environment

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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Natural Mystery
1:19 pm
Mon December 9, 2013

Likely Builder Of Mima Mounds? Hint: It’s Furry, Tiny And Tireless

Mima mounds near Olympia, Wash.
Credit Flickr Photo/Washington State Department of Natural Resources

For centuries, Mima mounds have mystified.

How were they created? How do they stay so impeccably maintained?

Mima mounds are hillocks, piles of dirt upchucked from the ground. They are sometimes covered in grass, giving them the illusion of a knoll. There are millions in California’s Central Valley; near Olympia, Wash. is the Mima Prairie, where the mounds got their name.

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EarthFix Reports
9:45 am
Mon December 9, 2013

Can Mushrooms Help Fight Stormwater Pollution?

Stropharia rugosoannulata, commonly known as the Garden Giant, may hold a key to filtering stormwater runoff.
Courtesy of Paul Stamets

Ah, the Garden Giant. He’s a jolly fellow who roams around your garden at night tossing mulch as he merrily skips along, helping your veggies grow lush and tall.

Not quite. The Garden Giant is actually a species of mushroom, scientifically known as Stropharia rugosoannulata, that may hold a key to filtering harmful pollutants from stormwater runoff.

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Environmental Concerns
2:43 pm
Thu December 5, 2013

The Fight Against Junk Mail

From Wikipedia.

Steve Scher talks to Alan Durning, the executive director and founder of Sightline Institution, about his crusade against junk mail. He wrote a blog post detailing his quest called "Going Postal 2013."

Environment
2:42 pm
Thu December 5, 2013

Federal Climate Panel Calls For Early Warning System For Major Climate Events

Icebergs breaking off glaciers at Cape York, Greenland.
From Wikipedia.

Marcie Sillman talks with David Roberts, writer for the Seattle-based environmental magazine Grist, about a new report on climate change from the National Research Council.

EarthFix Reports
3:08 pm
Wed December 4, 2013

The Cost Of Energy Efficient Windows

Two prefabricated houses serve as experiements for researchers at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Richland, Wash. Researchers found that triple-paned windows are energy efficient, but expensive.

Originally published on Wed December 4, 2013 3:26 pm

RICHLAND, Wash. -- If you’re looking to keep out the winter cold, triple-paned windows will do the trick. But Northwest researchers have found have found it can take decades before savings from these highly insulated windows pay you back.

Researchers are using two identical homes to test some of the latest advances in energy efficient appliances, heating and cooling systems, and most recently, windows.

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EarthFix Reports
11:20 am
Wed December 4, 2013

Northwest Tribe Opposes Coal Terminal, But How Hard Will They Fight It?

Tribal treaty fishing rights give Washington tribes the opportunity to weigh in on, and even block, projects that could impact their fishing grounds.
Credit KUOW Photo/Ashley Ahearn

Dozens of crab pot buoys dot the waters around Lummi tribal member Jay Julius’ fishing boat as he points the bow towards Cherry Point – a spit of land that juts into northern Puget Sound near Bellingham, Wash.

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Northwest Timber
9:00 am
Wed December 4, 2013

Groups Aim To Boost Logging, Restoration In Olympic National Forest

File photo of Mount Townsend Trail in the Olympic National Forest
Miguel Vieira Flickr

Originally published on Tue December 3, 2013 4:04 pm

Timber industry and environmental groups will make a stab at collaboration to boost both logging and habitat restoration in the Olympic National Forest.

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Oil Equipment
9:44 am
Tue December 3, 2013

Megaload Pulls Out Of Northeast Oregon Port Despite Protesters

Cathy Sampson-Kruse is a member of the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Reservation. Police arrested her after she laid down in front of the so-called megaload bound for Canada.
Anna King Northwest News Network

Originally published on Tue December 3, 2013 1:25 pm

A massive load of oil equipment is on its way to Canada, along a winding route that began near Hermiston, in northeast Oregon. 

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