environment

Week In Review
12:18 pm
Fri June 6, 2014

SPU Shooting, Minimum Wage Passes, And Amazon Controversy Grows

Otto Miller Hall on the Seattle Pacific University Seattle campus, where a shooting took place Thursday afternoon.
Credit Courtesy Jillian Smith

A shooting on the campus of Seattle Pacific University on Thursday left one person dead and two others seriously injured. Seattle made history this week as the first city in the country to establish a $15 minimum wage for all workers. And the controversy surrounding Amazon's business practices continued to attract national media attention.

Steve Scher recaps those stories and more news of the week with Crosscut's Knute Berger, The Stranger's Eli Sanders, news analyst Joni Balter and Live Wire's Luke Burbank.

Week In Review Extra

President Obama this week announced new rules that would lead to a reduction in carbon emissions from U.S. power plants. He proposed new Environmental Protection Agency rules to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 30 percent by 2030. Is America up to the challenge?

EarthFix Reports
11:11 am
Fri June 6, 2014

Rapidly Spreading Sea Star Disease Spurs Talk Of 'Localized Extinction' In Oregon

The leg of this purple ochre sea star in Oregon is disintegrating, as it dies from sea star wasting syndrome.
Photo by Elizabeth Cerny-Chipman, courtesy of Oregon State University

Originally published on Wed June 4, 2014 3:21 pm

The first reports of the disease among Oregon sea stars — more commonly called star fish — came out in May. Now, according to Oregon State University, an estimated 30 to 50 percent of the Oregon populations of the ochre sea star species in the intertidal zone have the disease.

Researchers at Oregon State University have been monitoring the event. They say this species may be headed toward localized extinction in Oregon.

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Streamside Buffers
11:11 am
Fri June 6, 2014

EPA, Environmental Groups Reach Agreement To Protect Salmon From Insecticides

A steelhead trout in an Oregon stream. A new agreement restores buffer zones along streams where pesticides cannot be sprayed.
Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife

Originally published on Fri June 6, 2014 10:07 am

Environmental groups and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced an agreement Friday reinstating rules meant to protect salmon and steelhead from insecticides.

The agreement sets streamside buffers prohibiting aerial spraying within 300 feet and ground spraying within 60 feet of salmon and steelhead streams. The restriction applies to five different insecticides: diazinon, chlorpyrifos, malathion, carbaryl, and methomyl.

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River Health
3:05 pm
Thu June 5, 2014

'DamNation' Documentary Explores The Snake River Dam Controversy

The Ice Harbor Dam on the Snake River in Washington.
Flickr Photo/Roberta Schonborg

Steve Scher talks to the filmmaker Travis Rummell, dam engineer Jim Waddell and Jim Ahern, a Lewiston, Idaho, native,  about the new documentary "DamNation." The film discusses the change in attitudes towards dam and river health.

Fire Season
7:24 am
Thu June 5, 2014

Northwest Fire Season Ramps Up East Of The Cascades

File photo of a 2013 wildfire near Goldendale, Washington.

Originally published on Wed June 4, 2014 3:05 pm

Workers in the Tri-Cities, Washington, area got notice Wednesday of tinder-dry conditions at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation and were advised to practice fire safety at work and at home.

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EarthFix Reports
7:23 am
Thu June 5, 2014

Regulators Discuss The Future Of Coal-Fired Power In The West

This image of the coal-fired plant in Colstrip, Mont., was made in the 1980s by Montana native David T. Hanson. It was part of an exhibit at Modern Museum of Art in New York.
David T. Hanson http://www.davidthanson.net/

Originally published on Wed June 4, 2014 6:34 pm

SEATTLE -- The Obama administration’s new rules to cut carbon emissions fueled energy sector leaders' conversations about the future of coal in the West during their gathering here this week.

The Western Conference of Public Service Commissioners on Wednesday wrapped up its conference -- a gathering of the people who decide where the region's power comes from and how to regulate it.

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Courts
7:22 am
Thu June 5, 2014

Court-Ordered Negotiations Between Feds, Washington State Are Up

File photo of a nuclear waste storage tank at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation.

Originally published on Wed June 4, 2014 6:17 pm

This week is the deadline for the State of Washington and the U.S. Department of Energy to reach an agreement on how to clean up radioactive tank waste at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation. The two sides can’t agree on a timeline.

