Environment

Environment
10:11 am
Fri September 28, 2012

Some Mount Rainier sewage diverted to river

TACOMA, Wash. – A waste treatment operator at Mount Rainier National Park has been charged with dumping 200,000 gallons of sewage into the Nisqually River.

Read more
Environment
4:37 pm
Thu September 27, 2012

Columbia River Spill Comes During Oil Spill Readiness Hearings

Originally published on Thu September 27, 2012 5:17 pm

Just as Washington environmental regulators finish up a series of meetings on oil spill readiness, a half-mile sheen appeared on the Columbia River near Longview. Contractors quickly contained the diesel spill this week. It's one of about 1,800 spills in Oregon and Washington each year.

Read more
Summer storm
7:13 pm
Tue September 25, 2012

Obama orders federal money for July storm in NE Washington

President Barack Obama has ordered federal aid to help state and local efforts recover from a severe storm in July that pounded parts of northeast Washington state.

Read more
Environment
4:17 pm
Tue September 25, 2012

Wild Olympics bill stalls in Congress

ABERDEEN, Wash. – The Wild Olympics bill remains stalled in Congress, and with lawmakers out through the election, some opponents are celebrating.

Read more
Environment
8:48 pm
Mon September 24, 2012

As Arctic Ice Melts, So Does The Snow, And Quickly

Researchers say that springtime snow is melting in the Arctic even faster than Arctic ice. That means less sunlight is reflected off the surface. Bare land absorbs more solar energy, which can contribute to rising temperatures on Earth. Above, a musher races along the Iditarod in the Alaskan tundra in 2007.
Al Grillo AP

Originally published on Tue September 25, 2012 2:11 pm

Arctic sea ice is in sharp decline this year: Last week, scientists announced that it hit the lowest point ever measured, shattering the previous record.

But it turns out that's not the most dramatic change in the Arctic. A study by Canadian researchers finds that springtime snow is melting away even faster than Arctic ice. That also has profound implications for the Earth's climate.

Read more
Environment
12:44 pm
Mon September 24, 2012

Washington state's first 'zombie bees' reported

Bee populations already have been dropping in recent years due to another ailment called Colony Collapse Disorder, in which all the adult honey bees in a colony suddenly die.
Wikimedia Commons

Washington state has its first "zombie bees."

Novice beekeeper Mark Hohn in Kent found that his bees are infected with a parasite that causes them to fly at night and lurch around erratically until they die.

Read more
Politics
6:51 am
Mon September 17, 2012

Solar power advocate likely violated state ethics law

Solar power advocate MIke Nelson. Photo by Liam Moriarty via KPLU

Originally published on Fri September 14, 2012 4:39 pm

OLYMPIA, Wash. – One of the Northwest’s leading solar power advocates likely used his state position to help a company he was working for get an unfair tax designation. That’s the conclusion of a state Ethics Board investigation released Friday.

Read more
The Two-Way
10:13 pm
Mon September 10, 2012

NOAA: This Summer Was Third Hottest On Record

A map that shows the difference from average temperatures.
NOAA

Originally published on Mon September 10, 2012 3:51 pm

Today in Washington, D.C. we got our first taste of fall. It was crisp and in the low 60s. And just as we slide into the last days of summer in the Northern Hemisphere, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration published its summer 2012 recap.

It's exactly what you were expecting: It was really hot. In fact, 2012 was the third hottest on record.

NOAA reports:

Read more
Economy and environment
10:40 am
Thu August 30, 2012

Study: NW gasoline consumption falling to 1996 levels

Driving around Seattle may feel as congested as ever, but a new report says we're making fewer trips and burning less gas.
Craig Damlo Flickr

The high price of gasoline is leading Northwesterners to drive less and use more fuel-efficient cars, according to the Sightline Institute, a Seattle-based environment and policy research nonprofit.

According to the study:

“Washington and Oregon are on track to burn less gasoline in their cars and trucks this year than at any time since 1996 – less even than in 2008, when gas prices spiked and the economy cratered. … At least for the 
moment, the plateau in gas consumption that began in the
late 1990s has turned into a gentle downward slide.”

Read more
World's Fair Anniversary
10:09 am
Tue August 28, 2012

House of the future built at Seattle Center

Seattle Center's 'House of the Immediate Future' in situ.
Aaron Hushagen KPLU

A new two-story home is under construction near the Space Needle at the Seattle Center.

Called the "House of the Immediate Future," it's part of the "Next 50" anniversary celebration of the 1962 Seattle World's Fair.

Read more
Animal obituary
11:33 am
Thu August 23, 2012

Ivan, formerly of Tacoma, dies at 50: A gorilla's life remembered

Ivan chews on his finger at Zoo Atlanta in 1996.
John Bazemore AP

Originally published on Fri August 24, 2012 11:11 am

I've written before in this space about how an animal obituary may help mark a life of significance. Here is my obituary for Ivan the gorilla.

Read more
Environment
9:41 am
Thu August 16, 2012

Problems for oil containment barge at Bellingham 

BELLINGHAM, Wash. — Minor oil spills at Bellingham have plagued construction of an oil spill containment barge needed for Shell Oil to drill exploratory wells in the Arctic Ocean off Alaska.

The Washington Ecology Department says hydraulic systems leaked on July 24, Aug. 4 and Aug. 6, each releasing about a quart of oil into Whatcom Waterway. The department sent a notice of violation to Superior Energy Services, which is building the Arctic Challenger.

Read more
Around the Nation
7:33 am
Sat August 4, 2012

This Drought's No Dry Run: Lessons Of The Dust Bowl

Scorched pastures are spreading across central Illinois and the rest of the Midwest. Technology and techniques developed from previous droughts like the Dust Bowl are helping to save some of today's crops, but there's no substitute for water.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Originally published on Sun August 5, 2012 8:43 am

This summer's drought continues to wilt and bake crops from Ohio to the Great Plains and beyond. Under a baking, late-afternoon sun just outside of the tiny east-central Illinois town of Thawville, John Hildenbrand walks down his dusty, gravel driveway toward one of his corn fields.

"You can see on the outer edge, these are a lot better-looking ears on the outside rows. Of course, it's not near as hot as it is inside the field," he says.

Read more
Highway spill
4:56 pm
Wed August 1, 2012

Seattle toxic spill temporarily shuts NB I-5

A toxic spill from a tanker truck closed the northbound lanes of Interstate 5 through Seattle for more than an hour Wednesday afternoon, backing up traffic.

The Seattle Fire Department says the spill, originally estimated at 50 gallons, is about two gallons of a sodium borohydride and sodium hydroxide solution. The chemicals are used for bleaching pulp and wood products.

Read more
Coal Exports
5:00 am
Wed August 1, 2012

New voices in debate over Northwest coal export terminals

A portion of a map of the proposed coal export terminals from National Wildlife Federation's new report, "The True Cost of Coal." (See the entire map inside)
Courtesy NWF

More voices are chiming in on the debate over proposed coal terminals in the Northwest. A new report adds sports fishermen and tribes to the opposition. It comes less than a week after proponents launched a campaign touting the benefits coal exports could bring.

Read more

Pages