Environment

Environment
5:36 pm
Fri November 18, 2011

Electric car drivers eschew public charging stations

OLYMPIA, Wash. - You've probably seen plum parking spots set aside for electric cars, maybe even shaken your fist at an empty space. More than a thousand Northwest drivers have hit the road this year with the first mass market electric cars.

Many of them are letting researchers electronically track their charging and driving behavior. That data shows more than 80% of electric "fill ups" are happening not at those public charging points, but at home.

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Consumer Choices
10:30 am
Fri November 18, 2011

'Bag your bags' King County says of troublesome plastics

If you’re confused about what to do with the plastic bags you get at grocery stores, you’re not alone. 

Many people know that they’re bad for the environment and that they can be recycled, but how to recycle them is another question.

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Consumer Choices
5:50 pm
Thu November 17, 2011

Ban on plastic bags in Seattle? Group gearing up for one more try

Plastic bags such as these can choke fish and whales when they get into the waste stream. In many communities around Washington, they are banned or no longer allowed in recycling bins.
King County Department of Natural Resources and Parks

When you go to the grocery store, it’s easy to forget to bring a reusable bag with you.

But the consequences of just taking the plastic bags that are doled out at most grocery chains is devastating to the health of local waters and wildlife. That’s the message from Environment Washington – a group that has issued a renewed call for a ban on plastic at checkout stands in Seattle.

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Tidal Power
6:03 am
Mon November 14, 2011

Ocean energy gaining momentum in Washington

You might call it harnessing the power of the moon.

Ocean energy is electricity that is generated when the power of tides, waves and currents moves turbines and windmills. It’s an idea that’s caught on already in Oregon. And there are plans on the horizon to bring it to Washington. 

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Radiation Exposure
10:08 am
Thu November 10, 2011

Idaho National Lab workers exposed to plutonium

Test Reactor Area west of Idaho Falls is home to the Advanced Test Reactor
Idaho National Lab

The Idaho National Lab is monitoring 16 of its workers who were exposed to Plutonium 239. That isotope is used in nuclear weapons.

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Biofuels
4:03 pm
Mon November 7, 2011

Alaska Airlines will use biofuel on 75 flights

Derin Flickr

This month, some Alaska Airlines flights will be flying on used cooking oil as they travel from Seattle to Portland and Washington D.C.

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Environment
10:51 am
Wed November 2, 2011

Sen. Cantwell wants U.S. to confirm salmon virus

Adult Sockeye salmon in the lower section of Adams River, British Columbia. The U.S. Senate has approved an amendment that calls for a rapid federal response to the ISA virus found in B.C. Sockeye.
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Flickr

U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell is calling on the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to independently confirm the presence of a deadly virus found in two Pacific salmon in British Columbia.

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Environment
9:25 am
Wed November 2, 2011

Washington plans to raise fees for dam inspections

A Dam breach piping failure in Walla Walla County.
Washington Dept. of Ecology

OLYMPIA, Wash. – The Northwest is known for its big hydroelectric dams. But across the region there are also hundreds of smaller non-hydro dams. Some of them hold back water, but others retain dairy waste or sewage.

In Washington, the operators of these structures could soon pay more in annual fees to cover the cost of inspections.

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Wolf recovery
9:10 am
Wed November 2, 2011

Scientists hope collared wolf in Oregon Cascades leads to others

A gray wolf.
Courtesy of Idaho Fish and Game

Biologists tracking a gray wolf from Northeastern Oregon say it has traveled more than 300 miles. The wolf crossed the Cascades and showed up in southwest Oregon not far from Crater Lake.

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Consumer news
2:22 pm
Tue November 1, 2011

Ford unveiling all-new Focus electric car in Seattle

Ford's new Focus all-electric car.
Courtesy of Ford

Seattle's Century Link Field is again the location for the unveiling of a new all-electric car. 

The Nissan Leaf debuted here nearly a year ago. Tomorrow morning there will be a demonstration of the plug-in technology at the charging stations near the stadium – to mark the opening of order banks for owning the new Ford electric vehicle. 

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Environment
3:37 pm
Mon October 31, 2011

Idaho couple puts wetlands rules to the test in U.S. Supreme Court

Chantell and Mike Sackett say 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

PRIEST RIVER, Idaho – A fight over less than an acre of land in a remote part of the Northwest could alter the way the government enforces environmental regulations across the country.

The U.S. Supreme Court this winter will hear a case brought against the EPA by Mike and Chantell Sackett of north Idaho.

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Environment
4:32 pm
Fri October 28, 2011

State of Alaska sues over Pebble Mine initiative

JUNEAU, Alaska — The state of Alaska is suing to invalidate the results of a voter initiative that could stop a massive gold and copper mine near one of the world's premier salmon fisheries.

Residents of Lake and Peninsula Borough voted earlier this month to ban large-scale resource extraction that would "destroy or degrade" salmon habitat. The measure was aimed at the Pebble Mine development located near the headwaters of Bristol Bay.

Environment
2:30 pm
Wed October 26, 2011

Washington's Condit Dam breached

Crews have blasted a hole in a nearly century-old hydropower dam in Washington's south Cascades today, marking another step in efforts to restore habitat for threatened and endangered fish in the Pacific Northwest.

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Environment
5:13 pm
Tue October 25, 2011

U.S. House bill would sell off public lands in the Northwest

A view of Huckleberry Mountain from Rachel Lake Trail in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness.
Walter Siegmund Wikimedia Commons

WASHINGTON, D.C. – A bill in the U.S. House of Representatives would require the Obama Administration to sell off public lands, including parcels in the Northwest.

The issue got a hearing Tuesday in Washington, D.C., just as some northwest lawmakers are pushing for wilderness protections on other lands.

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Dam removal
1:22 pm
Tue October 25, 2011

Demolition crew rigs explosives on aging Washington dam

Condit Dam
D. Kvamme PacifiCorp

Update: Watch the explosion and dam breach.

WHITE SALMON, Wash. – Demolition experts are rigging 700 pounds of dynamite today at Condit Dam in southwest Washington. Crews are scheduled to breach the aging hydropower dam on the White Salmon River around noon Wednesday.

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