The Rockies Today, Feb. 2



Top news links, courtesy of Headwaters News.

EPA 'stymied' about sandy flow in Montana creek
Montanans who live along Prickly Pear Creek in Montana think the thick layer of sand that now coats the bottom of the creek near East Helena believe that work done by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to clean up Asarco's smelter, including lowering the water levels in the man-made Upper Lake, is responsible for the sand, but EPA officials said the absence of sand immediately downstream from the dam makes it unlikely that the work is the source of the sand.
Helena Independent Record; Feb. 2

Economist says Northern Gateway Pipeline will raise Canada's oil prices
A new report by former Insurance Corporation of British Columbia CEO Robyn Allan said that, if the Northern Gateway pipeline is built to carry Alberta crude west to a port on British Columbia's Pacific coast, the per-barrel price of that crude will jump $2 to $3 annually, wreaking havoc on the Canadian economy.
Calgary Herald; Feb. 1

Simplot report on selenium pollution in SE Idaho under fire
Conservation groups and a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service biologist have raised questions about the validity of a 1,200-page report prepared by the J.R. Simplot Company about the effects selenium pollution from phosphate mines in southeast Idaho.
Jackson Hole News & Guide; Feb. 2

EPA official defends Wyoming report before U.S. House panel
At a House Science Committee’s energy and environment subcommittee hearing on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's draft report on its investigation of groundwater contamination near Pavillion, Wyo., EPA Regional Administrator James Martin defended the report, and denied that the report, which linked groundwater contamination in Wyoming to oil and gas operations, would in no way apply in other areas of the nation—due to geological differences.
Casper Star-Tribune (AP); Feb. 2

'Gasland' filmmaker arrested at House subcommittee hearing
Joshua Fox, the filmmaker whose documentary "Gasland" galvanized concerns about a drilling method known as hydraulic fracturing, was arrested Wednesday for not having proper media credentials while trying to film a House subcommittee hearing on an Environmental Protection Agency's report on water contamination in Wyoming.
Los Angeles Times; Feb. 2

Colorado county commission hears from both sides on Christo project
Federal land managers signed off on the artist Christo's Over the River installation along the Arkansas River last fall, but the proposal to drape miles of fabric along the Colorado river still needs local approval, and the Fremont County Commission began hearings on the project on Wednesday, where opponents said it would diminish the natural beauty of the area, while proponents said the area needs the economic benefit the installation would bring.
New York Times; Feb. 2

U. of Wyoming professor helps create 'spider silk'
University of Wyoming professor Don Jarvis worked with researchers in Utah, Indiana and Michigan to create stronger silk by injecting spider DNA into silkworms, which could be available within the next two years for a wide range of commercial uses including artificial tendons.
Casper Star-Tribune; Feb. 2

Four arrested, work begins on logging project in SW Alberta
The three-week protest against Spray Lake Sawmills' logging plan in the Castle area that was approved Alberta Sustainable Resource Development culminated Wednesday in the arrest of four protesters, and Spray Lake Sawmills began work on a road needed for the project.
Calgary Herald; Feb. 1

Headwaters News is a project of the Center for the Rocky Mountain West at The University of Montana. It provides a daily snapshot of news and opinion in the Rocky Mountain region of North America, giving the changing mountain West a tool to understand itself and a platform for the exchange of ideas.

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