by Don Corrigan
Democrats’ takeover of the U.S. House on Nov. 6 means that environmental issues will come to the fore, but that does not mean policies coming out of Washington, D.C., will be any greener. That is because climate change skeptics will still be in charge of the White House and the U.S. Senate where they will present roadblocks to environmental initiatives.
That assessment of post-election environmental politics came from Professor Amanda Rosen, who teaches political science at Webster University. She was on a panel entitled “What did the Nov. 6 Election Mean for the Environment?” at the university on Nov. 14. Other panelists included newly-elected St. Louis County Councilwoman Lisa Clancy and Missouri Sierra Club Director John Hickey.
Clancy said that most environmental progress is going to take place at the local level, not in Jefferson City or Washington, D.C., which remain in control by politicians who are hostile to most environmental initiatives. Locally, the City of St. Louis has resolved to become a city powered by renewable energy and St. Louis County voters passed a measure on Nov. 6 to protect their parks and to prevent them from being sold without voter approval.
Missouri Coalition for the Environment (MCE) released information about a local bill that would help regional farmers bring fresh food to the areas of St. Louis that need it most. MCE, an advocacy group, helps to bring awareness to Missouri’s environmental issues, including local access to fresh and affordable locally grown foods.
Please take a look at the latest updates below from MCE. Also, check out their website for informative information about local environmental issues.
The Katy Land Trust has been working to keep the proposed Missouri Bluffs subdivision construction from moving forward. On July 25, 2018, Great Rivers Environmental Law Center filed suit in the St. Charles County Circuit Court on behalf of Weldon Woods, Inc., and Mark Kaiser, asking the Court to void the rezoning allowing a huge subdivision to be built on wooded bluffs overlooking the Missouri River.
The Katy Land Trust has released an update about the effort:
As you know, on July 25 a lawsuit challenging the St. Charles County Council’s decision to allow the Missouri Bluffs subdivision to proceed was filed by Weldon Woods Inc. The St. Charles County Planning and Zoning Commission voted 8 to 1 in opposition to the development, yet the County Council disregarded their recommendation. The Council’s action triggered this lawsuit.
On behalf of Weldon Woods Inc, Great Rivers Environmental Law Center has been hard at work on this case since they filed it last summer. Yesterday, October 29, the most recent hearing was held at the St. Charles County Courthouse and a trial date for the case was set for March 12, 2019.
Read more below…
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently released its 18th annual Green Power Leadership Awards, recognizing 10 Green Power Partners across the country.
The winners included Anheuser-Busch Companies, LLC, in St. Louis for Excellence in Green Power Use.
Way to go A-B STL! Keeping St. Louis in the winning list of GREEN POWER companies making a difference!
Read more from the EPA’s news release below.
Information for the cleanup of radioactive waste in the West Lake Landfill, located in Bridgeton, Mo, has been released from the EPA.
Concerns over how cleanup procedures will affect local residents and the surrounding areas are yet to be answered in detail. We will post updates from the EPA, as well as any local public meetings scheduled to address the situation as it becomes available.
Below, find the EPA’s public release announcing the Record of Decision for the West Lake Landfill.
The National Park Service recently released that it will shut down the Gateway Rach lights at night from September 17-30. The decision was made to help reduce the effects on nite-time migrating birds.
“The end of September is the peak migration period for birds migrating south for the winter,” says Frank Mares, deputy superintendent of Gateway Arch National Park. “In order to avoid the possible disorienting effect of the monument’s upward lighting on birds that migrate at night, the Gateway Arch’s exterior lights will be turned off for the last two weeks of September.”
The recently upgraded lighting systems will resume nightly October 1, at 7:00 p.m. Less than three dozen static xenon skylights with new custom lenses replaced 44 outdated light fixtures. The new system allows more light to be focused on the Arch itself. The number of fixtures has been reduced, but due to advances in technology, the upgraded fixtures provide increased light coverage of the Arch legs and energy efficiency.
Find more information about the Gateway Arch National Park HERE
Photo: Saint Louis Zoo
St. Louisans love Forest Park and their Zoo! One of the zillion amazing things about our world-class Saint Louis Zoo is the fact that admission is still FREE! This allows everyone, from every background and walk in life, to enjoy the zoo and its many learning opportunities.
The editors at Environmental Echo have had the pleasure of meeting several of the zoo’s staff members over the years. And one thing always stands out – the talented and knowledgeable people working at the zoo love what they do and love to share what they know about the animals they love, the zoo’s outstanding operations and facilities, the serious environmental challenges we face and their continuous conservation efforts.
One way to stay informed on what’s happening at the Saint Louis Zoo is by reading their online blog. Did you know the zoo had a blog?
Well, they do, and it’s a variety of interesting topics filled with insights. Did you know that some of the zoo’s catering menu has food items grown right in their own culinary garden?
How about the partnership with Ameren to help feed the animals and create mulch from tree limbs that are trimmed and removed to help prevent storm damage?
Oh, and, if you happen to browse the gift shop and take home a soapstone statuette handmade in the village of Tabaka in Kenya, the purchase helps support the village’s people and their local conservation efforts.
And, of course, news and information about the animals, along with many more interesting tidbits directly from the staff members who work at the zoo.
The Valley Park levee has been a tense and bitter debate since historic flooding hit the area twice in 18 months during 2015 and 2017. With any major forecasted rain or storm event, the threat of flooding is always on the minds of local residents.
This weekend, heavy rain is predicted as the last of tropical storm Gordon pushes its way into the Midwest. (September 2018)
Environmental Echo has posted several stories and updates about the local flooding situations related to the Valley Park levee issue in the past and we wanted to share a comprehensive piece of investigative journalism we ran across from ProPublica.
A reef expert, nicknamed “The Godfather of Coral,” has decided to become vocal about the extinction threat facing Australia’s Great Barrier Reef.
CNN recently published a story on the topic. The online article is complete with photos, maps, videos and links to more information about the reef.
If you have the time, take a few minutes and check it out. The story can be found HERE.
Also, the link to CNN’s full video documentary for “Race To Save The Reef.” Find it HERE.