"Oregon's top environmental agency plans to side with one of the state's biggest polluters in its effort to seek an exemption from tough new federal rules controlling the release of toxic mercury."
Northwest (OR WA)
"Seattle voters have turned down Referendum 1, which aimed to reduce throwaway bag use in Seattle by charging shoppers 20 cents for each disposable plastic or paper shopping bag provided by stores."
Should Mt. St. Helens, which erupted almosty 30 years ago, be a National Park? There is a debate over whether the land should be used for recreation or to study how landscapes recover from violent disturbance.
"SEATTLE - Leaders of this famously green city last year passed the nation's first grocery-bag fee, and other cities around the nation quickly followed. But the plastics industry has been fighting back, bringing lawsuits, aggressively lobbying lawmakers, and bankrolling a referendum in Seattle that aims to overturn the 20-cent charge. The measure goes before voters Tuesday."
"The push for green power could spawn a rush for small hydropower projects in the Northwest."
"A coalition of three nonprofit water protection groups are jointly requesting that the Washington Department of Ecology 'abandon its plans to weaken industrial stormwater protections.'"
Fuel barges on the Columbia River are having more accidents, although none so far has resulted in a known spill. The Coast Guard refuses to disclose information about the incidents, citing investigations which it has not completed in periods of up to 16 months.
"Pollution from burning wood in stoves, fireplaces and elsewhere is the top cancer risk in Oregon's air, according to a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency analysis."
The Oregon legislature Monday sent to the governor a bill that would phase out the longstanding practice of burning off agricultural fields growing grass seed.
The 1988 highway death of a family in Oregon, blinded by smoke from fields being burned for weed control, was a story so moving that it spawned a novel. Field burning is so common in Oregon that it threatens people's lungs and health. A legislative struggle to ban it remains unresolved.