Ashley Ahearn

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Washington Coal Terminal
5:27 am
Tue March 27, 2012

Coal Train Traffic Increase Could Be Bad News For Human Health

Trains line up at the rail yard in Spokane, WA. More than 100 million tons of coal could pass through this rail yard if new export terminals are approved on the Northwest coast.
Photo by Courtney Flatt Northwest News Network

BELLINGHAM, Wash. -- There are now six new export terminals proposed to be built along the Northwest coast. The goal? To bring American coal to Asia, via train and ship.

If these terminals are approved that could mean more than 100 million tons of coal traveling by rail across Idaho, Washington and Oregon every year.

The potential for more train traffic has public health experts concerned. EarthFix reporters Ashley Ahearn and Courtney Flatt have the story.

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Bellingham Export Terminal
5:34 am
Wed March 21, 2012

Review Process Kicks Off For Gateway Pacific Terminal In Bellingham

Some protestors wore gas masks in opposition to a proposed bulk export terminal in Bellingham.
Photo by Ashley Ahearn Northwest News Network

BELLINGHAM -- SSA Marine has submitted a permit application to build a bulk export terminal in Bellingham.

If approved, the terminal will be large enough to handle up to 54 million metric tons per year.

That could include wheat and grains but the majority will be coal. It will be delivered by train from mines in Wyoming and Montana – and then shipped out of Washington to Asian markets.

Ashley

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Navy Sonar Testing
3:33 pm
Tue March 20, 2012

Navy Looks To Renew Permits for Sonar Testing In The Northwest

Naval Aviation Electronics Technician performing a sonar test.
Photo courtesy of US Navy 2008

Right now the Navy is allowed to use sonar for testing and training exercises off the Northwest coast and down to Northern California. There is evidence that using sonar may interfere with marine mammal behavior – and even damage hearing and cause stranding. But the Navy’s use of sonar could change if it doesn’t get its permits renewed by 2015.

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Geoduck Poaching
6:49 am
Wed February 29, 2012

Millions Of Dollars in Geoducks Stolen From Wash. Waters

This geoduck is about 40 years old. These clams can live to be upwards of 150 years old and spend their whole lives in the same place.
Photo credit: Katie Campbell Photo courtesy Northwest News Network

SEATTLE, Wash. -- Here’s some trivia – name the natural resource that provided 28 million dollars to the state of Washington last year. Nope, not timber.

Think shellfish… but not just any shellfish. Geoducks. These huge, funny-looking clams are harvested wild from below the surface of Puget Sound - and they’re fetching high prices in Asia. Ashley Ahearn reports.

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Ship Cleanup
5:54 am
Wed February 22, 2012

Dealing With Derelict Vessels

Melissa Ferris heads the Derelict Vessel Program in Washington. She's standing on the "deck" of a cabin cruiser that was dredged from the bottom of an inlet near Olympia.
Photo by Ashley Ahearn Northwest News Network

COLUMBIA RIVER, Wash. -- There are hundreds of abandoned or sunken ships in Northwest waters. These vessels can threaten navigation, human safety and the environment. But state agencies in the region are only equipped to handle part of the problem. Ashley Ahearn reports.

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Sunset Falls Hydropower
6:43 am
Wed February 15, 2012

Sun Setting On Sunset Falls?

Jeff Smith and his wife at Sunset Falls.
Photo by Ashley Ahearn Northwest News Network

SKYKOMISH RIVER, Wash. -- The Skykomish is one of the only major rivers in Washington that has not been dammed for hydropower. The river runs from the Cascade Mountains and empties into Northern Puget Sound. It’s a hot spot for wildlife and outdoor recreation. It could also be a hotspot for hydropower. Ashley Ahearn reports.

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Greenhouse Gas Emissions
6:32 pm
Mon February 13, 2012

King County Does The Numbers On Greenhouse Gas Emissions

SEATTLE - Washington’s King County has released a detailed report that tallies up the total amount of Greenhouse Gases it emitted in 2008.

These emissions come from homes, industry, transportation – and our personal shopping decisions. And they are changing the global climate.

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Olympic Mountain Goats
5:51 am
Fri February 10, 2012

Mountain Goat Population Rising In Olympic National Park

A mountain goat in Olympic National Park.
Photo credit US Geological Survey

There are more mountain goats in Olympic National Park than there have been for the past 20 years. That’s according to a new report released today by the US Geological Survey. Ashley Ahearn reports.

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