environment

Salmon Festival
6:43 am
Mon August 27, 2012

Sawtooth Salmon Festival Highlights Idaho's Protected Salmon

EarthFix Reporter Aaron Kunz with intern Annie Morrison, dressed up as Lonesome Larry.
Photo by Aaron Kunz EarthFix

The annual Sawtooth Salmon Festival brought in many visitors to Stanley in central Idaho this weekend. That’s despite a nearby wildfire that’s brought in smoke to the area.

The festival coincides with the return of sockeye and chinook salmon to the Stanley area. So far 160 sockeye have arrived so far. That’s down from the hundreds that showed up last year.

Annie Morrison is an intern at Idaho Rivers United, which organized the event. She says festival goers got a chance to see salmon spawning.

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Green Home Building
6:39 am
Mon August 27, 2012

New Windows Could Cut Your Energy Costs

Photo by Wikimedia user: Nieuw Wikimedia Commons

Upgrading your windows may be one way to significantly lower your energy bill. Researchers in Richland, Washington, are comparing two homes to find out how much you can save. For EarthFix, Courtney Flatt has this report.

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Potential Radioactive Tank Leak
4:57 pm
Thu August 23, 2012

Hanford Expert: Possible Tank Leak Doesn’t Change Goal Of Stabilizing Waste

Next month scientists at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation plan to use a robotic rover to examine an underground tank full of radioactive waste that has possibly leaked. The spill isn’t a threat at this point to people or the environment. But the possible leak is raising questions about long-term plans for treating and storing 56 million gallons of radioactive waste.

Susan Leckband chairs the Hanford Advisory Board. She says the possible leak isn’t a game changer – she thinks the government can still figure out how to bind up that waste into more-stable glass logs.

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Potential Leak At Hanford
4:43 pm
Thu August 23, 2012

Possible Radioactive Tank Leak At Hanford Being Investigated

Routine periodic visual monitoring (via camera) of the AY-102 annulus found material that was never before seen.
Department of Energy

Scientists and engineers at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation in southeast Washington are investigating a possible leak between two walls of a double-shelled nuclear radioactive waste tank there. In September, a robotic rover will explore the tank in question to see where this radioactive material might be coming from, and if the vessel is stable.

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Northwest News
7:24 am
Thu August 23, 2012

After a Wildfire, the Erosion Problem Begins

Fire bosses say a blaze in central Washington is 90 percent contained. That’s while large fires continue to burn in Idaho and California. Getting these wildfires under control marks the beginning of a new problem: soil erosion.

Extreme heat from wildfires destroys trees and ground cover. That means plants no longer keep soil from sliding down hillsides and into streams.

Residents near the Taylor Bridge Wildfire could see more sediment on roads and in creeks. They also might notice wind kicking up extra dust.

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Coal Terminals
6:20 am
Wed August 22, 2012

What Wyoming Coal Means For The Northwest: The View From Coal Country, Part I

A Wyoming coal mine.
Photo courtesy Bureau of Land Management

There are now 5 ports in Washington and Oregon considering building export terminals to ship American coal to Asia. The coal would come from mines in Wyoming and Montana and would travel by train through the Northwest. That has governmental agencies, environmental groups, tribes, labor unions and industry in an increasingly fierce debate. As part of EarthFix’s ongoing coverage of coal in the Northwest, Ashley Ahearn brings us this story from Wyoming coal country.

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Seafood Consumption
6:15 am
Wed August 22, 2012

State Changes Course On Water Regulation

The Department of Ecology recently decided not to change the fish consumption rate in Washington. The rate is important because it drives regulatory standards for water quality. In other words how much seafood we eat determines how clean our water is.Indian tribes and environmentalists say the current rate is dangerously low. Lesley McClurg explains.

Jim Peters has been a longtime fisherman.

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Idaho Wildfire
5:51 pm
Mon August 20, 2012

Idaho Fire Continues To Threaten Mountain Towns

Wildfires have burned more land this year in the U.S. than in the last decade. Large fires continue to burn in California, Washington, Nevada and Idaho.

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Dam Removal
6:37 am
Fri August 17, 2012

Rep. Hastings Questions Panel on Dams, Hydropower

A Washington congressmen returned to his hometown Wednesday to promote a bill protecting hydropower dams from removal. Courtney Flatt of EarthFix reports from Pasco, Washington.

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Coal Terminal Canceled
6:34 am
Fri August 17, 2012

Plans For Coal Export Terminal In Grays Harbor Abandoned

The company behind a proposed coal export terminal in Grays Harbor has decided not to go ahead with the project. Ashley Ahearn reports for EarthFix.

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