Today's Top 5

EPA Staff Told To Prepare For Trump's Executive Orders

Staff at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency have been told that President Donald Trump is preparing a handful of executive orders to reshape the agency, to be signed once a new administrator is confirmed. Trump has promised to cut U.S. environmental rules - including those ushered in by former President Barack Obama targeting carbon dioxide emissions - as a way to bolster the drilling and coal mining industries, but has vowed to do so without compromising air and water quality. Meanwhile, a new House bill would eliminate the EPA completely by the end of 2018. - Reuters

Standing Rock: Tribes File Last-Ditch Effort to Block Dakota Access Pipeline

The motion, filed Tuesday by the Standing Rock and Cheyenne River Sioux tribes, asks the court to reverse an easement for the pipeline that the Army Corps of Engineers granted. That easement lifted the final hurdle for the project's completion. The tribes said the Corps' actions violate the National Environmental Policy Act and the Corps' responsibility to protect the tribes' treaty rights. They called the decision "arbitrary, capricious, and contrary to law." - InsideClimate News

When Climate Change Starts Wars

The warming rate in Central Asia has been twice the average global warming rate over the same period, and larger than any previous decade, over the first 12 years of the 21st century. As the region heats up, it faces increasing political instability and violence. - Nautilus

Researchers Find Pesticides Spills, Accidents May Alter Farmworkers' DNA

Farmworkers who have a high pesticide exposure event—such as a spill—are more likely to experience molecular changes on DNA that may lead to certain cancers, according to a large U.S. study of pesticide applicators in Iowa and North Carolina. The research, part of the ongoing Agricultural Health Study that is monitoring the health of more than 57,000 private and commercial pesticide applicators in Iowa and North Carolina, adds to growing evidence that high exposure to certain pesticides may spur prostate and other cancers in people handling the chemicals. - Environmental Health News

Endangered Species Act May Be Headed For Threatened List

A Senate hearing to “modernize the Endangered Species Act” unfolded Wednesday just as supporters of the law had feared, with round after round of criticism from Republican lawmakers who said the federal effort to keep species from going extinct encroaches on states’ rights, is unfair to landowners and stymies efforts by mining companies to extract resources and create jobs. - Washington Post