Ashley Ahearn

The Mayor’s office has released a report detailing the potential economic impacts of coal exports on Seattle. The report looked at how an increase in coal train traffic through the city would affect property values, roads, traffic and local businesses.

Across the Western U.S., yearly areas of snowpack are decreasing, and researchers are trying to figure out what that means for everything that relies on the snowmelt — from farms to power plants to a little creature known as the Cascades frog.

Greg Schechte, GregTheBusker

Way up in the mountains of the Northwest you’ll find a little amphibian known as the Cascades Frog. This frog thrives in alpine wetlands, which are dependent on snowmelt. But snowpacks are decreasing across the West. And scientists are trying to figure out how the frogs will adapt to their shrinking habitat. And they’re using some pretty interesting research methods to do that.

Ashley Ahearn / KUOW

Wednesday the Department of Health closed some shellfish beds in South Puget Sound for the first time due to elevated levels of Diarrhetic Shellfish toxin.The biotoxin made 3 people sick after eating mussels harvested in Sequim Bay in 2011.

The largest dam removal in U.S. history is running into problems. Over 200,000 fish were found dead at a hatchery on Washington's Elwha River after a water pump failed over the weekend.

There are now 15 confirmed deaths in the oil train explosion that rocked a small town in Quebec Province over the weekend.

The tragedy has given the commissioners of the Port of Vancouver in Washington pause as they consider a proposal for a terminal to move oil from trains onto ships. Ashley Ahearn reports.

Chris McKenna / Wikimedia Commons

The debate over coal exports in the Northwest moved to Washington D.C. Tuesday. Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn testified alongside representatives from the mining and natural gas industries in a congressional hearing about energy exports.

Nilfanion / Wikimedia Commons

The Blue whale is believed to be the largest animal ever to exist. But nobody remembers number two. Fin whales are the second largest animals on the planet, weighing in at around 80 tons. And they’re very mysterious creatures. Now scientists have gained better access to the giant whale’s secret lives – almost accidentally.

Roger Geach / Wikimedia Commons

The number of coal export terminals under consideration in the Northwest has dropped to three, that’s from a high of six last year.

Callum Black / Wikimedia Commons

A coalition of environmental groups that oppose exporting coal through terminals in the Northwest have announced plans to file a lawsuit against BNSF Railway and several coal companies. The groups say coal that escapes from trains is polluting the water and should be regulated under the Clean Water Act.