Earthfix Northwest Environmental News

Earthfix
4:16 pm
Thu May 29, 2014

Oregon And 7 Other States Plan To Increase Zero Emission Vehicles

An electric vehcile being recharged. Oregon is joining seven other states in a plan to bring more electric vehicles to roadways. The state focus will be on getting more car dealer involvement and working with utilities.
Washington Department of Transportation

Oregon is joining seven other states in a plan to bring 3.3 million electric vehicles to the nation's roadways.

Many other states in the alliance are working to have more charging infrastructure built -- something Oregon has been working on for years now. For that reason, Oregon's strategy will focus on getting more car dealer involvement.

About 90 percent of the state’s population has access to fast charging stations, according to said Ashley Horvat, Oregon’s chief EV officer.

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NPR Story
2:44 pm
Thu May 29, 2014

Intel Agrees To Test Air Pollution, Analyze Health Risks At Oregon Facilities

An illustration of Intel's planned D1X expansion at its Ronler Acres manufacturing plant in Hillsboro, Oregon.
Courtesy of Intel http://download.intel.com/newsroom/kits/corporate/gallery/images/PlannedDevelopment_FabD1X_HillsboroOregon.jpg

In response to the threat of a lawsuit over its failure to report air emissions of fluoride, Intel Corp. has agreed to test for air pollution at its Oregon facilities and conduct a risk assessment.

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NPR Story
10:57 am
Wed May 28, 2014

Boeing Focuses On Fuel Efficiency In Light Of New Climate Rules

Boeing has invested in ETS Aviation, which helps airlines respond to regulatory pressure over carbon emissions.
Flickr Photo/Chuck Taylor

Boeing is buying a software company that it says will make planes more fuel efficient.

The purchase of ETS Aviation of Bristol, England, will also help prepare airlines for a new challenge. That's because the company can measure carbon use.

And the aerospace industry, one of the heaviest emitters of greenhouse gases, is starting to accept that global controls on carbon emissions are probably coming.

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NPR Story
1:00 am
Wed May 28, 2014

Oso Highlights A Policy Challenge: Development Pressure Vs. Landslide Risk

Barbara Ingram stands in front of the site of a proposed development in her neighborhood. Snohomish County denied the permit for the development due to "slope stability and drainage issues" but the developer has reapplied.
Ashley Ahearn

Originally published on Thu May 29, 2014 1:00 am

This is the second part of a two-part series on managing landslide risk. Read the first part of the series here.

EDMONDS, Wash. — Barbara Ingram furrows her brow as she peers into a patch of woods up the road from her house. Developers have had their eyes on this place, too.

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NPR Story
1:00 am
Wed May 28, 2014

One County’s Controversial Move To Protect Homeowners From Landslide Risk

John Thompson, a geologist and senior planner with Whatcom County, surveys the Jim Creek and Bald Mountain landslides along Canyon Creek. The slides have blocked the creek repeatedly, causing flooding that has destroyed homes downstream.
Ashley Ahearn

Originally published on Wed May 28, 2014 11:00 pm

This is the first part of a two-part series on managing landslide risk. Read the second part of the serieshere.

GLACIER SPRINGS, Wash. — Canyon Creek comes plunging fast and steep down the Cascade Mountains near Mount Baker.

Since the March 22 Oso landslide killed 42 people, county governments in the Northwest have been thinking more about how to plan for and mitigate the risk of landslides.

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NPR Story
1:16 pm
Tue May 27, 2014

New Rules Make It Easier To Log Damaged Federal Forestland

A 330,000-acre area of Oregon's Fremont-Winema National Forest has been infested by bark beetles. It's one of the areas now designated for restoration logging under new rules.
Courtesy of Fremont-Winema National Forest

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has eased rules for logging millions of acres of Northwest forestland considered to be at risk of catastrophic fire.

These are forests where insects and disease have damaged trees and other vegetation, creating fuel for wildfires. These forestlands now have a special designation that allows a streamlined process for logging on larger tracts.

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NPR Story
1:53 pm
Fri May 23, 2014

China To Lift Ban On West Coast Shellfish

Last year the United States exported more than $500 million worth of shellfish with China as its biggest customer.
Katie Campbell

China will lift its ban on imports of geoduck clams and other shellfish from the West Coast, according to a statement from Washington Congressman Derek Kilmer.

“The lifting of this ban is great news for shellfish growers and businesses in our region,” Kilmer said Friday in a statement. “China is a key export market for our region’s shellfish and this news means greater economic stability for the workers and families in our region.”

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Earthfix
4:58 pm
Thu May 22, 2014

Endangered Butterfly Reintroduced To Willamette Valley Refuge

Scientists are releasing endangered fender's blue butterflies onto the Finley National Wildlife Refuge south of Corvallis, Oregon
Devan Schwartz

A butterfly once thought to be extinct is being reintroduced to an Oregon wildlife refuge in hopes of expanding its range throughout the Willamette Valley.

At the Finley National Wildlife Refuge near Corvallis, the butterflies are slowly crawling out of their chilled containers. When they’re comfortable, they bask in the sun to warm up their flight muscles. Then, if all is well, they fly to the nearby lupines.

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NPR Story
2:35 pm
Thu May 22, 2014

EarthFix Conversation: Gina McCarthy, Head of the EPA, Talks Climate Change

EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy met with Washington Governor Jay Inslee and other leaders in Seattle to talk about climate change.
Ashley Ahearn

Environmental Protection Agency Director Gina McCarthy is in the Northwest as part of her national tour to promote President Obama's Climate Action Plan.

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NPR Story
5:12 pm
Wed May 21, 2014

Oregon Landowners Agree To Protect Sage Grouse

One county in Southeastern Oregon has announced one of the largest land conservation agreements in the state to protect greater sage grouse.
Vince Patton

One county in Southeastern Oregon has announced one of the largest land conservation agreements in the state to protect greater sage grouse.

The birds live in sagebrush country where their habitat is shrinking because of people, wildfires, and invasive species. Harney County contains much of Oregon’s prime sage grouse habitat.

“We are kind of in ground zero,” said rancher Tom Sharp, who sees sage grouse regularly on his land.

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