environment

EarthFix Reports
11:21 am
Thu January 2, 2014

Conservation Group Turns Christmas Trees Into Salmon Habitat

When submerged in a coastal stream, an old Christmas tree offers young salmon protection from predators and new potential food sources.
Courtesy of Tualatin Valley Trout Unlimited

Originally published on Fri December 27, 2013 4:43 pm

Before you kick your dying Christmas tree to the curb, consider this: Members of the conservation group Trout Unlimited would love to turn that tree into fish habitat.

On three Saturdays in January, the Tualatin Valley chapter of Trout Unlimited will be collecting Christmas tree donations at two locations in the Portland metropolitan area. Later, they'll place the trees into a side channel of the Necanicum River near Seaside, where they will provide predator protection and food sources for baby coho salmon.

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Oil Equipment
9:46 am
Thu January 2, 2014

New Year Likely To Bring More 'Megaload' Fights

Members of the Nez Perce Tribe in Idaho block the passage of a “megaload” being shipped by Omega Morgan in August.
Jessica Robinson Northwest News Network

Originally published on Tue December 31, 2013 4:45 pm

Two large pieces of oil equipment crossing the Northwest are expected to start moving again after the New Year's holiday.

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Dim The Lights
10:13 am
Tue December 31, 2013

The End Of The Bulb As We Know It? Not Quite

Bruce Cudmore is the purchasing manager at Carr Sales
Jessica Robinson Northwest News Network

Originally published on Tue December 31, 2013 10:09 am

January 1 is the end of the era of your standard, soft white Edison-designed incandescent bulb in the United States. Or at least, in theory.

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Troubled Waters
8:14 am
Tue December 31, 2013

Shell Still Aims For Arctic Oil Drilling Despite Mishaps

Shell's Kulluk oil rig aground on Alaska's Sitkalidak Island in Jan. 2013.
U.S. Coast Guard

Exactly a year ago, an oil rig being towed to Seattle ran aground on a remote island in the Gulf of Alaska. The New Year's Eve accident capped a year of trouble for Shell Oil in Alaska and in Puget Sound.

Shell is still seeking federal approval to drill in the Arctic, and a critical ship in Shell’s Arctic fleet is still sitting idle on the Bellingham, Wash., waterfront.

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'Tis The (Whale) Season
7:31 am
Mon December 30, 2013

How To Spot A Whale On The Northwest Coast

Larry and Marie Hinton keep an eye out for whales at Boiler Bay State Park near Depoe Bay, Oregon.
Chris Lehman Northwest News Network

Originally published on Fri December 27, 2013 2:58 pm

The week between Christmas and New Year's is one of the best times of the year to watch grey whales migrating along the Oregon coast.

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Activism
6:00 am
Mon December 30, 2013

Seattle 2013: A Year In Protest

We've reserved the slideshow above for a collection of reader-submitted photos from local demonstrations in 2013. Submit yours to pictures@kuow.org. In this photo: A scene from fast food workers demonstrating in Seattle on May 31, 2013.
Heather Villanueva

As we looked back on the last year, debating which stories to highlight here, we noticed a trend that surprised us: 2013 was a year of activism and protest in the Seattle area.

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EarthFix Reports
12:25 pm
Thu December 26, 2013

Tree Sitters Face Off With Professors Over Logging Plan

Josh Eng, right, prepares to climb up a fir tree with fellow protesters (from left) Brian Garcia, Shannon Wilson and Kate Armstrong. The group is protesting a plan to log the site that was devised by professors.
Credit EarthFix Photo/Amelia Templeton

Last year, the US Bureau of Land Management sold the rights to log a small grove of Douglas firs in Oregon, to a private company called Roseburg Forest Products.

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Environment
9:23 am
Thu December 26, 2013

For Recyclers, Holiday Gift Wrap Is A Mine Field Of 'Contaminants'

Most glittery or metallic wrapping paper can’t be recycled.
King County Solid Waste

Originally published on Tue December 24, 2013 11:13 am

The same shiny gift wrap and bright bows that make Christmas presents so enticing are exactly what give recycling centers headaches the day after Christmas.

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EarthFix Reports
10:29 am
Tue December 24, 2013

4 Weeks In, Locals Feel Pain Of China’s Shellfish Ban

Lydia Sigo, a geoduck diver and member of the Suquamish Tribe, is out of work right now because of China's ban on shellfish imports. She says her mortgage is due. "I can't keep going on like this very long."
Ashley Ahearn

Originally published on Tue December 24, 2013 6:00 am

SEATTLE -- Ninety percent of the geoduck harvested in Washington are sold to China and Hong Kong. It's an indicator of how much the Northwest shellfish industry relies on exports to China.

The crushing economic impacts of China's move are hitting locals in Puget Sound hard for the holidays.

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EarthFix Reports
9:38 am
Mon December 23, 2013

Penalties Of $2,800 Issued For Wilsonville Bee Deaths

Penalties are in for a company implicated in the deaths of bumblebees in Oregon earlier this year. The most noteable incident killed 50,000 bumblebees in Wilsonville, Ore.
Rich Hatfield, Xerces Society

Originally published on Fri December 20, 2013 12:16 pm

The Oregon Department of Agriculture has fined pesticide company Collier Arbor Care and four of its employees for the deaths of thousands of bumblebees. The department issued civil penalties and notices of violations to the company for four separate incidents this year.

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EarthFix Reports
9:38 am
Mon December 23, 2013

Wind Tax Credit Set To Expire, Again

A tax credit that wind energy advocates say is important to sustaining the industry is again set to expire Dec. 31.
Courtney Flatt

Originally published on Fri December 20, 2013 2:32 pm

A tax credit that wind energy advocates say is important to sustaining the industry is set to expire Dec. 31. Wind developers say the tax credit is critical to the growing industry. Without it, wind turbine manufacturing can grind to a halt, as it did after the credit expired in 2012.

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EarthFix Reports
1:46 pm
Fri December 20, 2013

Feds: Coal Companies Must Pay To Suppress Dust From Trains

A coal train makes its way through Eastern Washington.
Flickr Photo/Aaron Hockley

A federal board has ruled that the coal companies operating in the Powder River Basin have to take certain measures to reduce the amount of dust that is escaping from coal train cars.

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Energy Market
10:02 am
Fri December 20, 2013

Numbers Debate Rages Over Northwest Nuclear Plant

The Columbia Generating Station in southeast Washington is battling for public opinion.
Energy Northwest

Originally published on Wed January 8, 2014 4:02 pm

There’s a new debate raging over the Northwest’s only commercial nuclear power plant. But it’s not about safety or how to dispose of nuclear waste.

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Geeks, Indeed
8:30 am
Fri December 20, 2013

KUOW's Word Of The Year Is Astrobiology (You Picked It, Not Us)

Credit Twitter Photo/AstrobiologyNAI

Forget selfies, geeks and science. The word of the year is astrobiology.

According to KUOW.org’s web trends, a search for the term "astrobiology" was the way many of you found your way to our website.*

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Environment
2:58 pm
Thu December 19, 2013

Arsenic Was Toxin In Washington Geoduck Shipment To China

Flickr Photo/USDAgov

Officials in Washington have learned that inorganic arsenic was the toxin detected in a shipment of geoduck from their state to China, not the toxin causing paralytic shellfish poisoning, or PSP, as they previously believed.

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