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US-ENVIRONMENT Summary

Sep 4, 2011, 11:45 p.m.

EU, Australia to discuss linking carbon trading schemes

CANBERRA/SYDNEY (Reuters) - Australia and the European Union have agreed to start talks to link carbon-emissions trading schemes, as global efforts to combat climate change struggle to make headway. The Australian government unveiled plans two months ago to impose a tax on carbon emissions from July 2012, before moving to a carbon trading system from mid-2015.

Storm Lee threatens Southeast with heavy rains

NEW ORLEANS (Reuters) - After testing New Orleans' flood defenses over the weekend, Tropical Storm Lee moved northeast on Monday after weakening to a tropical depression, and threatened to bring heavy rains and flooding to a large section of the U.S. Southeast. Moving slowly inland, the powerful rainmaker was on course to hit Mississippi on Monday and Alabama, Tennessee and Kentucky on Wednesday and Thursday, the U.S. National Hurricane center said.

Japan storm death toll rises to 25, more missing

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan's death toll from tropical depression Talas, earlier downgraded from a tropical storm, has risen to 25 with 52 missing, the government said Monday, as torrential rain pounded the west of the country at the weekend, triggering mudslides and bursting river banks. Talas, which cut through Japan's main island Saturday and Sunday, was off the country's western coast as of 8:00 p.m. EDT, heading northeast, the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) said.

Hurricane Katia intensifies over Atlantic

MIAMI (Reuters) - Hurricane Katia intensified over the open Atlantic on Sunday, bulking up to a powerful Category 2 storm, the National Hurricane Center said. The Miami-based hurricane center said it was still too soon to gauge the potential threat to land or to the East Coast with any degree of certainty.

Obama backtracks on smog plan, bows to big business

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama put a stop on Friday to new rules that would limit smog pollution, unexpectedly reversing course on a key policy measure after businesses said it would kill jobs and cost them billions of dollars. Obama said the decision to withdraw the draft Ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standard by the Environmental Protection Agency was part of an effort to reduce regulatory burdens for business.

The mighty Missouri River: the flooding and the damage done

MINNEAPOLIS/COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (Reuters) - The cost of America's quiet billion dollar disaster in the Upper Midwest keeps rising as floodwaters decline. Shortly before Memorial Day, a summer of unprecedented flooding from Montana to Missouri along the Missouri River started washing away interstate highway lanes and swamping rail lines as it routed thousands of people from their homes.

Tsunami warning lifted after Alaskan islands quake

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (Reuters) - A 6.8 magnitude earthquake struck on Friday in the Aleutian Islands off Alaska, the U.S. Geological Survey reported, prompting a tsunami warning for a portion of Alaska's coast that was lifted after an hour. There were no reports of damage or injury from the quake and no destructive tsunami was reported, said the West Coast and Alaska Tsunami Warning Center located in Palmer, Alaska.

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