Irina Zhorov

Reporter

Irina Zhorov is a reporter for Wyoming Public Radio. She earned her BA from the University of Pennsylvania and an MFA from the University of Wyoming. In between, she worked as a photographer and writer for Philadelphia-area and national publications. Her professional interests revolve around environmental and energy reporting and she's reported on mining issues from Wyoming, Mexico, and Bolivia. She's been supported by the Dick and Lynn Cheney Grant for International Study, the Eleanor K. Kambouris Grant, and the Social Justice Research Center Research Grant for her work on Bolivian mining and Uzbek alpinism. Her work has appeared on Voice of America, National Native News, and in Indian Country Today, among other publications. 

In her off time, Irina is pursuing treasure hunters, leafing through photo books, or planning and executing quests.

Pages

Open Spaces
3:58 pm
Fri February 14, 2014

Negotiation Vs. Litigation: A Look At The Reservation Borders Decision

The governments of Riverton, Fremont County, the state, and of the two tribes who share the Wind River Indian Reservation are arguing, again, over the reservation’s borders.

Read more
News
4:54 pm
Thu February 13, 2014

EPA Puts Hold On Wind River Border Decision

The Environmental Protection Agency has decided to put a hold on its decision to grant the tribes on the Wind River Indian Reservation status as a state for the purpose of air monitoring.

Read more
News
5:56 pm
Wed February 12, 2014

UW’s Public Art Policy Formalized

The University of Wyoming Board of Trustees has formalized a public art policy that's been informally in effect since 2012. The policy creates the President’s Public Art Committee, which is made up of five members from art and non-art departments on campus. The Committee is responsible for reviewing art works proposed for installation on and around campus, and providing recommendations. The UW President, in consultation with the President of the Trustees makes the final call.

Read more
News
7:24 am
Tue February 11, 2014

N. Arapaho Tribe Says A Stay On EPA’s Border Decision Could Provide “Breathing Room”

The Northern Arapaho Tribe has written a letter asking the Environmental Protection Agency to put the brakes on an agency decision regarding the Wind River Reservation’s borders.

The EPA recently granted the Wind River Indian Reservation status as a state for the purpose of air monitoring, and in the process determined that Riverton is on tribal land. That decision has brought up civil and criminal jurisdictional issue for the city, and the state has requested that the EPA hold off on implementing it.

Read more
Open Spaces
4:42 pm
Fri February 7, 2014

February 7th, 2014

Federal Courts’ Distance From Wind River Reservation A Hardship

Major crimes committed on the Wind River Indian Reservation end up in federal court. But federal courthouses in Wyoming are really far from the reservation, which leads to logistical, constitutional, and social problems. Wyoming Public Radio’s Irina Zhorov reports.  

Read more
Open Spaces
4:33 pm
Fri February 7, 2014

Federal Courts’ Distance From Wind River Reservation A Hardship

Federal Court House in Cheyenne.

Major crimes committed on the Wind River Indian Reservation end up in federal court. But federal courthouses in Wyoming are really far from the reservation, which leads to logistical, constitutional, and social problems. Wyoming Public Radio’s Irina Zhorov reports.  

IRINA ZHOROV: John Crispin’s son was murdered in 2011. He told me about it on a snowy night in the parking lot of a convenience store in Ethete, Wyoming, on the Wind River Indian Reservation.

Read more
Open Spaces
4:22 pm
Fri February 7, 2014

Law Professor Discusses Report Claiming Federal Coal Lease System ‘Out Of Date’

Mark Squillace
Credit colorado.edu

The Government Accountability Office released a report earlier this week that outlined problems in the federal coal leasing system. The report called the Bureau of Land Management’s process ‘out of date.’

Read more
News
3:32 pm
Tue February 4, 2014

Report Says BLM's Coal Leasing Program 'Out Of Date'

A new report by the Government Accountability Office says the Bureau of Land Management’s coal lease valuation program is ‘out of date.’ The report says BLM offices around the country are not consistent in the way they calculate fair market value, don't always document the rationale behind accepting low bids and do not use independent reviewers to ensure calculations are correct.

It also says the BLM does not properly consider the export potential of coal when calculating fair market value of coal leases.

Read more
News
7:29 pm
Mon February 3, 2014

Showing Up To Federal Court Can Be A Hardship For Wind River Residents

Accessing federal courts for Native Americans living on Wind River Reservation can be a hardship for those forced to use federal judicial services.

Native American offenders and victims of major crimes that occur in Indian Country go through the federal court system, yet for Wind River residents showing up to court can mean a 600-mile roundtrip. That’s because trials are held primarily at the federal court houses in Casper and Cheyenne.

