environment

EarthFix Reports
9:17 am
Thu February 13, 2014

Navy Says Failed Pump Led To Oily Wastewater Spill In Puget Sound

The view from an airplane window of the sheen on Hood Canal in Puget Sound following Monday's Naval Base Kitsap Bangor.
Washington Department of Ecology

Originally published on Wed February 12, 2014 2:08 pm

The Navy is blaming a failed pump for its spill of nearly 2,000 gallons of oily wastewater into Puget Sound.

Tom Danaher, spokesman for Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor, said the Navy was using a pumping system on one of its piers to remove oily bilge water from a ship late Monday.

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Snow Safety
8:50 am
Thu February 13, 2014

What To Do If You're Caught In An Avalanche

The recent heavy snow in the region means the risk of avalanche is higher.
Scientif38 Wikimedia

Originally published on Thu February 13, 2014 4:44 pm

As snow continues to pound the region's ski resorts, plenty of skiers  are expected to hit the slopes. But with the increased snowpack comes the risk of avalanches.

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EarthFix Reports
8:41 am
Thu February 13, 2014

Coal Terminal Near Longview Set For Environmental Review

The Washington Department of Ecology announced details Wednesday for its assessment of the environmental impact of a proposed coal export terminal in Longview, Wash. It would transfer trainloads of coal onto ocean-going vessels.
Katie Campbell

Originally published on Wed February 12, 2014 1:06 pm

The coal export terminal proposed for the Columbia River town of Longview, Wash. is moving to the next phase in the environmental review process.

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Environment & Planning
8:39 am
Thu February 13, 2014

Hikers Aim To Preserve The Tri-Cities' Dramatic Ridgelines

Sharon Grant heads down the ridge of Candy Mountain in the Tri-Cities, Wash. Badger Mountain can be seen in the distance.
Anna King Northwest News Network

Originally published on Thu February 13, 2014 9:30 am

The close proximity of a group of mountains known as The Rattles to the the Tri-Cities in southeast Washington, means urban dwellers can hike a 1,500 foot peak and enjoy dramatic views on their lunch break -- or even after supper.

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EarthFix Reports
8:39 am
Thu February 13, 2014

EPA Finds No Contamination Related To Oregon Cancer Cases

EPA investigators found no contamination they could connect to a string of childhood cancer cases in West Salem. Walker Middle School was one of the sites tested.
West Salem Neighborhood Association

A U.S. Environmental Protection Agency investigation into possible environmental causes for a string of childhood cancer cases in West Salem, Ore. has turned up no contamination or other issues.

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Public Utilities
4:50 pm
Wed February 12, 2014

Biweekly Trash Pickup: Are The Savings Worth The Stink?

The City of Seattle would save about $6.5 million by switching to the biweekly pickup schedule.
Flickr Photo/Jeff Youngstrom

Ross Reynolds talks with Suzie Burke, member of Seattle Public Utilities' Citizen Advisory Committee, about the proposal to move toward biweekly trash pickup.

EarthFix Reports
9:12 am
Wed February 12, 2014

Up To 2,000 Gallons Of Oil Spilled In Hood Canal

A flyover by the Washington Department of Ecology yielded this photo of Monday's spill at Hood Canal Bridge. The spill, traveled 10 miles from Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor.
Flickr Photo/EcologyWA

Officials are responding to an oil spill in Washington’s Puget Sound. The spill occurred at Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor and has spread 10 miles north to Hood Canal.

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Snow Condition
9:00 am
Wed February 12, 2014

Snow On The Mountains Comes With Heightened Avalanche Risk

A skier is nearly caught in an avalanche in central Oregon.
Kevin Grove

Originally published on Thu February 13, 2014 4:46 pm

The Baker County Sheriff in eastern Oregon says two cross-country skiers died Tuesday in an avalanche in the southern Wallowa Mountains. Two others were seriously injured. 

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EarthFix Reports
8:32 am
Wed February 12, 2014

Oregon Issues 3 Permits For Columbia River Coal Terminal

A coal train moves through Wyoming where the coal is mined from the Powder River Basin.
Katie Campbell

Originally published on Tue February 11, 2014 4:20 pm

The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality has issued three permits for the coal export terminal that Ambre Energy wants to build on the Columbia River in the Eastern Oregon town of Boardman.

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EarthFix Reports
9:46 am
Tue February 11, 2014

Urban Goat Herd Gets A New, Temporary Home

Belmont Goats check out the snow at their current home. Thanks to Portland Development Commission, the herd will move to another Southeast Portland neighborhood, Lents, an urban renewal area.
Credit Courtesy of The Belmont Goats

A beloved urban goat herd in Portland has found a temporary new home in the city.

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Environment
9:32 am
Tue February 11, 2014

Oregon Lawmakers Back Away From Bill To Restrict Some Pesticides

FIle photo. A measure in Oregon would have banned the use of four types of pesticides.
Tom Banse Northwest News Network

Originally published on Mon February 10, 2014 6:53 pm

This week, Oregon may join Washington in backing away from a proposal to protect bees by restricting certain pesticides.

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EarthFix Reports
9:24 am
Tue February 11, 2014

Stalking Puget Sound Steelhead With Science

The crew of the research vessel Chasina gets ready to drop an acoustic telemetry receiver 300 feet down into Puget Sound. The device will record tagged steelhead as they swim out of their spawning rivers.
Credit KUOW Photo/Ashley Ahearn

You might call Barry Berejikian a steelhead stalker.

The government scientist’s pursuit of these anadromous trout has brought him to the deck of the Chasina, a research vessel that’s motoring through choppy gray waters of southern Puget Sound near the Tacoma Narrows Bridge.

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Diseased Trees
8:49 am
Tue February 11, 2014

Risk Of Falling Trees Shutters Northwest Camping Areas

U.S. Forest Service

Originally published on Mon February 10, 2014 7:37 pm

Forest managers in north Idaho and western Washington will be closing some popular camping areas this year. They say nearby trees are infected with root rot and post a threat to campers.

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Mountain Safety
1:08 am
Tue February 11, 2014

With An Air Bag, Help During An Avalanche Is A Cord-Yank Away

Derick Noffsinger models a deployed avalanche air bag pack made by Black Diamond at an industry market in Salt Lake City last month.
Rick Bowmer AP

Originally published on Tue February 18, 2014 8:03 am

Let's say you're skiing in the backcountry, looking for some powder — but instead, you trigger an avalanche.

If you have an avalanche air bag pack strapped to your back, you just yank the cord. That deploys the air bag, which keeps you close to the surface and easier to dig out, says Andy Wenberg with Backcountry Access, one of several companies making the devices. When deployed, his company's version of the air bag comes out like wings.

"The whole idea when you deploy that thing in an avalanche is you're avoiding burial death," he says.

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EarthFix Reports
10:53 am
Mon February 10, 2014

Tesoro To Upgrade To Safer Oil Tankers

A company that’s shipping crude oil through the Pacific Northwest has announced it’s upgrading its fleet to safer tanker train cars.
Flickr Creative Commons: Russ Allison Loar

Originally published on Fri February 7, 2014 4:03 pm

A company that’s shipping crude oil through the Pacific Northwest has announced it’s upgrading its fleet to safer tanker train cars. The announcement comes after several derailments, fires, and explosions prompted safety concerns, including an explosion in Quebec last summer that killed 47 people.

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