Earthfix Northwest Environmental News

NPR Story
12:51 pm
Fri May 9, 2014

Wyden, Merkley Want Transparency For Shipments Of All Oil, Not Just Bakken

Tank cars carrying petroleum crude oil are stationed at a former asphalt plant near the Willamette River in Northwest Portland. The plant was recently purchased by Arc Logistics.
Tony Schick

Oregon's two U.S. senators, Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley, on Friday urged the Department of Transportation to expand its call for greater transparency to include all shipments of crude oil, not just that produced in the Bakken region of North Dakota.

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NPR Story
1:00 am
Fri May 9, 2014

School Districts Explore Solutions For Excessive Portable Classroom Use

Students examine a SEED portable classroom recently installed at the Perkins School in Seattle, Washington.
Katie Campbell

SPOKANE, Wash. -- Teachers at Spokane’s Jefferson Elementary don’t have to look far to know what they left behind.

The school’s old portable classrooms sit just a block away from their brand new building. It was in those portables where for nearly 30 years, Nancy Avery made the choice between fresh air and listening to her students, when she’d routinely switch off the noisy ventilation system that drowned out their voices.

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NPR Story
12:57 pm
Thu May 8, 2014

DOT Requires Better Oil By Rail Notice, But Some Unknowns Remain for NW Responders

Tank cars carrying petroleum crude oil are stationed at a former asphalt plant near the Willamette River in Northwest Portland. The plant was recently purchased by Arc Logistics.
Tony Schick

Northwest emergency responders soon will receive more information about how much Bakken crude oil is moving by rail through their communities.

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Earthfix
10:01 am
Thu May 8, 2014

Southern Oregon Towns Torn On Urban Deer Management

A perfect storm of conditions spawns ballooning deer populations in Southern Oregon towns.
Steve Hillebrand / USDFW

They roam through town in groups of three and four at dusk, or pre-dawn. They hide under bushes at night. They trespass, hopping fences and taking what they want. They’re black-tailed deer, and they’re everywhere.

For residents of just about every town in Southern Oregon, the sight of two or three deer browsing in someone’s yard or languidly crossing a busy street hardly turns a head. In certain “hot spots” — Ashland, Jacksonville, parts of Grant’s Pass and Medford — it goes without saying that if you want a successful garden, you better protect it with a fence.

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NPR Story
1:00 am
Thu May 8, 2014

States Put No Limits On Use Of Portable Classrooms

Workers at Blazer Industries push a half-built portable classroom out the door of the modular building manufacturing plant in Aumsville, Oregon.
Cassandra Profita

AUMSVILLE, Ore. – After affixing the roof to the walls, five workers push a half-built classroom out the door of the Blazer Industries manufacturing plant. Clearly, this is a portable classroom.

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NPR Story
1:00 am
Thu May 8, 2014

Is My Portable Classroom Making Me Sick?

Teachers reported feeling sick in these portable classrooms at Portland's Scott School.
Cassandra Profita

In October 2012, the Oregon Occupational Safety & Health Division got a complaint about mold in a portable classroom at Scott School in Northeast Portland.

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NPR Story
4:47 pm
Wed May 7, 2014

Environmental Group Appeals Court Ruling On Mount Hood Logging

Opponents of the Jazz timber sale protested outside Mt. Hood National Forest Headquarters today.
Cassandra Profita

Opponents of the Jazz timber sale in Mt. Hood National Forest are taking their case to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in an effort to stop logging on around 2,000 acres of forestland.

They're also warning that logging on that location will increases landslide risks -- an argument that could resonate with the public after the slide in Washington that killed 41 people and left two missing.

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Earthfix
7:34 pm
Tue May 6, 2014

Report: Climate Change Likely To Reduce Hydropower In The Northwest

A new climate report projects reductions in hydropower of up to 20 percent by 2080.
Sam Beebe Ecotrust/Flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/sbeebe/2848631323/in/photolist-ftZoWw-5kHYRa-5LvNYa-3YRmaL-KAvCH-dxWx5u-dxWxqm-5fYBjv-5fYBvF-4PDqeJ-5g3WMJ-boPKW1-9kX1ii-4PDqhw-dYhFJy-dY7L4j-dYhFRw-dY26H8-dY7KL3-dY7Lxf-

A national report released Tuesday says climate change will make it increasingly difficult for the Northwest to generate hydropower and protect salmon at the same time.

The Northwest gets 75 percent of its electricity from dams. As climate change reduces summer stream flows, the Northwest Climate Assessment report says the result will likely be less hydropower production from those dams – with reductions of up to 20 percent by 2080.

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Earthfix
6:18 pm
Mon May 5, 2014

Sea Star Wasting Syndrome Arrives In Oregon

Divers documented the first cases of sea star wasting syndrom in Oregon last week.
Courtesy of Oregon Coast Aquarium

The mysterious disease that has caused widespread sea star die-offs in Puget Sound is now killing dozens of sea stars off the Oregon Coast.

Divers with the Oregon Coast Aquarium made the discovery during a survey last week that revealed 48 dead and dying sea stars in a 60-square-mile area in Yaquina Bay on Oregon's central coast. The symptoms of wasting syndrome were seen in sunflower stars, ochre stars and giant pink stars.

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Earthfix
4:10 pm
Mon May 5, 2014

Advocates Applaud Less Toxic Pesticide Use At Oregon Refuge

Aerial View of the Ni-les’tun Unit looking east as it floods about an hour before high tide November 25, 2011. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service restored 400 acres of tidal wetlands in Bandon Marsh National Wildlife Refuge.
Roy W. Lowe/U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service http://www.flickr.com/photos/52133016@N08/6479409839/in/photolist-aSyENK-aSyELR-av28Cq-av29k5-av29SU-av29es-av28XY-av29Fm-auYt5i-auYrND-auYtzz-av28ns-av296q-amLJ96-ajMw5V-ajQiNW-auYsY2-av292y-auYrEK-a

Environmental advocates say the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has chosen the right pesticide to manage mosquitoes on Oregon's south coast.

A restoration project at Bandon Marsh National Wildlife Refuge has created unusually large swarms of mosquitoes. Last summer, Bandon residents complained the bugs were so bad they were forced to stay indoors.

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