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Environmental groups and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced an agreement Friday reinstating rules meant to protect salmon and steelhead from insecticides.
Federal environmental agencies announced Thursday they may reject Oregon's approach to keeping coastal waterways clean.
Federal environmental agencies announced Thursday they may reject Oregon’s approach to keeping coastal waterways clean.
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.
An environmental group is calling for a major expansion in habitat protection for Puget Sound's killer whales.
Environmental and fishing groups say that when it comes to clearing pesticides out of Oregon rivers, the federal government is dragging its feet -- and that its failure to act is illegal.
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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.
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.
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.
Northwest native William Ruckelshaus was the first administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency.
A recently released University of Massachusetts study ranked the Portland-based Precision Castparts Corporation as the most toxic air polluter in the U.S. The company manufactures cast metal parts at 150 plants throughout the world, including several in Oregon, and is one of two Fortune 500 companies based in Oregon. The high toxicity of Precision’s pollution is largely the result of heavy metal pollutants, in particular, chromium, cobalt and nickel. The list — compiled by economics professor Michael Ash using Environmental Protection Agency data — accounts for the volume and toxicity of pollution at all company plants across the country, as well as the health risks to the surrounding populations. Ash said of chromium, cobalt and nickel, “Those three together represent 99 percent of the estimated risk to human health.” The company is currently evaluating the findings of the list. Ash said that emission levels at Precision’s plants are likely within legal EPA-set limits.
Senators Harry Reid and Mitch McConnell have agreed to a compromise to avoid the so-called "nuclear option" of limiting the filibuster. Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley has long advocated changing the filibuster so the minority party doesn't have as much power to prevent votes. The agreement allows Democrats to move forward with several executive appointees with a simple 51-vote majority. The appointees include President Obama's nominees to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the Environmental Protection Agency, as well as his pick for secretary of labor. Senator Merkley called the agreement "a milestone." We'll hear more from Sen. Merkley on what the compromise means.
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.