Environment

Stories about the environment focused on the Pacific Northwest, with many from KNKX's Environment reporter, Bellamy Pailthorp.

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Rick Bowmer / AP Photo

A public hearing on Gov. Jay Inslee’s proposal to tax fossil fuel emissions takes place Tuesday in Olympia. A coalition of environmental groups is urging people to go and organizing carpools to ensure a strong turnout.

They say the governor’s carbon tax is just one of at least three climate policies they want to see action on this session. And two groups have new polling data to back that up.

COURTESY WASHINGTON DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES

Washington is the only west coast state in the U.S. that allows Atlantic salmon net pen farming in open water. That may change in the wake of a summer spill of more than 300,000 of the non-native fish into Puget Sound.

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee is making another push for a state carbon tax. The Democrat unveiled his latest proposal Tuesday during his State of the State address.

Climate Activists Urge Washington Lawmakers To Take Action In 2018

Jan 8, 2018

Climate activists want Washington state to be powered exclusively by renewable energy within 10 years. They rallied at the state Capitol Monday—the first day of the legislative session.

Courtesy Washington Department of Ecology via AP Photo

As the state legislative session begins Monday, climate activists are out in full force in Olympia. They’re urging lawmakers to take bold steps to slow global warming.

Courtesy of the Department of Natural Resources

Cooke Aquaculture has filed suit against the state Department of Natural Resources. The company wants a court to reverse the state’s termination of its lease for an Atlantic salmon fish farm near Port Angeles.  

Courtesy Long Live the Kings

One of the biggest mysteries among people working on salmon recovery in Puget Sound and the Salish Sea is what happens to juvenile fish once they head for the ocean. Survival rates of Chinook, Coho and Steelhead have all declined since the 1980s, but resource managers don’t know why.

A new grant from Microsoft is using artificial intelligence to greatly improve the computer models used to tackle the question.

Elaine Thompson / File / AP Photo

Despite a very bad summer for local resident orca whales, this winter is shaping up as a premium time to see them from the shore. Orca watchers say the Southern Residents seem to be foraging for chum salmon after finding less Chinook than usual this year.

Dave Martin / AP Photo

Legislation is moving through the U.S. House that would weaken how fisheries are managed. That has several groups calling foul, including scientists, seafood producers and chefs, many of them in the Northwest.

Jim Culp / Courtesy Washington State Department of Transportation.

A new state initiative called Maritime Blue is pushing for more sustainability in the sector. A 20-member advisory council appointed by Governor Jay Inslee is developing innovation strategies, with the help of consultants from Norway. 

That has the head of the Washington State Ferries system dreaming big about how to electrify the fleet.

You might be in the market for a Christmas tree right about now, but have you thought about what type of Christmas tree you want in eight years?

Believe it or not, it might be hard to find one. That’s because of a tree seedling shortage happening right now across the West.

"Tacoma" by jc.winkler is licensed under CC by 2.0 http://bit.ly/2AGBPk2

Flooding, wildfires, heat waves, air pollution: No one expects these anticipated impacts of climate change to respect city and county borders.

That's why local leaders plan to begin pooling resources and ideas next year as they brace for a potentially harsher future in the Puget Sound region. 

courtesy State Dept of Natural Resources

Conservation groups are up in arms over a possible new net pen for Atlantic salmon in open waters off the Olympic Peninsula. A public hearing Tuesday in Port Angeles will touch on the issue.  

courtesy Washington Department of Natural Resources

Two state lawmakers have introduced legislation that aims to immediately ban all farming of Atlantic salmon in net pens in Washington waters. If passed, the ban would take effect as soon as it is signed by Gov. Jay Inslee.  

The company that wants to build a coal export terminal in Longview, Washington, is keeping lawyers busy this week on multiple fronts. In recent months, the Millennium Bulk Terminals project has suffered repeated setbacks, mainly in the form of permit denials.

Wonderlane / flickr via Compfight

Community leaders in Seattle’s Beacon Hill neighborhood have a two-year environmental justice grant from the Environmental Protection Agency to address health issues from air and noise pollution. They’re holding a meeting Saturday at the Centilia Cultural Center on the campus of  El Centro de la Raza.  

Ted S. Warren/file / AP Photo

New regulations under the Clean Water Act mean 81 cities and counties around Puget Sound have to update their development codes to reduce storm water runoff. A scorecard from two environmental groups shows fewer than half are in compliance.  

Cleaning up radioactive waste contained in tanks at the Hanford nuclear reservation is one of the top challenges facing the U.S. Department of Energy. That’s according a new special report by the department’s Inspector General.

courtesy Stand.earth

A group of protestors is camping outside of Starbucks headquarters in Seattle, demanding a fully recyclable paper cup for its coffee beverages. They plan to be there all week.

Bellingham-based Stand.earth started camping out Monday. 

A major milestone is approaching at the Hanford Site in southeast Washington state. After nearly two decades of work, contractors have just finished cleaning out the first group of 16 radioactive waste tanks.

After the tank farm is officially declared cleaned out by Washington’s Department of Ecology, the federal government has to decide what to do with the tanks themselves.

People who catch fish for sport or for a living often eagerly await the day when fishing season opens. But a new study from the University of Washington argues the timing of fishing seasons needs to be reevaluated, especially in light of climate change.

Richard Drew / AP Photo

The average American household tosses out at least a quarter of its food   – and that increases over the  holidays. In the wake of Thanksgiving, King County wants to remind people why it’s not just better for their pocketbooks to waste less food.  

Bellamy Pailthorp / KNKX

The public comment period  ends next month on a federal proposal to nearly triple visitor fees to the nation’s most popular national parks. Those include Mount Rainier and Olympic National Parks where visitors would pay $70 in peak months (up from $25) starting this May.

Courtesy Karla Salp, Wash. State Dept of Agriculture

Gypsy moths are back in Washington State – with a vengeance. Officials at the Washington State Department of Agriculture say they’re evaluating options after the agency’s annual trapping program caught 117 of the invasive species this summer – the highest number in more than 20 years.

It’s normal for Agriculture technicians to find one or two gypsy moths in those triangular cardboard traps you sometimes see on trees.

Ted S. Warren/file / AP Photo

Washington’s Department of Ecology has a plan to spend nearly $113 million on cleaner transportation technologies.

The money is part of the state’s settlement with Volkswagen after the German car manufacturer was caught installing illegal software on many of its diesel vehicles to cheat on emissions tests. 

Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

Over the past three months, KNKX has hosted a series of weekly interviews about the iconic waterway that includes Puget Sound and extends into British Columbia. Return to the Salish Sea took listeners to locations all around the shores of this shared ecosystem to hear from people who are deeply connected to it and concerned about its future.

Elaine Thompson / AP Photo

The federal government’s latest special report on climate change directly contradicts the Trump administration’s policies. Hundreds of pages long, the report outlines the latest science and states that humans are the main cause of planetary warming.

Robert F. Bukaty / AP Photo

A local wild-salmon advocacy group has filed a lawsuit against Cooke Aquaculture in U.S. District Court in Seattle. The Wild Fish Conservancy says the Canadian company must be held responsible for the collapse of its net pen in Deepwater Bay off Cyprus Island this summer.

Oregon and Washington will be part of a group discussing climate change initiatives with two neighboring nations. The agreement between the more than a dozen U.S. states and Mexico and Canada is the product of meetings at an international climate conference in Bonn, Germany.

Abhinaba Basu / Wikimedia Commons

If you trek to Mount Rainier National Park every summer to catch the spectacular display of wildflowers, take note: In the future, some flower species may bloom earlier while others could disappear altogether, according to a study from the University of Washington.

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