Each year, trains carry nearly 11 billion pounds of chemicals through South Dakota's cities and countryside, much of it on century-old tracks, a South Dakota News Watch analysis has revealed. Meanwhile, state officials and the public are mainly kept in the dark when it comes to knowing what specific chemicals and hazardous materials are being shipped through their communities and neighborhoods.
Despite a 2020 law restricting cell phone use by drivers, and numerous public-information campaigns, distracted driving remains a significant cause of injuries and deaths in car crashes in South Dakota and across the United States. Police officers continue to crack down on the risky behaviors, but a new outreach effort will use a multi-pronged approach to try to keep people focused on the road ahead.
Traffic on the roadways is expected to return almost to pre-pandemic levels in South Dakota this holiday season, and distracted driving and speeding remain major safety risks for drivers, some who are unwilling to put down their phones or travel at a safe speed despite laws and information campaigns.
Eight major wind farms were approved in South Dakota in a recent 13-month period and two more are being considered by regulators. The rush of wind energy projects is driven by a need for more electricity, a lucrative federal tax credit, construction of two major power transmission lines and a push toward renewable energies.
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