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Going green

  1. California farmers strike a deal to cut water use

    Water

    SACRAMENTO, Calif. — California regulators Friday accepted a historic offer from a group of farmers holding some of the state's strongest water rights to voluntarily reduce their water use by one-quarter to stave off deeper, mandatory cutbacks amid one of the worst droughts on record.

  2. 28 workers evacuated after fire starts on gulf oil platform

    Water

    NEW ORLEANS — Fire broke out Friday morning on an oil platform off Louisiana's coast, forcing the evacuation of 28 workers, the U.S. Coast Guard said.

  3. Janet Dougherty named head of Hillsborough Environmental Protection Commission

    Environment

    TAMPA — Hillsborough County commissioners made it clear the next head of the Environmental Protection Commission must be someone who can balance conservation and regulation with economic growth.

    Janet Dougherty becomes just the third EPC director in Hillsborough County in 45 years.
  4. DeWitt: Lack of community building has led to potential loss of Swiftmud headquarters

    Water

    Alfred McKethan, the onetime Brooksville banker and community kingpin, gave his hometown a great foundation to build on 54 years ago.

    Onetime Brooksville banker and community kingpin Alfred McKethan helped create the Southwest Florida Water Management District, but the political and business leaders that followed him have not done enough to make Hernando a county that can justifiably stake a claim to an agency as large and sophisticated as Swiftmud.
  5. Obama recasts climate change as a more far-reaching peril (w/video)

    Global Warming

    NEW LONDON, Conn. — President Barack Obama used a commencement address Wednesday at the Coast Guard Academy to cast his push for urgent action to combat climate change as a national security imperative, saying the warming of the planet poses an "immediate risk" to the United States.

  6. Scientists link dolphin deaths to 2010 BP spill in Gulf of Mexico (w/video)

    Wildlife

    Bottlenose dolphins found within the footprint of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill are displaying unusual and life-threatening diseases consistent with exposure to petroleum products, a team of scientists investigating a spike in deaths said Wednesday.

    In this photo taken May 10, 2015, a dead dolphin washes ashore in the Gulf of Mexico on Grand Isle, La. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration scientists stated in a report released Wednesday that there are links between BP's catastrophic 2010 oil spill and a spate of dolphin deaths since the spill. [Associated Press]
  7. Oil slicks off California span 9 miles; cleanup under way (w/video)

    Water

    GOLETA, Calif. — Slicks of oil that spilled into California coastal waters from an onshore pipeline spanned a total of 9 miles Wednesday, and a company official said the line was operating at full capacity when it broke, suggesting much more oil escaped than initially estimated.

    A clean-up worker heads to the shoreline Wednesday while a larger group of workers begin clean up operations at Refugio State Beach, site of an oil spill, north of Goleta, Calif.  A broken onshore pipeline spewed oil down a storm drain and into the ocean for several hours Tuesday before it was shut off, creating a slick some 9 miles long about 20 miles west of Santa Barbara.  [Associated Press]
  8. Swiftmud considers moving headquarters from Brooksville to Tampa

    Water

    BROOKSVILLE — The Southwest Florida Water Management District governing board today will consider moving its headquarters — located in Brooksville since the district's founding in 1961 — to its Tampa office.

  9. Florida's water was House Speaker Crisafulli's top priority; now it waits

    Water

    Last year saw a rare alignment of political forces in Florida. Gov. Rick Scott, several powerful state senators, a coalition of environmental groups and a consortium of business and industry groups all said the Legislature needed to do something about fixing Florida's water.

    Water was a priority for House Speaker Crisafulli.
  10. Business interests lobby for Janet Dougherty to head Hillsborough Environmental Protection Commission

    Environment

    TAMPA — In his nine years as a Hillsborough County commissioner, Al Higginbotham said he has never seen lobbying quite like what's he's experienced during the search for the next executive director of the Environmental Protection Commission.

    Al Higgin-botham criticized the lobbying as inappro-priate. “It went overboard.”