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Dai Sugano/Bay Area News Group/TNS

Tesla under investigation over Bay Area factory toxic emissions, and faces lawsuit over alleged health harms

SAN JOSE, Calif. — Bay Area air quality officials have launched an investigation into Tesla, charging the electric automaker with letting massive amounts of harmful toxins escape into the air from its Fremont car factory. In a double blow, an environmental group has filed a new lawsuit against the company over such pollution releases.

Since ...Read more

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images North America/TNS

Cleanup of polluted Southern California 'brownfields' gets a $3 million boost from feds

LOS ANGELES — Five Southern California communities have been awarded federal grants totaling $3 million to help transform polluted “brownfield” sites into land that’s safe for development, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has announced.

The Orange County Transportation Authority received a $1 million grant to conduct ...Read more

If plastic comes from oil and gas, which come originally from plants, why isn’t it biodegradable?

Curious Kids is a series for children of all ages. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, send it to curiouskidsus@theconversation.com.

If plastic comes from oil and gas, which come originally from plants, why isn’t it biodegradable? – Neerupama, age 11, Delhi, India

To better understand why plastics don�...Read more

David Guralnick/The Detroit News/TNS

Sturgeon remain rare in Great Lakes, but Detroit River's population thrives

THE DETROIT RIVER — A pair of federal fish experts braced themselves as they cradled a hulking fish over the side of their boat just north of the Grosse Ile Toll Bridge. Its kick would be strong enough to unhorse a novice angler, but the duo had performed this routine 31 times in a handful of weeks and were on pace to do it maybe a hundred ...Read more

SpaceX aims for next Starship and Super Heavy launch in early June

SpaceX is gunning for the fourth integrated launch attempt of its massive Starship and Super Heavy rocket as early as June 5.

The company posted its plans Friday noting the launch is pending regulatory approval. The launch window opens as early as 8 a.m. EDT with the 396-foot-tall stacked rocket aiming to lift off again from SpaceX’s test ...Read more

Brian van der Brug/Los Angeles Times/TNS

A rare songbird's epic journey from the edge of extinction back to the LA River

LOS ANGELES — As visitors to a bustling park in northeast Los Angeles shot hoops, scrambled up play equipment and lounged in manicured grass, an endangered songbird covertly — but not quietly — did his part to stave off extinction.

The least Bell’s vireo, a small, mostly gray songbird, was on the verge of nesting in Rio de Los ...Read more

San Diego Humane Society/San Diego Humane Society/TNS

2 orphaned Black bears released back into wild after rehabilitation by San Diego Humane Society

SAN DIEGO — Two orphaned Black bears have been released back into the wild, ending their nearly year-long rehabilitation at the San Diego Humane Society's Ramona Wildlife Center, according to officials.

The brother bears were rescued last July by California Department of Fish and Wildlife after their mother had died in the San Bernardino ...Read more

Jefferee Woo/Tampa Bay Times/TNS

Florida to repeal clean energy goals, citing new law deleting climate change mentions

TAMPA, Fla. — The Florida Office of Energy is planning to repeal goals for utilities statewide to transition to cleaner energy, including that 100% of the state’s energy come from renewable sources by 2050.

The proposal to roll back the goals was crafted by the director of the Office of Energy, Brooks Rumenik, and has been approved by ...Read more

Sarah A. Miller/Idaho Statesman/TNS

The secret is out: The world found the Owyhees. Advocates say it's time to protect the land

Just southwest of Boise lies one of the last vast swaths of solitude in the United States.

The Owyhee Canyonlands, with stunning red gulches, winding rivers and a moon-like landscape where a volcano with a caldera once 600 times larger than Mount St. Helens erupted, stands as the largest unprotected wilderness area in the American West.

Locals...Read more

Ricardo Ramirez Buxeda/Orlando Sentinel/TNS

NASA retargets for June 1 launch of Boeing's Starliner

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. — NASA has carved out more time to talk through problems with its attempt to send up astronauts on Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner, which is now targeting June 1 if mission managers give the go for launch.

