Friday, July 31, 2015 12:16 PM PT
By NICK CAHILL 

     SACRAMENTO, Calif. (CN) - With their drought-ravaged state in its hottest summer on record, Californians exceeded a water-conservation benchmark, regulators said Thursday.


     (CN) - A federal judge in Alaska on Thursday fined Greenpeace $2,500 for every hour protesters block a Royal Dutch Shell icebreaker from leaving a dock in Portland to head for the Arctic. 

By NICHOLAS IOVINO 

     SAN FRANCISCO (CN) - Environmentalists dropped a lawsuit against a trout and salmon hatchery run by California and Uncle Sam, for attorney's fees and a promise that the Fish and Wildlife Service would meet some demands. 

By KARINA BROWN 

     PORTLAND, Ore. (CN) - Greenpeace joined local activists Wednesday morning at St. Johns Bridge to block Royal Dutch Shell from moving a crucial ship to the Chukchi Sea off the coast of Alaska, where the company plans to begin drilling for oil.

By KARINA BROWN 

     PORTLAND, Ore. (CN) - Biologists say unusually warm water in the Columbia River spells death for more than 250,000 Sockeye salmon.

By NICK CAHILL 

     SACRAMENTO (CN) - As emergency drought orders, legal challenges and fights over dwindling water supplies continue, relief may be on the way, as Californians watch the Pacific Ocean for a developing El Nino.

By KARINA BROWN 

     PORTLAND, Ore. (CN) - Trees chewed into what looks like a forest of kindling are not necessarily more susceptible to wildfires, according to a new study by researchers at Oregon State University.

By REBEKAH KEARN 

     (CN) - The federal government improperly exempted the country's largest national forest, the 17 million acre Tongass, from Clinton-era roadless rules, the Ninth Circuit ruled. 

By CHARLY HIMMEL 

     WASHINGTON (CN) - An animal rights group frustrated in its efforts to protect two rare tortoise species, cannot sue the federal government for responding to its queries "with the alacrity of a proverbial tortoise," a federal judge ruled. 

By PHILIP A. JANQUART 

     GREAT FALLS, Mont. (CN) - A federal judge refused to issue an injunction to stop the U.S. Forest Service from allowing domestic sheep to graze near habitat for protected bighorn sheep in Montana. 

By DAN MCCUE 


     (CN) - Two chimpanzees kept in a laboratory at the state university in Stony Brook, N.Y., do not have the same legal rights as humans and will therefore remain at the facility, a Manhattan Supreme Court judge ruled. 

By PHILIP A. JANQUART 

     (CN) - Oil and gas in Alaska's northernmost reaches will stay put after a federal judge ruled that the Department of the Interior has no continuing obligation to review the state's drilling plans. 

By MARIA DINZEO 

     SAN FRANCISCO (CN) - California's ban on the possession and sale of shark fins does not conflict with federal laws governing interstate commerce and fisheries management, the Ninth Circuit ruled Monday. 

By MOLLY WILLMS 

     ST. PAUL, Minn. (CN) - The Minnesota "man who walks with bears" needs state permission to continue his radio-collar tracking of the animals, the state Court of Appeals ruled. 

By JONNY BONNER 

     PORTLAND, Ore. (CN) - People who live on the slopes of Mt. Hood sued the Forest Service for failing to execute a land swap that would spare the relatively pristine north side of the mountain from development.

By REBEKAH KEARN 

     LOS ANGELES (CN) - California illegally exempts 84 cities in Los Angeles County from stormwater discharge rules and lets them just work on the plans, no matter how long it takes, environmentalists claim in court.

By DAVID TARTRE 

     SAN FRANCISCO (CN) - Valero Refining Co. sued the Bay Area Air Quality Management District on Monday, claiming it abused its discretion by denying it $57 million in emissions-reduction credits.

By TIM RYAN 

     (CN) - A class action claims the "100 % beef" hot dogs Burger King has just started selling in select stores in Maryland and Michigan aren't all they're cracked up to be.

By TIM RYAN 

     (CN) - A consumer advocacy organization claims a popular spice distributor is misleading the public about how much pepper is actually in its containers.

By PHILIP A. JANQUART 

     BOISE (CN) - The U.S. Forest Service illegally used an "exclusion" to approve mining in a National Forest and duck disclosure requirements, the Idaho Conservation League claims in Federal Court.

By NICK MCCANN 

     PORTLAND, Ore. (CN) - An Oregon wind farm sued Portland General Electric Co., demanding that it buy the wind power on a schedule approved by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

By KATHERINE PROCTOR 

     SAN FRANCISCO (CN) - San Francisco's recent ordinance to regulate soda and other sugary drinks is unconstitutional, the American Beverage Association claims in Federal Court.

