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One man's obsession with EPA and toxic waste in his neighborhood leads all the way to the Supreme Court

ASHEVILLE, N.C. -- You could call congressional candidate Tate MacQueen the anti-U.S. EPA environmentalist. For nearly a decade, MacQueen has dedicated himself to getting toxic waste left by a former electroplating facility here cleaned up. Industrial solvents, including known carcinogens, are suspected to have contaminated the groundwater, and some nearby families have suffered serious illnesses including brain tumors and cancers. MacQueen isn't just angry with the former owner of the facility, CTS Corp. The main focus of his ire is EPA, which he says has criminally mismanaged the site. He is calling for investigations and prosecutions. And tomorrow, his legal efforts against CTS will be heard by the Supreme Court.


Some Republicans vote to cut LWCF -- but quietly ask for the money

In February 2011, Rep. Robert Hurt (R-Va.) voted for an amendment by Rep. Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.) to slash funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund by 90 percent in the House's spending bill. But the next year, Hurt urged the Forest Service to use LWCF money to acquire a 292-acre tract of privately owned forest in the George Washington and Jefferson National Forests, a proposal he said was strongly backed by hikers on the Appalachian Trail. Over the past five years, Hurt and more than a dozen other Republicans have privately lobbied federal land management agencies to support LWCF projects in their districts, according to a records request to the agencies from Greenwire. It's a break from conventional GOP wisdom that land acquisitions and other conservation spending are an unnecessary luxury for a nation mired in $17 trillion in debt.


China is spreading the use of insurance to cope with climate change damage

Weeks before the harvest started last summer, Li Ping's rice paddies were hit by extreme weather. Temperatures of 95 degrees Fahrenheit baked Longtan village in north China for over a month, and Li's rice yields decreased by 20 percent compared with normal years. But Li did not struggle to raise money for his next planting, which he did after previous crop failures. Instead, the 51-year-old farmer waited at home for the money to come.

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