environment

BBC

It’s a unique problem: How to dispose of human waste on Mount Everest? The mountain’s climatic conditions and high altitude has baffled engineers. But a group of Northwest researchers has possibly found a solution.

Washington Budget Falls Short For Environmentalists

Jul 21, 2017
Daveynin / Flicker

Washington’s legislative session, the longest in state history, did not deliver the money environmentalists wanted for toxic cleanup, oil transportation safety, or natural resources.

EcologyWA / Flickr

The source of a mysterious sheen on the Columbia River has been found, nearly 10 days after its initial discovery.

The Washington Department of Ecology released a statement Monday, saying leaking underground pipes caused a biodiesel spill near Wenatchee.

Rob Walls from the department’s response team says the size of the leak is unknown.

“You know, we need to kind of do a lot of calculations to figure out what exactly was released to the river," Walls said. "For me I would call this a moderate, moderate event, because there are so many unknowns still to find.”

Flickr User laffertyryan / FLICKR Creative Commons

More and more people are using publicly owned lands for recreation. Public agencies are struggling to keep up with the demand for rangers, trail maintenance – even the need to restock toilet paper in outhouses. The problem could get worse under President Trump’s hiring freeze. 

Courtesy of Tesoro

 

The Washington Supreme Court has ruled in favor of the Port of Vancouver regarding a controversial proposed oil terminal.

A track for vehicles was recently discovered illegally crossing the boundary into Oregon's Eagle Cap Wilderness, despite the Wilderness Act's prohibition against motorized access to such protected areas.

Two Washington state Republicans have been chosen by President Donald Trump to help overhaul, if not gut, the Environmental Protection Agency.

Former state Sen. Don Benton of Vancouver and state Sen. Doug Ericksen of Ferndale have joined the EPA as part of a 10-person "beachhead" transition team.


Seth Book

Last winter was the first time toxic algae in the ocean forced Oregon to close its Dungeness crab fishery. Scientists are just beginning to understand what triggers these conditions.

Berkeley Lab / Google Images

Researchers from Portland State University are in Eugene today to find the city’s hot spots. Their study of urban “heat islands” can help planners to improve conditions during heat waves like the one we’re experiencing.

PSU urban studies and environmental science professor Dr. Vivek Shandas says heat-waves kill more people than all other natural disasters combined. Shandas and his team have done a similar study of heat islands in Portland. He’s observed abundant tree canopy and farmland in Eugene’s urban core. He knows trees can provide cooler temps.

Kyle MacKenzie / FLICKR Creative Commons

A new study from researchers at Oregon State University and Stanford has found that when children engage in energy conservation habits, their parents also adopt those habits.

Dr. Ron Hardy, University of Idaho Aquaculture Research Institute / Northwest News Network

They’re billed as vegan rainbow trout, but their new menu, developed by the University of Idaho’s Director of Aquaculture Research, Ron Hardy includes a little fish oil. So more accurately, you might call these fish pescatarians.

It has taken five years, but low-copper and copper-free brakes are now available in Washington. That’s because of a 2010 law designed to phase out the use of copper and other toxics in brake pads.

Courtney Flatt / Northwest Public Radio

This year’s hot summer and low river flows devastated Snake River sockeye.

Supporters of a citizens’ initiative to create a new tax on carbon emissions in Washington state have delivered most of the petition signatures they need to put their issue before the legislature -- and then on the 2016 ballot.

Fickr Creative Commons, EcologyWA

The summer may be over, but this year’s drought isn’t. Washington state officials are predicting another warmer-than-normal winter. That could mean there won’t be enough snow to head off another year of drought.

The window of opportunity to prevent grave ecological damage to our oceans from climate change is closing. That's according to a paper appearing Friday in the journal Science.

kaylaword / Flickr

Air pollution caused by wood stoves in Washington is in line with federal clean air requirements for the first time in seven years.