By REBEKAH KEARN 

     MEDFORD, Ore. (CN) - Federal grazing permits on 10 tracts of land in the Klamath River Basin threaten critical habitat for two species of endangered fish, environmentalists claim in court.

By ADAM KLASFELD 

     MANHATTAN (CN) - Tribe Mediterranean Foods claims to make its hummus with chickpeas, tahini, spices and "love," but the purportedly "All Natural" product also contains GMOs, a New Yorker alleges in a $5 million lawsuit.

By DAN MCCUE 

     (CN) - The decades-long captivity of Lolita, a killer whale at the Miami Seaquarium, is a violation of the Endangered Species Act and she must be released, animal rights activists say in a lawsuit.

By REBEKAH KEARN 

     SAN DIEGO (CN) - Several water districts' tiered water rates in Southern California aren't based on what it costs to deliver water and are therefore unconstitutional, disgruntled ratepayers claim in a class action.

By KARINA BROWN 

     PORTLAND, Ore. (CN) - Environmentalists sued the National Marine Fisheries Service for missing its 30-month deadline to develop a plan for threatened Coho salmon along the Oregon coast.

By NICHOLAS IOVINO 

     SAN FRANCISCO (CN) - Federal regulators ignored their duty to investigate a decade's worth of allegedly discriminatory environmental conditions, Sierra Club and others claim in Federal Court.

By JACK BOUBOUSHIAN 

     CHICAGO (CN) - The children of former Motorola employees developed serious birth defects because toxic chemicals used to make semiconductor products, they claim in court.

By NICK CAHILL 

     SACRAMENTO (CN) - California's lax oversight of fracking disproportionately endangers Latino schoolchildren and communities in the Central Valley, a family claims in court.

By NICK CAHILL 

     SAN FRANCISCO (CN) - Plans for a $76 million courthouse in California's gold country were approved despite a faulty environmental impact report, a historic preservation league claims in court.

By KATHERINE PROCTOR 

     OAKLAND, Calif. (CN) - Scammers who "prey on the old and vulnerable" used high-pressure telemarketing to defraud a 78-year-old woman of tens of thousands of dollars, she claims in court.

By CNBC 

     A food fight is under way in Congress that could decide whether genetically engineered food products are labeled as such. Read more at CNBC.

From USA TODAY 

     A West Virginia man has paid dearly for keeping two deer at his home. Read more at USA Today.

By THE WALL STREET JOURNAL 

     A tank car containing a hazardous flammable chemical derailed and caught fire just south of Knoxville, Tenn., causing the evacuation of 5,000 residents within a two-mile radius of the crash. Read more at The Wall Street Journal.

By THE TELEGRAPH 

     Nine long finned pilot whales have now died and seven others remain stranded off the Isle of Skye. Read more at The Telegraph.

By THE WALL STREET JOURNAL 

     The Food and Drug Administration paved the way for new restrictions on antibiotics given to cows, chickens and other farm animals as the Obama administration pursues ways to fight the so-called superbugs that are growing increasingly resistant to the current arsenal of infection-fighting drugs. Read more at The Wall Street Journal.

By RAMONA YOUNG-GRINDLE 

     WASHINGTON (CN) - The Department of the Interior published a draft Environmental Impact StatementFriday to advance its proposed stream protection ruleaimed at addressing impacts from surface mining.

By RAMONA YOUNG-GRINDLE 

     WASHINGTON (CN) - Responding to an environmental group's petition, the National Marine Fisheries Service has proposed three foreign angelshark species for endangered status under the Endangered Species Act.

By ELIZABETH WARMERDAM 

     (CN) - The EPA wants to end all indoor aerosol, spray and liquid formulas of the insecticide propoxur, often used in pet collars, after a human health assessment found risks to children.

By RAMONA YOUNG-GRINDLE 

     WASHINGTON (CN) - In a proposed rule published Wednesday, the Fish and Wildlife Service proposes removing the eastern cougar from the Endangered Species List because it is likely extinct.

By RAMONA YOUNG-GRINDLE 

     WASHINGTON (CN) - The EPA's proposed pesticide labeling change to prohibit spraying during bloom is a good first step to protect contracted pollinators, but more is needed, environmentalists say.

By RAMONA YOUNG-GRINDLE  

     WASHINGTON (CN) - The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced today that all chimpanzees, whether wild or captive, will now be classified as endangered under the Endangered Species Act (ESA).

By RAMONA YOUNG-GRINDLE 

     WASHINGTON (CN) - The proposal to list the Mono Basin sage-grouse as a threatened species has been withdrawn due to a successful conservation action plan, the listing agency claims.

By RAMONA YOUNG-GRINDLE 

     WASHINGTON (CN) - An experimental population of black-footed ferrets, one of the most endangered mammals in the world, may be re-established in Wyoming's prairie-dog habitat under a special rule.

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