These are some of the stories we’ve been following this week.

Sign for the Sespe Wilderness Area in the Los Padres National Forest. By Blackmb (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Sign for the Sespe Wilderness Area in the Los Padres National Forest. By Blackmb (Own work) (CC BY-SA 3.0), via Wikimedia Commons

  • Senators John McCain (R-Arizona) and John Barrasso (R-Wyoming) wrote a letter to the U.S. attorney general and the EPA administrator voicing their displeasure about the lack of criminal charges filed in connection with last year’s Gold King Mine spill that poured contaminants into the nearby Animas River.
  • The Oklahoma Corporation Commission (OCC) has ordered that remediation on contaminated soil be repeated after tests found elevated salt levels in the ground after the initial round of remediation. As a result of the failure, the owners of the property where the leak originated could face charges.
  • Environmentalists filed a notice of intent to sue the U.S. Forest Service, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in an attempt to stop hydraulic fracturing operations in the Los Padres National Forest.
  • The American Civil Liberties Union sued the Michigan Department of Education as well as the Flint, Michigan, schools in response to reports that thousands of children were exposed to high levels of lead in the water.
  • Some residents in Longmont, Colorado, want the city council to enact a one-year moratorium on hydraulic fracturing operations in the city.
  • Hurricane Matthew caused flooding that sent coal ash into some of North Carolina’s rivers. However, Duke Energy officials and environmentalists disagree on how much coal ash was released during the flooding that occurred earlier this month.
  • Johnson County is called the “gold coast” of Kansas. The county generates 34 percent of the state’s property tax.
  • The Atlantic Coast Pipeline is aiming for a 2019 date to begin transporting oil from Pennsylvania to Virginia and North Carolina. However, the proposed route is being contested by conservation groups.
  • Canada launched a new program focused on improving the safety of the country’s rail lines. The $55 million program will work with all levels of government to reduce the number of derailments.
  • Workers at Peterson Air Force Base reportedly released 150,000 gallons of water contaminated with perfluorinated compounds (PFCs) into the Colorado Springs sewer system. Officials at the base said the release was accidental.