Environment

Arctic Oil Drilling
6:54 am
Wed January 9, 2013

Interior Dept. To Probe Shell’s Arctic Drilling Mishaps

Shell's Kulluk oil rig, which washed aground on Sitkalidak Island, Alaska last week.
Credit Photo by Jon Klingenberg / U.S. Coast Guard

The Obama Administration announced a sweeping inquiry into Shell Oil’s Arctic drilling program yesterday. The 60-day probe will look at the company’s mishaps in Alaska and here in Puget Sound. KUOW’s John Ryan reports.

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Misconduct Complaint
6:27 am
Tue January 8, 2013

Seven Southern Oregon Fisheries Biologists Allege Censorship, Coercion

Seven fish biologists working in Southern Oregon filed a scientific misconduct complaint Monday. They say the Bureau of Reclamation plans to disband their team because their studies were unpopular. Amelia Templeton of Earthfix Reports.

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Idaho Nuclear Waste
6:16 am
Tue January 8, 2013

Idaho Governor Underscores Commitment to Keep Nuclear Waste Out of Idaho

Idaho governor Butch Otter.
Credit Photo courtesy U.S. Congress

Idaho Governor Butch Otter underscored his commitment Monday to keeping more spent nuclear waste from entering Idaho. EarthFix Reporter Aaron Kunz explains.

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Tsunami Debris
6:11 am
Mon January 7, 2013

Tsunami Debris Dock Decontaminated; Removal Poses Next Challenge

On a return visit this week, the tsunami debris crew found the dock has lodged higher on shore.
Credit Photo courtesy Wash. Dept. of Fish and Wildlife

State and federal biologists say they are confident they have minimized the invasive species threat posed by a derelict dock that washed ashore last month in Olympic National Park. The concrete and steel dock appears to have drifted across the Pacific Ocean after last year's tsunami in Japan. But correspondent Tom Banse reports the story is not over yet.

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Grounded Drilling Rig
6:46 am
Thu January 3, 2013

Grounded Drilling Rig Remains Stable In Alaska

An Alaskan oil drilling rig.
Credit Photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Jonathan Klingenberg / U.S. Coast Guard

A grounded oil drilling rig remains in stable shape off the coast of Alaska Wednesday. Shell Oil’s Kulluk ran aground on New Year’s Eve on an island in the Gulf of Alaska. The vessel hasn’t spilled any oil so far, according to the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation.

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Turtle Recovery
6:08 am
Wed December 19, 2012

Sea Turtles Recovering In Oregon Coast Aquarium

Two endangered turtles are recovering at an Oregon aquarium. Storms washed them Monday onto Northwest beaches far from their warm ocean habitats. One is a loggerhead and the other a green sea turtle. Both turtles are in critical condition at the Oregon Coast Aquarium in Newport.

Lance Beck is with the aquarium. He explains how warm-water turtles react to Oregon’s colder waters.

Beck: “They don’t technically hibernate, but they shut down their systems to survive, and that’s when they end up floating ashore at that point.”

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Microbial Hitchhikers
8:10 am
Tue December 18, 2012

Study: ‘Microbial Hitchhikers’ Ride The Wind From Asia To Northwest

Microbiologist David J. Smith stands atop Mt. Bachelor. Not visible are several thousand species of airborne microbes that he discovered travel across the Pacific Ocean.
Credit Photo courtesy University of Washington

Researchers have discovered something they didn’t expect in the air above an Oregon mountain: hundreds of tiny organisms from Asia. The study suggests the atmosphere is filled with life capable of traveling long distances. Jessica Robinson reports.

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Hanford Nuclear Reservation
8:03 am
Tue December 18, 2012

Federal Government Reviewing Hanford Contractor Payments

Waste tanks at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation.
Credit Photo courtesy U.S. Department of Energy

The federal government is reviewing three years of payments to a major contractor at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation. The review follows growing concerns about a nuclear waste treatment plant at the southeast Washington site. Correspondent Anna King explains.

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Redwood Cloning
7:41 am
Tue December 18, 2012

Non-Profit Cuts Douglas Firs To Prepare The Ground For Redwood Clones

Old growth forest such as this may be affected by climate change.
Credit Photo courtesy National Parks Service

Redwoods grow where heavy fog rolls in from the Pacific. From Big Sur, California to Brookings, Oregon. Scientists don’t have a clear picture of how climate change will affect that coastal fog, and the giants that depend on it. But a group called Archangel Ancient Tree Archive has come up with an unusual plan to help the redwoods. It’s planting clones of some of the world’s largest trees. Amelia Templeton of EarthFix reports.

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Gregoire's Hanford Legacy
7:23 am
Tue December 18, 2012

Gregoire’s Relationship With Hanford Long And Complex

Washington Governor Chris Gregoire has worked on cleaning up the Hanford site for nearly 25 years as the Evergreen State’s governor, attorney general and ecology director.
Credit Photo courtesy Hanford.gov

When Governor Chris Gregoire leaves office in January, she’ll take with her nearly a quarter-century’s worth of expertise on one of the most contaminated places on Earth.

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