environment

Washington Coal Terminal
5:27 am
Tue March 27, 2012

Coal Train Traffic Increase Could Be Bad News For Human Health

Trains line up at the rail yard in Spokane, WA. More than 100 million tons of coal could pass through this rail yard if new export terminals are approved on the Northwest coast.
Photo by Courtney Flatt Northwest News Network

BELLINGHAM, Wash. -- There are now six new export terminals proposed to be built along the Northwest coast. The goal? To bring American coal to Asia, via train and ship.

If these terminals are approved that could mean more than 100 million tons of coal traveling by rail across Idaho, Washington and Oregon every year.

The potential for more train traffic has public health experts concerned. EarthFix reporters Ashley Ahearn and Courtney Flatt have the story.

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Endangered Fish
5:22 am
Tue March 27, 2012

Klamath Tribes Celebrate, But Cannot Catch, Suckerfish

A suckerfish receives a blessing from a Klamath tribe member.
Photo by Amelia Templeton Northwest News Network

CHILOQUIN, Ore. -- You won’t find Lost River suckerfish on any menus in the Northwest. But for years, this fish was a staple for the tribes living in Southern Oregon. Now the fishery is in trouble, and the Klamath tribes are trying to figure out how to bring it back. Amelia Templeton reports.

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Avian Cholera
5:17 am
Tue March 27, 2012

Waterbirds Crowded in Klamath Refuge Catch Avian Cholera

Thousands of geese migrate through Klamath Falls each year.
Photo by Amelia Templeton Northwest News Network

KLAMATH FALLS, Wash. -- The Klamath Basin National Wildlife Refuge is a key rest stop for more than a million migrating spring birds. But the refuge is also a hotspot for avian cholera. Amelia Templeton reports.

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Hanford Safety Investigations
6:08 pm
Fri March 23, 2012

Despite Strides, Safety Culture Still In Question At Hanford Site

Donna Busche is the manager for environmental and nuclear safety at Hanford’s waste treatment plant.
Photo credit: Anna King Northwest News Network

RICHLAND, Wash. – The Department of Energy says a Hanford contractor tried to interfere with an investigation into nuclear safety at the site. That’s according to letters from top Energy officials in an ongoing debate over the site’s safety culture. Correspondent Anna King reports.

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Wind Farm Guidelines
4:34 pm
Fri March 23, 2012

Sec. Salazar Announces New Rules for Wind Farms To Protect Wildlife

The Obama administration released new rules Friday for protecting wildlife from wind farms.
Photo credit: Wikimedia user Harvey McDaniel Wikimedia Commons

The Obama administration released new rules Friday for protecting wildlife from wind farms.

In a morning news conference, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said the voluntary rules offer ways to reduce the number of birds and bats that are harmed by wind farms. They focus on choosing sites with low wildlife risks, and designing the sites to avoid disturbing habitat.

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Hanford Cleanup
5:23 am
Fri March 23, 2012

Questions Remain About Hanford's Waste Treatment Plant's Mixing Tanks

KENNEWICK, Wash. – The massive factory being built to treat radioactive sludge at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation has serious design problems, especially with huge mixing containers meant to treat that waste. That’s according to testimony by top Department of Energy officials and federal contractors at a hearing in Kennewick Thursday night. Correspondent Anna King was there.

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Hanford Cleanup
5:22 am
Fri March 23, 2012

Hanford Treatment Plant Components Need To Be Reexamined For Safety

Donna Busche, in pink, told the Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board that she can't vouch for the safety of some of the waste treatment plant's components at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation in southeast Washington.
Photo by Anna King Northwest News Network

KENNEWICK, Wash. – Top managers at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation say they’re going to have to reexamine key components of a massive waste treatment plant under construction in southeast Washington. That’s according to testimony at a marathon hearing in Kennewick Thursday. The federal Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board was there to listen to concerns about the plant being built to treat 56 million gallons of radioactive waste. Correspondent Anna King reports.

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Columbia Sea Lions
5:19 am
Fri March 23, 2012

Federal Judge OK’s Killing of Sea Lions in Columbia River

SEATTLE - A federal judge ruled Thursday that Washington and Oregon can resume killing sea lions on the lower Colombia River at the Bonneville Dam.

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Wind Power Record
5:40 am
Thu March 22, 2012

BPA Wind Power Sets New Record

Wind farms like this one in California are a growing part of Northwest energy production.
Photo by James McCauley Northwest News Network

RICHLAND, Wash. – Wind farms have generated a record-breaking amount of power this month. As correspondent Courtney Flatt reports, the Bonneville Power Administration is hoping to avoid over-generation problems that happened last spring.

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Hanford
6:22 pm
Wed March 21, 2012

Hanford Waste Plant’s Vessels May Have To Be Redesigned Says Top-Level U.S. Energy Official

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Parts of the Hanford Nuclear Reservation’s massive waste treatment plant may have to be redesigned. That’s according to testimony Wednesday in Washington, D.C. by a top level manager for the U.S. Department of Energy.

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