at several bills, including proposals to transition away from natural gas, change mining oversight and create new programs for how water is managed across the state.

Indigenous leaders, environmentalists urge lawmakers to pass protections for sacred swamp cedars

March 17th, 2021 - 8:00am
This week’s Indy Environment newsletter looks at a legislative effort to protect a unique population of Rocky Mountain juniper trees in an area known as Bahsahwahbee, or “the sacred water valley” in Shoshone. For Indigenous communities, the area means everything.

Butterfly populations are declining across the American West as the climate changes, UNR researchers find

March 11th, 2021 - 8:00am
This week’s Indy Environment newsletter looks at a new report, led by researchers at UNR, that shows declining butterfly populations as landscapes warm across the West.

Rosen introduces bill to increase royalties, fees for oil and gas on public land

Photo of active oil operations in Railroad Valley, Nevada
March 10th, 2021 - 2:00am
Democratic Sen. Jacky Rosen introduced legislation Tuesday that would require the federal government to increase fees for companies extracting oil and gas on public land.

Cortez Masto introduces Clark County lands bill to expand Las Vegas footprint, designate public land for conservation

March 4th, 2021 - 2:00am
This week’s Indy Environment newsletter looks at a long-awaited congressional bill that would change the way federal public land is managed in Clark County, creating a path to expand the Las Vegas metro area toward California while setting aside land for conservation.

Storey County board, water district oppose effort to let technology company form local government

Horses at Tahoe Reno Industrial Center
March 3rd, 2021 - 2:00am
Storey County commissioners voted to oppose “separatist governing control” within their jurisdiction after Democratic Gov. Steve Sisolak backed a legislative effort that could result in a private technology company and major donor forming its own local government.

Open government advocates worry proposed legislation will conceal deliberations about environmental issues. That's only half of the story.

Trucks at mine site.
February 18th, 2021 - 8:00am
Proposed legislation could exempt certain pre-decisional meetings and records that involve environmental issues from the Open Meeting Law and the Public Records Act. Looming over that bill is a little-discussed confidentiality clause that the federal government requires.

Months before a company lobbied the Legislature to create its own county, it purchased faraway water rights that could fuel future growth

February 12th, 2021 - 2:00am
Cryptocurrency company Blockchains wants to build a new city in the desert. That will require water in an area where it is scarce. To get the water it needs, Blockchains is looking to rural Nevada. Last year, the company acquired water rights in northern Washoe County.

With new administration, advocates push for national monument in Clark County

February 11th, 2021 - 8:00am
This week’s Indy Environment newsletter looks at a coalition advocating for the creation of a national monument in Clark County that would span more than 380,000 acres, connecting land designated for conservation and recreation in California and Arizona.

As Sisolak administration abandons move to upend legal system for water rights cases, Supreme Court may study new specialty court

February 7th, 2021 - 2:00am
Last week, a state water official sent a letter to the chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee backing away from a proposal to give the Court of Appeals original jurisdiction over water cases. As the state moves away from the proposal, Supreme Court Chief Justice James Hardesty said that he plans to look for ways to bring more water law expertise to the judiciary.

Nevada Recovery Dashboard

The Nevada Independent will track the most important economic indicators across the state on this page.

What Happened Here: A six-part series on COVID-19 in Nevada

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