Environment

Environment
2:13 pm
Mon December 5, 2011

Like plastic bags? Hate 'em? Let the Seattle Council know tonight

The Seattle City Council is considering a ban on thin single-use plastic bags at checkout stands. The ban will also include a pass-through fee of 5 cents for paper bags.

The council is holding a public hearing on the proposal tonight at 5:30

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Wolf hunting
11:51 am
Mon December 5, 2011

Washington Fish & Wildlife votes to accept wolf management plan

Washington's Fish and Wildlife Commission has approved a management plan for what one member called the most controversial and complex issue the Commission has ever dealt with: wolf management.

The number and distribution of breeding pairs in Washington's growing wolf population is key. The amended plan calls for four breeding pairs in Eastern Washington, four each in the North and South Cascades, and 3 more pairs anywhere in the state. If more are found, the plan calls for stepping up management actions, like moving wolves around or shooting animals who prey on cattle.

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Environment
11:58 am
Fri December 2, 2011

Washington must restrict refineries' emissions, judge orders

A federal judge in Seattle says Washington must restrict greenhouse gas emissions from the state's five oil refineries.

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Environment
11:09 am
Fri December 2, 2011

Whale activists sue to free killer whale 'Lolita' from captivity

In this 1970 photo by Wallie Funk, orca whales are held captive near Whidbey Island. Seven of the dozens of whales captured, including Lolita, who has been performing stunts for Miami Seaquarium for the past four decades, were sold to marine parks.
Associated Press

Supporters have offered $1 million for her release. Annual demonstrations have demanded her return to the Northwest.

Over the years, celebrities, schoolchildren and even a Washington state governor have campaigned to free Lolita, a killer whale captured from Puget Sound in 1970 and who has performed at Miami Seaquarium for the past four decades.

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Environment
1:12 pm
Wed November 30, 2011

'Tis the season for burn bans

Excessive smoke is always illegal, even if a wood stove is your only source of heat
Pugest Sound Clean Air Agency

The Puget Sound Clean Air Agency has issued its first burn ban of the season.

A large ridge of high pressure off the Pacific coast is bringing stagnant air conditions to the region.

A Stage 1 burn ban goes into effect at 5 p.m. today for Pierce and Snohomish counties and will stay in effect until further notice.

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Salmon virus controversy
10:23 am
Wed November 30, 2011

For 2nd time, salmon virus information withheld in Canada

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

Sen. Maria Cantwell is calling for stronger communication between American and Canadian officials following the disclosure that Canada failed to reveal the results of tests that appear to show the presence of a potentially deadly salmon virus nearly a decade before a salmon-virus scare this fall.

This is the second time that Canadian officials have been accused of muffling a scientist’s findings concerning viruses and salmon.

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Environment
4:53 pm
Tue November 29, 2011

Feds target wood stove smoke

This is just the kind of wood-burning equipment the government is worried about.
Northwest News Network

TACOMA, Wash. – The cold nights we've been having are leading people to fire up their wood stoves and fireplaces. This also means we're in the season of the dirtiest air of the year in the Northwest.

Wood stoves are one of the biggest – if not the biggest – contributor to this problem in our area. Clean air agencies are going to greater lengths to pry old, polluting, uncertified wood stoves out of the fingers of homeowners.

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The Two-Way
6:05 pm
Tue November 22, 2011

Second set of 'climategate' emails hit the Web

Originally published on Tue November 22, 2011 2:04 pm

In a repeat of 2009, a second set of stolen emails from climate scientists at major universities has been released to the public.

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Environment
5:48 pm
Tue November 22, 2011

Rule to ban cruise ship discharge in Washington sanctuary

Cruise ships will be prohibited from discharging wastewater into a protected marine sanctuary off the outer coast of Washington state's Olympic Peninsula under new rules taking effect next week.

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Environment
1:26 pm
Mon November 21, 2011

Plastic bag ban back on Seattle council's agenda

The city of Seattle would like this to never again be a view for Seattle and the region.
Gwen Harlow Flickr

"Paper or plastic?"

Seattle wants to take that choice away in order to save the environment and money. The city council is considering a ban on single-use plastic bags, because they are harmful to marine wildlife as well as to recycling machinery.

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Environment
11:51 am
Mon November 21, 2011

Beluga whales in Alaska's Cook Inlet ruled endangered

A judge has ruled that baluga whales have not recovered enough to assume we know why the population of the whale has declined.
cerclek Flickr

ANCHORAGE, Alaska — A federal court judge has upheld the endangered species listing of Alaska's Cook Inlet beluga whales.

The state of Alaska and others had sued to overturn the listing by the National Marine Fisheries Service.

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Environment
11:25 am
Mon November 21, 2011

Rural Oregon Residents Await Pesticide Exposure Investigation Results

Residents who live on Highway 36 west of Eugene are waiting for the results of a Pesticide Exposure Investigation by the state of Oregon. They believe herbicide spraying by the timber industry is causing health issues in their communities.

For years, residents near Blachly and Triangle Lake have complained of pesticide drift from clear-cut sprays. But it wasn’t until last spring that they caught the attention of the state. In independent biological testing, more than 30 people from the area tested positive for the common timber industry herbicides Atrazine and 2,4,D.

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Genetically modified food
9:39 am
Mon November 21, 2011

Biotech beets heat up discussion at USDA Hearing in Corvallis

Sugar beet seed is a rare bright spot for struggling grass-seed farmers. Farmer John Reerslev of Junction City says the GMO product provides a safe way to control weeds.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture held a hearing to consider the possible deregulation of biotech sugar beets, developed by agribusiness giant Monsanto.

"Hybrid sugar beet seed has always been the highest per acre net return on our farm. I had 120 acres two years ago on 6 percent of our land, but it was valued at 25 percent of our income. It’s a very important rotational crop," Reerslev said.

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Environment
4:30 am
Mon November 21, 2011

Salmon are returning and you can get a close-up at Piper's Creek

A raccoon takes advantage of the access to salmon at Piper's Creek in Seattle.
Catherine Anstett

Salmon spawning is at its peak this time of year and it’s possible to go to local creeks and culverts to watch the salmon, up close and personal. 

Now through early December is prime time to get a good look at chum salmon as they return for spawning around the Puget Sound. And, Piper’s Creek in Carkeek Park is one of the best places in town to see these big fish swimming in a natural environment. They can be so close you might catch a little splash. 

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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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