Environment

DrGBB

The National Center for Water Quality Research says the mild winter and spring temperatures could mean toxic blue-green algae will make its appearance in western Lake Erie earlier than usual.

Dr. David Baker says the algae will show up sooner if the water heats up more quickly. Another critical factor will be rainfall and the amount of fertilizer that runs into the lake from nearby farms.

Ellen Belcher, who's filling in for Emily McCord, interviews Jack Shaner, a lobbyist for the Ohio Environmental Council. Shaner talks about Gov. John Kasich's new energy plan and insists that Ohio's "fracking" regulations are woefully weak.

karathepirate

Production of Marcellus Shale natural gas in Pennsylvania rose again in the second half of 2011, slightly
exceeding projections.

The state reported Friday that drillers produced the equivalent of 1.66 billion cubic feet of gas per day from July to December.

That's up from about 1.19 billion cubic feet per day in the previous six months.

That translates into a yearly average of about 1.42 billion cubic feet per day. That's up slightly from previous industry projections of 1.3 billion for 2011.

Lucas County Choppers

The state board that certifies construction plans for new energy facilities has approved an agreement that authorizes a 91-turbine wind farm in north-central Ohio.

The agreement approved Monday by the Ohio Power Siting Board allows Black Fork Wind Energy to construct the farm on 14,800 acres along the Crawford and Richland county line. The board says the company plans to begin construction in March and be operating by December.

Officials say the farm will be capable of generating 200 megawatts of electricity, enough to power tens of thousands of homes.

Јerry

Ohio plans to treat all 13,000 acres of the state's largest inland lake with a chemical to try heading off the toxic algae blooms that become a perennial problem.

Multiple news outlets report that the state's Environmental Protection Agency is trying to pull together $5 million to spread aluminum sulfate, or alum, over Grand Lake St. Mary's in western Ohio.

Officials said in the fall that a test last year over part of the lake was more successful than expected and killed 56 percent of phosphorous in the treated area.

A Pennsylvania gas well.  fracking drilling
Gerry Dincher / Flickr/Creative Commons

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Energy Department says it will reduce its estimate of undiscovered natural gas in New York, Pennsylvania and other states following a new report by the U.S. Geological Survey.

The USGS report, released Tuesday, estimates that the Marcellus Shale region contains some 84 trillion cubic feet of undiscovered, recoverable natural gas. That is far more than geologists had thought nearly a decade ago, but far below a recent projection by the Energy Department.

Human beings put a lot of stress on the natural world. Our environment is adversely impacted by the pollution that we create and the animal and plant species that we have pushed to the brink of extinction.

Fortunately there are still occasions to celebrate good news about our natural world. A new book, "The Death and Life of Monterey Bay: A Story of Revival," is the story of how a pristine wonder of nature, Monterey Bay, California, was practically ruined by over-fishing and pollution and how that degradation has slowly been reversed,

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