Environment

Sunset Falls Hydropower
6:43 am
Wed February 15, 2012

Sun Setting On Sunset Falls?

Jeff Smith and his wife at Sunset Falls.
Photo by Ashley Ahearn Northwest News Network

SKYKOMISH RIVER, Wash. -- The Skykomish is one of the only major rivers in Washington that has not been dammed for hydropower. The river runs from the Cascade Mountains and empties into Northern Puget Sound. It’s a hot spot for wildlife and outdoor recreation. It could also be a hotspot for hydropower. Ashley Ahearn reports.

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Idaho Wildlife
6:34 am
Wed February 15, 2012

Idaho Begins Sage Grouse Management Plan Discussions

The Sage Grouse is an endangered species in Idaho.
Photo credit Wikimedia Commons

BOISE, Idaho -- Idaho lawmakers are looking for ways to reverse the decline in the state’s dwindling sage grouse population. They’re worried that if the state doesn’t act, the federal government will impose its own plan to protect the bird under the Endangered Species Act. Aaron Kunz reports.

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Washington Orca Mystery
6:46 am
Tue February 14, 2012

Whodunit Surrounds Bruised & Bloody Killer Whale Carcass

Orcas, or "killer whales," are among the most well-known whale species.
Photo by Wikimedia User Pittman Wikimedia Commons

LONG BEACH, Wash. -- The bruised and bloody carcass of an endangered killer whale washed ashore at Long Beach, Washington this weekend. An initial necropsy did not pinpoint a cause of death. Correspondent Tom Banse has more on an emerging whodunit.

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Greenhouse Gas Emissions
6:32 pm
Mon February 13, 2012

King County Does The Numbers On Greenhouse Gas Emissions

SEATTLE - Washington’s King County has released a detailed report that tallies up the total amount of Greenhouse Gases it emitted in 2008.

These emissions come from homes, industry, transportation – and our personal shopping decisions. And they are changing the global climate.

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Washington Orca Search
6:24 am
Mon February 13, 2012

Researchers On Hunt For Killer Whales' Winter Hideout

NOAA researchers hope to discover where orcas off the coast of Washington go in the winter.
Photo by Richard Dudley Flickr

This week, federal biologists will cast off on a research cruise from NOAA's new home port in Newport, Oregon. They hope to crack an enduring mystery about some of the most studied killer whales on earth. Namely, where do the Northwest's resident orca whales go in the winter? Correspondent Tom Banse has more.

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Olympic Mountain Goats
5:51 am
Fri February 10, 2012

Mountain Goat Population Rising In Olympic National Park

A mountain goat in Olympic National Park.
Photo credit US Geological Survey

There are more mountain goats in Olympic National Park than there have been for the past 20 years. That’s according to a new report released today by the US Geological Survey. Ashley Ahearn reports.

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Hanford Reservation Whistleblowers
6:40 am
Tue February 7, 2012

Top Hanford Scientist Calls Treatment Plant Pipes Not Strong Enough

The Hanford Nuclear Reservation was once used to enrich plutonium for nuclear weapons.
Photo Source: Northwest News Network

RICHLAND, Wash. – Over the last two years we’ve brought you numerous stories about high-level whistleblowers at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation's nuclear waste treatment plant. It’s one of the largest environmental cleanup projects on Earth. Now, yet another top expert there is risking his career to speak openly. He tells our correspondent Anna King the plant’s vessels and pipes -- as they’re designed now -- will leak radioactive waste within their planned lifespan.

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Northwest Regional News
4:29 pm
Thu February 2, 2012

Pacific Northwest Forest Projects Receive Almost $10 Million in Federal Funds

Wikimedia user: Karduelis

Five forest projects in the Pacific Northwest have been awarded nearly 10-million dollars in federal funds for forest restoration. Today, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced the funding and a new plan for managing the national forests.

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Lead pollution
6:14 am
Thu February 2, 2012

Flying The Leaded Skies: Lead A Concern At Northwest Airports

U.S. EPA data show that Seattle's Boeing Field is Washington's largest source of airborne lead emissions.
Photo Credit: John Ryan Nothwest Public Radio

BOEING FIELD, Wash. -- Lead paint was banned in the United States in the 1970s. Leaded gasoline was slowly phased out over the next 20 years. Those efforts drove one of the great public-health improvements of the past century. The amount of lead found in human bloodstreams has dropped by more than 90 percent.

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Oregon Environmental Reporting
5:01 pm
Tue January 31, 2012

Oregonians Can Report Environmental Complaints Through New Online System

Oregonians who want to report a possible environmental problem to the state can now do so through a website
Wikimedia User Eunix Wikimedia Commons

Oregonians who want to report a possible environmental problem to the state can now do so through a website and hotline.

The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality has always fielded citizen complaints, but it was an antiquated system that was not centralized. Now, they have an online database for staff to better track cases. The public can use the new online form or hotline to report perceived environmental violations. Dave Belyea with the DEQ in Eugene says they will respond to the person with an update on how the situation is being handled.

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