Washington

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.

Read more
Healthcare Law
12:12 pm
Mon March 26, 2012

Two AGs, Two Different Views On Healthcare

Attorneys General (l-r): Rob McKenna (Wash.) John Kroger (Ore.)
Photo sources: Washington State Attorney General's office, Oregon Department of Justice

The U.S. Supreme Court will hear its biggest case in decades this week.  The high court will hear arguments about President Obama's landmark healthcare reform law, and whether key provisions of it are constitutional.  The justices have scheduled six hours of testimony over three days, starting today.

Read more
Marijuana Initiative
11:50 am
Mon March 26, 2012

Pot Advocates Disagree Over New Initiative

A photograph of hemp (Cannabis sativa L.) in Sherburne National Wildlife Refuge.
Photo by United States Fish and Wildlife Service

 

An initiative to allow for personal marijuana use in Washington State will be on the ballot this November.

And while that initiative is getting support from many lawmakers, and even the Seattle bar association, some of the biggest critics of the proposal are other pro-marijuana groups.

Initiative 502 would allow Washington residents age 21 and over to posses an ounce of marijuana for their own personal use.

Read more
San Juan Public Lands
5:27 am
Fri March 23, 2012

Senate Holds Hearing On Protecting San Juans' Public Lands

Shorelines and lighthouses such as this one, at Lime Kiln Point on San Juan Island, would be permanently protected as part of a National Conservation Area under leglislation moving through Congress.
Photo by KenBungay Flickr

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- A bill to establish a National Conservation Area that would give permanent protection 1,000 acres of unique landscapes in the San Juan Islands is wending its way through Congress. A key committee took up the legislation Thursday.

Read more
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.

Read more
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.

Read more
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.

Read more
Washington Pharmacy Regulations
5:44 am
Thu March 22, 2012

Washington to Appeal Plan B Ruling

OLYMPIA - Washington will appeal a recent federal ruling on the state’s pharmacy regulations. Last month a federal district court judge found the state’s rules on dispensing medications unconstitutional. At the heart of the case is emergency birth control pills. Ruby de Luna reports.

Read more
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.

Read more
Hanford Cleanup
8:00 am
Wed March 21, 2012

Hanford’s Work With Robotic Arm Slow And Halting At Tank Farms

Washington River Protection Solutions workers cover a broken tank farm pump with yellow plastic to shield the radiation. The pump is part of the MARS operating system that’s been shut down since last December at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation.
Photo by Anna King Northwest News Network

RICHLAND, Wash. – At the Hanford Nuclear Reservation in southeast Washington, the race is on to clean up radioactive sludge buried in aging underground tanks. Some of that waste has already leaked into the soil not far from the Columbia River. But attempts to use high-tech robotics to hose out waste tanks haven't gone as planned. And an important federal cleanup deadline is fast approaching. Correspondent Anna King visited one Hanford tank farm to see what’s causing the delays.

Read more

Pages