Jessica Myers

Jessica Myers

Sustainability Reporter, Washington, D.C.
Latest from Jessica Myers

Tool shows what many know: Arizona communities at high risk for wildfire

PHOENIX - A new U.S. Forest Service tool removes any doubt that wildfire poses a high risk Arizona properties, mapping the state in blazing reds and flaming yellows, but officials hope the tool can help community leaders and fire experts take steps to reduce risk to homes and businesses.


Report: Thousands of DACA recipients work on COVID-19 front lines

PHOENIX – A new report estimates that up to 200,0000 DACA recipients are in jobs on the front lines of the fight against COVID-19 - health care, teaching, agriculture and food services - with as many as 6,800 undocumented workers in such fields in Arizona alone.


Plan to ‘revive’ uranium mining called unneeded, unwanted by advocates

PHOENIX - Environmentalists are blasting a Trump administration call for "bold action to revive and strengthen the uranium mining industry," an industry whose history they say has left a "toxic trail" through the Grand Canyon.


Feds kill 4 Mexican gray wolves, days after announcing population gains

PHOENIX - The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service authorized the killing of four endangered Mexican gray wolves in New Mexico during one week in late March, a move conservation groups call a significant setback to wolf recovery.

endangered species

EPA won’t expand pollutant rule; ‘mistake’ during COVID-19, critics say

PHOENIX - The Environmental Protection Agency said Tuesday it will not expand Obama-era air quality standards, a move environmentalists call "the wrong thing to be doing" during a global pandemic that threatens lung health.


Gun sales rose to record levels in March, as COVID-19 fears climbed

PHOENIX – Arizona processed a record 82,771 background checks on would-be gun buyers in March, as fears of the coronavirus drove people to gun shops in what one shop owner called "panic time."


Food-stamp purchases could soon go online under SNAP pilot program

PHOENIX - Arizona food-stamp recipients may soon be able to buy their groceries online, after the federal government's swift approval this week of the state's request in the face of coronavirus-related stay-at-home orders.


COVID-19 fears close Grand Canyon National Park after weeks of pressure

PHOENIX - The National Park Service abruptly closed Grand Canyon National Park on Wednesday, bowing to weeks of pressure after health officials expressed "extreme concern" about the potential for spread of COVID-19 in the park.


EPA defends plan to ease compliance requirements in face of coronavirus

PHOENIX - The Environmental Protection Agency defended its plans to waive some environmental compliance requirements during the COVID-19 outbreak, insisting the policy chage is "not a license to pollute," but environmentalists were not convinced.


COVID-19 being felt in donations, hours, adoptions at animal shelters

PHOENIX - The spread of COVID-19 has "deeply affected" Arizona animal shelters, which are discontinuing some services, cutting hours and trying to juggle between taking animals in and adopting them out to stretch resources while protecting pets and people.


Jobless claims jump 3 million in a week, Arizona mirrors national trend

PHOENIX - New unemployment claims rose to almost 3.3 million last week, an increase of 3 million over the previous week and the highest on record, new Labor Department numbers show, and economists say this could just be the beginning of a jobs spiral from the coronavirus.


Mayors ‘flabbergasted’ at list of services Ducey order would protect

PHOENIX - Arizona mayors Tuesday questioned Gov. Doug Ducey's inclusion of golf courses, salons, laundries and other businesses in the definition of "essential services" that local governments would be barred from closing in response to the coronavirus.


Senate OKs COVID-19 bill mandating paid leave, readies new relief bill

The Senate gave overwhelming approval Wednesday to a multibillion-dollar coronavirus relief bill, the second such bill in two weeks, and immediately turned its attention to a third bill that could have a $1 trillion price tag.


Man vs. mussel: Buckeye mayor testifies on threat from invasive species

WASHINGTON - Buckeye Mayor Jackie A. Meck joined other witnesses before a Senate committee Wednesday to talk about threat that invasive species, like quagga mussels and salt cedars, post to water supplies in the West.


Small-business owners outline big problems with online sales tax ruling

WASHINGTON - Prescott businessman Brad Scott told lawmakers Tuesday that a Supreme Court ruling that was supposed to help small businesses compete against online retailers is instead threatening to drive small firms like his out of business.


Court refuses to vacate Arpaio conviction, but limits its future impact

WASHINGTON - Former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio is still guilty of criminal contempt, but that finding cannot be used against him in any future court proceedings, a federal appeals court ruled Thursday. And Arpaio said he's OK with that.


Blasting sacred sites for border wall ‘forever damaged’ tribes

WASHINGTON - An emotional Tohono O'odham Nation chairman told lawmakers Wednesday that blasting on sacred sites in national monuments to build a border wall near his reservation has "forever damaged our people."


Officials say Arizona Boy Scouting unaffected by national bankruptcy

WASHINGTON - Arizona officials said Boy Scouting in the state will not be affected by the Boy Scouts of America's decision to file for bankruptcy Tuesday as the national group grapples with up to $1 billion in damages from decades of sexual abuse lawsuits.


Divided House votes to reset deadline to ratify Equal Rights Amendment

WASHINGTON - Arizona lawmakers split on party lines Thursday as the House voted to give the Equal Rights Amendment another chance by removing the deadline for states to ratify the proposed constitutional amendment.


Panel says Grijalva can subpoena ‘stonewalling’ administration officials

WASHINGTON - The House Natural Resources Committee granted Chairman Raul Grijalva, D-Tucson, the authority Wednesday to subpoena administration officials, after committee Democrats said they were "left with no choice" in the face of bureaucrats' resistance.


Endangered species throw roadblock in path of Rosemont Copper mine

WASHINGTON - A federal judge has overturned environmental permits for the proposed Rosemont Copper Mine, saying the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service failed to consider the mine's impact on several endangered species in the Santa Rita Mountains.


Sinema, McSally fall in line with parties as Senate acquits Trump

WASHINGTON - Arizona's senators fell in line with their respective parties Wednesday as the Senate voted to acquit President Donald Trump on two articles of impeachment that could have forced his removal from office.


State of disunion: Arizona lawmakers react to Trump speech at tense time

WASHINGTON - For more than an hour Tuesday, President Donald Trump talked about the "Great American Comeback" that has occurred under his administration, in a State of the Union address that Democrats said described instead "a parallel universe."


Advocates: EPA’s new clean-water rules hit Arizona, Southwest hardest

WASHINGTON - Clean-water rules unveiled Thursday by the Environmental Protection Agency could remove the vast majority of Arizona's waterways from federal oversight, a change environmentalists call bad news in a region where water is "super precious."


Arizona lawmakers vote on party lines to forward impeachment to Senate

WASHINGTON - Arizona lawmakers voted on a straight party line Wednesday to forward two articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump to the Senate for trial, a 228-193 vote that was as predictable as the arguments for and against it.