Ashley Ahearn http://nwpr.org en Governor Inslee Announces New Water Quality Plan http://nwpr.org/post/governor-inslee-announces-new-water-quality-plan <p>Washington Governor Jay Inslee has just released a new plan to improve water quality in the state. One measure of how clean your water is, is how much of its fish you can safely eat.</p><p> Thu, 10 Jul 2014 00:26:24 +0000 Ashley Ahearn 48773 at http://nwpr.org Governor Inslee Announces New Water Quality Plan Workers Question Safety Culture Of Railroad Hauling Volatile Crude Oil http://nwpr.org/post/workers-question-safety-culture-railroad-hauling-volatile-crude-oil <p>Crude oil shipments by rail increased by more than 80 percent, nationally, last year.</p><p>Most of it is coming from the Bakken oil fields of North Dakota. That crude is more flammable than other types of oil, and has been shown to catch fire and explode when trains derail.</p><p>More than 15 trains of Bakken oil move through some parts of the Northwest each week, en route to refineries and terminals in Washington and Oregon.</p><p>Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway transports the majority of that oil.</p><p>The company regularly touts its commitment to safety.</p><p>But an EarthFix investigation reveals some troubling patterns in the way BNSF Railway deals with whistleblowers – particularly those who voice concerns about safety.</p><p>Ashley Ahearn reports for EarthFix. EarthFix’s Tony Schick contributed to the reporting for this story. Wed, 02 Jul 2014 14:43:37 +0000 Ashley Ahearn 48398 at http://nwpr.org Workers Question Safety Culture Of Railroad Hauling Volatile Crude Oil Regulators Discuss Future Of Coal In The West http://nwpr.org/post/regulators-discuss-future-coal-west <p>The Obama administration’s new rules to cut CO2 emissions sparked some interesting conversation in Seattle this week. At a conference held downtown, leaders in the energy sector gathered to talk about the future of coal in the West. Ashley Ahearn reports for EarthFix. Fri, 06 Jun 2014 15:03:56 +0000 Ashley Ahearn 47082 at http://nwpr.org Regulators Discuss Future Of Coal In The West Development Pressure Vs. Landslide Risk In Snohomish County http://nwpr.org/post/development-pressure-vs-landslide-risk-snohomish-county <p>The Oso Landslide highlighted a challenge that is not new to the Northwest: how to keep population growth out of risky areas.</p><p>Snohomish County has to make room for up to 220,000 new people by the year 2035, according to state requirements. And like many other parts of the Northwest, there are a lot of places where landslides pose a threat to current, and future, homeowners.</p><p>In part two of our series from EarthFix, Ashley Ahearn takes a look at development pressure and landslide risk in Snohomish County. Thu, 29 May 2014 13:19:43 +0000 Ashley Ahearn 46667 at http://nwpr.org Landslide Science Not Connecting With County Planning http://nwpr.org/post/landslide-science-not-connecting-county-planning <p></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">The Northwest is a region prone to landslides.</span></p><p>That, of course, is on many people’s minds as the town of Oso, Washington recovers from the tragic slide that happened there this past weekend.</p><p>There is a lot of scientific data and maps showing where landslides have occurred in the past.</p><p>The question is whether or not it’s getting used.</p><p> Wed, 26 Mar 2014 14:40:00 +0000 Ashley Ahearn 43383 at http://nwpr.org Landslide Science Not Connecting With County Planning Site Near Oso Had Previous Landslides, Potential For More http://nwpr.org/post/site-near-oso-had-previous-landslides-potential-more <p>Authorities have confirmed that the landslide on the Stillaguamish River in Snohomish County has killed 8 people and destroyed up to 30 homes.</p><p>KUOW's Ashley Ahearn turned to Dave Montgomery to find out what caused the slide. Montgomery is a geologist at the University of Washington.</p><p> Mon, 24 Mar 2014 13:53:20 +0000 Ashley Ahearn 43237 at http://nwpr.org Site Near Oso Had Previous Landslides, Potential For More Washington Legislature Fails To Pass Comprehensive Oil Train Legislation http://nwpr.org/post/washington-legislature-fails-pass-comprehensive-oil-train-legislation <p>More oil is moving through Washington state from the Bakken oil fields of North Dakota. That has many concerned about oil train safety. The oil has proven extremely flammable, causing several explosions in North America.</p><p>State legislators on both sides of the aisle introduced bills to address the concerns.</p><p>But the session ended last week without a compromise.</p><p> Tue, 18 Mar 2014 14:09:49 +0000 Ashley Ahearn 42961 at http://nwpr.org Chinese and U.S. Officials To Discuss China's Shellfish Import Ban http://nwpr.org/post/chinese-and-us-officials-discuss-chinas-shellfish-import-ban <p></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">China banned shellfish imports from most of the West Coast in December over concerns about contamination.</span></p><p> Fri, 14 Mar 2014 14:50:14 +0000 Ashley Ahearn 42793 at http://nwpr.org Chinese and U.S. Officials To Discuss China's Shellfish Import Ban Stalking Steelhead With Science http://nwpr.org/post/stalking-steelhead-science <p>Steelhead in Puget Sound have been listed as “threatened” under the Endangered Species Act since 2007.&nbsp;<span style="line-height: 1.5;">Millions of dollars have been spent improving the habitat of this iconic fish, but the population isn’t increasing.&nbsp;</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">In fact, a lot of the fish aren’t even making it out of Puget Sound&nbsp;</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">and scientists can’t pinpoint why.</span></p><p> Wed, 12 Feb 2014 00:54:48 +0000 Ashley Ahearn 41314 at http://nwpr.org Stalking Steelhead With Science Pacific Northwest Suffers After China Bans Shellfish Imports http://nwpr.org/post/pacific-northwest-suffers-after-china-bans-shellfish-imports China has closed its doors to all shellfish imports from an area that stretches from northern California to Alaska. The state of Washington says it's losing as much as $600,000 a week.<p>Among the shellfish not being harvested is the geoduck, a long-necked clam that can fetch up to $150 per pound in China. It's a major export for the Pacific Northwest.<p>The Chinese government instituted the ban earlier this month after finding two bad clams. One from Alaska had high levels of the biotoxin that causes paralytic shellfish poisoning. Thu, 26 Dec 2013 11:27:00 +0000 Ashley Ahearn 39213 at http://nwpr.org Pacific Northwest Suffers After China Bans Shellfish Imports