environment

Algae Bloom
6:02 am
Tue May 15, 2012

Algae Booming in Puget Sound

The white foamy line marks a bloom of algae in South Puget Sound.
Photo by Ashley Ahearn Northwest News Network

All this warm weather is making for a lot of shiny happy people in Western Washington. Turns out the algae in the waters of Puget Sound are feeling the same way. Ashley Ahearn reports that algal blooms are making one scientist take note.

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Hanford Waste Treatment
6:10 pm
Mon May 14, 2012

Ecology Hosts Meetings Around Northwest On Its New Hanford Plan

Washington state Ecology is rolling out a new draft permit for the Hanford Nuclear Reservation near Richland, Washington. The document is 16,476 pages long. Public meetings are scheduled across the Northwest including one in Seattle Tuesday night and another in Portland Wednesday. This new permit will determine how Hanford waste is treated, stored and disposed of for the next 10 years. Dieter Bohrmann is an Ecology spokesman. He says this document reflects that Hanford is unique both in its size and scope.

Dieter Bohrmann: “I think if there were any way we could have simplified it, and cut 10,000 pages out of it – yeah. You know, but even with that, it was still going to be a large document regardless.”

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Salmon Hatcheries
6:11 am
Mon May 14, 2012

New Research: Hatchery Salmon Posing Problems For Wild Stocks

In the early part of the 20th century, when many Northwestern rivers were dammed, fish hatcheries provided a way to keep salmon in rivers. But now an estimated 5 billion hatchery fish are released into the Pacific every year. A collection of research released Monday highlights possible concerns about how all those hatchery fish might be impacting wild stocks. Ashley Ahearn reports.

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Logging Protester Scales Flagpole
4:39 pm
Thu May 10, 2012

Logging Protesters Run Their Message Up State Capitol Flagpole

Perry Graham climbs down a flagpole at the Oregon state capitol after hanging a banner protesting logging on state owned forest land.
Photo credit: Chris Lehman Northwest News Network

A group that's against logging on state owned forest lands drew a crowd of onlookers at the Oregon State Capitol Thursday morning. A member of Cascadia Forest Defenders climbed a flagpole and draped a large banner that read "Schools versus Trees? We want both!”

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Columbia River Contaminants
5:41 pm
Tue May 8, 2012

'Personal Care Products,' Pharmaceutical Toxics Found In Columbia River

The Dalles Dam on the Columbia River near the west end of the Columbia River Gorge.
Photo courtesy of USGS

Giant smoke stacks and industrial dump sites are no longer the only water quality problem on the Columbia River. a recent study has found that our day to day life has a major impact as well.

U.S. Geological Survey researchers looked at nine cities along the river, from Wenatchee to Longview, Wash. They detected hundreds of contaminants flowing from wastewater treatment plants and stormwater runoff.

Hydrologist Jennifer Morace says the toxic contaminants included things like shampoo and pharmaceuticals.

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Coal Protests
5:59 am
Tue May 8, 2012

Hundreds Rally Against Coal Exports In Portland

Hundreds of people gathered at Portland's Pioneer Square today to protest coal export projects in the Northwest. Cassandra Profita reports.

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Logging Lawsuit
5:57 am
Tue May 8, 2012

Conservation Groups Sue to Stop Logging Project

Conservation organizations will proceed with a legal challenge of the Goose Logging Project in the McKenzie River Watershed in the Willamette National Forest. KLCC's Christina Kempster has more on the story.

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Klamath Dam Whistleblower
6:32 am
Mon May 7, 2012

Klamath Dam Scientist Alleges He Was Fired After Questioning

A former government scientist says the Department of Interior has painted too positive a picture of Klamath Dam removal. Paul Houser was a scientific integrity officer. And he says he was fired for expressing his dissent. Amelia Templeton reports.

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Hanford Whistleblower
6:41 am
Fri May 4, 2012

Hanford Whistleblower May Not Get Jury Trial

Walt Tamosaitis and his wife outside the federal courthouse in Yakima, Wash. Thursday.
Photo by Anna King Northwest News Network

A Hanford whistleblower lawsuit is underway in federal court in Yakima. A former high-level manager on a nuclear treatment project is asking for a jury trial, but the judge hearing the case said Thursday that’s unlikely. Correspondent Anna King was there.

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Hydropower Projects
5:59 am
Tue May 1, 2012

Energy Developers Eye New Grid-Stabilizing Hydro Projects

Artist's rendition of upper and lower reservoir of Swan Lake Pumped Storage Project northeast of Klamath Falls, Ore.
Courtesy of Riverbank Power

If you thought the great dam building era of the Northwest was long over, you might be mistaken. But we're not talking about damming rivers here. This is about building long earthen dams to make new off-stream hydropower reservoirs. They're being designed to act as giant batteries and shock absorbers for the electric grid. Correspondent Tom Banse explains.

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