Environment

Environment
4:59 pm
Mon April 9, 2012

Feds say 3 pesticides harmful to salmon

A draft federal evaluation has found that three more common pesticides used on home lawns and agricultural crops jeopardize the survival of West Coast salmon.

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Salmon run
8:20 am
Fri April 6, 2012

2 salmon-eating sea lions killed at Bonneville Dam

2008 file photo shows several seal lions sitting in two traps on the Columbia River near the Bonneville Dam shortly before the doors are closed.
The Associated Press

PORTLAND, Ore. — A Washington state wildlife spokesman says two salmon-eating California sea lions have been captured this week at Bonneville Dam and killed by lethal injection.

The Oregonian reports the deaths are the first this year after a federal judge ruled last month the program could proceed.

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Wolf reintroduction
12:02 pm
Thu April 5, 2012

Wash. hunter pleads guilty to wolf poaching conspiracy

A Twisp, Washington man has changed his plea to guilty in a high-profile federal wolf poaching case. As part of a plea agreement, the 62-year-old man will not go to prison.

The lack of jail time greatly disappoints a conservation group.

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Environment
3:46 pm
Wed April 4, 2012

Grisly photo adds fuel to wolf hunt debate

The anti-trapping group Footloose Montana reposted this photo of Idaho trapper Josh Bransford. The image has since spread to other environmental websites, inciting a furor. Credit: Footloose Montana Facebook page via Trapperman.com

Originally published on Wed April 4, 2012 3:20 pm

A photo of a trapped wolf in Idaho has splashed new fuel on the flames of the debate over wolves. Environmental groups say the image demonstrates what they see as the cruelty of wolf trapping in Idaho. But state and federal authorities say there was nothing illegal about the picture.

An anti-trapping group in Montana found the photo on a forum called Trapperman.com. In the background, you can see a wolf with one of its hind feet caught in a trap. The snow around the wolf has turned pink from blood. In the foreground a trapper smiles at the camera.

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Environment
10:20 am
Wed April 4, 2012

Climate change could cost Wash. $10 billion a year; state crafting response

A visualization of Washington's future water supply, based on assumptions about population growth and climate change.
courtesy Wa Dept of Ecology

Climate change is happening, and not preparing for it could cost the state $10 billion a year by 2020.

That’s according to the Department of Ecology, which has just released a response strategy to changing climate conditions.

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Environment
3:00 pm
Tue April 3, 2012

Seattle celebrates composting with 'big dig' for treasure

A good example of wonderful compost!
normanack Flickr

Food and yard waste make up more than a third of Seattle’s waste stream. Much of that used to go into the trash, but now it’s being composted.

Since 2009, the city has been providing weekly pick up of organic waste. Last year it dramatically increased the kinds of things allowed in municipal compost bins, to include meats and dairy products. Seattle residents composted 125,000 tons of food and yard waste last year. That represents a big shift over the past decade or so.

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Japanese tsunami
12:28 pm
Fri March 30, 2012

Cantwell, Begich: Plan now for tsunami debris

With a derelict Japanese fishing boat floating off the coast of Canada, U.S. senators from Alaska and Washington state say the United States needs to hurry up and get ready for more debris from last year's Japanese tsunami.

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520 floating bridge
2:53 pm
Tue March 27, 2012

Bridge drivers will see first signs of replacement taking shape

If you drive across Lake Washington this week on the SR-520 floating bridge, you may notice some construction in the water. That’s the first step in building a new floating bridge across the lake--running parallel to and just north of the existing floating bridge.

This week, a large crane will move into place, along with some barges. Then, steel piles will get pushed into the soft soils in the lake-bed, just off-shore of Medina.

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Environment
8:39 am
Tue March 27, 2012

Battle over building in Puget Sound flood plains

A federal judge is hearing arguments Tuesday over whether to stop the federal government from issuing flood insurance policies for new development in flood-prone areas around Puget Sound.

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Hanford Nuclear Reservation
10:29 am
Fri March 23, 2012

Hanford needs its treatment plant components reexamined

Donna Busche, in pink, told the Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board that she can't vouch for the safety of some of the waste treatment plant's components at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation in southeast Washington.

Originally published on Fri March 23, 2012 12:00 am

KENNEWICK, Wash. – Top managers at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation say they’re going to have to reexamine key components of a massive waste treatment plant under construction in southeast Washington. That’s according to testimony at a marathon hearing in Kennewick Thursday.

The federal Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board was there to listen to concerns about the plant being built to treat 56 million gallons of radioactive waste.

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Environment
3:43 pm
Thu March 22, 2012

Senate holds hearing on protection for San Juans' public lands

Shorelines and lighthouses such as this one, at Lime Kiln Point on San Juan Island, would be permanently protected as part of a National Conservation Area under leglislation moving through Congress.
Photo by KenBungay Flickr

A bill to establish a National Conservation Area that would give permanent protection 1,000 acres of unique landscapes in the San Juan Islands is wending its way through Congress. A key committee took up the legislation this afternoon. Senator Maria Cantwell told a panel, the bill would stave off the threat of future development.

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Environment
5:00 pm
Wed March 21, 2012

U.S. Supreme Court: Idaho couple can take EPA to court

Chantell and Mike Sackett said the EPA violated their right to due process when it said they were building a house on a wetland and ordered them to restore the land.
Jessica Robinson Northwest News Network

A north Idaho couple is still a long way from breaking ground. But Mike and Chantell Sackett have won the right to go to court over their property in Priest Lake, Idaho.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that the Sacketts can challenge a decision by federal regulators that their lot is in a protected wetland. The ruling was relatively narrow.

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Environmentally friendly
3:55 pm
Wed March 21, 2012

Can a Seattle building save the world?

An artist rendering of the Bullitt Center currently under construction in Seattle.

Seattle’s greenest building – on paper, since it is still under construction – jumps back into the news with this headline from MSNBC:

Could this $30 million green tower be the future of world cities?

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Environment
6:06 pm
Tue March 20, 2012

Controversy continues over proposed coal export terminals

On September 14, 2011, activists projected anti-coal light banners on iconic Seattle locations, such as Kerry Park, to elevate the profile of controversial proposed coal ports in the Pacific Northwest.
Photo by Marcus Donner Rainforest Action Network / Flickr

Trainloads of coal from Montana and Wyoming will soon be shipped through Northwest ports to Asia, if Seattle’s SSA Marine gets its way.

The company has filed several permit applications with Whatcom County.

At the same time, the County held a meeting in Bellingham, aimed at helping anti-coal activists most effectively register their concerns. 

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Environment
11:18 am
Mon March 19, 2012

Ban on cruise ship discharges proposed for Washington waters

Cruise ships such as the Norwegian Star are cabable of holding their sewage for the 24 hours or less that they typically berth in Seattle. The Department of Ecology and several non profits are asking for a ban on all discharges in Washington waters.
Photo by Drewski2112 Flickr

Cruise ships are big business for the Port of Seattle.

Last season, about 200 calls brought nearly 900,000 passengers and their wallets though the city. Projections for this season are about the same. Each call equates to about $1.9 million in local spending.

But that economic benefit comes with ecological risk.

Now the state’s Department of Ecology is backing a proposed ban on cruise ship discharges while the vessels are in Washington waters.

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