Washington State Department of Ecology

Oil Spill
4:41 pm
Mon March 2, 2015

Crews Work To Clean Up Yakima River Oil Spill

Investigators are still trying to figure out what caused a storage tank to leak in Yakima River on Sunday.
Washington Department of Ecology

Emergency crews responded to a 1,500 gallon oil spill in Central Washington’s Yakima River.

The used motor oil has threatened wildlife since it escaped Sunday from an above-ground storage tank at the site of a former feedlot. The heavy oil flowed across a paved area and into an irrigation ditch.

An environmental clean up company is using vacuum trucks to remove the oil.

Joye Redfield-Wilder is a spokeswoman for the Washington Department of Ecology. She said the amount of oil spilled is concerning.

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Hanford Cleanup
7:26 am
Tue February 3, 2015

Obama’s Budget Shifts Cleanup Focus At Hanford

President Barack Obama budgets $2.3 million for clean up of the Hanford Nuclear Reservation that would cut $100 million from the Department of Energy’s Richland Operations office.
Credit AP Images

President Barack Obama’s budget would spend $2.3 billion on cleanup at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation in 2016. But it shifts the focus of cleanup. The proposed budget would spend more on cleanup of the tank waste and a massive plant meant to treat that sludge. The President’s proposed budget would cut about $100 million from the Department of Energy’s Richland Operations office.

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Skagit River Water Dispute
6:55 pm
Mon December 15, 2014

Court Case Is The Latest Battle In Water Wars Of The Skagit River

It might be wet this time of year in the Northwest, but that hasn’t stopped an ongoing battle over water in Washington’s Skagit river valley.
Credit pfly / Flickr

Richard and Marnie Fox wanted to build a new house on their land but they couldn't get a building permit. The Foxes took legal action and their case will go before a judge on Tuesday.

The state said there was not enough water in the area to support anymore new residences without endangering salmon, especially during the drier parts of the year.

Richard Fox walked out to his back field with his leather hat and raincoat on. A bunch of sopping wet cows looked at him, vaguely curious. His backyard was flooded. 

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Oil Spill Concern
7:13 am
Wed September 24, 2014

Is The Inland Northwest Prepared For An Oil Spill?

Credit Northwest News Network

The coast has generally been considered the area of the Northwest most at risk for a catastrophic oil spill. But the rise in oil moving through the region by rail has raised the stakes for some inland areas. As Jessica Robinson reports, three counties in the northern tip of Idaho are now creating their own strategy for containing an oil spill.


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Flood Warning System
6:38 pm
Fri September 12, 2014

Mine Fines Help Wildfire Aftermath With Rain Sensors

A resident of Twisp stands by the aftermath of a flash flood that occurred as a result of a fire this summer.
Credit Anna King / Northwest News Network

High tech weather sensors are now installed throughout the area scorched by the Carlton Complex wildfire. The hope is that they will warn residents of potential flash floods. The funding for the technology is coming from an unusual source.

In August, flash flooding swept through north central Washington. The area had earlier been burned by the Carlton Complex fire. The flooding took residents by surprise.

Now, new rain gauges that communicate via satellite will warn of future flash flooding in the area.

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Hanford Waste
4:02 pm
Fri January 24, 2014

Washington State Slaps Fine For Mishandled Waste At Hanford

Anna King Northwest News Network

Originally published on Fri January 24, 2014 3:20 pm

Over the last several years, Hanford Nuclear Reservation managers have mishandled barrels and boxes of hazardous and radioactive waste in the central part of the site.

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Preservation Deal
6:24 pm
Wed May 29, 2013

Deal Struck To Preserve Peninsula Shoreline And Forestland

Credit Joe Mabel / Wikimedia Commons

A 535 acre chunk of Washington’s Kitsap Peninsula will be protected from future development under a 4.5 million dollar deal, announced Wednesday.

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New Stormwater Requirements
4:30 pm
Wed August 1, 2012

New Stormwater Regulations Promote Low Impact Development

Polluted stormwater runoff is the number one threat to clean water in the populated parts of the Northwest. Wednesday, the Washington State Department of Ecology issued new permits to manage the problem.

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