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Flora and Fauna | Environment

EPA, Environmental Groups Reach Agreement To Protect Salmon From Insecticides

June 6, 2014 5:07 p.m.

Environmental groups and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced an agreement Friday reinstating rules meant to protect salmon and steelhead from insecticides.

local | News | Water

Federal Agencies May Reject Oregon's Coastal Waterways Protections

Dec. 20, 2013 5:52 p.m.

Federal environmental agencies announced Thursday they may reject Oregon's approach to keeping coastal waterways clean.

Environment | Water

Federal Agencies Threaten Oregon's Coastal Waterways Protections

Dec. 20, 2013 4:17 p.m.

Federal environmental agencies announced Thursday they may reject Oregon’s approach to keeping coastal waterways clean.

Environment | Water

Environmental Group Sues To Protect 'Forage Fish'

Dec. 14, 2011 3:46 a.m.

The environmental nonprofit Oceana is suing federal fishery managers over a new rule that aims to prevent overfishing of Pacific sardine, mackerel and anchovy off the West Coast.

Environment | local

Environmental Group Sues To Protect 'Forage Fish'

Dec. 13, 2011 9:23 p.m.

The environmental nonprofit Oceana is suing federal fishery managers over a new rule that aims to prevent overfishing of Pacific sardine, mackerel and anchovy off the West Coast.

Environment | Communities | Water | Land use | Land | Energy

EPA Wants Assurances Natural Gas Project Won't Harm Oregon's Environment

Feb. 13, 2015 4 a.m.

The Environmental Protection Agency weighs in as the public comment period for proposed LNG export terminal in Coos Bay comes to a close.

Environment | Communities

Environmental Groups Seek Ban of Common Pesticide

Feb. 1, 2013 11:47 p.m.

Three environmental groups will make the case in court Monday that the Environmental Protection Agency has failed to act on their petition to the agency to ban a common pesticide used on many Northwest crops.

Environment | News | Fish & Wildlife | local

Environmental Group Sues Feds Over Oregon Spotted Frog

Dec. 19, 2015 7 p.m.

The Center for Biological Diversity filed a lawsuit Friday against the Bureau of Reclamation over protections for the Oregon spotted frog.

local | News

EPA Agrees To Pesticide Buffers To Protect Salmon

June 6, 2014 9:48 p.m.

A federal agency has agreed to restore temporary buffer zones for spraying several agricultural pesticides along salmon streams in Oregon, California and Washington while it continues work on a permanent rule.

Flora and Fauna | Environment

Group Calls For Expanding Killer Whale Habitat Protection

Jan. 16, 2014 8:26 p.m.

An environmental group is calling for a major expansion in habitat protection for Puget Sound's killer whales.

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About OPB

Aug. 29, 2016 10:06 p.m.

News and information about Oregon Public Broadcasting.
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Think Out Loud

Environmental Update

June 25, 2012 4:06 p.m.

In 2010, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled unanimously that runoff from logging roads can be considered water pollution and that loggers need to get permits for those roads under the Clean Water Act. Then the real wrangling began. The ruling was appealed to the Supreme court. Congress delayed implementation of the requirement. And this past May, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that it won't require Clean Water Act permits for logging roads. The Supreme Court is expected to announce whether or not it will take up this question within the next week, but there's a good chance it will decline; the Obama Administration's Solicitor General, which the court asked for guidance, argued that  this could be addressed "more definitively and in a more nuanced fashion" by Congress and the EPA.

Think Out Loud

Environmental Update

March 26, 2012 4:25 p.m.

On Wednesday, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of two Idaho landowners who sued the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regarding a plot of land they hope to build on. But the decision doesn't mean that the couple, Mike and Chantell Sackett, will be able to start building. The dispute started back in 2007 when the EPA informed the Sacketts they could not build on their recently purchased plot because the property was designated as a wetland. The Supreme Court case wasn't about whether the Sacketts could build on the land. Instead, it was about whether they could dispute the land's classification as a wetland. According to the Sacketts, their property doesn't count as a wetland. The court unanimously ruled that the Sacketts, and other property owners, can challenge the EPA over compliance orders as soon as those orders are issued. That still leaves a long road ahead for the Sacketts, who will now take part in a legal battle over the designation of their property as a wetland.

