environment

Shrinking Aquifers
6:31 am
Tue May 21, 2013

Study: Aquifers Draining Quickly, Less In Northwest

A new study says the nation’s aquifers are shrinking at an alarming rate The problem is not as bad in the Northwest, thanks to an abundance of rivers and streams. But even here, aquifers are shrinking.
Credit Amelia Templeton / EarthFix

A new study says the nation’s aquifers are shrinking at an alarming rate The problem is not as bad in the Northwest, thanks to an abundance of rivers and streams. But even here, aquifers are shrinking. For EarthFix, Courtney Flatt has more.

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Hanford Nuclear Reservation
6:26 am
Tue May 21, 2013

Japanese Officials Visit Hanford For Nuclear Cleanup Strategies

Mark Triplett Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

Originally published on Tue May 21, 2013 7:33 am

The people overseeing the cleanup of the Fukushima nuclear power plant disaster are learning some valuable lessons from the long-running cleanup at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation. A Japanese government delegation recently toured some of the southeast Washington site.

In Japan, workers in gloves and masks are grinding down sidewalks and roads, wiping down rooftops and bagging contaminated soil. Now, the problem is where to put all that radioactive waste from Fukushima.

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Tsunami Debris
6:48 am
Mon May 20, 2013

Wash. and Ore. Get More Tsunami Debris Cleanup Money

Here on the western coast of the U.S., we have a special connection to Japan. The ocean between us keeps bringing remnants from the massive tsunami there. It left more than 16,000 people dead. The debris is expensive to remove and can carry invasive species with it.

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Duwamish Cleanup
6:38 am
Tue May 14, 2013

Comment Period Open For Proposed Superfund Clean Up Plan On Seattle's Duwamish River

People in communities along Seattle's Lower Duwamish River, a superfund site, came together to learn about the EPA's proposed clean up plan, open for public comment until June 13.
Credit Ashley Ahearn / EarthFix

The proposed clean up plan for the Duwamish River super fund site in Seattle is open for final public comment. The 305 million dollar plan would tackle 100 years of industrial pollution that have lead to high levels of contamination in the river. Ashley Ahearn reports the EPA is asking the public to weigh in.

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Urban Birds
6:25 am
Tue May 14, 2013

Study Finds Urban Stresses Cause Birds To Abandon Eggs

An American Kestrel.
Credit Boise State University

A bird of prey can get so stressed out by city noise, it will abandon its nest – with eggs still in it. That's according to a new study by researchers at Boise State University. The study suggests human disturbances affect the American kestrel more than previously thought. Jessica Robinson reports.

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Glass Recycling
7:29 am
Mon May 13, 2013

Idaho Couple Takes Glass Recycling Into Their Own Hands

In Coeur d’Alene, residents can recycle paper, plastic, and aluminum. A new non-profit is chipping away at what they see as a problem: the city doesn’t recycle glass. Spokane Public Radio’s Paige Browning reports.

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Cheatgrass Invasion
7:18 am
Mon May 13, 2013

Study: Cheatgrass Severity Affected By Grazing

A new study out of Oregon State University suggests that overgrazing could be helping an invasive grass to flourish. That differs from previous studies that have found grazing can better manage that plant -- cheatgrass -- which threatens rangeland habitat. For EarthFix, Courtney Flatt has more.

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No New Wind Turbines
9:16 am
Thu May 9, 2013

No New Wind Farm Construction In PNW This Year

You may have seen wind turbines springing up all over the Pacific Northwest in the past decade. So far this year, the region’s wind industry has faced a different story. For EarthFix, Courtney Flatt has more.

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Cleaning Oil from Trains
9:04 am
Thu May 9, 2013

How To Clean Up A Crude Oil Spill From Trains

Pacific Northwest refineries have been getting their crude oil for years from tankers and pipelines. Last September, trains began shipping crude oil into the region by rail. EarthFix reporter Courtney Flatt explains what that means for emergency crews.

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Water Fluoridation
6:40 am
Mon May 6, 2013

Portland Prepares For Fluoride Vote 

Oregon citizens will soon vote on water fluoridation.
Credit Michael Clapp / Oregon Public Broadcasting

This month, voters will decide whether to approve a plan to fluoridate Portland's water. Supporters say Portland children - especially in low-income families - suffer aggravated dental problems because the city has chosen not to add fluoride. Opponents say water fluoridation is the wrong way to address a public health problem. And so a battle that has played out before at the state level is now going on in Portland. From Oregon Public Broadcasting, April Baer reports.

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