Friday, January 23, 2015 3:02 PM PT
By TED WHEELER 

     (CN) - Landowners in two Nebraska counties sued TransCanada Keystone Pipeline, challenging the constitutionality of a state law that grants the Canadian oil giant eminent domain powers to complete its controversial Keystone XL pipeline.

By REBEKAH KEARN 

     SANTA BARBARA (CN) - California's approval of drilling and refining at an aging coastal gas and oil plant will endanger public health and the environment, the City of Goleta claims in court.

By DAN MCCUE 

     (CN) - Thirteen commercial fisherman in North Carolina and Georgia have been charged with illegally harvesting and selling 90,000 pounds of Atlantic striped bass from federal waters, the Justice Department announced.

By MATT REYNOLDS 

     LOS ANGELES (CN) - The founder of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society on Thursday failed to persuade a federal judge that another animal rights advocate's allegations of slander and libel chill free speech rights.

By ELIZABETH WARMERDAM 

     (CN) - Congressional Democrats from California reintroduced legislation on Tuesday designed to help the state move toward a more sustainable water future following its driest year in recorded history.

By ELIZABETH WARMERDAM 

     SACRAMENTO (CN) - California rolled out the strictest rules in the nation for a widely used pesticide to protect people who work and live near fields treated with the fumigant - particularly strawberry fields.

     BANGOR, Maine (CN) - A convicted smuggler must forfeit six narwhal tusks and one skull, plus $85,000, a federal judge ruled, applying a 33-month prison term.

By MATT REYNOLDS 

     LOS ANGELES (CN) - A state court judge looks set to approve a $90 million settlement with residents of a Carson neighborhood sitting on top of a sludge of petroleum waste, pending a final objection from the oil giant's developer co-defendant in the case.

By PHILIP A. JANQUART 

     WASHINGTON (CN) - The Environmental Protection Agency does not have documents a law firm sought in a FOIA request, nor is it obligated to obtain them, a federal judge ruled. 

By MARLENE KENNEDY 

     ALBANY, N.Y. (CN) - Private-property owners in a remote section of New York's Adirondack Park cannot bar the public from ponds and streams that connect sections of a state wilderness canoe trail, a mid-level appeals court ruled. 

By BARBARA LEONARD 


     WASHINGTON (CN) - The Supreme Court agreed Friday to consider whether California raisin growers can stop putting some crops in a federal reserve pool.

By SABRINA CANFIELD 

     NEW ORLEANS (CN) - A federal judge ruled Thursday that BP will be held responsible for spilling nearly 4 million barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico during the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster, a decision that could lead to a penalty of $13.7 billion. 

By YAWANA WOLFE 

     (CN) - National Public Radio and four other news organizations convinced a federal judge to at least partially lift a gag order in the criminal trial of former coal magnate indicted for his role in a 2010 mining disaster. 

     The Nebraska Supreme Court on Friday reversed a lower court ruling blocking the Keystone XL pipeline's path across the state, and the U.S. House voted to force through approval of the international pipeline.

By JULIANNA KROLAK 

     VENTURA, Calif. (CN) - A community group sued a family trust to try to preserve public access to the Matilija Canyon Trail in Ventura County, which provides the only access to the Matilija Falls.

By LORRAINE BAILEY 

     (CN) - The federal culling of Yellowstone bison herds threatens genetic diversity and long-term survival prospects, a federal complaint calling for emergency measures alleges.

By SABRINA CANFIELD 

     GRETNA, La. (CN) - A Louisiana used oil recycling refinery dumped hydrochloric acid and other poisons into the Mississippi River for two years and tried to conceal it, a class of 1,000 people claim in state court.

By REBEKAH KEARN 

     (CN) - Hundreds of endangered Steller sea lions may die from loss of prey and habitat if the federal government allows more industrial fishing in the Aleutian Islands, environmentalists claim in court.

By RYAN ABBOTT 

     WASHINGTON (CN) - Soy protein may not have the heart health benefits the industry claims, according to a lawsuit filed against the Food and Drug and Administration.

By MOLLY WILLMS 

     MADISON, Wis. (CN) - Animal-welfare authorities euthanized a mammoth donkey named Jethro and let a prized Arabian horse die of malnutrition, a federal complaint alleges.

By LORRAINE BAILEY 

     (CN) - The EPA has failed to adopt safety regulations for nano-silver, which is becoming increasingly widespread in consumer products as an antibacterial agent, the Center for Food Safety claims.

By REBEKAH KEARN 

     SANTA ANA, Calif. (CN) - Environmentalists claim the federal government approved 51 offshore drilling permits that will allow fracking in the Santa Barbara Channel, without the environmental studies required by law.

By REBEKAH KEARN 

     PORTLAND, Ore. (CN) - An Oregon couple sued a pet store that "leases" pets rather than selling them, allegedly to duck licensing laws, and to be able to euthanize the animals if it wants.

By MATT REYNOLDS 

     RIVERSIDE, Calif. (CN) - Colorado River Indian Tribes asked a federal judge to reverse approval of the Blythe solar project in the Mojave Desert, claiming the 4,000-acre project will disturb ancestral burial grounds.