Think Out Loud

Environmental Update

March 1, 2013 8:06 p.m.

Representatives of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) were in West Salem this week to meet with residents who are concerned about a possible "cancer cluster" in their community. There have been five documented cases of a rare and aggressive form of bone cancer — osteosarcoma — in young people within a two mile area. State and federal officials are not ready to classify this as a cancer cluster, which the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention defines as a "greater-than-expected number of cases." But the parents who signed the petition asking the EPA to investigate possible causes aren't concerned about numbers. They're thinking about the children who have already died from this disease and the teenager who is still struggling to recover from it. 

Think Out Loud

Willamette River Superfund Site

April 4, 2012 4:06 p.m.

The Willamette River's Superfund site has had a long and contentious history ever since it was designated as a federally-mandated clean-up site back in 2000. Now the Lower Willamette Group has released a feasibility study, which it says has taken many years and $96 million to conduct. The Environmental Protection Agency will look at the various options and recommend a plan over the coming years. The costliest and longest option would be $1.7 billion and take 28 years to complete. We'll find out what happens next, and who decides.

Environment | News | local | Think Out Loud

Willamette River Cleanup Plan | On The Road: US Route 395

June 15, 2016 3:39 p.m.

We learn about the Environmental Protection Agency’s draft clean-up plan for the Willamette River Superfund site. And we take you on a radio road trip down route 395 from Pendleton to John Day.

Environment | Think Out Loud

William Ruckelshaus Awarded The Presidential Medal Of Freedom

Nov. 25, 2015 6:34 p.m.

Northwest native William Ruckelshaus was the first administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency.

Think Out Loud

No Treatment for Bull Run Water

Nov. 30, 2011 5:06 p.m.

The Oregon Health Authority announced it will not require Portland to build a treatment facility for Bull Run, the city's water source. This comes after years of effort to convince the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the state that Portland should get a variance from the Safe Drinking Water Act requirement. Once the variance is issued — likely in January after a public comment period — Portland will be the only city in the country to receive this exemption. The variance frees the city from the requirement to treat its water for the next 10 years. David Shaff, the adminstrator of the Portland Water Bureau, says that will save ratepayers $55 million. The city will be required to continue monitoring Bull Run for cryptosporidium using EPA-approved methods. It may also still have to create covers for the city's open reservoirs, including Bull Run, which would be costly for ratepayers.

Think Out Loud

Reservoir Debate Rolls On

Aug. 25, 2011 4:06 p.m.

Last month, New York Sen. Charles Schumer sent a letter to Lisa Jackson, head of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), asking for a reversal on the mandate to cover New York City's reservoir. The project would cost $1.6 billion. In a letter (pdf) sent Aug. 19, Jackson told Schumer that her agency would conduct a review and reconsider its directive. Oregon is under the same mandate by the EPA to cover its own reservoirs in Washington Park, Mount Tabor and other areas. The project is slated to cost $400 million, which is part of the reason for a proposed 85 percent water rate hike in the city. Will the EPA's review in New York carry over to Portland? City officials are lobbying Congress for answers.

Think Out Loud

The Biomass Question

Feb. 22, 2011 5 p.m.

Like timber before it, some view biomass as more than just trees - it offers the promise of new jobs and a different approach to forest management. In the Northwest the process of converting energy from organic materials begins with wood, and as some lawmakers see it, ends with Oregon being a world leader in a new form of energy. 2011 has been a good year for biomass proponents so far. Oregon lawmakers from both sides of the aisle praised a three-year extension by the Environmental Protection Agency to allow biomass development to continue without tough restrictions. Governor Kitzhaber supports biomass as a renewable energy source, and has put the implementation of biomass high on his agenda. Negotiations have been going on for months about a plan to convert Portland General Electric's Boardman power plant from being coal-fired to burning biomass. However, not everyone sees biomass as a sustainable source of energy. Some worry that biomass leads to deforestation. Others have concerns that biomass may emit more greenhouse gasses than coal.

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