Environment

Environment

An aerial view of clear-cuts near the south fork of Gordon Creek, one of two water sources for Corbett, Oregon. CREDIT: Google Earth

Timber Tax Cuts Cost Rural Northwest Towns Billions. Polluted Water Drove Up The Price

In rainy Oregon, communities tap a network of streams and creeks to supply millions of residents with cold, clean water. The problem is that the land surrounding drinking water streams is, in many cases, owned not by the towns or the residents who drink the water, but by private timber companies that are now logging more intensively than ever, cutting trees on a more rapid cycle and spraying herbicides to kill other plants that compete with replanted seedlings for sunlight. Continue Reading Timber Tax Cuts Cost Rural Northwest Towns Billions. Polluted Water Drove Up The Price

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A polar bear with cubs in Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in 2014. Barcroft Media/Barcroft Media via Getty Images

After Decades-Long Push, It’s Not Clear Who Will Bid In Arctic Refuge Oil Lease Sale

Just two weeks before President-elect Joe Biden takes office, the Trump administration is trying to lock-in oil and gas drilling in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge with a hastily scheduled and controversial lease sale. But despite the high stakes, uncertainty looms over how much oil is actually trapped under the million acres of tundra up for leasing, and how much industry interest there is to go find it. Continue Reading After Decades-Long Push, It’s Not Clear Who Will Bid In Arctic Refuge Oil Lease Sale

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Oregon State University researcher Chris Dunn next to a Douglas fir, which burned in Oregon’s September 2020 fires and was later cut down by fire crews who considered it a safety hazard. CREDIT: Jes Burns/OPB

Despite What The Logging Industry Says, Cutting Down Trees Isn’t Stopping Catastrophic Wildfires

In the decades since government restrictions reduced logging on federal lands, the timber industry has promoted the idea that private lands are less prone to wildfires, saying that forests thick with trees fuel bigger, more destructive blazes. But an analysis by OPB and ProPublica shows last month’s fires burned as intensely on private forests with large-scale logging operations as they did, on average, on federal lands that cut fewer trees. Continue Reading Despite What The Logging Industry Says, Cutting Down Trees Isn’t Stopping Catastrophic Wildfires

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The Plutonium Finishing Plant at the Hanford Site in southeastern Washington. The site includes 56 million gallons of radioactive waster across 580 square miles.

Aging Tanks, Aging Watchdogs: Lots To Work On For Washington’s New Waste Program Manager

David Bowen has owned his own bar in Cle Elum, been a Kittitas County commissioner and managed groundwater nitrate cleanup in the Yakima Valley. Now, he’ll hold the U.S. Department of Energy accountable for its cleanup at the site using the Tri-Party Agreement. That’s a 1989 document struck between Ecology, the federal Department of Energy and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Continue Reading Aging Tanks, Aging Watchdogs: Lots To Work On For Washington’s New Waste Program Manager

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Eightmile Dam, shown here in May 2018, was in need of emergency repairs at the time. Now a plan - and the environmental review - for a permanent fix is underway, with public comments due in February 2021. Courtesy of WA Dept. of Ecology

Don’t ‘Lose Yourself’ Or Miss Your ‘One Shot’ To Comment On Review Of Washington’s Eightmile Dam

Fans of rapper Eminem, whose movie “8 Mile” featured his hit song “Lose Yourself” might note, as the song’s lyrics do, “You only get one shot, do not miss your chance to blow. This opportunity comes once in a lifetime.” Now, the public has an opportunity to comment on the environmental review of the aging Eightmile Dam in central Washington’s Alpine Lakes Wilderness. Continue Reading Don’t ‘Lose Yourself’ Or Miss Your ‘One Shot’ To Comment On Review Of Washington’s Eightmile Dam

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Orchards are shown in the foreground of the Wenatchee Valley on Monday, November 19, 2018, in Wenatchee. KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer CREDIT: KUOW PHOTO/MEGAN FARMER

Contaminated Former Orchards In Central Washington One Step Closer To Being Safer

Homes, schools, parks and daycares on Central Washington’s former orchards could soon be one step closer to sitting atop less contaminated ground. A workgroup is finalizing a report to help spread the word about pesticide contamination from more than a century ago – and to give advice on how to help clean it up. Continue Reading Contaminated Former Orchards In Central Washington One Step Closer To Being Safer

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