In 2009, the Environmental Protection Agency lowered its limits on air pollution. For most of Washington state, that wasn’t a problem. But the air in Pierce County was too polluted from wood stove smoke. The fine particulate from that smoke has been linked to asthma and heart attacks and high blood pressure.

Washington Governor Jay Inslee used Earth Day to chastise state lawmakers for their environmental record.

Flickr

A grain handling facility in Eastern Washington has been leaking chemicals into the only source of drinking water for a local school district. The Environmental Protection Agency now wants to add it to the Superfund list of hazardous waste cleanup projects.

'Small' Oil Spills Can Add Up To Big Costs

Mar 19, 2015
Rowan Moore Gerety / Northwest News Network

Jes Burns / EarthFix

In the world of nuclear power, one technology is generating debate: factory-produced reactors that are no bigger than a house.

How Ocean Acidification May Harm The Northwest Economy

Feb 23, 2015
ClaryRain / Flickr

A new study has found the Pacific Northwest faces a higher risk of economic harm from ocean acidification than other parts of the country.

When excess carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is absorbed into the ocean, it triggers changes in ocean chemistry that makes it harder for mollusks to build shells.

The study is the first to look at which regions are most vulnerable to the damage acidic water can do to shellfish.

George Waldbusser of Oregon State University is a co-author of the study.

EarthFix

Bluebird skies, warming temperatures, and snow-free terrain might have you itching to hike your favorite trail.

AP Images

The Oregon Senate voted Tuesday to extend the state's low-carbon fuel program. The decision came despite objections from Republicans that the plan is tainted by the ethics scandal surrounding Governor John Kitzhaber and First Lady Cylvia Hayes.

Senate Bill 324 would lift the 2015 sunset on Oregon's low-carbon fuel program. That would ultimately would reduce greenhouse gas emissions from transportation fuels by 10 percent over a decade.

But the plan has gotten caught up in a swarm of accusations of influence peddling in the governor's office.

Flickr

Hundreds of people turned out Wednesday for a hearing on a controversial propane export terminal proposed at the Port of Portland.

The Canadian company Pembina plans to transport more than a million gallons of liquid propane by train each day to a terminal on the Columbia River. The fuel would be stored in tanks and piped onto export ships bound for Asia. But the company needs approval from the city of Portland to run a pipeline across an environmental zone.

Katie Campbell / KCTS9

The Lummi Nation of Northwestern Washington sent a letter to the Army Corps of Engineers Monday.

It called on the Corps to halt the permitting process for the Gateway Pacific Terminal. The terminal would be located near Bellingham and would transport up to 48 million tons of coal to Asia by ship each year.

Tom Banse / Northwest News Network

Imagine how cool it would be to detect rare or invasive species, study biodiversity or to estimate fish abundance with just a scoop of air or a dip of water. It'd be like science fiction come true. Well, science fiction is indeed becoming reality through a new sampling technology called environmental DNA.

Sgt. Jorge Intriago / U.S. Air National Guard

The search is on to find an alternative to salting the roads in winter. Salt helps melt the ice, but it also builds up in stream beds and drinking water.

From Table To Truck: How Food Waste Could Run Your Car

Nov 19, 2014
AP Images

Remember that last scene in Back to the Future?

“Marty you’ve got to come with me,” Doc said.
“Where?” Marty said.
“Back to the future,” Doc said.

Doc tears into Marty’s driveway in the DeLorean time machine and raids the trash can.

“I need fuel,” he said.

He puts some banana peels and the remains of a half-empty beer can into the fuel tank and tells Marty to get in the car. Back in 1985, using food waste for fuel seemed about as far off as flying cars. But now, it’s reality. Welcome to the future.

How Northwest Cities Are Reducing The Impacts Of Food Waste

Nov 17, 2014
szczel / Flickr

In the U.S., we waste about 40 percent of all of the food we produce. A lot of that food winds up rotting in landfills and releasing air pollution. But many cities are trying to turn it into something more valuable and less harmful to the environment.

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