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.


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.


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.


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.

Energy Northwest / Northwest News Network

Three environmental groups filed a lawsuit Friday claiming the Northwest’s only nuclear power plant is harming endangered fish. The groups are suing a Washington state permitting agency because they said it issued a permit that violates the Clean Water Act.

The environmentalists said the Columbia Generating Station in Richland discharges too much toxic material into the water. They said that material can accumulate in fish that people eat.

The Nature Conservancy

A conservation group has made the largest private land acquisition in Washington’s history, purchasing forest land in the Cascade Mountains from a timber company.

The Nature Conservancy bought nearly 48,000 acres of land in the Cascade Mountains, between Snoqualmie Pass and Cle Elum.

The lands are home to spotted owls, elk, salmon, and ponderosa pine. The purchase also encompasses the headwaters of the Yakima River.

Courtney Flatt / EarthFix

Salmon may soon have a faster way to make it around dams. There’s a new technology that’s helping to transport hatchery fish in Washington. It’s called the salmon cannon — yes, you read that right.

Mark Herren / Flickr

Coal has been transported around the country by rail for decades. But very little research has been done on what coal does to the environment when it escapes from trains.With two large coal export terminals proposed for Washington state, one federal agency is hoping to add good science to the debate over coal in the Northwest.

U.S. Fish & Wildlife

The resort town of Ketchum, Idaho is asking the state to back off on killing wolves. They say it’s bad for business. Last night, the Ketchum City Council passed a resolution urging wildlife managers to use non-lethal tactics to control the wolf population.

USDA / Northwest News Network

Four environmental groups say they will sue the government to stop what they call the unlawful killing of wildlife in Idaho. They say tactics like shooting wolves from helicopters, blowing up beaver dams and spraying lethal chemicals in the wild have caused widespread damage.

The groups sent notice that they intend to sue the USDA's Wildlife Services program.

Travis Bruner heads the Hailey, Idaho-based Western Watersheds Project. It's one of the groups that joined the impending lawsuit.

King County / http://www.kingcounty.gov/

Seattle-area officials say they're improving their plan to clean up the Duwamish and Green River watershed.

King County Executive Dow Constantine and Seattle Mayor Ed Murray announced plans Monday that they say will boost cleanup efforts.

The strategy calls for coordinating the work of governments, non-profits, and businesses already involved in the cleanup.

Constantine says bringing all the players together will improve the chances that the cleanup will work, permanently.

U.S. Army Corps Of Engineers / Northwest News Network

In Eastern Washington, an epic swim hole and university party spot on public land was just closed down. This past weekend, nearly 2,000 people mobbed the spot. The horde littered the place known as “The Dunes” with trash, adult-beverage containers and … well, other leavings.