In Northwest news today:
- Pave asbestos, put up a theater: Oregon Department of Environmental Quality has a plan to cap asbestos-laden soil at Sunriver, a resort in central Oregon that sits on a former Army training site. Capping it with clean soil, asphalt or concrete would pave the way for a new amphitheater or aquatic center. Cost: $18.9 million, including cleanup.
- Chemicals detected in osprey eggs: Washington Department of Ecology finished a first-of-its-kind study of PFCs (perflourinated compounds - think chemicals used in non-stick cookware and waterproof clothing) in streams and lakes around the state. Among the findings: elevated levels in osprey eggs. The risks to people from these chemicals are unclear, though EPA has labeled one specific type as “likely to be carcinogenic to humans.”
- Should Klamath River dams be removed? Let’s put it to a vote, say the folks in Northern California’s Siskiyou County. Approval has been granted on a ballot measure that will allow voters there to chime in on the Klamath Hydroelectric Settlement Agreement plans for the ambitious dam removal project. Removing dams on the Klamath has been deemed good for fisheries and water quality and cheaper than relicensing the aging facilities, but it will alter the water supply system for agricultural communities.
- Dead zones the norm since 2002: Summertime hypoxia in the Pacific ocean looks like it may be a new norm off the Oregon coast, according to an article in Nature News. Though scientists still haven’t reached a conclusion on why they’re happening, tests off the Oregon coast this summer showed a steady decline in oxygen levels near shore – as they have every year since 2002. Low oxygen levels in patches along the coast kill sea life that can’t swim away fast enough.