Environment

Courtesy of Colorado College

Last week Colorado College, a private liberal arts college in Colorado Springs, announced that it had reached carbon neutrality. They say they are the first institution of higher education in the Rocky Mountain region to do so.

Ian Johnson, Colorado College’s director of sustainability, joined KUNC’s Colorado Edition to discuss how the college did it, and what work is left to be done.

Amber Powell / U.S. Air National Guard

A group of chemicals called PFAS are common in firefighting foams, as well as household products like rain jackets, pizza boxes and non-stick pots and pans. They've been in use since the 1940s and have come to be known as "forever chemicals" because they persist in the environment.

PFAS, which stands for per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, have made their way into watersheds around the world, and as a recent study found, even into raindrops. Some are considered a threat to human health. 

Researchers including Jens Blotevogel, an environmental engineer at Colorado State University, are studying ways to get rid of the compounds. 

Gray wolf
Colorado Parks and Wildlife

Signatures are due on Friday, Dec. 13 for petitioners who are hoping to reintroduce wolves to our state. Wolves were last known to be living in Colorado in the 1940s. If the petitioners get enough signatures, the question will be put to Colorado voters during the 2020 election. 

In A Revived Arizona River, A Wildlife Oasis Is Remade

Nov 11, 2019
Ariana Brocious / Arizona Public Media

Much of the Santa Cruz River is a dry, desert wash, only flowing after heavy monsoon rains. As Tucson Water hydrologist Dick Thompson and I walk along the river south of Starr Pass Boulevard, he points out how brown the vegetation looks.

Oil and gas
Matt Bloom / KUNC

Colorado’s oil and gas regulators say they will start putting some drilling applications through a more rigorous review process after a study found people face short term health risks, such as headaches and dizziness, if they are within 2,000 feet of the wells.

The study released Thursday specifically found the health risks occur when a well is being constructed, with the highest risk coming at a time when a process called “flowback” occurs.

Nathan Heffel / KUNC

This week, countries around the world met at the United Nations Climate Action Summit to discuss climate change. But it's not only nations that are looking towards solutions, we also are seeing towns and cities here in Colorado taking action. 

Matt Bloom / KUNC

Fort Collins city staff are expected to present their zoning recommendations for the former Hughes Stadium site at a public hearing Thursday evening.

It’s the latest step in redeveloping the 165-acre swath of land nestled just east of Horsetooth Reservoir. It’s also the final meeting before the city council makes a decision on the site’s rezoning later this fall.

In early July, Bangladesh became the first country to grant all of its rivers the same legal status as humans. From now on, its rivers will be treated as living entities in a court of law. The landmark ruling by the Bangladeshi Supreme Court is meant to protect the world's largest delta from further degradation from pollution, illegal dredging and human intrusion.

Aluminum cans
Kyra Buckley / KUNC

Is recycling still worth it? It's a bold question — especially after decades of public service announcements drilling into us the environmental value of recycling.

But China, who was the biggest global processor of materials, is no longer accepting shipments of plastics from the U.S. This has forced communities to find other ways to recycle these items, and that alternative can be costly.

The largest habitat for life on Earth is the deep ocean. It's home to everything from jellyfish to giant bluefin tuna. But the deep ocean is being invaded by tiny pieces of plastic — plastic that people thought was mostly floating at the surface, and in amounts they never imagined.

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