Environment

Oil Trains
5:09 pm
Mon March 10, 2014

Seattle City Council Urges Gov To Stop Issuing Permits For Oil Trains

File image
Matthew Brown AP Photo

Seattle has joined Spokane and Bellingham in passing a resolution to restrict oil shipments by rail until further review.

The Seattle City Council unanimously passed the resolution co-sponsored by council member Mike O’Brien and Seattle Mayor Ed Murray.

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Oil Trains
5:08 pm
Tue March 4, 2014

Seattle Mulls Resolution Calling For Closer Scrutiny Of Oil Trains

File image
AP Photo

Seattle is on its way to joining Spokane and Bellingham in demanding tougher scrutiny of oil trains traveling through the city. A resolution that would restrict oil shipments until further review has passed out of a city council committee, and is scheduled for a vote before the full council on Monday.

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Washington Waterfall
3:47 pm
Tue March 4, 2014

State Waterfall Bill Heads To Gov's Desk

Michael Matti Flickr

Washington would have an official state waterfall under a measure heading to Gov. Jay Inslee's desk.

House Bill 2119 passed through the Senate 46-3 Tuesday. It would designate Palouse Falls in southeastern Washington as the official state waterfall.

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Dam Fix
2:58 pm
Tue March 4, 2014

Columbia River Drawdown Continues To Take Pressure Off Wanapum Dam

This undated photo provided by Grant County (Wash.) public utility, the Wanapum Dam on the Columbia River, Wash., is shown.
AP Photo/Grant County Public Utility

Water behind the Wanapum Dam near Vantage is being drawn down 26 feet to relieve pressure on the big crack in the structure. Officials say dozens of engineers are on site, and more around the country are studying the problem.

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Sonar Testing
10:26 am
Tue March 4, 2014

Navy Seeks Permission To Keep Using Sonar Training Plans, But Are Whales At Risk?

FILE - This image provided by the Cascadia Research Collective shows an adult female beaked whale swimming off the Kona coast in Hawaii, Dec. 4, 2006.
Robin W. Baird AP Photo/ Cascadia Research Collective

Active sonar is the Navy’s best weapon to detect the presence of hostile submarines. But that same powerful underwater pulse of sound can harm or even kill whales and other marine mammals.

Now, the Navy is seeking permission to continue using a huge swath of the Northwest coast, from northern California to the Canadian border, for a wide range of naval training and practice, including sonar. The Navy says it’s taking precautions to protect whales, but others say it’s not enough. 

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Environment
1:14 pm
Fri February 28, 2014

Murray, Cantwell Praise EPA Move On Pebble Mine Project

FILE - In this July 13, 2007 file photo, workers with the Pebble Mine project test drill in the Bristol Bay region of Alaska near the village of Iliamma, Alaska.
Al Grillo AP Photo

Washington's U.S. senators are praising a decision by the Environmental Protection Agency for starting a process that could potentially restrict the development of proposed gold-and-copper mine in southwest Alaska.

The EPA on Friday asked Alaska and those behind the proposed Pebble Mine to make their case for the project.

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Environment
5:01 am
Fri February 28, 2014

Wash. High School Teams To Go Head-To-Head At This Year's Orca Bowl

In this 2013 photo, Seattle Orca Bowl participants pose with our full-sized replica of J-26, also known as "Mike".
Courtesy of Washington Sea Grant

Garfield High School students will put their smarts to the test to defend their title at the annual Orca Bowl at the University of Washington this weekend.

In a competition that slightly resembles the TV game show “Jeopardy,” 20 teams from around the state will try to answer multiple-choice questions about marine sciences, many of them specifically geared toward this year's theme of ocean acidification. Then finalists from Ocean Science Bowls around the country will meet again in May to vie for the national title. This year, it's taking place for the first time in Seattle.

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Clean Energy Economy
5:10 pm
Thu February 27, 2014

Enviro Group Pushing Gov. Inslee To Adopt Clean Fuels Standard

The environmental group Climate Solutions is urging Gov. Jay Inslee to exercise his executive power to adopt a clean fuels standard. 

The group's leaders spoke to reporters on Thursday in hopes of adding momentum to their efforts to follow in the footsteps of California and British Columbia.