By ERIK DE LA GARZA 

     CONWAY, Ark. (CN) - ExxonMobil exacerbated the 2013 Pegasus pipeline rupture by not immediately reporting the spill, creating the "worst crude oil and tar sands spill in Arkansas history," dozens of families claim in a class action.

By JUNE WILLIAMS 

     SEATTLE (CN) - Six environmental groups and the Nez Perce Tribe sued the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers over its "eleventh hour" approval of a project to dredge nearly 500,000 cubic yards of sediment from the lower Snake River.

By VICTORIA PRIESKOP 

     GALLUP, N.M. (CN) - One oil company has sued another in Federal Court, claiming the defendant's fracking is ruining the wells from which the plaintiff extracts its oil and gas.

By REBEKAH KEARN 

     SAN FRANCISCO (CN) - Billions of fish and hundreds of protected species are killed each year by power plants' water intakes, which federal agencies allow in defiance of laws, environmentalists claim in court.

By NICK MCCANN 

     MEDFORD, Ore. (CN) - Alfalfa farmers in southern Oregon sued Jackson County for $4.2 million, for crops they may have to destroy because of the county ban on genetically engineered plants.

     SAN DIEGO (CN) - An animal defense group sued a National City mall for the right to protest outside one of its tenants, which allegedly buys dogs from puppy mills.

By PHILIP A. JANQUART 

     BOISE, Idaho (CN) - An "Idaho Predator Hunt Derby" targeting gray wolves, coyotes and even starlings is unprecedented and illegal, environmentalists claim in two federal lawsuits.

By PHILIP A. JANQUART 

     MISSOULA, Mont. (CN) - Despite eight years of prodding, the federal government refuses to protect the threatened Canada lynx, environmental groups claim in two federal lawsuits.

By WILLIAM DOTINGA 

     (CN) - Environmentalists across the West - led by Friends of the Earth and the Western Organization of Resource Councils - slapped the Interior Department and the Bureau of Land Management with a lawsuit Monday claiming the agencies haven't done a comprehensive environmental review of the federal government's coal leasing program since 1979, long before climate change became a global menace.

By CLEVELAND.COM 

     A California smoked salmon distributor is recalling more than 30 varieties of its products due to the potential for contamination with Listeria, a potentially dangerous food-borne bacterium. Read more at Cleveland.com.

By SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS 

     A California apple packing plant has recalled all of its Granny Smith and Gala apple shipments from 2014 after they were linked to an outbreak of listeria in caramel apples that may have caused up to five deaths. Read more at San Jose Mercury News.

By THE GUARDIAN 

     China granted public interest groups more power to sue those that flout environmental protection laws, the country's highest court said, as Beijing steps up efforts to curb pollution that regularly chokes major cities. Read more at The Guardian.

By NJ.COM 

     A major supplier to Chinese food restaurants throughout the Northeast and into the Midwest was found to have rodent nests in coolers, flying birds, and feces on food in its warehouse, the Food and Drug Administration said. Read more at NJ.com.

By ABC NEWS 

     The Food and Drug Administration approved 41 first-of-a-kind drugs in 2014, including a record number of medicines for rare diseases, pushing the agency's annual tally of drug approvals to its highest level in 18 years. Read more at ABC News.

By THE WASHINGTON POST 

     After conservationists warned that the monarch butterfly's population is declining in a "deadly free fall," the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service are reviewing a proposal to include it on the endangered species list, the federal agency announced. Read more at The Washington Post.

By WFAA8 

     Three Texas food companies have issued recalls on meat products. Four products that were shipped to Garland Independent School District and HEB store locations are being recalled. Read more at WFAA.

From THE WASHINGTON POST 

     The cows that produce the nation's organic milk spend their days ruminating happily on an idyllic green pasture, usually beside an iconic red barn. That, at least, is what the ubiquitous marketing would tell you. Read more at The Washington Post.

From INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS TIMES 

     Africa's giraffes are on a slow march toward extinction due to the pressures of poaching and habitat loss, conservation experts have warned. Read more from International Business Times.

By RAMONA YOUNG-GRINDLE 

     WASHINGTON (CN) - President Obama has taken action to preserve Alaska's Bristol Bay from oil and gas drilling.

By RAMONA YOUNG-GRINDLE 

     WASHINGTON (CN) - The National Marine Fisheries Service has proposed listing six foreign marine species for protection under the Endangered Species Act (ESA).

By RAMONA YOUNG-GRINDLE 

     WASHINGTON (CN) - The rufa red knot, a small world-ranging shorebird, has been listed as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act.

     WASHINGTON (CN) - A 111-page decree that the Supreme Court published Monday clarifies the U.S. government and California's respective Pacific Ocean rights. 

By RAMONA YOUNG-GRINDLE 

     WASHINGTON (CN) - The National Marine Fisheries Service announced new measures to protect endangered Steller sea lions in Alaska, which reduce some protections already in place.