Environment

Environment
12:57 pm
Fri January 20, 2012

Environmentalists challenge logging plans over threatened murrelet

Three environmental groups intend to take Oregon's Department of Forestry to court over the effect logging has on a threatened seabird.

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Winter Storm
5:45 am
Fri January 20, 2012

Utility crews struggling to keep up with ice storm

Upwards of 250,000 homes served by Puget Sound Energy are without power – and some of the outages are expected to last a long as 4 days. Two of the region's other utilities were also reporting outages, bringing the total to about 280,000.

The ice storm is causing road closures and power outages all over the region.

Pierce, Thurston and Northeast King County are hardest hit.

As wet snow melts and then re-freezes, its weight is breaking tree limbs near roads or pulling entire trees out of the ground.

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Environment
12:30 pm
Fri January 13, 2012

Stage 2 burn bans in Pierce & Snohomish counties

A high pressure system continues to trap air pollution near the ground, prompting the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency to elevate the burn bans in Pierce and Snohomish counties from Stage 1 to Stage 2.

Stage 1 bans remain in effect for King, Kitsap, Mason and Thurston counties.

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I Wonder Why ... ?
4:30 am
Fri January 13, 2012

Mima Mounds continue to mystify scientists

Aerial photo of some Mima Mounds, courtesy of the WA Dept. of Natural Resources.

There’s a large swath of native prairie southwest of Olympia that’s very strange looking. So strange, in fact, that some have even said it was created by aliens. 

What makes it strange are “things” called The Mima Mounds.

We can tell you some things they are not, but we can’t tell you what they are. In fact, people have been trying to figure them out for centuries.

“It’s probably one of the most poorly understood phenomena in earth science,” says Paul Butler, professor emeritus of Earth Science at the Evergreen State College.

Read more on I Wonder Why ... ?

Environment
3:18 pm
Wed January 11, 2012

It's burn ban time again

The Puget Sound Clean Air Agency has declared a Stage One burn ban for King, Kitsap, Pierce and Snohomish counties. Burning is prohibited in fireplaces and uncertified wood stoves, unless the stove is the home's only adequate source of heat.

A high pressure system is bringing cold temperatures and mild winds to the region. The system keeps air pollution from dissipating, and air quality is expected to deteriorate through Friday.

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Environment
1:05 pm
Wed January 11, 2012

EPA creates Website to ID biggest emitters of greenhouse gases

Originally published on Wed January 11, 2012 12:39 pm

Ever wondered who the big greenhouse-gas emitters are in your neck of the woods? The answer is now just a click away.

The US Environmental Protection Agency today unveiled a new website that identifies most of the nation's biggest emitters of carbon dioxide, methane and other greenhouse gases. It lets you, for example:

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Energy
11:04 am
Tue January 10, 2012

Health division validates some concerns about wind farm noise

Upset neighbor of a wind farm in Union County, Oregon. By Tom Banse.

Originally published on Tue January 10, 2012 8:06 am

In a draft report, Oregon's Public Health Division acknowledges that noise from wind turbine blades may cause health problems among nearby homeowners. But the agency does not intend to take action against the burgeoning wind power industry.

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Wolf reintroduction
9:08 am
Tue January 10, 2012

Wolf vigil provokes anti-wolf counter protest in North Idaho

Patrick Krapfl of Coeur d'Alene holds a sign saying "Thanks for reminding me to buy my 2012 tags!" He joined other hunters in a counter protest of the wolf vigil. By Jessica Robinson.

Originally published on Tue January 10, 2012 8:32 am

COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho - The gray wolf is making its way deeper into Oregon, Washington, and now for the first time in almost 90 years, California. But where the wolf goes, emotions run high. Seventeen years after the re-introduction of gray wolves into Idaho, the subject continues to stir strong feelings in the state. Monday, wolf advocates in Coeur d'Alene held a full moon vigil to remember wolves killed by hunters.

"Do you have a candle yet?"

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Environment
4:30 am
Mon January 9, 2012

Getting rid of that old TV or computer requires due dilligence

Sure you can make art out of it, but the millions of tons of American electronic waste produced every year is an environmental and health hazard around the world.
Charlie Beldon Flickr

If you didn’t score that 40-inch LCD flat screen for Christmas this year, you might be scanning sales to get one in time for the Superbowl. Whether you’re upgrading or replacing TVs, getting rid of the old clunker can seem like a big project because you can’t just throw it out.

So how do you get rid of electronic waste?

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Environment
4:51 pm
Fri January 6, 2012

Idaho couple heads to Supreme Court over wetlands battle

Chantell and Mike Sackett of Priest River, Idaho, were ordered to halt work on their home because the EPA says the plot is part of a wetland.
Jessica Robinson Northwest News Network

A north Idaho couple is in the chambers of the U.S. Supreme Court Monday for a case that could affect environmental regulation across the country.

The nine justices are hearing oral arguments in a case Mike and Chantell Sackett brought against the EPA over the couple’s still un-built home.

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Environment
4:49 pm
Thu January 5, 2012

NW states released more toxics in 2010

Industrial facilities in Oregon, Washington, and Idaho released more toxic material in 2010 than the year before, according to the federal toxics inventory out today.

The three Northwest states had seen declines in toxic releases before 2010. But that year, the releases started to climb. Washington released 27 percent more than in 2009.

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Environment
11:35 am
Tue January 3, 2012

State Offers Grant Money To Protect Oregon’s Drinking Water

Angela Kellner/ KLCC

The state is seeking new ways – and partnerships – to help protect Oregon’s drinking water.

Nitrates, petroleum, blue-green algae, bacteria … not things you want in your drinking water. The state is offering money to government agencies, tribal nations and non-profits who can take on projects to tackle pollution sources. This includes runoff from agriculture, logging, landscaping and more.

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Environment
8:25 am
Tue January 3, 2012

82-acres in Pierce County to be wildlife preserve

TACOMA, Wash. — An 82-acre peninsula in Pierce County has been purchased for protection as a wildlife preserve.

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Environment
9:47 am
Thu December 29, 2011

For Bothell parks, housing bust means more forest

In Bothell, trees are worth fighting for ... especially at these prices.
Karl Hutchinson Flickr

BOTHELL, Wash. — From the freeway, it looks like just another patch of woods ripe for new housing development once the economy revives.

From the air, the forested stretch along I-405 reveals itself as part of a green ribbon buffering an active salmon creek. The appearance of a "sold" sign in mid-December marked a 35-acre patch of western red cedar, western hemlock and Douglas fir as property of the city of Bothell.

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Environment
4:33 am
Thu December 29, 2011

What's the best way to dispose of a Christmas tree?

Don't burn your tree outside! It's better to dissect it and re-use in the yard, if you can. Better yet, ecology experts say, don't buy one at all: rent instead.
CocteauBoy Flickr

Statewide, recycling for Washington State has reached the highest rates ever.  The biggest areas in which people are doing more are in reusing construction materials and composting food waste…and then there are those pesky Christmas trees.

Recycling rates have grown to 49% statewide – higher than ever. It’s an increase of 14% more than the prior year. 

But even though we’ve all become great at composting, many people still aren’t sure how to dispose of their Christmas trees.

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