Aerial view of the Pinto Valley copper mine, located on private and U.S. national forest lands in Gila County, Ariz.
Wild Horizon/Universal Images Group via Getty Images
Hard rock minerals like gold, silver, copper and lithium on public lands belong to the American public, but under a 150-year-old law, the US gives them away for free.
Wetlands like this one in California’s Morro Bay Estuary shelter fish, animals and plants and help control flooding.
Citizen of the Planet/UCG/Universal Images Group via Getty Images
The Supreme Court opens its 2022-2023 session with a high-profile case that has major implications for both wildlife and landowners.
When in doubt, throw it out – but not in the recycling bin.
Basak Gurbuz Derman/Moment via Getty Images
Tossing something into your recycling bin that can’t be processed does more harm than good.
President-elect Joe Biden opposes proposals to allow uranium mining around the Grand Canyon, which the Trump administration supports.
Michael Quinn, NPS/Flickr
The Trump administration has used executive orders, deregulation and delays to reduce environmental regulation. Biden administration officials will use many of the same tools to undo their work.
John James Audubon relied on African Americans and Native Americans to collect some specimens for his ‘Birds of America’ prints (shown: Florida cormorant), but never credited them.
National Audubon Society
US ideas about conservation center on walling off land from use. That approach often means expelling Indigenous and other poor people who may be its most effective caretakers.
Fresno, California and the surrounding San Joaquin Valley have some of the nation’s highest levels of fine particle air pollution.
AP Photo/Gary Kazanjian
A new study shows that while fine particle air pollution has declined nationwide over the past 40 years, the health and environmental benefits haven’t been shared evenly.
Many migratory birds, like these sandhill cranes, rely on wetlands for feeding, resting and shelter.
A 2006 Supreme Court ruling created widespread confusion about which wetlands and other waters are federally protected. The Trump administration’s latest action isn’t likely to clear things up.
Steller sea lions in the eastern Pacific are an Endangered Species Act success story.
David B. Ledig/USFWS
The Trump administration is changing implementation of the Endangered Species Act in ways that conservationists say would reduce protection for some of America’s most threatened wildlife.
All together now?
Major US environmental organizations have promised to diversify their staffs and boards for more than 20 years, but moved slowly. Will workplace scandals make a difference?
One use and done? Not always.
Many communities are banning single-use plastic shopping bags to reduce pollution, but a study in California shows that some consumers responded by purchasing more heavy plastic trash bags.
Hoosick Fall, N.Y. is one of many U.S. communities whose drinking water has been contaminated with PFOA or PFOS.
AP Photo/Mike Groll, File
EPA is moving to regulate two chemicals from a group called PFAS that are contaminating drinking water. A public health expert explains why the agency should take much broader action.
President George H.W. Bush (right) fishing on the Kennebunk River in Maine, Aug. 27, 1990.
AP Photo/Doug Mills
George H.W. Bush, who pledged to be ‘the environmental president,’ took a market-based approach to pollution control that helped clear the air. Now some experts think it could work on climate change.
Environmental regulations generally improve communities’ preparedness and resilience during disasters.
AP Photo/Gerald Herbert
The damage to coal ash sites from Hurricane Florence demonstrates how a community’s vulnerability to natural disasters is closely linked to how stringent environmental regulations are.
Rather than fade into the night, coal plants could stick around longer under Trump’s proposal.
Trump’s energy plan may meet the letter of the law but the Affordable Clean Energy Plan reflects the administration’s clear agenda to move slowly or not at all on climate change.
A clear day at Acadia National Park in Maine.
US national parks protect some of America’s most spectacular outdoor settings. But new research shows that ozone pollution levels in the parks are roughly as bad as in major cities.
Protesters at a rally on the state of the EPA organized by the American Federation of Government Employees union, April 25, 2018, in Washington, D.C.
AP Photo/Alex Brandon
Government agencies are supposed to listen to the industries they regulate, but what if they tune out everyone else? Scholars call this regulatory capture, and some staffers see it happening at EPA.
Male sage grouse at the Seedskadee National Wildlife Refuge, Wyoming.
The Trump administration is reopening a plan negotiated under President Obama to protect Western sage grouse. This could signal to states not to bother working together to protect other endangered species.
Smog alert in Cleveland, Ohio, July 20, 1973.
EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt wants to change the grounds for setting US air pollution targets. An environmental lawyer explains why Pruitt’s approach misreads the law and could roll back decades of gains.
A streamlined NEPA review of replacing New York’s Tappan Zee Bridge over the Hudson River, which would normally take 3-5 years, was completed in 1.5 years.
Do environmental reviews delay large-scale projects? The Trump administration says yes, but studies show that these reviews lead to better results and can even save time and money.
False-color image of ozone concentrations above Antarctica on Oct. 2, 2015.
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center
Earth’s ozone layer shields us from harmful ultraviolet radiation. Nations have been working to reduce ozone-depleting chemicals since the 1980s, but recent studies show that there is still work to do.