As stewards of America’s natural resources, rural communities are often on the front lines of both environmental disasters and innovations. You can keep up with the latest environmental news from across rural America here.
A Landmark Investigation Brings Environmental Justice to Rural Alabama
Public health officials refused to develop a sanitation system in a predominantly Black region of rural Alabama. The federal government found the state guilty of neglect and discrimination.
More stories about the environment
Most Federal Forest is Mature and Old Growth. Now the Question Is Whether to Protect It
The Biden administration has completed an inventory and launched a plan for new rules on “climate resilience” for forests. Yet, logging continues in carbon-rich federal tree stands.
Blown Away: Fishermen Feel Endangered by Offshore Wind’s Political Power
Turbines the height of 70-story skyscrapers will soon tower over East Coast fishing grounds. But government regulators with ties to offshore wind developers are downplaying the danger to the marine ecosystem and fishermen’s livelihoods.
Papertown and the Dirty Bird
On the Pigeon River, one town celebrates a paper mill’s closure as another mourns — and both face an uncertain future.
New DOT Program Meets Vehicle Collisions with Wildlife Head On
The Department of Transportation wants to focus on rural areas previously left out of infrastructure projects. But some wildlife experts say a lot more money is needed to decrease the number of animals hit every year on roads.
Sandhill Crane Counting: ‘One of the Sweeter Things in Life’
It’s hard to miss a loud, four-foot-tall crane, even if it is your first time at the annual Midwest Crane Count. This year’s event is April 15. You might want a second pair of socks.
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Even More environmental coverage to explore
How State Regulators Allowed a Fading West Texas Town to Go Over Four Years Without Safe Drinking Water
The Texas attorney general finally filed suit last year, but some residents in Toyah say the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality was “negligent” and want to know what took so long.
Three Decades of Well Water Pollution in Rural Oregon Sees Almost No Government Action
Community organizers band together to tackle pollution from food processors and industrial farming.
In the Face of Extreme Floods, Rural Kentucky Lacked Forecasting and Broadband
As severe weather events increase, so does danger to rural communities. Plans are in place to address the urban observation bias in national weather prediction, but the other piece — reliable broadband — could still be years away for places like Eastern Kentucky.
How Alaska’s Coastal Communities Are Racing Against Erosion
“There’s a lot of history being washed away.”
Commentary: Chronicle of an Abandoned Oil and Gas Well — One of Millions
Oil and gas wells left unattended pose an environmental danger and weigh heavily on tax payers’ pockets. The federal accountability system overseeing the companies involved needs a complete overhaul.
Flooding in California, Oil Drilling in Alaska
Recent extreme weather in California is a reminder that climate change doesn’t always mean warming. Meanwhile, President Biden greenlights the controversial Willow oil project. All of it affects rural communities.
The Resurrection Swamp
A wetland contaminated by industrial waste is slowly coming back to life. Nature’s tenacity found a powerful ally in a kayak tours operator and her many volunteers.
Everyone’s Talking About East Palestine, Ohio
The train wreck in East Palestine, Ohio has drawn attention to a rural place. But it’s just one devastating part of a bigger picture.
‘East Kentucky Flood’ Documentary Available for Streaming
The film reveals both the devastating impact of the flood and the resiliency and generosity of East Kentucky residents.
‘This Is Absurd’: Train Cars that Derailed in Ohio Were Labeled Non-Hazardous
Ohio’s governor has called on Congress to investigate why the contents of the derailed train in rural East Palestine, Ohio, were labeled non-hazardous.
A Clip from the Documentary ‘East Kentucky Flood’: Isom IGA
“When it comes down to it, we all want the same thing. We all want to help and have a servant’s heart for one another.”
A Clip from the Documentary ‘East Kentucky Flood’: Building Back
“God has answered my prayer. I’m going to get my home.”
A Clip from the Documentary ‘East Kentucky Flood’: The Drunk Angels
“They stayed with us three days. I don’t think they drew a sober breath while they was here. They just kept on a-cooking.”
‘A Public Health Crisis in the Making’: Agriculture Pollutes Underground Drinking Water in Minnesota
Nitrate from agricultural runoff is seeping into wells that provide drinking water in rural Minnesota, and it poses a life-threatening risk to water users.
Commentary: What a Long, Strange Trip to Kill Four Dams
Four dams on the Klamath River in northern California and southern Oregon will be removed this summer. For stakeholders, it’s been a long, strange trip to reach this point in the dams’ history.