Articles by Matthew Brown and Janet McConnaughey

Ruptured Pipeline Spills 300,000 Gallons of Diesel Near New Orleans

A severely corroded pipeline ruptured and spilled more than 300,000 gallons (1 million liters) of diesel fuel just outside New Orleans, according to federal records. The spill from the 16-inch (40-centimeter) diameter line operated by Collins Pipeline Co. was discovered …

Safeguards for Leaking California Oil Pipe’s Not Fully Working

The ruptured offshore pipeline that spilled tens of thousands of gallons of crude oil off the Southern California coast this fall did not have a fully functioning leak detection system at the time, according to a report obtained by The …

Slow Response to Report of California Oil Spill, Records Show

The U.S. Coast Guard received the first report of a possible oil spill off the Southern California coast more than 12 hours before a company reported the major leak in its pipeline and a cleanup effort was launched, records show. …

Thanks to Oil Boom, N. Dakota County Sees Fastest Growth in US

First came the roughnecks and other oil field workers, almost all men. Lured by steady wages as the nation climbed out of the Great Recession, they filled McKenzie County’s few motel rooms, then began sleeping in cars, tents, trailers — …

Wildfires Threaten Rural Towns in Montana, California

Wildfires in Montana threatened rural towns and ranchland while victims of a California blaze returned to their incinerated community, even as the U.S. West faced another round of dangerous weather and smoke pollution fouled the air. Firefighters and residents have …

Settlement Reached in Lawsuit Against Affluent Montana Club

Dozens of Jamaican citizens recruited to work as cooks, servers and housekeepers at a Montana ski resort for the ultra-rich have reached a $1 million class action settlement over allegations they were discriminated against and paid less than other employees …

Care for Montana Towns Polluted with Asbestos Transferred to State

State regulators are taking over maintenance of a decades-long environmental cleanup in two northwestern Montana towns where lung-damaging asbestos contamination has been blamed in hundreds of deaths. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on last week transferred responsibility for protecting the …

10 Years Later: Oil Drilled Deeper; Rules Relaxed After BP Oil Spill

Ten years after an oil rig explosion killed 11 workers and unleashed an environmental nightmare in the Gulf of Mexico, companies are drilling in deeper and deeper waters, where payoffs can be huge but risks are greater than ever. Industry …

As California Thins Forests to Limit Wildfire Risk, Some Resist

Buzzing chainsaws are interrupted by the frequent crash of breaking branches as crews fell towering trees and clear tangled brush in the densely forested Santa Cruz Mountains south of San Francisco. Their goal: To protect communities such as Redwood Estates, …

BNSF Settles Suit from Montana Derailment Agreeing to Pay $750K on Repairs

BNSF Railway has agreed to pay the U.S. government $200,000 and spend up to $750,000 on road repairs to settle claims that the company failed to pay for damages caused by a 2011 train derailment in northwestern Montana, government prosecutors …