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Beetles Eat Beatle Tree, Nestle Chugs Away California’s H20, EPA Goes Kim K. Krazy
Our top picks: today's environmental news and best #greenreads.

Liquid loophole: California is in its third year of drought, and by state law districts must report their water consumption and well levels. But Nestle’s Arrowhead bottled water division has found a way around all that silly reporting: it buys its water from the Morongo Tribe, which is technically a sovereign nation and thus, not beholden to California’s laws. So how much water are we talking about? In 2009, the Nestle plant consumed 244 million gallons (about the equivalent of 480 homes annually). Al Jazeera America

Chemical warfare: According to a watchdog report released yesterday, the United States military is disposing toxic materials (tires, plastics, batteries, etc.) in open burn pits—despite having spent millions on safer incinerators. Some experts worry that exposure to these pits might lead to cancer, lung disease, and other long-term health problems. “This is a ticking time bomb here that could last for years,” says one doctor. New York Times

Hot, hot, hot: Remember this spring when the world set a record for the hottest May ever recorded? Yeah, so, now let’s talk about June. Associated Press

Democracy in action: For 70 years Portland Montreal Pipeline Corp. has been pumping crude across New England and up into Montreal. But now the Canadian company wants to reverse the flow and bring Alberta’s tar sands oil into the United States for delivery to the world market (see “Rocky Reception”). Thankfully, residents of South Portland, Maine, just put the kibosh on that plan, voting that tar sands crude is too dangerous and environmentally damaging. NPR

Handle with care: Los Angeles’ Griffith Park planted a pine tree in 2004 in memory of George Harrison, the late Beatles’ member, who had been an avid gardener. As fate would have it, the park has announced that Harrison’s tree is now dead as a result of, well, beetles. I want to tell you the type of beetle—could it be the invasive mountain pine beetle laying waste to the West?—but nobody bothered to report that detail. Los Angeles Times

Freedom isn’t free: In an attempt to settle 24 lawsuits against Freedom Industries, the company responsible for dumping chemicals into West Virginia’s water supply in January, lawyers have proposed a $2.9 million settlement. If approved by the U.S. district and bankruptcy courts, the money would be distributed by a board with the option to allocate some of the funds toward long-term health studies. Associated Press

DAILY DISTRACTION

At least it wasn’t a sex tape?: Somebody at the Environmental Protection Agency Office of Water sure likes playing a Kim Kardashian red carpet app on his/her smartphone. But hey, you don’t have to tweet about it from the EPA’s official twitter handle! In any event, the agency seems to have taken the errant tweet in stride, thanking Kim K. for the extra publicity. Huffington Post

OTHER HEADLINES

Obama's DOT Proposes Tougher Oil-Train Safety Rules USA Today

Corralling Carbon Before It Belches from Stack New York Times

8 Graphs Show Us How Climate Change Is Making the World More Dangerous OnEarth

The Sensible Swedes Burn a Lot of Their Garbage. Why Can’t We? Slate

Arctic Ice Melt Seen Freeing Way for South Korean Oil Hub Bloomberg

Tips: @OnEarthMag (tag it #greenreads

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