Earthfix Northwest Environmental News

Timber Economics
5:25 pm
Mon February 24, 2014

2013: A Good Year For West Coast Lumber and Log Exports

West Coast log and lumber exports rose sharply in 2013
Amelia Templeton

Originally published on Mon February 24, 2014 3:25 pm

West Coast log and lumber exports rose sharply in 2013 as Asian demand for American logs increased, according to new research from the U.S. Forest Service.

The region's lumber and log exports rose about 20 percent last year, with demand peaking in the fourth quarter.

Most of the West Coast logs shipped overseas are going to China -- although Japan has upped its demand, as well. With limited forestlands of their own, these countries rely on the United States’ timber supply.

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NPR Story
1:00 am
Fri February 21, 2014

Navy Looks To Renew Permits For Bombing And Sonar Exercises In The Northwest

The U.S. Navy's aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis transits the Pacific Ocean alongside the oiler USNS Yukon.
Official U.S. Navy Imagery/Specialist 3rd Class Kenneth Abbate http://www.flickr.com/photos/56594044@N06/5752282612/in/photolist-9LiXdq-9yCUKw-giHq4n-bpQKrY-brutvP-bruthX-9pVTbH-8tqiRK-9qtNkh-9qqLec-cpF77S-ccDUkJ-9qtPcq-bBcNrY-9qtNsN-9qtMTW-9qqLok-9qqMWD-9qtMCm-9

SEATTLE -- The Navy is pursuing permits to continue conducting sonar and explosives exercises in a large area of the Pacific Ocean -- and that's putting marine mammal advocates on high alert.

Public hearings kick off next week as the Navy gathers public comments on its draft environmental impact statement for the Northwest training and testing range. The range stretches from northern California to the Canadian border.

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Earthfix
3:30 pm
Tue February 18, 2014

How Northwest's Natural Resource Policy-Making Could Change

The Northwest is in for a shakeup when it comes to natural resources policy. That's because the region is losing Sen. Ron Wyden and Rep. Doc Hastings, two key chairman of congressional committees that set policy on forests, rivers, mining and energy.

Originally published on Wed February 19, 2014 2:36 pm

The natural resource arena is losing two influential policymakers from the Northwest.

Rep. Doc Hastings, R-Wash., recently announced he would not seek reelection after representing central Washington for 20 years. Hastings has served on the House Committee on Natural Resources since 1995 and as its chair since 2011.

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Earthfix
1:00 am
Sun February 16, 2014

Volcanic Eruptions Could Be More Rare Than You Think

Researchers may soon be able to better predict when a volcano will erupt because of findings that show magma under the surface may not be as hot as previously thought.
Eric Klemetti, Denison University

Originally published on Tue February 18, 2014 1:00 am

Right before a volcano erupts, molten rock, known as magma, is moving around underneath the surface. New research suggests this liquid magma is very rare. That’s an important finding for researchers trying to predict when a volcano may erupt.

Geologists from University of Califonia, Davis, and Oregon State University studied Mount Hood and have found that magma is often too cold to move around so much. And cold, here, is a relative term.

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NPR Story
4:15 pm
Fri February 14, 2014

Crude Oil Terminal Planned In NW Portland

A Google Earth image of the Paramount Petroleum asphalt plant, recently sold to a an investment firm and leased to Arc Logistics Partners LP for use as a crude oil terminal.
Google Earth http://google.com/

PORTLAND -- A national fuel storage company has plans to turn an asphalt plant near the Willamette River into a rail and marine terminal for crude oil.

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NPR Story
2:08 pm
Wed February 12, 2014

Navy Says Failed Pump Led To Oily Wastewater Spill In Puget Sound

The view from an airplane window of the sheen on Hood Canal in Puget Sound following Monday's Naval Base Kitsap Bangor.
Washington Department of Ecology

The Navy is blaming a failed pump for its spill of nearly 2,000 gallons of oily wastewater into Puget Sound.

Tom Danaher, spokesman for Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor, said the Navy was using a pumping system on one of its piers to remove oily bilge water from a ship late Monday.

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NPR Story
1:06 pm
Wed February 12, 2014

Coal Terminal Near Longview Set For Environmental Review

The Washington Department of Ecology announced details Wednesday for its assessment of the environmental impact of a proposed coal export terminal in Longview, Wash. It would transfer trainloads of coal onto ocean-going vessels.
Katie Campbell

The coal export terminal proposed for the Columbia River town of Longview, Wash. is moving to the next phase in the environmental review process.

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NPR Story
5:00 pm
Tue February 11, 2014

Up To 2,000 Gallons Of Oil Spilled In Hood Canal

A flyover by the Washington Department of Ecology yielded this photo of Monday's spill at Hood Canal Bridge. The spill, traveled 10 miles from Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor.
Washington Department of Ecology https://www.flickr.com/photos/ecologywa/12467403445/

Officials are responding to an oil spill in Washington's Puget Sound. The spill occurred at Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor and has spread 10 miles north to Hood Canal.

State agencies estimate that up to 2,000 gallons of oil was spilled Monday when a ship was pumping out oily discharge at the naval facility. The pier-side transfer system failed and overflowed.

Initially the Navy estimated that 150 gallons spilled, but by Tuesday other agencies were disputing that amount.

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NPR Story
4:20 pm
Tue February 11, 2014

Oregon Issues 3 Permits For Columbia River Coal Terminal

A coal train moves through Wyoming where the coal is mined from the Powder River Basin.
Katie Campbell

The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality has issued three permits for the coal export terminal that Ambre Energy wants to build on the Columbia River in the Eastern Oregon town of Boardman.

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NPR Story
1:00 am
Tue February 11, 2014

Stalking Puget Sound Steelhead With Science

The crew of the research vessel Chasina gets ready to drop an acoustic telemetry receiver 300 feet down into Puget Sound. The device will record tagged steelhead as they swim out of their spawning rivers.
Ashley Ahearn

TACOMA, Wash. -- You might call Barry Berejikian a steelhead stalker.

The government scientist's pursuit of these anodramous trout has brought him to the deck of the Chasina, a research vessel that's motoring through choppy gray waters of southern Puget Sound near the Tacoma Narrows Bridge.

He's here to lay the groundwork for an experiment that could explain why so few steelhead are completing their journey through Puget Sound and on to the Pacific Ocean.

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