Environment

Environment
1:06 pm
Mon April 8, 2013

Spring cleaning in Seattle includes keeping 'junk food' away from fish

LItter waiting for a little rain to carry into a storm drain.
KPLU

With spring comes spring cleaning. And Seattle is no exception. The city is asking residents to tidy up their neighborhoods - helping out with everything from picking up litter to painting over graffiti. Another thing the city could use help with is stenciling storm drains as a way to protect Puget Sound.

Read more
transportation planning
5:11 pm
Mon April 1, 2013

Metro warns of major cuts to bus service unless lawmakers act

King County Metro

Facing a $75 million shortfall, Metro Transit says it will have to slash its bus service by 17 percent next fall unless the Legislature intervenes.

The cuts would mean the elimination of 65 bus lines; another 86 would have to run on reduced schedules.

Read more
Environment
5:01 am
Mon April 1, 2013

Mount Rainier National Park poised to ban sales of bottled water

Grand Canyon National Park is one of the most recent federal properties to ban bottled water sales. Before doing so, they had to install a siuffient number of filling stations like this one.
Courtesy Think Outside the Bottle

The disposable plastic water bottle is known for clogging landfills and choking marine life. As a result, 14 national parks no longer sell bottled water. And it looks like Mount Rainier National Park might be next.

Read more
Environment
5:42 pm
Wed March 27, 2013

Report: More illness, shorter lifespans in Duwamish River valley

This map shows the cumulative health impact scores for 10 of Seattle's zip codes.
Duwamish River Cleanup Coalition

A new report shows residents of Seattle’s Duwamish River valley are exposed to more pollution, have greater vulnerability to pollution-caused illnesses and live shorter lives than residents in other areas of Seattle and King County.

Read more
Environment
6:07 pm
Tue March 26, 2013

Governors' letter reignites NW coal exports debate

The debate over proposed coal export terminals in the Northwest is heating up again after the governors of Washington and Oregon sent a letter to the White house on the issue.

Read more
Environment
8:05 am
Tue March 26, 2013

Gov. Inslee's climate change bill passes, controversy continues

A bill put forward by Gov. Jay Inslee directing the state to figure out how to reduce greenhouse gas emissions has passed both houses of the Legislature.

The passage is a big step forward for the environmental lobby and the governor, who has championed clean energy. But there is still a lot of pushback in Olympia.

Read more
Environment
12:10 pm
Sat March 23, 2013

Big city lights to go out for Earth Hour tonight

If you see a big bridge or stadium suddenly go dark tonight, don't be alarmed.

Seattle and Tacoma are joining thousands of cities around the world and turning out the lights for Earth Hour, from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m.

Landmark buildings will go dark for the hour, and residents are encouraged to take part by turning out all non-essential lights to support the ongoing fight against climate change.

Read more
Conservation
3:26 pm
Thu March 21, 2013

King County reaches deal to preserve 43,000 acres of forestland

King County has reached a preliminary agreement to permanently protect a big chunk of forestland in the Cascade foothills.

The stretch of White River Forest spans 42,962 acres — about the size of Bainbridge Island and “the largest swath of unprotected forestland remaining in King County,” according to King County Executive Dow Constantine.

Read more
Transportation alternatives
5:50 pm
Wed March 20, 2013

AAA's roadside service goes electric

Seattle/Bellevue is getting one of AAA's new Electric Vehicle Charging trucks.
Bellamy Pailthorp Photo KPLU News

Driving an all-electric vehicle just got a bit more mainstream.

The AAA Auto Club of Washington has launched a new emergency roadside service for electric cars. It now has a truck with a generator on board that can rescue drivers in the greater Seattle area if they’ve run out of charge.

Read more
Environment
7:53 pm
Tue March 19, 2013

Want to explore state parks? There’s an app for that

Washington’s state park system boasts everything from coastal campgrounds to wooded hiking trails and historical buildings. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by all the choices, you might find help in the palm of your hand.

Just in time for Washington State Parks' centennial, the state has unveiled a new smartphone app that serves as an on-the-go interactive guide.

Read more
transportation
5:00 am
Tue March 19, 2013

Bill calls for reports to lawmakers on costly WSDOT errors

Big mistakes made on the design and construction of pontoons for the new 520 floating bridge could lead to tougher reporting requirements for the Washington state Department of Transportation.

Lawmakers want more transparency and accountability when it comes to costly mistakes. Repairs to cracks in the new 520 pontoons, for example, are expected to cost tens of millions of dollars.

Read more
Environment
5:04 am
Mon March 18, 2013

Sea lions vs. salmon: Annual clash resumes at Bonneville Dam

sea lion eats a salmon at Bonneville Dam near Cascade Locks, Ore., in this April 10, 2007 file photo.
Rick Bowmer Associated Press

It happens every spring. Hungry sea lions follow endangered salmon runs up the Columbia River and feast on them at the bottom of the Bonneville Dam. If they’re caught, they can be killed by state workers.

campaign to stop the killing is becoming an annual tradition as well.

Read more
Alternative energy
10:06 am
Thu March 14, 2013

Federal bill would smooth way for small dams, hydropower

This weir at Youngs Creek, near Sultan, is situated above a waterfall, minimizing its impact on fish runs. The Hydropower Improvement Act of 2013 would ease federal licensing on small dams, if they generate less than 10 megawatts of power.
Courtesy Snohomish County PUD

Big dams that block rivers and salmon runs are out of vogue. But new legislation could clear the way for more small ones.

The removal of Washington’s Elwha dam — the largest dam removal in U.S. history — marked the end of an era in which big dams were embraced.

Read more
Superfund cleanup
12:09 pm
Mon March 11, 2013

Lower Duwamish Waterway plan open for public comment

You can see dredging equipment used in the earliest work on superfund cleanup of "hotspots" at Seattle's Duwamish Waterway Park, in Southpark.
Bellamy Pailthorp Photo KPLU News

Seattle’s Duwamish River was once a meandering estuary in the heart of the city. A century ago, it was transformed into an industrial waterway and used as a dumping ground for decades.

Now it’s a Superfund site – and the Environmental Protection Agency has released a plan to clean it up.

Read more
Tsunami
9:15 am
Mon March 11, 2013

Did 2011 Japan tsunami change preparedness on our coast?

Oregon Emergency Management Division

Originally published on Fri March 8, 2013 2:59 pm

The March 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan served as a wake up call for coastal residents and visitors on our shores. But two years later, it is hard to measure how much that disaster has changed tsunami readiness on the Pacific Northwest coast.

Althea Rizzo is the geologic hazards program coordinator for Oregon Emergency Management. She says she's certain tsunami awareness has increased.

Read more

Pages