KUOW's environment beat brings you stories on the ongoing cleanup of the Hanford Nuclear Reservation, alternative energy, the health of the Puget Sound, coal transportation and more. We're also partnered with several stations across the Northwest to bring you environmental news via EarthFix.

The European Parliament voted Tuesday to ratify the landmark Paris climate accord, paving the way for the international plan to curb greenhouse gas emissions to become binding as soon as the end of this week.

Finally — some good news for the bees of Hawaii.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has given endangered status to seven species of yellow-faced bees native to the islands. These are "the first bees in the country to be protected under the Endangered Species Act," according to the Xerces Society, which advocated for the new designation.

A startup company from North Idaho captivated donors and YouTube viewers worldwide a few years ago with its idea for turning roads and parking lots into solar farms. Now that far-out idea is available for public inspection for the first time.

A group of natural gas utilities in Washington Friday filed the third legal challenge this week to new state limits on global warming pollution. The private utility companies Cascade Natural Gas, NW Natural, Avista and Puget Sound Energy filed the latest challenge in Thurston County Superior Court.

Train traffic congestion and railroad noise are two of the major impacts of the proposed Millennium Bulk Terminals coal export project in Longview, Washington, according to an environmental review by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

The agency released its draft environmental impact statement on the project Friday, outlining the potential environmental damage to air, water, fish, wildlife, and communities. The agency will be taking public comments on the review until Nov. 29.

Regulators say an oil terminal proposed for a coastal Washington state harbor poses several environmental problems.

The state Department of Ecology identified those problems in its final environmental review released Friday for the Westway oil terminal proposed at the Port of Grays Harbor in Hoquiam, Washington.

Hydroelectric power may not be a carbon-free energy source after all.

A new study from Washington State University finds that reservoirs behind dams produce more greenhouse gas emissions than previously thought.

Dungeness crab
Flickr Photo/Colleen Proppe (CC BY NC 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/ajKVBW

There has been a significant change in the waters in Puget Sound, according to a new NOAA Fisheries report. In 2015, the temperatures rose more than any other year in recorded history.

A new report shows that it’s increasingly difficult for young people to get into farming in Oregon.

The study shows that the average farmer in Oregon is 60 years old — that’s the oldest average age for farmers in state history. The report also shows that Oregon land prices are a major hurdle for young people who want to farm.

"A high price of land means that a farmer has an almost insurmountable barrier to buying into a farm business," said Nellie McAdams, program director with Rogue Farm Corps, one of the co-authors of the report.

Oregon leaders know there’s a one in three chance of a massive earthquake and tsunami over the next 50 years.

Those are high odds. And they’re the reason why some people are frustrated Oregon State University plans to build a $50 million dollar research center smack in the middle of the tsunami zone.

In Newport’s harbor, moored next to all the fishing boats, lies the Newport Belle.

It’s an old stern-wheeler that’s been turned into a bed and breakfast by owner, Michael Wilkinson.

There are less than 500 North Atlantic right whales left in the world. And now, one less: This weekend, one of the 45-ton creatures was found dead off the coast of Maine, completely entangled in fishing line — head, flippers and all.

This was not an isolated incident.

It has been a common belief that low-emissions vehicles, like hybrids and electric cars, are more expensive than other choices. But a new study finds that when operating and maintenance costs are included in a vehicle's price, cleaner cars may actually be a better bet.

The cars and trucks we drive are responsible for about a fifth of greenhouse gas emissions in this country. That's why Jessika Trancik, an energy scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, decided it was time to take a closer look at vehicle emissions.

The Washington state Department of Ecology says the fastest erosion on the West Coast is happening at aptly named Washaway Beach -- located between the southwest Washington towns of Grayland and Tokeland.

Most places threatened by erosion try to fight back. But the erosion at Washaway Beach is so rapid, the question now is to fight -- or retreat.

Emily Grason and Sean McDonald trudge through the mud of San Juan Island’s Westcott Bay on the hunt for something they hope not to find: A 3-inch menace: the European green crab.

In late August, a single adult male was found for the first time in Washington’s inland sea. University of Washington researchers responded, arriving at the location of that first sighting with hundreds of traps in tow.

Earthquakes Rattle Southern Oregon Coast

Sep 25, 2016

A pair of moderate earthquakes rattled the coast of Southern Oregon and Northern California late Saturday evening and early Sunday morning, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

A magnitude 5.0 quake occurred in the Pacific Ocean nearly 100 miles off the coast of Gold Beach, Oregon, around 10:01 p.m. Saturday. A magnitude 4.6 quake rumbled nearly 100 miles off the coast of Brookings, Oregon, nearly five hours later.