Environment

Environment
5:00 am
Thu September 26, 2013

B.C. First Nations Dig in Heels on Northern Gateway Pipeline

 

An alliance of aboriginal groups in British Columbia has told federal officials that if Ottawa wants to get tribal cooperation on energy development, they'll have to kill a controversial oil pipeline proposal.

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Environment
5:49 pm
Wed September 25, 2013

Watchdog Group Appeals Shoreline Permits, Urges Better Marine Habitat Protection

Timber-pile bulkheads built to protect residential property from erosion on the west side of Whidbey Island, Puget Sound. This type of beach "armoring" can impact nearshore fish habitat.
Hugh Shipman, Washington Department of Ecology

A recently-formed environmental watchdog group is appealing nearly a dozen permits issued for development along the Puget Sound shoreline. Sound Action says too many permits are being issued without the restrictions the law requires to protect important fish species.

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fish consumption
11:55 am
Mon September 23, 2013

Warning: Some Columbia River Fish Not Safe to Eat

WSK_2005 Flickr

Some fish in the Columbia River aren’t safe to eat, according to advisories issued Monday by health officials in Washington and Oregon.

The warnings do not apply to ocean-going fish like salmon and steelhead.

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Environment
5:01 am
Fri September 20, 2013

Bill McKibben of 350.org to Lead Climate Change Rally in Seattle

Steve Liptay Photo

This Saturday, environmental activist and author Bill McKibben will lead a rally against fossil fuel exports and the Keystone XL pipeline in Seattle. 

Known as one of the first voices to warn of the dangers of global warming, McKibben is on tour with his new book, Oil and Honey. He is also the founder of an international organization called 350.org, which he created to fight climate change. 

McKibben says 350 is "the most important number in the world, but nobody knew it until 2008, when Jim Hansen and his team at NASA published a paper saying we now know enough about carbon to know how much in the atmosphere is too much." 

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climate change
4:27 pm
Thu September 19, 2013

Cantwell Grills NOAA Nominee on Ocean Acidification Funding

Cantwell says Washington's $270 million shellfish industry is at risk without adequate funding for monitoring of ocean acidification.
Bellamy Pailthorp photo KPLU News

Ocean health is at stake as Congress decides whether to confirm the next head of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

The nominee faced tough questions from Washington Senator Maria Cantwell, about funding for research of and adaptation to ocean acidification.

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Environment
5:01 am
Wed September 18, 2013

As Fatal Epidemic Looms, Bat Walk Showcases Local Species

6-year-old Lucinda Purdy gets a close view of a preserved bat carcass from Professor Bassett's collection.
Bellamy Pailthorp photo KPLU News

Two times this summer, rabid bats have been found in Seattle’s Madison Park neighborhood. Health officials say it was an unusual coincidence, not a sign of an outbreak. But it doesn’t help the reputation of a creature that’s facing an epidemic. White-nose syndrome has been spreading westward from New York. 

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Environment
5:05 pm
Mon September 16, 2013

Dam Dispute Surfaces in Salmon Policy

Pink salmon running in the Skykomish River at Sunset Falls.
Andrea Matzke at Wild Washington Rivers

The road map for balancing environmental needs with the need to generate power from the Northwest's hydroelectric dams is being revised. And the move has some people worried it could open the door to destructive dam projects on Washington rivers.

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Northwest coal
5:02 pm
Mon September 16, 2013

Hearings Begin in Environmental Review of Longview Coal Terminal

A coal train along the Columbia River, near Vancouver, WA
Erin Hennessey photo KPLU News

Scoping hearings begin tomorrow on a proposed coal export terminal in Longview, near the Columbia River.  It’s one of two Washington terminals that would ship coal from the Powder River Basin in Montana and Wyoming to Asia.

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megaloads
3:35 pm
Fri September 13, 2013

Federal Judge Halts ‘Megaloads’ on Idaho Highway

A 255-foot-long piece of water purifying equipment bound for Canada waits on Highway 12 near Lewiston, Idaho for transport.
Jessica Robinson

A federal judge has halted so-called “megaload” traffic through a wild and scenic corridor in Idaho. The ruling issued Friday orders the Forest Service to close a section of highway to an Oregon company trying to move oil equipment to Canada. 

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bio-fuel research
12:30 pm
Fri September 13, 2013

WSU Tri-Cities to Head Federal Jet Bio-fuel Research Center

Washington State University will lead a new federal research center focused on finding new biofuels for jet airplanes.

Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., made the announcement Friday at the university’s new science labs in the Tri-Cities.

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Environment
4:41 pm
Tue September 10, 2013

Ouch! Yellow Jackets Having 'Banner Year' in Northwest

GeorgiaOnMyMind Flickr

Still smarting from a wasp sting this summer? You're not alone. It has been a banner year for yellow jackets in the Northwest by many accounts.

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GMO food labeling
9:14 pm
Mon September 9, 2013

Seattle City Council Votes to Support I-522, GMO Labeling

File image
Damian Dovarganes AP Photo

The Seattle City Council has voted, 8 to 1, to support Initiative 522, which would  require labels on food products that have been genetically modified or contain genetically-modified ingredients.

The council's decision comes ahead of the general election when voters will decide whether to approve the initiative. 

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Preventing Urban Flooding
5:01 am
Fri September 6, 2013

Seattle Park is Giant Storm Drain

The stormwater holding area at 30th Avenue East and East John can hold nearly two million gallons of stormwater during very large storms. Its expansion was completed in December 2009.
Bellamy Pailthorp photo KPLU News

Recent summer storms have many locals concerned about urban flooding, or fast-flowing water overwhelming storm drains.

In Seattle’s Madison Valley neighborhood, outdated infrastructure led to a tragic death in 2006, but the city says the chronic flooding there should be fixed now.

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Habitat restoration
5:01 am
Thu September 5, 2013

Partnership Aims to Improve Green-Duwamish River Watershed

Duwamish River Park in Georgetown is currently one of the only places people can go to experience the river
Bellamy Pailthorp photo KPLU News

A local watershed is the first in the Northwest to participate in a federal program that aims to connect people with their waterways. 

As of today, the Green River-Duwamish watershed is a part of the Urban Waters Federal Partnership, which focuses on revitalizing urban waterways. Formed in 2011, the federal group aims to unify and direct the efforts of 13 federal agencies working to improve water quality.

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northwest coal
2:25 pm
Wed September 4, 2013

Columbia River Tribes Oppose Plan for Coal Trains

With coal use in decline in the U.S., mining companies have found a steady revenue stream in overseas markets.

But to get it there requires a long journey by train and barge to export terminals along the Columbia River and in Puget Sound. That’s a problem, according to environmentalists and tribes who are calling for more impact studies.

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