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Ohio Legislature approves orphan well plugging bill

Ohio landowners who have an idle or orphaned well on their property may have a greater chance of getting some relief, following recent votes by the state legislature. The House and Senate both voted in favor of H.B. 225 — a bill that requires the Department of Natural Resources to spend at least 30 percent of the state’s Oil and Gas Well Fund on plugging orphan wells.The bill appropriates a total of $15 million for plugging wells in fiscal year 2019, an increase of $7 million.

Mars Is Betting Greener Chocolate Bars Will Be Great for Profit

Mars Inc., the maker of its namesake chocolate bar and Wrigley’s chewing gum, is spending $1 billion on sustainability with a strategy to make greener practices increase profits. Mars is working to reduce its exposure to environmental, social and governance risks, known as ESG, because it’s next to impossible to track exactly where the huge amounts of raw materials that it uses are from, according to Parkin. The company buys 0.2 percent of the world’s palm oil, sourcing it from thousands of mills.

Court applies Building Permit Rule to large dairy farm

Wisconsin state Supreme Court removed a regulatory hurdle Tuesday for a large dairy farm in central Wisconsin, ruling that the right to use thousands of acres for crops was locked in when project officials applied for a building permit.Wisconsin is the nation’s second-leading milk producer. Dairy operations in the state account for nearly 80,000 jobs. But the industry has been struggling with declining milk and other commodity prices the past three years, largely because of an abundance of milk on the market.

Lawsuit Over Smelly Hogs Shows PA Law Makes It Near Impossible To Sue Over Nuisance Farms

For several years, a hog farm in Luzerne County has been under legal fire for emitting a stench that people say can make the surrounding area almost unlivable. A lawsuit is now awaiting consideration before the state Supreme Court.But the outlook isn’t good—and that’s largely because Pennsylvania law makes it near-impossible to sue farms for nuisances like smells.Will-O-Bett Farm’s hog feeding operation—which is causing the smell—began in 2013 in Salem Township.

In rural health, location matters

When it comes to your health, place matters. If you live in a rural county, the bottom-line truth is that you’re less apt to be healthy than if you lived in a more urban one. A couple of recent reports shed some light on both the issues and potential solutions.  According to the 2018 County Health Rankings, published by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation in partnership with the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute, rural counties continue

Colorado integrates storage into utility planning process

Colorado Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper signed legislation on Friday to encourage the installation of energy storage in the state and to integrate storage procurement mechanisms into utilities' long-term planning processes. House Bill 18-1270, also known as the "Energy Storage Procurement Act," sets a deadline of Feb. 1, 2019, for the Colorado Public Utilities Commission to develop procurement rules. Utilities will be able to file applications for rate-based projects by May 1, though they cannot exceed 15 MW.

Puerto Rico's Push For Food Independence Intertwined With Statehood Debate

Hurricane Maria has reignited a small movement in Puerto Rico aimed at strengthening the local food system so the island can survive and thrive without dependence on the mainland U.S. Before the hurricane struck in September 2017, Puerto Rico imported about 85 percent of its food. And to make matters worse, Maria wiped out 80 percent of crops on the island. Local food supporters acted quickly, cleaning debris, helping to replant farms and spreading their belief that a self-sufficient Puerto Rico would be more resilient to future challenges.

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