Earthfix Northwest Environmental News

NPR Story
11:00 am
Fri November 1, 2013

Making The U.S. More Energy Efficient, One Building At A Time

A new, highly efficient rooftop heating and cooling unit could reduce a commercial building's energy costs by an average of 41 percent.

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7:34 am
Fri November 1, 2013

Spread Of Stink Bugs Alarms Growers, Scientists

Brown marmorated stink bug on an olive branch in the Willamette Valley. The malodorous invasive bug has gone from a worry to a certifiable nuisance for some Northwest farmers and gardeners.

A malodorous invasive bug has gone from a worry to a certifiable nuisance for some Northwest farmers and gardeners. The name of this insect is a mouthful: the brown marmorated stink bug.

Researchers say the population really seems to have taken off this year. With the approach of winter, these stink bugs are leaving the fields and may just crawl into your home.

"A little bit like sweaty socks"

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6:27 am
Fri November 1, 2013

New Report: Puget Sound Still In 'Critical Condition' But Don't Unplug Life Support Yet

Orcas surface in the waters of Puget Sound against the backdrop of Seattle. Washington's urbanized inland sea remains plagued with pollution and other challenges -- including a declining resident orca population -- according to a new report.

SEATTLE -- The state agency that's leading the cleanup of Puget Sound has released its latest annual report on the health of Puget Sound.

Last year Puget Sound Partnership referred to the Sound as a patient in “critical condition.” This year things don’t look much better.

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6:00 am
Fri November 1, 2013

New ‘Vanishing Ice’ Exhibit Reveals A Changing Climate Through The Art of the Arctic

Orcas surface in the waters of Puget Sound against the backdrop of Seattle. Washington's urbanized inland sea remains plagued with pollution and other challenges -- including a declining resident orca population -- according to a new report.

BELLINGHAM, Wash. -- The polar regions of the world have long been a source of awe and wonder.

But that inspiration often comes second hand. Most of us won’t see these places up close with our own eyes.

Instead we rely on photographers, filmmakers, painters and writers who journey to far flung frozen lands to capture their extreme nature and raw beauty.

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3:51 pm
Wed October 30, 2013

First 'Farm To School' Census

October is National Farm to School Month. This year, the USDA conducted the first 'Farm To School' Census.

As October winds down, so does this year’s National Farm To School Month. In 2010 Congress passed the resolution formally recognizing the annual celebration.

The USDA describes the ‘movement’ on their website:

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7:45 am
Wed October 30, 2013

Two Umatilla Wolf Pups Inadvertently Trapped

Wildlife biologists fitted a pair of young wolves from the Umatilla River pack with GPS collars after the animals were inadvertently trapped Oct. 26 in a forested area east of Weston.

The pups, born in April, were on private land when caught in separate foot-hold traps by a licensed trapper who intended to trap coyotes, according to the Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife. Spokeswoman Michelle Dennehy said the trapper followed regulations and immediately reported the situation to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

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7:20 am
Wed October 30, 2013

Inslee: Ellensburg Area Stream Restoration Good for Salmon and Farms

Governor Jay Inslee signs his name to some of the pipe that will put water back in Manastash Creek near Ellensburg, Wash.

A dried-out 3-mile-stretch of creek in central Washington will soon swell again with water. It’s part of a project near Ellensburg to pipe irrigation water from the Yakima River to keep water in the creek for salmon and steelhead.

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9:46 pm
Tue October 29, 2013

Hundreds Attend First State Hearing On Vancouver Oil Terminal

Brooks Berndt, a pastor at the United Church of Christ in Vancouver, Wash., spoke at a rally protesting a controversial oil terminal proposal Tuesday.

A one-year time clock is ticking in the state permitting process for a controversial oil terminal proposed in Vancouver, Wash.

On Tuesday, the Washington Energy Facility Site Evaluation Council held its first scoping hearing for the Tesoro-Savage terminal at the Port of Vancouver. About 300 people stood in line to get into the hearing; most of them wore red shirts in protest.

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6:00 am
Tue October 29, 2013

Another Fiery Tesla Makes Headlines

A Tesla Model S spotted in Portland with a license plate that reads, "GAS LOL." Tesla Motors has made headlines with two fiery car crashes which has dropped company shares.

Saw my first Tesla Model S in person last night. Its license plate boasted, ‘GAS LOL.’ Gas may be a funny concept to Tesla car owners, but they might not be laughing about some recent news. The electric vehicle company, like the shiny rock star it is, just can’t stay out of the limelight.

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4:07 pm
Mon October 28, 2013

Oregon And Washington Governors Agree To New Controls On Carbon Emissions

Smoke stacks during a night scene in Tacoma, Wash. The governors of California, Washington and Oregon and the premier of British Columbia announced on Oct. 28, 2013 their plan to align strategies to curb greenhouse gas emissions.

The governors of Oregon and Washington agreed Monday to add new controls on carbon emissions as part of a West Coast strategy to address climate change.

Govs. John Kitzhaber of Oregon and Jay Inslee of Washington joined Gov. Jerry Brown of California and British Columbia Premier Christy Clark in announcing a shared set of goals for reducing carbon emissions in the region and responding to climate change.