Read more
News
4:21 pm
Fri January 31, 2014

Company Ordered to Pay $1 Million for Illegal Oil Discharge

A federal court has ordered an oil and gas company to pay one million dollars for an unauthorized oil discharge near Rawlins in 2011.

Read more
News
4:17 pm
Fri January 31, 2014

EPA Tells DEQ to Host Public Meeting for Aquifer Exemption Request

The Environmental Protection Agency is telling the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality that it has to conduct a public hearing about an aquifer exemption request by Linc Energy. Linc is proposing an underground coal gasification project in Campbell County. The coal is in the Wyodak Aquifer, and the exemption would relieve the company from adhering to the strict protections outlined in the Safe Drinking Water Act.

DEQ already approved the aquifer exemption, but it did so without public input, so EPA, which makes the final decision, is calling for a do-over.

Read more
News
3:31 pm
Tue January 28, 2014

Rep. Sue Wallis Dies

Representative Sue Wallis, from Recluse, Wyoming, has died. The cause is still unknown. She was 56 years old.

Read more
News
6:37 pm
Mon January 27, 2014

Natural Gas Production Soaring Nationwide

The U.S. is inching into the number one spot for oil and gas production worldwide and natural gas advocates want President Obama to highlight the trend during Tuesday’s State of the Union address. The abundance of natural gas is due to technological advances - which unlocked previously inaccessible reserves - and low natural gas prices have made the energy source very competitive.

Dan Whitten, with America’s Natural Gas Alliance, says even if prices for natural gas go up the resource will still be able to compete with Wyoming’s coal. 

Read more
News
5:55 pm
Mon January 27, 2014

Pavillion Cistern Program To Receive Money For Water Delivery

Governor Matt Mead is committing $400,000 dollars for water delivery to households with cisterns in the Pavillion area. Residents have long complained of unusable well water, which some blame on nearby natural gas development. The money is part of a grant from Encana Oil and Gas, which operates in the Pavillion gas field.

19 cisterns are currently being installed, with another 13 households signed up.

The Governor’s Natural Resources Policy Advisor, Jerimiah Rieman, says residents will meet later this week to discuss how to use the money.

Read more
Open Spaces
4:56 pm
Fri January 24, 2014

January 24th, 2014

Potential for Gas Price Increase If Oil Ban Lifted

For forty years the U-S has banned the export of most all crude oil. Matt Laslo reports a new debate is raging in Washington over whether to end the ban.

Sage Grouse Concerns Prompt Changes In Reclamation Regs

Read more
Open Spaces
4:22 pm
Fri January 24, 2014

A New Book Of Family Letters Looks At Wyoming Living In The Early 1900s

Cathy Healy
Credit Chris Windhauser

An Improbable Pioneer is a collection of letters by Edith Sampson Holden Healy. Edith was from a prominent Boston family, but moved to Wyoming in 1911 after she married a sheep rancher from the state. The letters describe daily life in Wyoming in the early 1900s. The book was edited by Edith’s granddaughter, Cathy Healy, who’s a writer and editor. It’s the first imprint of the Washakie Museum’s Legacy Collection, which is an initiative that hopes to encourage the preservation of family archives.

Read more
Open Spaces
5:27 pm
Fri January 17, 2014

DEQ Director Todd Parfitt Says Agency Following Its Missions To “Protect, Conserve And Enhance”

Todd Parfitt

We start off today’s show with a look at the agency that’s in charge of protecting the environment in Wyoming. Many of our reporting in the past has led us to conversations with angry landowners, and folks who have concerns about industry’s effects on the environment and human health.

Read more
Open Spaces
5:15 pm
Fri January 17, 2014

Small Emission Sources Could Mean Big Pollution, But No One’s Counting

John Fenton stands outside his house in Pavillion, with a small natural gas well nearby.
Credit Irina Zhorov

Some landowners with oil and gas wells on their property complain about emissions affecting their air quality and health. But though there may be a lot of wells, they’re considered small facilities, so their cumulative effects are never counted up and regulations are more lax than for large emitters. Wyoming Public Radio’s Irina Zhorov reports that that could be a problem since in aggregate, their pollution can be significant.  

Read more
Open Spaces
5:07 pm
Fri January 17, 2014

Wyoming’s Little Talked About Pollution Source: Trona Mines

FMC

Wyoming’s biggest export is soda ash, which comes from trona mines in Sweetwater County. Last year, the trona industry produced 17 million tons of soda ash for which the state received nearly $90 million in various taxes and royalties. But as Wyoming Public Radio’s Irina Zhorov report, the industry has a dirty side, too. 

