2022 U.S. State of the Birds report reveals widespread losses of birds in all habitats–except for one

Read the full story from the U.S. Committee of the North American Bird Conservation Initiative.

A newly released State of the Birds report for the United States reveals a tale of two trends, one hopeful, one dire. Long-term trends of waterfowl show strong increases where investments in wetland conservation have improved conditions for birds and people. But data show birds in the United States are declining overall in every other habitat—forests, grasslands, deserts, and oceans.

Published by 33 leading science and conservation organizations and agencies, the 2022 U.S. State of the Birds report is the first look at the nation’s birds since a landmark 2019 study showed the loss of 3 billion birds in the United States and Canada in 50 years.

3M agrees to EPA order to sample and provide treatment for PFAS contamination in drinking water near Cordova, IL facility

On November 3, the 3M Company agreed to a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) order to sample and provide treatment to address contamination from per- and polyfluoroakyl substances (PFAS) found in drinking water in the vicinity of 3M’s Cordova, IL facility. Recent sampling results provided by 3M indicate the widespread presence of a mixture of at least 19 different PFAS chemicals in drinking water within a 3-mile radius of the Cordova facility. Given the unique circumstances affecting this community, including more than five decades of PFAS discharges and the many types of PFAS chemicals found, EPA has concluded that the situation constitutes an imminent and substantial endangerment under the federal Safe Drinking Water Act. 

“I have directed EPA staff to use every enforcement tool at our disposal to require manufacturers of PFAS to address potential endangerment to the public and to compel them to characterize, control, and clean up ongoing and past PFAS contamination. Communities have suffered far too long from exposure to these chemicals. This settlement is a critical step forward in our work to protect communities from pollution and hold polluters accountable for their actions.”

EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan

As part of this settlement, 3M is required to offer treatment to all private well owners within 3 miles of the facility and to the Camanche Water Supply in Iowa, in an effort to remove PFAS from the drinking water. 3M is also required to offer drinking water sampling out to 4 miles from the facility for private well owners and out to 10 miles from the facility for public water systems as well as to the Quad Cities’ public water systems, using EPA protocols and conducted under EPA oversight.

3M’s sampling of the drinking water in private wells near the facility detected a range of concentrations including: perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) of non-detect to 25 ppt, perfluorooctanesulfonic acid  (PFOS) of non-detect to 30 ppt, hexafluoropropylene oxide dimer acid (HFPO-DA), or “GenX” of non-detect to 59 ppt, and perfluorobutane sulfunate (PFBS) of non-detect to 51 ppt. 3M did not use EPA test methods for this sampling. As a result, the order issued today requires 3M to sample these wells again following EPA test methods.

3M was one of the original companies developing and producing PFAS within the United States, and their Cordova facility operations and discharges containing PFAS chemicals date back to the 1970s. 3M’s agreement to the terms of the Order including completing the work required under EPA’s oversight is an important step to begin addressing the problem created by decades of contamination. This settlement is part of EPA’s ongoing efforts to compel major PFAS manufacturers to characterize and control ongoing releases from their facilities.  


Last year, EPA launched the PFAS Strategic Roadmap, a whole-of-agency approach for addressing PFAS. The Roadmap sets timelines by which EPA plans to take specific actions and commit to new policies to safeguard public health, protect the environment, and hold polluters accountable. In the national PFAS Roadmap, EPA commits to investigate releases of PFAS and where needed require manufacturers to characterize and control their PFAS releases. In the Roadmap, EPA also commits to take swift action to address potential endangerments to public health. EPA is actively working with its state partners on this effort, which will build upon valuable work led by a number of states.  

Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, collectively called “PFAS,” are a group of man-made chemicals that have been manufactured and used in industry and consumer products since the 1940s. There are thousands of different PFAS chemicals, some of which have been more widely used and studied than others. 

For more information on the order, visit EPA’s website..

Countries’ climate pledges put unrealistic demands for land ahead of emissions reductions

Read the full story from the University of Melbourne.

A new study released today is the first to calculate that countries collectively need a total of 1.2 billion hectares of land to fulfill the promises laid out in their official climate plans, part of global efforts to meet Paris Agreement goals.

The study, involving more than 20 researchers from around the world and released today by Melbourne Climate Futures, determines that countries intend to use 633 million hectares of the total land area for carbon capture tactics like tree planting, which would gobble up land desperately needed for food production and nature protection.

UNESCO finds that some iconic World Heritage glaciers will disappear by 2050

Read the full story from UNESCO.

New UNESCO data highlight the accelerated melting of glaciers in World Heritage sites, with glaciers in a third of sites set to disappear by 2050. But it is still possible to save the other two thirds, if the rise in global temperatures does not exceed 1.5°C compared to the pre-industrial period. This will be a major challenge for COP27.

Honeywell survey reveals strong corporate efforts to cut energy waste, but cloudier outlook for coming sustainability efforts

Read the full story at Marketwatch.

Companies are setting aside more budget for energy and environmental sustainability as investors, consumers and boards will only increase their expectations for these efforts. That’s just one of the findings of an innaugural survey from Honeywell — which will be shaped into a comparable quarterly index — out this week.

Survey results that will feed the Honeywell Environmental Sustainability Index show that companies are giving priority to making their operations less wasteful and they’re trying to broadly cut down on extraneous energy use. They’re still aiming for, though with less gusto than efficiency efforts, creating more recycling and circularity when it comes to operations, the findings show.

The report, which Honeywell suggests is the first multi-industry and multi-regional index on corporate sustainability efforts, points to executive confidence about past progress toward “greener” operations, but less optimism about short- and long-term future goals. The survey queried 600 executives that are, or function as, sustainability officers.

Endangered Species Act isn’t working well, study finds

Read the full story at Treehugger.

Since the Endangered Species Act was passed in 1973, it has helped hundreds of species avoid extinction in the United States. The strong conservation policy has been used as a model in other countries. But it’s not as successful as it could be, a new study finds.

Researchers have discovered that most species are not being protected until their numbers have dwindled so low that their chance of recovery is slim.

After 2018 ‘Woolsey wildfire,’ Los Angeles’ mountain lions are taking more risks

Read the full story from Cell Press.

Los Angeles is known for its movie stars and beaches. It’s also known for being one of only two megacities in the world that supports a population of big cats. Despite being surrounded by a vast network of busy freeways and over ten million people, mountain lions have somehow managed to eke out a living in the wooded LA-area hills. Now, researchers reporting in Current Biology on October 20 have found that wildfires, and specifically the 2018 Woolsey fire, are putting the LA mountain lions’ future in more doubt.

Alligators exposed to ‘forever chemicals’ show autoimmune impacts: study

Read the full story in The Hill.

Alligators exposed to “forever chemicals” in North Carolina’s Cape Fear River may be experiencing adverse clinical and autoimmune effects, a new study has found. 

In addition to showing genetic indicators for immune system impacts, the animals had many unhealed or infected lesions, according to the study, published on Thursday in Frontiers in Toxicology. 

From poverty to power in Pembroke

Read the full story from the Rocky Mountain Institute.

In Illinois, a rural Black farming community shows that energy efficiency and electrification of appliances can lead to economic justice, without the need for more fossil fuel infrastructure. The program behind this success offers a template for other states to follow.

Will ‘carbon neutral’ claims land brands in legal hot water? Danone sued over Evian eco claims

Read the full story at Food Navigator USA.

Could ‘carbon neutral’ claims land food & beverage brands in legal hot water, even where they are certified by a third party such as the Carbon Trust? FoodNavigator-USA asked attorneys to weigh in after Danone Waters America found itself at the receiving end of a lawsuit.