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3:03 pm
Mon October 28, 2013

Greenpeace's Protest Vessel Arrives In NW Waters

The Greenpeace vessel, Rainbow Warrior, will arrive in Vancouver, Wash. for public tours on Nov. 2 and 3.

Ever want to board Greenpeace’s iconic ship, The Rainbow Warrior, without getting arrested?

The public is invited to tour the ship often used for water-borne civil disobedience campaigns, while it’s docked this weekend in Vancouver, Wash.

Public tours are available on Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 2 and 3, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., at Vancouver Landing, just west of 100 Columbia St., on the Columbia riverfront. Special activities for children will be offered from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday.

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1:00 am
Mon October 28, 2013

Export Terminal in Newport Would Route Log Trucks Past Condos

A plan for a logging export terminal at Port of Newport, Ore. is in conflict with nearby neighbors in a condo development.

The Port of Newport on the Oregon coast is hoping to develop a new log export terminal. That’s led to a conflict with the port’s new neighbors.

Back in 1948, a private company built Newport’s first log export terminal on top of a pair of sunken barges leftover from World War II.

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3:33 pm
Fri October 25, 2013

Public Scoping Meeting For Vancouver Port Oil Terminal

Washington agencies are holding two public meetings Monday and Tuesday on a controversial oil terminal proposed for the Port of Vancouver.

Washington agencies are holding two public meetings Monday and Tuesday on a controversial oil terminal proposed for the Port of Vancouver.

The Tesoro-Savage oil terminal would transport 360,000 barrels of crude oil a day. The oil would come from North Dakota's Bakken fields by trains, be transferred to vessels on the Columbia River and then shipped to West Coast refineries. It's the largest oil terminal project of several proposed in the Northwest.

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3:30 pm
Fri October 25, 2013

Increasing Steelhead Numbers With A Little TLC

Washington agencies are holding two public meetings Monday and Tuesday on a controversial oil terminal proposed for the Port of Vancouver.

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1:24 pm
Fri October 25, 2013

Bill Gates Finds Enlightenment At Idaho Nuke Lab

Bill Gates during a tour last week at the Idaho National Laboratory.

The billionaire Bill Gates made a trip this to Idaho on behalf of his nuclear power start-up to see what he can learn at the Idaho National Laboratory.

According to the INL's press shop, the Microsoft co-founder found the tour to be pretty insightful.

Gates is chairman of the nuclear reactor startup company TerraPower, which is headquartered in Bellevue, Wash.

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10:30 am
Fri October 25, 2013

Goats In Boats: An Answer To Invasive Species On Islands?

Clayton and New York float the Willamette with their owner Erica Somes.

It could have been just another adventure for Clayton and New York, two goats living in Northeast Portland. But on this trip, they also had a mission.

“It started with just seeing if we could take the goats canoeing,” said Travis Williams, whose girlfriend Erica Somes originally bought the two goats to help out on backpacking trips.

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10:14 am
Fri October 25, 2013

Pension Fund Managers Want Climate Study From Fossil Fuel Companies

Clayton and New York float the Willamette with their owner Erica Somes.

Managers of some of the biggest pension funds in the world are worried about the profitability of fossil fuel companies, according to a report from The Associated Press (via NPR).

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7:49 am
Fri October 25, 2013

Report: West Coast States, B.C., To Align Carbon Reduction Efforts

California, Oregon, Washington and British Columbia will try to align their approach to reduce carbon pollution, according to a news report quoting California Gov. Jerry Brown.

Oregon, Washington, California and British Columbia are aligning their efforts to reduce carbon pollution, according to a wire service report.

The Reuters article quotes California Gov. Jerry Brown saying he plans to sign an agreement to formally align his state’s climate and clean-energy policies with those of his two neighboring West Coast states and the Canadian province to the north.

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11:00 am
Thu October 24, 2013

NW Researcher Says Toxic Algae Have A Competitive Edge

Researchers take samples from Lake Taihu in China, when it was heavily contaminated with toxic algal blooms.

Pollution and climate change may be making freshwater algae blooms more toxic, according to a Northwest scientist's newly published analysis.

Oregon State University researcher Tim Otten's article in the journal Science concludes that fertilizer pollution, wastewater, and a warming climate are fueling the growth of huge mats of green scum in lakes and reservoirs.

“For instance in Lake Erie, it’s been plagued with toxic blooms that are so large you can see them from outer space,” he said.

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9:21 am
Thu October 24, 2013

Ore. Among 8 States Pledging To Boost Zero-Emission Vehicles

An electric car being recharged. Oregon and seven other states are pledging to put 3.3 million such zero-emission vehicles on the road by 2025.

The governors of Oregon and seven other states pledged Thursday to put 3.3 million zero-emission vehicles on the road by 2025.

Their goals include reducing greenhouse gas emissions, improving air quality and public health and boosting the economy.

The states make up 25 percent of the U.S. vehicle market. Representatives from all eight states were in Sacramento, Calif. to sign a memorandum of understanding. It lays out several steps the states intend to take. Among them:

Include zero-emission vehicles in public fleets

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