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VIDEO: Gang of Flying Asian Carp Mount Aerial Attack on Washington University Rowing Team

Categories: Environment

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Benjamin Rosenbaum via CNN
When Asian carp attack.
The scene was straight out of a horror flick: the seemingly placid lake, the beauty of early springtime, the sounds of paddles splashing against water as members of Washington University's first-year men's rowing team guide their vessel to the dock. What could possibly go wrong?

But somewhere below the surface of Creve Coeur Lake, Asian carp begin to swarm. They target the interlopers. First one fish, then another, then ten others -- an explosion of finned bodies leaping from the depths to attack the panicked rowers. Soon, the sound of paddling is replaced with screams of terror.

This was (sort of) the scene that greeted Benjamin Rosenbaum, captain of the men's rowing team, on Friday morning. He managed to film what happened when his teammates got caught in a massive airborne attack from the notoriously ornery Asian carp.

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Rep. Dan Shaul Wants Missouri to Ban Plastic Bag Bans

Categories: Environment

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thespeakernews via flickr
Plastic or plastic?
Bans on plastic grocery bags are gaining popularity across the U.S., and Republican representative Dan Shaul wants to make sure Missouri isn't next.

Shaul goes before committee Tuesday to defend his bill, HB 722 (embedded below), which would guarantee that shoppers have the option of choosing plastic bags, which have long been a target of environmentalists because they pollute rivers and forests.

"Basically it gets rid of any possibility of a fee or ban or tax on plastic bags," Shaul tells Daily RFT about his bill.

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St. Louis IKEA Roof to Hold Missouri's Largest Rooftop Solar Power Installation

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IKEA US
The roof of St. Louis' IKEA store will be almost entirely covered in solar panels, making it the largest solar power array in Missouri.
Missouri's first IKEA store will also have Missouri's largest rooftop solar panel array.

With 4,085 solar panels, the furniture retail giant will produce about 1,780,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity each year, offsetting the St. Louis store's carbon dioxide emissions by 1,227 tons, equivalent to the emissions of 258 cars.

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Beloved Streets of America Nabs $25,000 for Hydroponic Gardens in North City St. Louis

Categories: Environment

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Theo Welling
Melvin White founded Beloved Streets of America as nonprofit in 2009.
Melvin White's goals for Beloved Streets of America are about as pie-in-the-sky as they can get: He wants to rebuild the community and economy along one of the most blighted sections of Dr. Martin Luther King Drive in St. Louis, starting with the area around the BSA office on the corner of Hamilton Street.

As chronicled in a Riverfront Times feature story earlier this year, the nonprofit BSA has yet to start a major project and has struggled to attract the serious funding White's grand plans require.

This month, he finally got his wish: The National Fish and Wildlife Association and Wells Fargo is backing BSA with a $25,000 grant to construct a hydroponic garden in the vacant units within the BSA building.

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Attorney General Chris Koster Sues Tyson Foods for Polluting Water and Killing All the Fish

Categories: Crime, Environment

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Todd Gordon Brown/Wikimedia
Tyson Foods can't just go and kill every single fish in an entire Missouri creek and get away with it -- at least, that's what Attorney General Chris Koster says.

Koster has filed a lawsuit against the factory-meat giant for causing a large amount of Alimet -- an ammonia-based chemical -- to get into the city of Monett's wastewater treatment facility, which then dumped the water into Clear Creek, resulting in the massive fish kill and a pungent odor that emanated from the water for days.

The lawsuit includes six counts against Tyson for "pollution of state waters and violations of Missouri's hazardous waste laws," according to a press release from Koster's office. Here are those counts:

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Here's How Tyson Foods' Ammonia Waste Killed All the Fish in an Entire Creek

Categories: Environment

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Wikimedia/DyPeMaP
Tyson Foods leaked ammonia into a creek killing thousands of fish in southwest Missouri, and the Department of Natural Resources has released an investigative report on how that happened.

The DNR also officially announced it is accusing Tyson of several violations and the matter has been sent to the Attorney General's office.

When residents of the Monett area noticed dead fish floating up and down Clear Creek, it didn't take long for city and state officials to figure out what happened: ammonia from the nearby Tyson plant got into the water and resulted in a "100 percent kill," according to Monett officials.

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Tyson Foods Chemicals Seeped into Creek, Killed All the Fish: Dept. of Natural Resources

Categories: Environment

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Wikimedia/DyPeMaP
The Missouri Department of Natural Resources says that an ammonia leak from a Tyson Foods plant in southeast Missouri seeped into a freshwater creek and killed thousands of fish.

Last week, residents in and around Monett -- a city about halfway between Joplin and Springfield -- began to notice dead fish floating upside down along Clear Creek, a popular spot for fishing and swimming. The Department of Natural Resources investigated and found high levels of Alimet in the water, which they traced back to a nearby Tyson Foods plant.

Alimet is a chemical used in chicken and cattle feed that contains ammonia. The result was extremely deadly.

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Growing Plates Into Plants: Arch Grants Bring Colombian Startup's Big Idea to St. Louis

Categories: Environment, Tech

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LIFEPACK
Andres Benavides and Claudia Isabel Barona, the founders of LIFEPACK.
Eco-friendly restaurants like Pi Pizzeria, Schlafly and Local Harvest Cafe pride themselves on choosing recyclable or biodegradable materials for items like to-go boxes, plasticware and cups.

But a Colombian startup is taking going green to a whole new level by manufacturing plates that act as seeds, growing new plants whether they end up buried in your back yard or in a landfill.

Now that startup, called LIFEPACK, is moving from South America to St. Louis after winning one of twenty Arch Grants, a $50,000 non-equity grant designed to attract tech talent to St. Louis.

LIFEPACK's founders, Andres Benavides and Claudia Isabel Barona, say moving from Valle del Cauca, Colombia, to St. Louis brings them one step closer to expanding their market -- and their ecological mission -- in the U.S.

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"Self-Reporting" Environmental Risks in Chemical Facilities Threaten Missouri River

Categories: Environment

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Wikimedia/EPA
You know that whole idea about environmental regulations being bad because all they do is hurt businesses that do a fine job of self-reporting any problems because if they didn't, they'd be out of business?

Well, that might not be very efficient, evidenced by a chemical facility in the southern part of Missouri.

According to a story by the Post-Dispatch, Coastal Energy Corp., a company in Willow Springs that sells chemicals for road maintenance and building waterproofing (including ethanol, liquid asphalt, diesel fuel), sits a mere 200 feet from the waters of the Eleven Point River. Despite the proximity to a major river, the chemical facilities didn't pose any safety threat, according to a 2009 assessment by the company's owner.

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Bob Molitor: Human Street Sweeper Cleans Up St. Louis One Gum Wrapper at a Time

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Photos: Chad Garrison
Bob Molitor spends hours a day walking and picking up trash in St. Louis.
If you drive down Delmar, Skinker or Big Bend in the morning hours between 8 and 11 a.m., chances are you've seen Bob Molitor...though you may be more familiar with his rear end than his face. That's because Molitor's posterior is often pointed skyward as he bends over to pick up a stray cigarette butt, soda can or any of the millions of pieces of garbage the rest of us so casually toss to the ground.

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