Earthfix Northwest Environmental News

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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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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NPR Story
4:03 pm
Fri February 7, 2014

Tesoro To Upgrade To Safer Oil Tankers

A company that’s shipping crude oil through the Pacific Northwest has announced it’s upgrading its fleet to safer tanker train cars.
Flickr Creative Commons: Russ Allison Loar

A company that’s shipping crude oil through the Pacific Northwest has announced it’s upgrading its fleet to safer tanker train cars. The announcement comes after several derailments, fires, and explosions prompted safety concerns, including an explosion in Quebec last summer that killed 47 people.

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Earthfix
2:12 pm
Thu February 6, 2014

Wyden Confronts Critics Of His Oregon Logging Bill

Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., asks the strongest critics of his bill if they both "might be a little wrong" at a hearing before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.
Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee

At a hearing in the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Thursday, U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden challenged critics of his Oregon logging bill to admit that they "may be a little bit wrong."

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Earthfix Northwest Environmental News
10:16 am
Thu February 6, 2014

Green Light For Floating Wind Farm Off Southern Oregon Coast

An illustration of floating offshore wind turbines.
Principle Power Inc.

Originally published on Thu February 6, 2014 9:37 am

A Seattle company that wants to build a floating wind farm off the shore of Southern Oregon got a green light from some high-ranking officials Wednesday.

Interior Secretary Sally Jewell, Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber and Tommy Beaudreau, director of the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, ushered in a new phase of development for Principle Power, Inc.

The 30-megawatt project would be sited 18 miles off the shore of Coos Bay in about 1,400 feet of water. One power cable would connect the turbines to shore.

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