Arkansas Environment

30 Crossing
Arkansas Department of Transportation

Public comments are being compiled on a $630 million proposal to widen Interstate 30 from six to 10 lanes in central Arkansas. Friday was the deadline for people to give their thoughts on an environmental assessment, with the proposal to now be submitted to the Federal Highway Administration for approval.

Hughes Street Interstate 630 I-630 expansion
Arkansas Department of Transportation

U.S. District Judge James Moody said he will likely issue a decision Tuesday on whether to halt an expansion project just getting underway on Interstate 630 in Little Rock. On Monday he heard a full day of oral arguments and testimony that continued into the evening. 

Hughes Street Interstate 630 I-630 expansion
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

As a construction zone is being set up to widen a 2.2-mile stretch of Interstate 630 in Little Rock, a federal lawsuit aims to bring the $87.4 million project to a halt. One lane is to be added in each direction between Baptist Health Medical Center and University Avenue.

The lawsuit filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas argues that a proper environmental assessment was not conducted. Attorney Richard Mays is asking for a temporary restraining order which would stop construction until the lawsuit can be heard in court.

Sarah Whites-Koditschek / ARKANSAS PUBLIC MEDIA

Arkansas has received a federal stamp of approval to make permanent standards the state has been operating under for nearly a decade.
 
Air quality changes made in 2010 lowered the bar for how much air pollution a company can emit without a permit. On Friday, the Environmental Protection Agency finalized those changes.
 

Daniel Breen / KUAR News

A group of 10 students from LISA Academy North charter school in North Little Rock are preparing for a journey of almost 1,500 miles in the solar powered car they built by hand.

The group will travel with schools across the country from Fort Worth, Texas to Palmdale, Calif. in July as part of the Solar Car Challenge. LISA North is the first school in Arkansas to compete in the nationwide event.

Loreal
clintonfoundation.org

The latest installment of a United States Department of Energy web series features energy management teams from North Little Rock’s L’Oreal plant trading places with the team from Detroit’s General Motors facility.

The series, titled “SWAP," is a reality-style web series based on popular shows such as ABC’s “Wife Swap.” The Department of Energy oversaw the exchange, which details the two teams examining each other’s facilities to find ways to boost energy efficiency.

Becker1999 / Wikimedia Commons

Advocates for using science and data to drive policy decisions plan to take their concerns to the steps of the Arkansas State Capitol Saturday.

The second annual March for Science happened in many states, including the nation’s Capitol, a week ago on April 14. Arkansas Sierra Club Executive Director Glenn Hooks says each march relates to the environmental issues in that state.

A fungus called white-nose syndrome has killed millions of cave-dwelling bats in the eastern U.S. and Canada and is now aggressively spreading across the South, including the karst-rich Ozarks and its abundant caves.

The irritating white, feathery fungus grows on the warm snouts and wings of hibernating bats, rousing them from winter torpor. Infected bats often flutter, disoriented, out of  protective caves where they may freeze or starve to death.

A federal task force which formed in 2011 to track and manage the epidemic is finally starting to see a glimmer of light at the end of a long tunnel.

Daniel Breen / KUAR News

A handful of Arkansas environmental advocacy groups are seeking to block legislation from being considered that could allow a controversial hog farm to keep operating.

Newton County-based C&H Hog Farms has come under scrutiny in recent years due to concerns over waste runoff into the Buffalo National River Watershed. The farm sits on Big Creek, a major tributary of the Buffalo.

Southwestern Electric Power Company on Tuesday fired back at a group opposing the $4.5 billion “Wind Catcher” project designed to deliver wind-powered energy to Arkansas.

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