Environment

The Two-Way
6:05 pm
Tue November 22, 2011

Second set of 'climategate' emails hit the Web

Originally published on Tue November 22, 2011 2:04 pm

In a repeat of 2009, a second set of stolen emails from climate scientists at major universities has been released to the public.

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Environment
5:48 pm
Tue November 22, 2011

Rule to ban cruise ship discharge in Washington sanctuary

Cruise ships will be prohibited from discharging wastewater into a protected marine sanctuary off the outer coast of Washington state's Olympic Peninsula under new rules taking effect next week.

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Environment
1:26 pm
Mon November 21, 2011

Plastic bag ban back on Seattle council's agenda

The city of Seattle would like this to never again be a view for Seattle and the region.
Gwen Harlow Flickr

"Paper or plastic?"

Seattle wants to take that choice away in order to save the environment and money. The city council is considering a ban on single-use plastic bags, because they are harmful to marine wildlife as well as to recycling machinery.

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Environment
11:51 am
Mon November 21, 2011

Beluga whales in Alaska's Cook Inlet ruled endangered

A judge has ruled that baluga whales have not recovered enough to assume we know why the population of the whale has declined.
cerclek Flickr

ANCHORAGE, Alaska — A federal court judge has upheld the endangered species listing of Alaska's Cook Inlet beluga whales.

The state of Alaska and others had sued to overturn the listing by the National Marine Fisheries Service.

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Environment
11:25 am
Mon November 21, 2011

Rural Oregon Residents Await Pesticide Exposure Investigation Results

Residents who live on Highway 36 west of Eugene are waiting for the results of a Pesticide Exposure Investigation by the state of Oregon. They believe herbicide spraying by the timber industry is causing health issues in their communities.

For years, residents near Blachly and Triangle Lake have complained of pesticide drift from clear-cut sprays. But it wasn’t until last spring that they caught the attention of the state. In independent biological testing, more than 30 people from the area tested positive for the common timber industry herbicides Atrazine and 2,4,D.

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Genetically modified food
9:39 am
Mon November 21, 2011

Biotech beets heat up discussion at USDA Hearing in Corvallis

Sugar beet seed is a rare bright spot for struggling grass-seed farmers. Farmer John Reerslev of Junction City says the GMO product provides a safe way to control weeds.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture held a hearing to consider the possible deregulation of biotech sugar beets, developed by agribusiness giant Monsanto.

"Hybrid sugar beet seed has always been the highest per acre net return on our farm. I had 120 acres two years ago on 6 percent of our land, but it was valued at 25 percent of our income. It’s a very important rotational crop," Reerslev said.

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Environment
4:30 am
Mon November 21, 2011

Salmon are returning and you can get a close-up at Piper's Creek

A raccoon takes advantage of the access to salmon at Piper's Creek in Seattle.
Catherine Anstett

Salmon spawning is at its peak this time of year and it’s possible to go to local creeks and culverts to watch the salmon, up close and personal. 

Now through early December is prime time to get a good look at chum salmon as they return for spawning around the Puget Sound. And, Piper’s Creek in Carkeek Park is one of the best places in town to see these big fish swimming in a natural environment. They can be so close you might catch a little splash. 

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Environment
5:36 pm
Fri November 18, 2011

Electric car drivers eschew public charging stations

OLYMPIA, Wash. - You've probably seen plum parking spots set aside for electric cars, maybe even shaken your fist at an empty space. More than a thousand Northwest drivers have hit the road this year with the first mass market electric cars.

Many of them are letting researchers electronically track their charging and driving behavior. That data shows more than 80% of electric "fill ups" are happening not at those public charging points, but at home.

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Consumer Choices
10:30 am
Fri November 18, 2011

'Bag your bags' King County says of troublesome plastics

If you’re confused about what to do with the plastic bags you get at grocery stores, you’re not alone. 

Many people know that they’re bad for the environment and that they can be recycled, but how to recycle them is another question.

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Consumer Choices
5:50 pm
Thu November 17, 2011

Ban on plastic bags in Seattle? Group gearing up for one more try

Plastic bags such as these can choke fish and whales when they get into the waste stream. In many communities around Washington, they are banned or no longer allowed in recycling bins.
King County Department of Natural Resources and Parks

When you go to the grocery store, it’s easy to forget to bring a reusable bag with you.

But the consequences of just taking the plastic bags that are doled out at most grocery chains is devastating to the health of local waters and wildlife. That’s the message from Environment Washington – a group that has issued a renewed call for a ban on plastic at checkout stands in Seattle.

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Tidal Power
6:03 am
Mon November 14, 2011

Ocean energy gaining momentum in Washington

You might call it harnessing the power of the moon.

Ocean energy is electricity that is generated when the power of tides, waves and currents moves turbines and windmills. It’s an idea that’s caught on already in Oregon. And there are plans on the horizon to bring it to Washington. 

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Radiation Exposure
10:08 am
Thu November 10, 2011

Idaho National Lab workers exposed to plutonium

Test Reactor Area west of Idaho Falls is home to the Advanced Test Reactor
Idaho National Lab

The Idaho National Lab is monitoring 16 of its workers who were exposed to Plutonium 239. That isotope is used in nuclear weapons.

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Biofuels
4:03 pm
Mon November 7, 2011

Alaska Airlines will use biofuel on 75 flights

Derin Flickr

This month, some Alaska Airlines flights will be flying on used cooking oil as they travel from Seattle to Portland and Washington D.C.

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Environment
10:51 am
Wed November 2, 2011

Sen. Cantwell wants U.S. to confirm salmon virus

Adult Sockeye salmon in the lower section of Adams River, British Columbia. The U.S. Senate has approved an amendment that calls for a rapid federal response to the ISA virus found in B.C. Sockeye.
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Flickr

U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell is calling on the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to independently confirm the presence of a deadly virus found in two Pacific salmon in British Columbia.

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Environment
9:25 am
Wed November 2, 2011

Washington plans to raise fees for dam inspections

A Dam breach piping failure in Walla Walla County.
Washington Dept. of Ecology

OLYMPIA, Wash. – The Northwest is known for its big hydroelectric dams. But across the region there are also hundreds of smaller non-hydro dams. Some of them hold back water, but others retain dairy waste or sewage.

In Washington, the operators of these structures could soon pay more in annual fees to cover the cost of inspections.

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