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Environment
10:20 am
Wed February 26, 2014

UW Prof Confirms Pine Trees Make Particles From Thin Air, Counteract Greenhouse Effect

labspic Flickr

When you walk into an evergreen forest, you get a whiff of that unmistakable smell of pine.

It turns out some of those vapors come from newly-discovered particles that seem to come out of nowhere and cool the forest. 

Researchers at the University of Washington have confirmed the finding, which they say will help scientists more accurately forecast climate change.

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Environment
5:01 am
Mon February 24, 2014

Who You Should Call If You Trip On A Tree Root In Seattle

Younger trees can cause hazards because of poor planting conditions, such as here. The soil is too shallow.
Erin Hennessey photo KPLU News

Seattle is well-known as a city that loves its trees. The city even has a plan to increase its tree canopy to cover 30 percent of its open skies by the year 2037.

But the trees can sometimes get out of hand. Their powerful roots can be downright treacherous when they push through sidewalks.

So, what to do if you see one that has you worried? Or if you stub your toe on a bulging root? 

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Environment
4:34 pm
Wed February 19, 2014

Boaters Beware: State Wants to Ban Sewage Dumping in Puget Sound

Bellamy Pailthorp

It might surprise you to learn that you can dump the contents of your toilet into Puget Sound and not get in trouble. That’s essentially what some boaters do when they discharge their sewage into the water instead of pumping it out at a dock or marina.

The state Department of Ecology has proposed a federally-enforced ban on dumping in Puget Sound to stop the practice.

Amy Jankowiak with the state Department of Ecology says the state has been working on evaluating the feasibility and appropriateness of putting a dumping ban in place for two years. The department has now written the proposed law, which is ready for public comment.

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Environment
9:14 am
Tue February 18, 2014

Lawsuits Could Lead To Changes At Fish Hatcheries

In this photo taken on Tuesday Feb. 4, 2014, at a hatchery in Parkdale, Ore., a hatchery worker measures and weighs salmon as part of a study to track their growth.
Gosia Wozniacka AP Photo

People on the West Coast have counted on fish hatcheries for more than a century to help rebuild populations of salmon and steelhead and bring them to a level where government would no longer need to regulate fisheries.

But hatcheries have thus far failed to resurrect wild fish runs and artificially bred fish have come to dominate rivers. Critics say their influx harms wild salmon and masks the fact that wild populations are barely hanging on.

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Environment
5:01 am
Mon February 17, 2014

With Second Dam Nearly Gone, New Era Blossoming On The Elwha River

Courtesy of John Gussman

The slow-motion demolition of two hydroelectric dams on the Elwha River is radically changing the landscape near Port Angeles, but it’s not a scene you can witness on your own. 

Just a handful of dedicated photographers and filmmakers have been given permission to place their cameras at key posts near the Glines Canyon Dam to capture the changes as crews of skilled technicians carefully notch into the concrete walls and place dynamite in just the right places.

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Hiking
4:47 pm
Wed February 12, 2014

Hikers Aim To Preserve The Tri-Cities' Dramatic Ridgelines

Sharon Grant heads down the ridge of Candy Mountain in the Tri-Cities, Wash. Badger Mountain can be seen in the distance.
Anna King Northwest News Network

Originally published on Thu February 13, 2014 9:30 am

The close proximity of a group of mountains known as The Rattles to the the Tri-Cities in southeast Washington, means urban dwellers can hike a 1,500 foot peak and enjoy dramatic views on their lunch break -- or even after supper.

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Environment
10:18 am
Wed February 12, 2014

Sweeping Environmental Review For Longview Coal Terminal

A train hauling coal to British Columbia heads north out of downtown Seattle and in view of the Space Needle Tuesday afternoon, May 29, 2012.
Elaine Thompson AP Photo

State and local regulators say they'll consider a sweeping environmental review of the impacts of a proposed terminal in southwest Washington that would export millions of tons of coal to Asia.

The state Department of Ecology and Cowlitz County said Wednesday its review includes looking at train traffic impacts along the entire route as the coal is moved by train from Montana and Wyoming throughout the state. The review will also study global-warming effects of burning the exported coal in Asia.

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