pollution

Smelter Pollution
7:17 am
Mon December 17, 2012

Canadian Smelter Found Liable for U.S. Pollution

A federal judge Friday found a Canadian smelter responsible for the millions of tons of pollutants it dumped into the Columbia River. Reporting for EarthFix, Courtney Flatt has more.

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Legacy Mine Cleanup
6:02 am
Mon November 5, 2012

Cleaning Up Legacy Mines, One at a Time

The Pacific Northwest is scattered with thousands of abandoned mines. Most have been abandoned for more than 50 years. But hard metals are still leaching out from some sites. Things like arsenic and lead. The U.S. Forest Service is working to clean up these mines. One-by-one. Reporting for EarthFix, Courtney Flatt visited one of Washington’s abandoned mining cities.

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Pudget Sound Pollution
6:22 am
Wed October 31, 2012

Puget Sound Ports Curb Emissions

Photo of a Washington State ferry in the Puget Sound.
Credit Photo Credit: Joe Mabel/Wikimedia Commons

Air pollution from the major shipping ports in Puget Sound has decreased, according to a new report released Tuesday.

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Clean Water Act
6:37 am
Thu October 18, 2012

Idaho Town Struggles With Clean Water Act Requirements

This is the new municipal wastewater treatment plant. It officially opened in 2007. It has been used to treat industrial waste until a more permanent fix can be put in place
Photo by Aaron Kunz EarthFix

40 years ago Thursday, Congress passed the Clean Water Act to reduce pollution in America’s waterways. Even four decades later, hundreds of towns across the Northwest are failing to meet clean water standards for their wastewater treatment plants. For most, that means costly upgrades and higher fees for households and businesses. The southern Idaho town of Burley is no exception. EarthFix reporter Aaron Kunz explains.

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Columbia River Pollution
6:18 am
Thu October 11, 2012

Cross Border Pollution Argued In Federal Court

The Trail, BC smelter abuts the Columbia River near the U.S. border.
Photo courtesy Teck Resources, Ltd.

A case involving cross border pollution of the Columbia River rests in the hands of a federal judge today. A Native American tribe and the state of Washington have sued to hold a Canadian mining giant responsible for smelter waste that washed downriver from British Columbia into Washington. Correspondent Tom Banse reports on the latest go-around in U.S. District Court in Yakima.

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Cross-Border Pollution Case
5:15 pm
Tue October 9, 2012

Judge To Consider Cross-Border Columbia River Pollution Case

A lead and zinc smelter in Trail, British Columbia, dumped millions of tons of refining waste into the Columbia River between 1896 and 1995.
kootenayvolcano Flickr

Wednesday, a federal judge in Yakima will consider a long-running case about cross border pollution in the Columbia River. The Colville Tribes and the state of Washington are trying to force cleanup of heavy metals dumped in the river for nearly a hundred years by a Canadian smelter.

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Oregon Coal Bill
5:37 pm
Fri September 21, 2012

House Quashes DeFazio's Amendment To Study Coal Dust Impacts

Congressman Peter DeFazio's amendment to study the impact of transporting coal by train was blocked.
Michael Werner Earthfix.

Oregon Democratic Congressman Peter DeFazio tried to add an amendment requiring a study of the impacts of transporting coal by rail to the coal bill which passed the U.S. House of Representatives Friday. The Republican majority blocked the amendment.

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Clean Water Act
6:35 am
Thu September 13, 2012

Clean Water: The Next Act - Emerging Contaminants Feminizing Puget Sound Fish

At NOAA's Northwest Fisheries Science Center in Seattle Denis da Silva analyzes bile taken from English sole to detect endocrine disrupting chemicals like Bisphenol A and synthetic estrogens from birth control pills.
Photo by Ashley Ahearn EarthFix

When the Clean Water Act was created 40 years ago rivers were on fire and raw sewage was spilling into some waterways. The Act has accomplished a lot over the years - reining in the largest industrial polluters and improving water quality, overall.

But there are some emerging contaminants the Clean Water Act was never designed to control, and they are affecting the environment in new and different ways. Ashley Ahearn has the latest installment in our ongoing EarthFix series “Clean Water: The Next Act."

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Clean Water Act
5:04 am
Thu September 13, 2012

New Pollutants: Prescription Drugs, Personal Care Products

Photo Credit: Wiki Commons

Water pollution doesn't just come from industrial pipes. It can also come from your prescription drugs or antibacterial soap. As part of our series on the 40th anniversary of the Clean Water Act, Cassandra Profita reports on the everyday pollutants that are emerging in waterways across the Northwest.You can find more about prescription drugs entering Northwest waters on our website nwpr.org and (hear how unregulated toxins may be affecting fish in the Northwest.

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Puget Sound Quality
6:40 am
Fri September 7, 2012

New Report Details Water Quality In Puget Sound

An aerial view of Puget Sound, seen off the Seattle coast.
Photo by Dcoetzee Wikimedia Commons

A new report released Thursday brings together the best data on the environmental health of Puget Sound. Ashley Ahearn reports.

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