Bokoshe, Oklahoma, has long been engulfed in coal ash from a power plant that burns the high-sulfur coal mined nearby. Over three decades, the ash dump grew into a hill five stories high. Townspeople regard the Environmental Protection Agency as the only source of serious environmental enforcement. Whenever people took their worries about ash-contaminated air and water to state lawmakers and regulators, "none of them cared." So the residents of this 500-person town have nothing but bitter warnings for similarly situated communities now that President Donald Trump's EPA has approved Oklahoma to be the first state to take over permitting and enforcement on coal-ash sites.
Louisiana is getting another $205 million in BP oil spill money to restore its coast. Most of that — $176 million — will use sediment dredged from the Mississippi River to build 1,200 acres (485 hectares) of marsh in Jefferson Parish.