environment

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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Restoring Tribal Diets
10:42 am
Thu December 19, 2013

Northwest Lab Hopes To Build The World's First Lamprey Hatchery

Pacific lamprey serve as an important food source for Northwest tribes. Their populations have dramatically declined throughout the Columbia River system.
Credit Flickr Photo/USFWS Pacific

Pacific lamprey were once a major staple in Northwest tribes’ diets. The oils were a source of nutrition. Babies used lamprey tails as teething rings.

Now, as numbers decline, lamprey only make it to the table during ceremonies or special occasions. Washington biologists hope to turn those numbers around and in doing so, may create the world's first lamprey hatchery.

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Environment
7:36 am
Thu December 19, 2013

Darigold, EPA Reach Settlement In Chlorine Gas Leak

Darigold has agreed to a settlement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, after the milk-producing company failed to report a chlorine gas release last year. Darigold will pay $42,000 in the settlement.
Flickr Creative Commons: www.bluewaikiki.com

Originally published on Wed December 18, 2013 3:54 pm

One of the Northwest’s biggest dairy producers has agreed to a settlement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. That’s after the milk co-op failed to report a chlorine gas release that required medical treatment for a dozen people.

Chlorine gas is highly toxic. It can make your eyes, nose and mouth burn. If you breathe the gas, it can cause respiratory problems or death.

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Green Machines
7:33 am
Thu December 19, 2013

Northwest Teams Lead A Growing 'Green Sports' Movement

The Portland Trail Blazers' arena has a green building certification of LEED gold. The team has reduced its carbon footprint by 50 percent since 2008.
Cory Grove/Flickr http://www.flickr.com/photos/thelastfewdays/3218399244/sizes/l/in/photolist-5Up8Y9-ay32Ch-axZkkp-ay33bd-ay32RL-ay33ij-dxh1XD-7vN6Dk-7hdp4Q-axZmdv-ay33pu-ay33KQ-axZm6H-ecWmtu-ecWmnA-arNGDT-61FwV1-5s579

Originally published on Thu December 19, 2013 1:00 am

Northwest sports teams are leading an effort to use the widespread appeal of basketball, football, baseball and hockey to spread an environmental message.

A group formed by six teams in Portland, Seattle and Vancouver, B.C., called the Green Sports Alliance set out three years ago to improve the environmental performance of professional sports. The alliance has grown to hundreds of teams across the country that are now competing to see who can be the greenest.

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News From Canada
4:55 pm
Wed December 18, 2013

Officials Weigh Proposed Pipeline Expansion In B.C.

David Hyde talks with Vancouver Sun columnist Vaughn Palmer about plans for a second pipeline carrying heavy oil from Alberta to the West Coast.

Shellfish
3:12 pm
Mon December 16, 2013

Taylor Shellfish Says China's Ban Is Hurting Business Already

China's recent ban on Northwest shellfish from Alaska to California is having a big impact on local producers.
Flickr Photo/Cedric Sam

Marcie Sillman talks with Bill Dewey of Taylor Shellfish about how China's recent ban on Northwest shellfish imports is affecting business.

Time For A Quick Lesson
7:43 am
Mon December 16, 2013

Global Warming Explained, In About A Minute

Jean-Pierre Clatot AFP/Getty Images

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Environment
7:04 am
Mon December 16, 2013

U.S. Side Calls For Columbia River Treaty To Be 'Modernized'

File photo of Grand Coulee Dam, looking Southeast.
Gregg M. Erickson Wikimedia

Originally published on Fri December 13, 2013 4:27 pm

The American negotiating position became clearer Friday in what promises to be difficult bargaining to update a water treaty with Canada.

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EarthFix Reports
6:59 am
Mon December 16, 2013

Officials In U.S. Stumped By China's Claim Of Tainted Northwest Shellfish

This diver is legally harvesting wild geoduck from 40 feet below the surface of Puget Sound.

Originally published on Fri December 13, 2013 6:16 pm

Environment and health officials in the U.S. say they are puzzled by China’s decision to ban shellfish harvested from Northern California to Alaska. State officials say their records don’t show the same unsafe toxin levels that were detected by a lab in China.

China says it found toxins in two shipments of geoducks. These giant clams harvested in Puget Sound and Alaska can go for $150 a pound. Washington’s shellfish industry overall is worth $270 million, and China is the top export market.

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Georgetown Live, Part Two
1:49 pm
Fri December 13, 2013

Georgetown Live: 'A City Within A City'

A low flying plane passes over Georgetown. Noise and local industrial pollution can sometimes give the area a bad rap.
Credit Flickr Photo/Joe Mabel

The Record continues its live broadcast from the Georgetown neighborhood with thoughts on raising a family and the challenges the Seattle Police faces in the district.

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EarthFix Reports
9:11 am
Fri December 13, 2013

China Imposes First-Ever West Coast Shellfish Ban

Blake Severns inspects a wild geoduck just plucked from the bottom of Puget Sound. Severn is a diver with the the Washington Department of Natural Resources Aquatics Resource Division.

Originally published on Thu December 12, 2013 5:58 pm

China has suspended imports of shellfish from the west coast of the United States -- an unprecedented move that cuts off a $270 million Northwest industry from its biggest export market.

China said it decided to impose the ban after recent shipments of geoduck clams from Northwest waters were found by its own government inspectors to have high levels of arsenic and a toxin that causes paralytic shellfish poisoning.

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EarthFix Reports
1:05 pm
Thu December 12, 2013

Plan To End Hatchery Fish Release Would Give Wild Fish Refuge

A hatchery fish is found among wild fish returning to the Elwha River on the Olympic Peninsula this past spring. Wild fish advocates around the region have filed several lawsuits calling for restrictions on the use of hatcheries.
Credit EarthFix Photo/Ashley Ahearn

Fish and wildlife departments in Oregon, Washington and Idaho release millions of hatchery-raised salmon and steelhead into the rivers of the Northwest every year.

But a growing body of research suggests that hatchery fish are semi-domesticated and weaker than wild fish. Hatchery fish have also been shown to interbreed with the wild fish and compete for food.

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EarthFix Reports
9:39 pm
Mon December 9, 2013

Cold Snap Brings Unhealthy Air To Klamath Falls

Smoke coming from fireplaces and wood stoves has been linked to a host of health effects including heart attacks, strokes, high blood pressure and asthma attacks.

Originally published on Mon December 9, 2013 8:43 pm

Twenty below zero. That was the record breaking low in Klamath Falls, Ore. this weekend. Temperatures are higher this week, but have remained below freezing.

Wood smoke is one of the leading causes of fine particulate pollution, and in Klamath Falls, a blanket of cold stagnant air has trapped that pollution close to the ground, triggering an air quality health alert.

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Environment
1:29 pm
Mon December 9, 2013

Live Tweet: Discussing Impacts Of Bellingham Coal Terminal

On December 6, 2013 at Town Hall in Seattle, reporter Ashley Ahearn moderated a discussion with Jay Julius, Lummi councilmember; and tribal law experts Mason Morisett and Knoll Lowney about an ongoing battle over a coal terminal, proposed to be built at Cherry Point, a sacred site for the Lummi.

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