Environmental Protection Agency

Clean Waterways
1:39 pm
Thu July 3, 2014

Farmers Object To EPA's Proposed Changes To Clean Water Act

Angela Bailey farms decorative trees and shrubs near Gresham, Oregon.
Chris Lehman

Farmers across the country are riled up over the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s plan to revise the 1972 Clean Water Act.

Depending on who you talk to, these revisions are either a “land grab” under the “brute force” of the federal government or a simple clarification of rules that ensure all Americans have clean water to drink.

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Superfund Site
10:21 am
Wed May 14, 2014

At Idaho Superfund Site, Pavement Used To Help The Environment

A street in Wallace, Idaho was repaved last fall as part of the Superfund cleanup in the Coeur d'Alene Basin.
EPA

With the weather warming up, work has resuming at one of the largest Superfund sites in the nation. The EPA is trying to clear decades of mine pollution from Idaho's Coeur d'Alene River Basin and the upper reaches of the Spokane River. And this summer, managers are using an environmental remedy you might not expect: pavement.

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Renewable Energy
4:59 am
Mon January 20, 2014

Biodiesel Industry Puzzled By Loosening Of Alternative Fuel Standard

As the biodiesel industry convenes for a national conference in San Diego today, one of the topics of discussions will be the loosening of the renewable fuel standard.

Among the participants will be Seattle-based General Biodiesel, a company that turns used cooking oil into vehicle-grade fuel. The company 's CEO is upset over backpedaling by the federal government on incentives for more use of alternatives.

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Water pollution
8:02 pm
Tue July 23, 2013

EPA Put on Notice over Wash. State's Fish Consumption Rate

How much fish is safe to eat? Only one small filet per month under Washington's current water quality standard - a fraction of what's shown in this picture of a traditional NW meal of wild salmon on cedar planks.
woodleywonderworks photo Flickr

The official estimate of how much fish people eat dictates the levels of pollution that are allowed, and a statewide coalition of clean water advocates says an accurate standard is long overdue.

Waterkeepers Washington is threatening to sue the federal government over lack of enforcement.

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toxins in fish
1:41 pm
Fri April 26, 2013

How much fish is healthy? Wash. tribes push for updated standard

jpellgen Flickr

How much fish should you eat? The state Department of Health recommends two meals of fish a week. But the Department of Ecology assumes people eat far less, about the equivalent of one meal per month.

That’s because it uses those assumptions to calculate how much water pollution can be legally allowed in Washington—pollution that ends up in the fish we eat.

Efforts to change that standard have stalled, and Washington's tribes, fed up, are calling on federal authorities to intervene.

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wastewater settlement
1:35 pm
Wed April 17, 2013

Seattle, King County to spend $1.5 billion on wastewater upgrades

Concrete culvert with street sewer water draining from an embankment into Seattle's Carkeek Park.
Wonderlane photo Flickr

The city of Seattle and King County will spend $1.46 billion on upgrades to public sewer systems aimed at reducing the amount of polluted water entering the Puget Sound and other waterways, according to a federal settlement filed under the Clean Water Act. 

Under the agreement, the city and county will also pay $750,000 in fines for dumping raw sewage into the Sound and several lakes. 

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Superfund cleanup
12:09 pm
Mon March 11, 2013

Lower Duwamish Waterway plan open for public comment

You can see dredging equipment used in the earliest work on superfund cleanup of "hotspots" at Seattle's Duwamish Waterway Park, in Southpark.
Bellamy Pailthorp Photo KPLU News

Seattle’s Duwamish River was once a meandering estuary in the heart of the city. A century ago, it was transformed into an industrial waterway and used as a dumping ground for decades.

Now it’s a Superfund site – and the Environmental Protection Agency has released a plan to clean it up.

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Environment
5:01 am
Mon November 19, 2012

Earthday founder reflects on environmental activism in Obama’s second term

Denis Hayes, one of the region's most sought-after speakers on environmental policy, says activists must mobilize people to keep pressure on the Obama administration.
Courtesy of The Bullitt Foundation

Though they say it’s better than any Republican alternative, many activists have been disappointed in the environmental policies of the Obama administration.

Now that the election’s over, we caught up with one of the state’s most prominent environmental thinkers to get his take on what’s in store for the next four years.

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Environment
8:30 am
Fri October 7, 2011

Demand that Duwamish River be cleaned up enough to eat the fish

Duwamish Cleanup Coalition Coordinator, James Rasmussen, says the EPA's plan for restoring ecological health to the 32 square miles of Seattle's Superfund site should include the goal of being able to eat a fish out of the river.
Bellamy Pailthorp KPLU

There’s a major milestone this week in the cleanup of Seattle’s Duwamish River. Excavators are removing toxic sludge from one of the most polluted spots in the city’s industrial core. Completion of this work will allow cleanup on the rest of the river. 

But critics say there are already signs it won’t go far enough.

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Environment
3:15 pm
Thu October 6, 2011

Work begins on Slip 4 'hotspot' in Duwamish River

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Regional Administrator Dennis McLerran celebrates the start of dredging on Slip 4, a hot spot in the Superfund cleanup plan for the Lower Duwamish Waterway.
Bellamy Pailthorp KPLU

It’s one of the most polluted waterways in all of the Pacific Northwest. The lower five miles of Seattle’s Duwamish River were listed as a Superfund site a decade ago. This week, cleanup work has begun on one of its most toxic sections. 

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Contaminants Found in Schools
9:14 am
Thu August 25, 2011

EPA tells Bureau of Indian Affairs to clean up tribal schools

The Environmental Protection Agency says hazardous contaminants that most schools have gotten rid of remain in more than 160 government-operated tribal schools. That includes six in the Northwest. A new settlement aims to bring schools in Native American communities up to standards.

EPA inspections of tribal schools between 2005 and 2008 found violations of seven environmental laws, including the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, and the Toxic Substances Control Act.

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