IRINA ZHOROV: Wyoming is used to superlatives. The biggest coal bed, the largest mine, the most wind! Here’s another:

[VIDEO PLAYING: The silver retreats of Wyoming, USA is home to the largest reserve of trona. ]

Read more
News
6:40 pm
Wed January 15, 2014

Law enforcement gearing up to protect tribal members when settlement checks arrive

As eligible Native Americans in Fremont County await checks owed them as part of the Cobell settlement, law enforcement is preparing to institute extra security measures to protect tribal members.

Read more
News
5:31 pm
Tue January 14, 2014

CO2 emissions from energy sector up slightly from 2012

Carbon dioxide emissions from the energy sector increased about 2 percent in 2013 from a low point in 2012. The Energy Information Administration did the analysis. The agency attributes the increase to a small comeback by coal from a dramatic market share low in 2012.

Read more
News
7:24 am
Mon January 13, 2014

Wyoming initiative helps small businesses get federal grants

Last year, 13 companies received grants from a Wyoming initiative which they then used to apply for larger, federal grants. The Wyoming Small Business Innovation Research and Technology Transfer Program was established to help small businesses in the state get more federal grants that could be beneficial to their businesses. Each award is for up to $5,000 and can be used for any purpose that would improve a federal grant proposal.

Read more
News
10:49 am
Mon December 30, 2013

State to regulate greenhouse gases

The Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality’s permitting team will now have another pollutant to consider when writing permits: greenhouse gases.

The Environmental Protection Agency handed over its authority for greenhouse gas permitting to the state of Wyoming on December 23rd. D-E-Q’s Cole Anderson says his department will add pollutants like methane and carbon dioxide to the list of contaminants it reviews.

Read more
Open Spaces
3:02 pm
Fri December 27, 2013

December 27th, 2013

Stephen Watt (right) and Mark Farnham (left) during a recent visit.

A crime victim and perpetrator talk about how their unlikely friendship came to be

Restorative justice is an approach to dealing with crime that put the victim of the crime front and center and considers how the offense affected the community, rather than looking at it as an isolated incident. Wyoming Public Radio’s Irina Zhorov has a three part series about restorative justice efforts in Wyoming, starting with a case study.

Read more
News
9:29 am
Fri December 27, 2013

Gov. Mead says he doesn't have a good plan B in lieu of Medicaid expansion

Wyoming Democratic Party leaders have criticized Governor Matt Mead for opposing a full Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act. There are over 17,000 low-income adults in the state and State Democratic Party Chairman Pete Gosar says it's not right to oppose the expansion, since Mead isn’t proposing another option.

At a press conference last week, Mead said that on that count, Gosar is right.

Read more
News
5:21 pm
Thu December 26, 2013

Cistern program for Pavillion may need additional funds

A cistern installation project for Pavillion-area residents may need more funds from the legislature. The state allocated $750,000 dollars to install clean water cisterns for households with polluted groundwater. All but $100,000 dollars is already contracted out and 9 additional applications are underway.

But Governor Matt Mead’s natural resource policy advisor, Jerimiah Rieman, says the true budget won’t be known until the first round of cisterns is installed.

Read more
News
6:43 pm
Tue December 24, 2013

Highway fatalities down for the year, so far

Governor Matt Mead says the number of highway fatalities has been decreasing. 

"Wyoming began tracking highway fatalities in 1967 and if we finish the year up well we will have had 82 highway fatalities, which will be the lowest number since 1967," Mead said.

At this time last year, there were already 112 fatalities.

However, Mead warned that the holiday season tends to be the deadliest in Wyoming and drivers can expect a lot of enforcement out on the roads to help keep that number from growing.

Read more
News
6:58 pm
Mon December 23, 2013

WY's Congressional lawmakers urge feds to fund Payments in Lieu of Taxes program

In a letter signed by 16 senators and himself, U.S. Senator Mike Enzi has asked the federal Committee on Appropriations to continue funding the Payments in Lieu of Taxes – or PILT - program. The program contributes money to counties with federal lands within their borders. The payments help make up for what counties lose by not being able to collect taxes on those lands.

Read more
News
7:01 am
Mon December 23, 2013

State to appeal reservation boundary decision

Governor Matt Mead is unhappy with the Environmental Protection Agency’s recent drawing of the Wind River Indian Reservation’s boundary and is appealing the ruling.

The Eastern Shoshone and Northern Arapaho tribes asked the EPA for state-like status for the purpose of air monitoring, and the EPA gave them that. But as part of the decision, the agency also drew the reservation’s borders to include Riverton.

Wyoming has long considered Riverton to be outside of the reservation’s borders and a Wyoming Supreme Court case affirmed the state’s stance in 2008.

Read more

Pages