Washington Department of Ecology

Ecology Works To Clean Up After Oil Pipeline Spill

Aug 3, 2017

Up to twenty-five thousand gallons of  jet fuel spilled from a pipeline Wednesday afternoon near Tacoma. A contractor working in the roadway accidentally drilled into the pipe, which was transporting jet fuel to Joint Base Lewis McChord.

Ashley Ahearn / KUOW/EarthFix

Washington state regulators approved two permits Thursday for a proposed plant that would make and export methanol along the Columbia River in Kalama. The Washington Department of Ecology approved a permit allowing the Port of Kalama and its partner Northwest Innovation Works to build on the shoreline.

Katie Campbell / KCTS9

 

A project that would export 44 million tons of coal a year from Longview, Washington, would raise the cancer risk for people living near rail lines, create traffic jams with its mile-long coal trains and increase global greenhouse gas emissions by 2 million tons.

Washington’s Department of Ecology wants more information before deciding whether to approve a shoreline permit for a controversial methanol refinery in Kalama.

In its application, NW Innovation Works establishes a self-imposed limit of 976,131 metric tons greenhouse gas emissions annually. But in the letter to the county, the Department of Ecology says its calculations found an additional 232,136 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions will be emitted per year.

Associated Press / AP Images

It’s been 8 years in the making, but Washington State finally has a rule that places limits on carbon pollution from its largest sources. It comes in response to reduction targets on greenhouse gas emissions first called for by the legislature in 2008. Starting next year, regulators at the Department of Ecology are requiring large industrial emitters to gradually reduce their carbon emissions over time. The rule will cover industries including power plants, oil refineries, fuel distributors, pulp and paper mills and others.

Friday’s oil train derailment and fire comes as Washington state prepares to put new oil shipment safety rules into effect. In fact, the derailment in the Columbia Gorge happened just as the first public hearing on those rules was wrapping up in Vancouver, Washington.

Dozens of people drove hundreds of miles from Wyoming, Montana and Idaho to Spokane Thursday to weigh in on a proposed coal export terminal. The terminal would sit along the Columbia River in Longview. But the permitting agencies want input from inland cities along the train tracks.

Supporters wore blue. Opponents wore red.

Hundreds of people from Oregon and Washington gathered at a public hearing in Longview Tuesday to offer their views on the proposed Millennium Coal Terminal.

For a decade, one woman has been the top watchdog on the Hanford nuclear reservation for Washington state. Jane Hedges retires February 26.

Courtney Flatt / Northwest Public Radio

Tacoma’s Commencement Bay has long been riddled with toxic pollutants. It’s taken decades — and cleanup at some superfund sites is still ongoing. Now, the Washington Department of Ecology is making plans to clean up one of the last and most complicated sources of pollution along the bay: a plant that for decades produced drycleaning solvents and other chemicals that have slowly leached underground.

The administration of Washington Governor Jay Inslee is moving ahead with a plan to limit greenhouse gas pollution from the state's largest industrial sources.

WALTER SIEGMUND / WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

The administration of Washington Governor Jay Inslee has officially begun a rulemaking to cap greenhouse gas pollution from large industrial sources. Inslee is flexing his executive powers to bypass the state legislature, which has repeatedly chosen not to put a price on carbon.