The penalties keep coming for Applebee Aviation.

After suspending the company’s license for a year, seeking a court order to stop it from spraying and fining it $40,000, the Oregon Department of Agriculture announced fines totaling $180,000 for the helicopter company and its owner, Michael Applebee, along with a five-year license suspension.

California officials delayed opening its recreational crab fishing season Thursday. Scientists have found high levels of a potentially lethal toxin in Dungeness crab in California. A similar delay could come any time for California's commercial crab season.

Hugh Link, the director of the Oregon Dungeness Crab Commission, says testing is underway, but no decision has been made about Oregon's season.

It's getting harder to see the stars in North Dakota's Theodore Roosevelt National Park, and it's due to flares, drilling rigs and all the lights from the Bakken oilfield.

Since 2010, scientists with the National Park Service have measured a 500 percent increase in the amount of anthropogenic light there — no other national park in America has seen such a rapid increase in light pollution.

Kent Friesen is standing in a dark field in the North Dakota Badlands, peering into a huge telescope.

Carlo Voli quit his corporate job a few years ago to become a full time Community Supported Activist. He's been fighting fossil fuels and climate change ever since.
Ashley Ahearn, KUOW/EarthFix

LYNNWOOD, Wash. – Carlo Voli moves through the crowd of protesters outside a recent public hearing in Washington.

He pauses to talk to a woman holding a cardboard cutout of an oil train and directs her over to where a group holding similar train car posters is lining up to complete the phrase “No More Exploding Oil Trains.”

Portland City Council Votes To Oppose Oil Trains

Nov 5, 2015

A large crowd cheered Wednesday night as the Portland City Council voted 4-0 to approve a resolution opposing projects that would increase the number of oil trains traveling through Portland and Vancouver, Washington.

The resolution calls for using existing laws to address environmental impacts of oil trains, and to ask railroad companies to share their plans and address safety concerns. But it can't stop oil trains from coming through town because the city doesn't have jurisdiction over railways.

City Of Portland Considers Fossil Fuel Infrastructure Ban

Nov 4, 2015

Environmentalists, business leaders and children made an impassioned plea Wednesday for the City of Portland to reject any new fossil fuel infrastructure.

Pete Salinger is a 13-year-old from Sunnyside Environmental School. He's studying climate change, and said when he was in Alaska this summer, tour guides pointed out glaciers that had shrunk to little more than patches of snow. “I want to be able to show my children majestic glaciers and not talk about them as something that once was. That is not too much to ask,” he said.

Salmon in the Ballard Locks, Seattle, Washington.
Flickr Photo/goodmami (CC BY SA 2.0)/http://bit.ly/1MdxksX

The Wild Fish Conservancy sued federal environmental and fisheries agencies Wednesday, saying they inadequately monitor the impact of commercial salmon farms in Puget Sound.

The lawsuit says commercial farms pose many risks to wild salmon.

A Northwest senator is behind a proposal to cut greenhouse gas emissions by going to the very start of the carbon cycle: the coal, oil and natural gas that has yet to be extracted from the ground.

By a wide margin, Washington voters have enacted a state law banning the trade in elephant ivory, rhino horns and certain other endangered wildlife parts. Initiative 1401 is passing with more than 70 percent of the vote in favor statewide.

Scientists have found dozens of poisoned dolphins, whales and sea lions off the coast of Washington, Oregon and California this year. They tested positive for a toxin caused by a massive algae bloom this summer in the Pacific Ocean.

Toxic domoic acid is produced by algae in the ocean, and this year the algae are thriving in the largest bloom ever recorded here. Marine mammals are poisoned when they eat fish that are contaminated.

Cape Flattery on Washington's coast.
Flickr Photo/ravas51 (CC BY SA 2.0)/http://bit.ly/1k8ROw2

Kim Malcolm talks to Dr. Kirk Johnson, sant director of the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of Natural History, about the geological wonders of the West Coast and his new NOVA special "Making North America." 

Flickr Photo/disordered eyes gave me this photographs (CC BY NC 2.0)/http://bit.ly/1H4R2tQ

Sometimes, birds get divorced.

“If you've had poor reproductive success with a particular mate, maybe it's better for both members of that pair to seek new mates or new territories with new mates,” said John Marzluff, a professor of forest sciences at the University of Washington. He’s the author of “Welcome to Subirdia.”

Imagine you are a parent, and that out of the blue, you get a letter from your child's school telling you not to worry — that they're ready to evacuate or shelter in place if an underground fire at a nearby landfill reaches radioactive waste on the same property.

That's pretty much what happened recently in suburban St. Louis.

Landfill fires are pretty common, but this one is different. It's only about a thousand feet away from nearly 9,000 tons of nuclear waste — and there's no barrier in between.

Feds Release Plan For Recovering Snake River Salmon

Nov 2, 2015

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration released a draft plan Monday for recovering threatened Snake River fall chinook salmon – fish that have to pass eight Columbia and Snake River dams to reach their spawning grounds.

In the past, nearly a half million of these fish returned to the Snake River each year. But with overfishing, dam construction and habitat loss, those numbers dropped to just a few hundred by 1992, when the fish were listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said Monday that it has discovered more Volkswagen cars containing software that helped them cheat emissions tests. The most recently discovered batch of 10,000 vehicles that the EPA says are equipped with "defeat device" technology are 3-liter diesel engine cars, including several Volkswagen, Audi and Porsche 2014 to 2016 model years.

NPR's John Ydstie reports for the Newscast unit: