environment

Oil Containment System
7:10 am
Tue April 23, 2013

Shell Oil Containment System Passes Federal Test In Puget Sound

Shell Oil had to postpone its Arctic drilling for a full year after one of its oil rigs ran aground off the Alaska coast this winter. But Shell’s efforts to open a new frontier of oil exploration in the Arctic Ocean continue in Puget Sound. The oil giant passed a key test with federal regulators last month in the waters off Anacortes, Washington. KUOW’s John Ryan reports.

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Oregon Lumber Mill
6:15 am
Mon April 22, 2013

After 90 Years, A Southern Oregon Mill Closes

Travis Griess stacks lumber at the Rough and Ready mill, a day after it announced its shut down and laid off most of its workers.
Credit Amelia Templeton / EarthFix

This week, Rough and Ready Lumber started shutting down its sawmill in the Southern Oregon town of Cave Junction. It’s a story that’s repeated itself in timber towns across the northwest. In 1980 there were 390 mills operating in Oregon. Today there are 103. EarthFix Reporter Amelia Templeton visited the Rough and Ready mill and has this profile.

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Bullitt Center
6:41 am
Thu April 18, 2013

Seattle’s Bullitt Center: Ready To Debut As World’s Greenest Office Building

The Bullitt Center, which opens this week in Seattle, is expected to be the greenest office building in the world and is built to last 250 years.
Credit Michael Werner

After breaking ground a year and a half ago, Seattle’s Bullitt Center is nearing completion and tenants have begun to move into what is being billed as the greenest office building in the world. The grand opening is set for Monday, which is Earth Day.

Joe David is standing beneath a sprawling ceiling made entirely of 2x6 wooden beams lying on edge like rows of popsicle sticks. And it’s all being held up by thick timber columns.

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Dredge Mining
6:33 am
Thu April 18, 2013

Controversial Dredge Mining Ban Advances in Oregon Senate

A couple uses a dredge mine to search for gold on the Illinois River in Southern Oregon.
Credit Amelia Templeton / EarthFix

A bill that restricts motorized mining in salmon and trout streams advanced in the Oregon Senate Wednesday evening. Amelia Templeton from our EarthFix team reports.

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Endangered Rivers
7:23 am
Wed April 17, 2013

Conservation Groups Lists Rivers in Southern Oregon, Idaho As Most Endangered

American Rivers has named three Northwest streams among the most endangered in the United States this year. Two are remote creeks in Southwest Oregon. The conservation group says exploration for nickel could harm the creeks. Amelia Templeton reports.

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Underwater Observatory
7:19 am
Wed April 17, 2013

Largest Underwater Observatory Preparing For Launch Off Northwest Coast

Scientists are in the final weeks of preparation for the launch of the world’s largest underwater observatory.

It’s a 239 million dollar project that was funded by the National Science Foundation to better understand and monitor the depths of the Pacific Ocean – from volcanic eruptions to deep-sea earthquakes that could lead to tsunamis.

EarthFix’s Ashley Ahearn visited with the team and has this update.

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Zumwalt Prairie
7:14 am
Wed April 17, 2013

Zumwalt Prairie Named National Natural Landmark

The largest prairie in the Pacific Northwest, Zumwalt Prairie, has been named a National Natural Landmark.
Credit oregon ducatisti / Flickr Creative Commons

The largest prairie in the Pacific Northwest has been named a National Natural Landmark. Northeast Oregon’s Zumwalt Prairie is the largest bunch grassland in the U.S. For EarthFix, Courtney Flatt has more.

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Giant Octopus
6:51 am
Tue April 16, 2013

New Protections Proposed For Giant Pacific Octopus in Puget Sound

A giant Pacific octopus on display at the Seattle Aquarium. The species' population is considered healthy in Puget Sound. Public outcry over legal octopus hunting near Seattle's Alki Beach has prompted possible restrictions.
Credit canopic / Flickr

Host Intro: The harvesting of a giant Pacific octopus near Alki Beach in Seattle last October prompted a public outcry. Now the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife is considering new protections for octopuses. Ashley Ahearn reports for EarthFix.

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Landslides
7:10 am
Fri April 12, 2013

Severe Landslides In Washington Could Be Signs Of Times Ahead

BNSF Railway has had 200 landslides on or near its tracks this season, making it one of the worst since the company began keeping records in 1914.
Credit Ashley Ahearn / EarthFix

A massive landslide that pushed 200,000 cubic yards of earth down the west side of Whidbey Island grabbed national headlines in March. Landslides have also caused numerous delays in passenger and freight rail along Puget Sound.

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New Oil Facility
6:54 am
Fri April 12, 2013

Grays Harbor Signs Option To Lease For Train-To-Barge Oil Facility

The Port of Grays Harbor near Aberdeen has announced an agreement to lease property for a crude oil unloading and storage facility. The oil would arrive by train and then be loaded on to barges bound for refineries on the West coast. Ashley Ahearn reports for EarthFix.

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