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Parenthood
7:21 am
Thu June 5, 2014

Wolf OR-7 Is A New Father

Two of wolf OR7’s pups peek out from a log on the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest, June 2, 2014.
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

Originally published on Wed June 4, 2014 10:53 am

New photographic evidence shows that the famous wandering wolf OR-7 has fathered puppies -- taking his status from lonely vagabond on a 3,000-mile journey to history-making new dad in a month's time.

The images were made public Wednesday, just one month after remote cameras captured images of OR-7 and his likely mate in Southern Oregon.

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News From Canada
3:19 pm
Wed June 4, 2014

U.S. Ambassador To Canada Asks For Partnership In Combatting Climate Change

U.S. Ambassador to Canada Bruce Heyman speaks at Canada 2020 on June 2.
Flickr Photo/Canada 2020 (CC-BY-NC-ND)

David Hyde talks to columnist Vaughn Palmer about U.S. Ambassador to Canada Bruce Heyman's request for a partnership between the two countries in combating climate change. Plus, how the U.S. decision on coal-burning power plant affects the coal-port expansion and an update on the Victoria sewage plant.

EarthFix Reports
8:15 am
Wed June 4, 2014

Vancouver City Council Votes 5-2 To Oppose Northwest's Largest Oil Terminal

Hundreds turned out for a Vancouver City Council hearing on a resolution opposing the Tesoro-Savage oil terminal, proposed for the Port of Vancouver.
Cassandra Profita

Originally published on Tue June 3, 2014 4:00 am

Hundreds gathered at the Hilton Vancouver Convention Center and stayed late into the night Monday for a Vancouver City Council hearing on a resolution opposing what would be the Northwest's largest oil-by-rail shipping facility.

More than 140 people signed up to testify at the hearing. At 11 p.m., more than four hours after the hearing began, the council voted to extend the meeting even later to take additional testimony.

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EarthFix Reports
8:14 am
Wed June 4, 2014

Wyoming Governor Visits Washington To Promote Coal Exports

Wyoming Gov. Matt Mead talks with Millennium Bulk Terminals general manager Bob Steward about the loading dock at the proposed coal export terminal site in Longview, Washington.
Cassandra Profita

Originally published on Tue June 3, 2014 6:02 pm

LONGVIEW, Wash. -- A controversial coal export terminal proposed for this Columbia River town has a big supporter from the state of Wyoming.

Its governor was in Longview Tuesday to tour the old aluminum smelter where the The Millennium Bulk coal export terminal would move up to 44 million tons a year of Wyoming coal off trains and onto ships bound for Asia.

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Big Cats
8:14 am
Wed June 4, 2014

Young-Adult Cougars Looking For A Home Of Their Own Can Cause Problems

File photo

Originally published on Tue June 3, 2014 4:54 pm

This time of year, young Northwest cougars are getting kicked out of the nest by their mother cats. That means many of these young adults are looking for their own home range.

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Environment
12:54 pm
Tue June 3, 2014

Lamprey Fishing Blessing Ceremony Has Tribal Sovereignty Undertone

Lamprey pieces (center) sizzle between salmon in a traditional preparation, which was served to attendees at the "blessing ceremony."

Originally published on Tue June 3, 2014 8:13 am

For centuries, Native Americans from Boise to Wenatchee to the southern Oregon coast have harvested Pacific lamprey, colloquially called eels. The ugly-looking critter resembles an eel, but it is actually a primitive fish with a distinctive, toothy suction cup mouth.

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EarthFix Reports
12:53 pm
Tue June 3, 2014

Can You Taste An Old Growth Forest In This Beer?

On a recent hike, brewer Dan Hynes pours samples of beer he made using yeast collected from an old growth forest near Portland.
Cassandra Profita

Originally published on Mon June 2, 2014 1:00 am

You can see some of the differences between an old growth forest and one that's been logged.

On a hike through an old growth forest near Portland, Matt Wagoner of the Forest Park Conservancy points out some of the most obvious ones: Older, taller, coniferous trees, dead trees both standing and fallen, and a wide variety of plants and animals living inside of and on top of that dead wood.

"One of the things that really defines old growth forests is biodiversity," Wagoner says.

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Climate Change
3:26 pm
Mon June 2, 2014

How Washington Will Be Affected By New EPA Emissions Regulations

Dragline at the Centralia's open-pit coal mine.
From Wikipedia

Marcie Sillman speaks with KUOW environment reporter Ashley Ahearn about the Environmental Protection Agency's new rules requiring states to cut carbon emissions and how they will affect Washington state.

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