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Portland and Hood River officials are asking the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to complete a comprehensive study of the possible effects of coal exports on Northwest Communities.
local | News | Economy | OPB News BlogDec. 24, 2014 3:13 p.m.
Headlines for Wednesday, Dec. 24: The Oregon Liquefied Natural Gas terminal is suing the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for access to build, the state's economy is considered healthy, at least two Portland movie theaters will screen "The Interview" on Christmas Day, and more.
Washington Gov. Jay Inslee is calling on the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to return the remains of an ancient skeleton called the Kennewick Man to American Indian tribes.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is reducing the area it will consider in its endangered species review for the Morrow Pacific coal export terminal proposed on the Oregon side of the Columbia River.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers opts for a less exhaustive -- and less time consuming -- environmental review for a coal export proposal than what opponents have been seeking.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announces plans to kill nearly 16,000 cormorants to prevent them from eating threatened and endangered salmon and steelhead in the Columbia River.
The US Army Corps of Engineers has announced which environmental impacts it will consider in its review of the Millennium Bulk Terminals coal export project in Longview, Wash.
A final cormorant management plan released by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers calls for the killing of around 26,000 birds to protect threatened and endangered salmon and steelhead.
The Army Corps of Engineers finished construction of the Bonneville Dam in 1937, and it began delivering electricity in 1938. Bonneville Dam was one of the most successful Depression era achievements.
Historically, the Oregon chub was found throughout the Willamette Valley river system. But more than a century of re-channeling the river and drying up wetlands for agriculture and residence changed all that. By the 1980s, the once ubiquitous minnow was extremely hard to find. That led to its listing as an Endangered Species in 1993. Over the decades, work by a variety of constituencies from the Army Corps of Engineers to private landowners and conservation groups are helping to return the Willamette to a more natural course and that has brought the species' numbers back up. The Oregon chub will be the first fish to be "delisted."
The city of Vernonia, on the Nehalem River, has completely rebuilt its schools after a 2007 flood wreaked havoc on the district. Some of the buildings that weren't badly damaged still had to be replaced after the Army Corps of Engineers demonstrated that they would be at risk if the river rose again. This school year, Vernonia's roughly 600 students will return to a new building, designed to house the entire district. The new LEED certified building was built with a combination of public and private money.
Port Orford is the oldest town on Oregon's coast (though Astoria is the oldest settlement). Situated along Highway 101, Port Orford is just 62 miles from the California border. Fishing is big business in the town, just as it is in many coastal communities. Citizens launched a campaign earlier this year to "keep the port in Port Orford." The harbor is filled with sand, creating challenges for fishermen who use it on a daily basis. The Army Corps of Engineers said late last month that they can't afford to dredge the fishing port. Artists also play a significant role in the life of the town. There are eight galleries. (In a town of 1,150 people, that's roughly one gallery for every 144 residents.) Each one showcases the work of local artists working in a variety of media, from oil paints to metal sculptures and even scrimshaw.
We're a day early with our regular news roundtable, our chance to review the big news of the week with a panel of journalists, editors and news watchers. This week, our discussion topics include:
- Negotiations in Salem over the education budget
- The Army Corps of Engineers' decision not to investigate the effect coal terminals would have on climate change or the region as a whole in its approval process
- The push by a majority of Washington's congressional delegation for the federal government not to prosecute Washingtonians who buy or sell marijuana under the state's new law.
- The Oregon Supreme Court upholding Gov. John Kitzhaber's right to block the execution of Gary Haugen.
Environmental advocates scored a win Wednesday in the battle over coal terminals in the Northwest. The government agencies in charge of investigating the impact of a proposed Washington coal terminal will look into the impact of the terminal on climate change. They will also look beyond the Gateway Pacific Terminal itself to study the impact of the entire corridor from the Powder River Basin in Wyoming where the coal is extracted to Cherry Point where it will be shipped to Asia. This announcement by the Washington Department of Ecology stands in contrast to an earlier decision by their partner in the project, the Army Corps of Engineers. The Corps announced in June it would not look into the impact of climate change for its part of the environmental assessment. This raises questions of which report will carry the most weight when they are finalized in a few years. We'll also hear about how climate change could affect a species that lives in the Olympics called the Cascades frog.