Earthfix Northwest Environmental News

NPR Story
2:44 pm
Fri November 22, 2013

Putting A Price On Wind Power's Eagle Kills

Our infographic explains how wind turbines pose dangers to golden eagles and other types of birds.

One of the country's biggest energy corporations has agreed to shell out $1 million in a settlement over the 14 golden eagles killed by its Wyoming wind turbines.

Duke Energy struck the agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice on Friday. The announcement came after the energy giant was hit with misdemeanor charges under the federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act.

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NPR Story
12:04 pm
Fri November 22, 2013

Artists Tell Stories Of Dead Bees

Artist Sarah Hatton has created a series of works using thousands of dead bees displayed in spirals symbolic of agriculture. She wants to bring attention to bees' decline due to pesticide use.

A headline at green blog Inhabitat mentioning ‘thousands of dead bees’ and ‘dizzying mandalas’ drew me in. The image that greeted me when I clicked through did not disappoint.

In an email, Canadian artist Sarah Hatton shared her inspiration for the series of works:

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NPR Story
8:25 am
Fri November 22, 2013

Turning Deep-Fried Thanksgiving Turkey Grease Into Biofuel

Planning a deep-fried turkey for Thanksgiving? You can recycle the used oil into biodiesel by dropping it off at New Seasons in Portland and Vancouver, Wash., next week.

I've never had deep-fried turkey, but I've heard it's delicious. It also requires several gallons of cooking oil. And when the cooking is through, it leaves behind a vat of used oil.

To biofuel companies, that's feedstock.

At least one biofuel maker would be happy to take those Thanksgiving leftovers.

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NPR Story
7:51 am
Fri November 22, 2013

Vancouver Barge Company Signs On To Coal Project

Tidewater Barge Lines, based in Vancouver, Wash., signed a deal with Ambre Energy to operate tugboats and barges needed to move the coal 218 miles down the Columbia River — if the project receives permits.

While Ambre Energy awaits state and federal permits to build a controversial coal export terminal at the Port of Morrow, the company signed a letter of intent with Tidewater Barge Lines for transportation service along the Columbia River.

Tidewater, based in Vancouver, Wash., will operate tugboats and barges needed to move the coal 218 miles down river — if the project receives permits from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Oregon Department of State Lands and Department of Environmental Quality.

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NPR Story
8:45 am
Thu November 21, 2013

New Research: Lab Fish Fed Plastic More Likely To Develop Tumors, Liver Problems

The unaltered stomach contents of a dead albatross chick photographed on Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge in the Pacific in September 2009 include plastic marine debris fed the chick by its parents.

The majority of the plastic pollution in the ocean, by volume, comes in the form of tiny confetti-sized particles, which, as anyone who's ever kept a pet fish can attest, resemble fish food.

And fish are fooled as well.

More than 40 species of fish, globally, are known to consume plastic.

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NPR Story
3:24 pm
Wed November 20, 2013

Hungry For Climate Change Action

Using the hashtag #FastingForTheClimate hunger strikers around the world posted images of empty dishes.

SEATTLE -- Michael Foster hasn’t eaten in nine days.

He’s not on a diet, or a cleanse. The the middle-aged father of two decided spontaneously last Monday to voluntarily fast to draw attention to climate change talks happening on the other side of the world.

I spoke with Foster at lunchtime on Day 8. He was “huuuuuuuungry,” he said.

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Earthfix Northwest Environmental News
11:42 am
Wed November 20, 2013

China’s Building Boom Revives Northwest Log Export Debate

A scaler grades logs that Teevin Brothers are preparing to ship to China. It can take 37,000 logs to fill a vessel.
Credit Amelia Templeton, EarthFix

Log export proposals are causing controversy along the Northwest coast.

Ports along the Oregon and Washington coast are looking to reopen log yards that shut down years ago, and provide the raw material to feed China’s construction boom. But some residents in Newport Oregon say a proposal to export logs there isn’t good for the community, and will hurt Northwest mills. From EarthFix, Amelia Templeton has this report.

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NPR Story
11:30 am
Wed November 20, 2013

Group Sues Yacolt Mining Company Over Water Pollution

An environmental group is suing a mining company in Clark County for water pollution. Local resident David Rogers shows a photo of his bathtub filled with well water.

A Clark County environmental group has filed a lawsuit against a Yacolt mining operation, claiming years of pollution and violations of the federal Clean Water Act.

In a suit filed in U.S. District Court in Tacoma, Friends of the East Fork Lewis River claims that the Yacolt Mountain Quarry and its owners have discharged dirt, silt and other pollutants into tributaries of the East Fork. The suit names quarry operator J.L. Storedahl & Sons, Inc., company leaders and landowner Brent Rotschy as defendants.

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NPR Story
8:02 am
Wed November 20, 2013

First 'Megaload' Moves On Oregon Roads Sunday

Erik Zander of Omega Morgan discusses the megaload plans at a public meeting Monday night in John Day.

State transportation officials say Omega Morgan’s first oversized load to move through Eastern Oregon will hit the road in Umatilla the night of Sunday, Nov. 24.

Erik Zander, the Hillsboro-based company’s project manager, said at a meeting Monday night in John Day the date is not firm, as he doesn’t yet have the permit.

However, if the move does start Sunday, it could take about six nights to travel through the state under perfect conditions – or longer, with delays possible for weather and the holiday break, he said.

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NPR Story
1:56 pm
Tue November 19, 2013

Tesla Fire Investigation Launched

Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk is taking a proactive approach addressing concerns about safety for his company's luxury electric vehicle, the Model S, after three recent car fires. On his company’s blog, Musk writes,

“While we believe the evidence is clear that there is no safer car on the road than the Model S, we are taking three specific actions ... "

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