Originally published on Wed July 16, 2014 11:52 am
ASHLAND, Ore. -- A Britain-based company is making preliminary moves that could lead to a 4,000-acre open-pit nickel mine being established in the headwaters of the Smith and Illinois Rivers in southwest Oregon.
The firm says it’s at the beginning of a long process of evaluating whether such a mine would even pencil out. But opponents in Oregon and California are taking no chances. They’re going all-out to kill it in the cradle.
Barbara Ullian minces no words.
“The best time to stop a mine is before it starts,” she says.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service plans to eliminate the use of bee-harming pesticides on wildlife refuges in the Pacific region by 2016.
A new rule phases out the use of neonicotinoid pesticides – a class of chemical that has been linked to several bee die-offs in Oregon in the past two years, including one that killed 50,000 bumblebees in a Wilsonville parking lot.
Among its transgressions, according to the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality: cutting a hole in a pipe leading to a publicly owned water treatment plant in Longview, Washington, and illegally dumping the sewage into it at night. The plant wasn’t authorized to handle such sewage.
The survey was conducted for EarthFix by the independent and nonpartisan firm, DHM Research. A representative sampling of 1,200 residents of Washington, Idaho and Oregon participated and 62 percent of them said they consider it an urgent priority for state and local governments to address global warming.
A majority of respondents also registered support for specific proposals to reduce the emission of carbon that contributes to climate change.
PORTLAND -- The public got its first chance to weigh in on the government's plan to kill nearly 16,000 cormorants nesting on an island near the mouth of the Columbia River.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has proposed the lethal approach as the best way to reduce the number of birds that congregate at East Sand Island and feast on young salmon and steelhead making their way beyond the Columbia River to the Pacific Ocean.
Supporters and critics spoke out Thursday at the Matt Dishman Community Center in Northeast Portland.
Fire season has come alive in the Northwest. On Monday, 20 homes in Idaho's Sun Valley area were briefly under evacuation when a fire broke out in a nearby canyon. A 5,000-acre fire north of Wenatchee, Washington, continues to threaten houses in the area.
Washington's pollution standards would be made much tougher -- making water clean enough that people can safely eat a daily serving of locally caught fish and shellfish -- under a plan laid out by Gov. Jay Inslee.
The governor announced Wednesday that he wants Washington to set the same fish-consumption standards that guide water pollution rules in Oregon.
As a consequence, waters in Washington would be clean enough that people can consume 175 grams of fish a day, up from the current standard of 6.5 grams a day.