Earthfix Northwest Environmental News

NPR Story
1:47 pm
Wed September 25, 2013

Study: Dams Help The NW Cope With Climate Change

The Bonneville Dam was the first to go up on the Columbia River. A new study says dams help the Northwest cope with the effects of climate change. They allow water managers to hold water back for when it would otherwise be too scarce.

A new study suggests Columbia River Basin dams are helping the Northwest cope with climate change.

Scientists say one result of rising average temperatures is that water from snowmelt is flowing earlier into rivers. That could mean lower flows during summer and fall when the water is needed for fish and crop irrigation.

But the new study says Columbia River Basin dams are helping offset these shifts.

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NPR Story
8:07 am
Wed September 25, 2013

Feds Propose Plan For Hanford’s Tank Waste Challenges

There’s a new plan for cleanup at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation. U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz released the new “framework” Tuesday after a year of study.

There’s a new plan for cleanup at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation. The federal government is looking for ways to process certain types of radioactive waste more quickly, while managers there figure out how to solve major technical challenges at its massive Waste Treatment Plant.

U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz released the new “framework” Tuesday after a year of study.

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NPR Story
8:09 am
Tue September 24, 2013

Tests On Idaho River Reveal Challenge Of Cleaning Up Waterways

This month, the EPA is running tests on layers of muck from the bottom of the Coeur d'Alene River. It’s downstream from a federal superfund site.

A river basin cleanup in north Idaho is showing just how difficult it is to remove long-term pollution from Northwest waterways.

This month, the EPA is running tests on layers of muck from the bottom of the Coeur d'Alene River. It’s downstream from a federal superfund site.

As part of the test, a technician lowers a seven-foot tube into the riverbed, like a straw into a piece of bread.

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NPR Story
1:00 am
Tue September 24, 2013

Green Jobs Are Plentiful In Washington -- If You Define Them Loosely

Mike Mitzel took part in green jobs training in Washington, which was funded by the 2009 Recovery Act. He now works as a maintenance mechanic for the University of Washington’s Consolidated Laundry Facility.

SEATTLE, Wash. -- Hearing the term “green jobs” brings to mind images of people installing solar panels or constructing wind turbines.

Not maintaining laundry machinery, which is what Mike Mitzel does for a living.

Mitzel is an alum of the green jobs training initiative. He now works as a maintenance mechanic for the University of Washington’s Consolidated Laundry Facility.

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NPR Story
10:24 pm
Mon September 23, 2013

Warning: Some Columbia River Fish Not Safe To Eat

The Columbia River.

New advisories from health officials in Washington and Oregon warn that some fish in the Columbia River aren’t safe to eat.

The warnings do not apply to ocean-going fish like salmon and steelhead.

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Earthfix Northwest Environmental News
11:18 pm
Thu September 19, 2013

Protesters Suspend Themselves On Oregon's Capitol Building

Protesters unfurled a banner outside the rotunda of the Oregon capitol building.

Originally published on Thu September 19, 2013 5:12 pm

Oregon State Police have removed a huge banner from the Oregon State Capitol Building and detained five environmental protesters.

The activists created a spectacle Thursday when two of them rappelled down the outside of the dome. The banner they unfurled protested logging policies on state forest land.

The display attracted a crowd of onlookers. Dane Rowinski said he doesn't know much about the issue, but he admired the protesters' technique.

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Earthfix Northwest Environmental News
11:16 pm
Thu September 19, 2013

U.S. House Debate Forest Bill

Originally published on Thu September 19, 2013 5:30 pm

The U.S. House of Representatives debated a bill Thursday that would dramatically increase logging on federal forestlands in the Northwest.

The Restoring Healthy Forests for Healthy Communities Act affects national forests across the country. But it also includes provisions specific to the former railroad lands in Western Oregon known as the O&C lands.

Oregon representatives Peter DeFazio, Greg Walden and Kurt Schrader spoke on behalf of the bill.

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Earthfix Northwest Environmental News
6:10 pm
Fri September 13, 2013

Seattle Garden Project Sheds Light On The Decline of Bumblebees

A tuning fork buzzes at the same frequency of a bumblebee and causes tomato plant flowers to release their pollen.

Originally published on Fri September 13, 2013 6:27 am

SEATTLE -- You’ve probably heard about colony collapse disorder, the mystery of honeybees dying in large numbers. And if you've been paying attention to our earlier reports, you may also realize that bumblebees, too, have been hit hard.

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