A family of widely used fluorinated chemicals may be contaminating local drinking water supplies, causing uncertain health effects and with little clarity over federal regulations. But some states are starting to step in. This week’s TipSheet unwinds the confusion over PFAS, with some backstory and plenty of resources for your local coverage.
Northwest (OR WA)
The estuaries that proliferate across the United States can be hard to define — and protect. But their role in a healthy environment makes them a crucial focus of good reporting. The latest Issue Backgrounder explores their importance, the many challenges they face, and how to track the agencies and programs meant to protect them.
They may not be the sexiest topics on the environmental agenda. But building codes and zoning can become a matter of life and death when natural disasters strike. This week’s TipSheet runs down the reporting challenge when floods, earthquakes and wildfires threaten your coverage area.
"Firefighting foam with a chemical thought to cause cancer and other health problems will be banned in two years for local fire departments and districts in Washington."
"A pair of dams in Lane County are at the heart of a lawsuit focused on declines of salmon and steelhead in the Willamette River and its tributaries."
"While the orcas of Puget Sound are sliding toward extinction, orcas farther north have been expanding their numbers. Their burgeoning hunger for big fish may be causing the killer whales' main prey, chinook salmon, to shrink up and down the West Coast."
"A measure to tax carbon emissions from fossil fuels to fight climate change has cleared a key fiscal committee in Washington state."
"Unless people intervene, U.S. Pacific Coast marshes could vanish as the ocean rises, eliminating wildlife habitat, storm surge protection and carbon storage."
"After a deadlocked 3-3 vote, Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission voted 4-2 Friday to elevate the marbled murrelet from a “threatened” species to “endangered.”"