The new date announced late Wednesday is just a placeholder, though, as NASA has yet to sign off on issues that ...Read more

Hurricane forecast points to a dangerous 2024 Atlantic season, with La Niña and a persistently warm ocean teaming up to power fierce storms

The 2024 Atlantic hurricane season starts on June 1, and forecasters are predicting an exceptionally active season.

If the National Hurricane Center’s early forecast, released May 23, is right, the North Atlantic could see 17 to 25 named storms, eight to 13 hurricanes, and four to seven major hurricanes by the end of November. That�...Read more

Luis Sinco/Los Angeles Times/TNS

Solar eclipses are so last month. Get ready for a 'planetary parade'

LOS ANGELES — First came a rare solar eclipse, followed by the northern lights, fueled by a solar storm. The next celestial phenomenon will come next month, when skygazers can look forward to an alignment known as a "planetary parade."

The parade will start June 3, when Mercury, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune will be aligned, ...Read more

Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal/TNS

New report finds success in wild horse adoption program, critics disagree

A free-market environmental group has recommended expanding a Bureau of Land Management wild horse and burro adoption program that it says is saving taxpayers millions of dollars a year. A wild horse advocacy group has called the program a failure.

The Property and Environment Research Center issued a report this week that recommended ...Read more

Paul Kitagaki Jr./The Sacramento Bee/TNS

Health of California's best-known lakes may have been hurt by back-to-back years of wildfire smoke

Nearly every Californian can remember wildfire smoke bathing locations throughout the state in orange hues two years ago or the smell of burned wildlands wafting into their neighborhoods.

Now, researchers say the smoke could have adversely affected the state’s freshwater ecosystems.

Ashy plumes gusting from conflagrations should not be ...Read more

Annika Merrilees/St. Louis Post-Dispatch/TNS

Drones could move time-critical blood samples across Missouri for organ transplants

ST. LOUIS — A St. Louis-based organ transplant agency is exploring unmanned drones as a faster, cheaper method of moving blood samples and medical supplies across the Midwest.

Leaders at Mid-America Transplant, the region's coordinator for organ and tissue donations, said their first goal is to create a system to transport blood samples from ...Read more

Colorado Parks and Wildlife/TNS

Here's where Colorado's wolves traveled in May -- including closer to some I-70 mountain communties

DENVER — At least one of Colorado’s 11 wild wolves entered the watershed surrounding Vail in the last month, according to a new map released Wednesday showing where the canines traveled recently.

Wolves also traveled farther south of Interstate 70 into the heart of Summit County, near Frisco, Silverthorne and Dillon, between April 23 and ...Read more

Successful city parks make diverse communities feel safe and welcome − this Minnesota park is an example

What makes a city a good place to live? Practical features are important, such as well-maintained streets, good public transit and reliable trash collection. So are amenities that make cities attractive and interesting, such as museums and public parks. Access to green space is especially valuable for residents who may not be able to travel ...Read more

robert buckingham/STARCOM/Space Force/TNS

Space Force training HQ gets official nod to come to Space Coast

ORLANDO, Fla. — The decision has been a year in the making, but the Space Coast will officially become the home of STARCOM, the training headquarters for Space Force.

Patrick Space Force Base and Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, both former Air Force facilities, were named in May 2023 the presumptive home for STARCOM, which stands for ...Read more

Richard Tribou/Orlando Sentinel/TNS

NASA indefinitely postpones launch of Boeing's Starliner crewed capsule

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. — NASA announced late Tuesday that it was no longer aiming for a Saturday launch of a pair of astronauts aboard Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner as teams discuss a helium leak found on the spacecraft.

While the range was cleared for Sunday and Tuesday backup launch windows, NASA said the next possible launch “is still...Read more

Samantha Kerr/Illinois Department of Public Health/TNS

More kinds of ticks, longer season as experts warn 'Illinois is at the frontline'

CHICAGO — As tick season approaches, experts warn that Illinois residents should be even more wary as the type of ticks in the state increases and the season lengthens.

Researchers discovered the Asian longhorned tick — an invasive species native to Japan, Korea and parts of China and Russia — in Illinois in April. First reported in the ...Read more