EarthFix

News Fixed on the Environment.

EarthFix is a public media partnership of KLCC, Oregon Public Broadcasting, Idaho Public Television, KCTS9 Seattle, KUOW Puget Sound Public Radio, Northwest Public Radio and Television, Jefferson Public Radio, and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

This story was updated at 6 p.m. PST

The City of Seattle is suing Monsanto for manufacturing a cancer-causing chemical that's contaminating the city's Duwamish Waterway.

Monsanto was the sole producer of the chemicals PCBs from the 1930s through the ‘70s. They were used globally to make coolants, paints, lubricants and for other industrial purposes. PCBs also served a fire protection and safety protection for the electrical and other industries, according to the company.

California is beginning its analysis of how three Klamath River hydroelectric dams are affecting water quality.

The state is in the middle of a series of scoping meetings, providing the public its first official chance to weigh in since the Klamath Basin Water Agreements fell apart at the end of December.

Will The Oregon Occupation Ruin Bird Habitat?

Jan 26, 2016

The employees of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge have not been able to go back to their desks ever since the armed occupation started earlier this month.

They’ve been able to do much of their work off-site, but some important stuff is being left undone.

That includes the effort to eradicate an invasive fish from the refuge’s waters.

The common carp arrived in the refuge in the 1920s and multiplied like mad, crowding out native species and severely messing up the habitat.

1 Rancher Says He'll Ignore His Grazing Contract

Jan 23, 2016

A rancher from New Mexico signed a letter Saturday telling the federal government he will no longer honor his grazing contract.

Armed occupiers at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge had hoped more ranchers would step forward. But Adrian Sewell, who owns 160 acres in New Mexico, was the only one.

He bought his ranch four years ago for about $1 million. It included grazing rights to 33,000 acres of public land.

Sewell said his grazing contract allows for 140 head of cattle, but the US Fish and Wildlife Service is restricting him to 85.

Marijuana growers in the Northwest are going to use a lot of electricity in the next 20 years, enough to power up to 200,000 homes, according to a recent forecast.

That’s because a lighting module to grow four marijuana plants takes as much energy as 29 refrigerators.

After some hesitation, Washington utilities are now rewarding marijuana growers for reducing their energy use.

Washington state ends public comment Friday on a proposed oil terminal at the Port of Vancouver.

The Energy Facility Site Evaluation Council has taken public comment on the Vancouver Energy Project since November when it released its draft environmental impact statement.

The project is a joint venture backed by oil company Tesoro Corp. and logistics firm Savage Industries.

The agency is taking comments on its website until 11:59 p.m. Friday.

Washington state lawmakers are considering a bill that paves the way for a partial closure of the Colstrip coal-fired power plant in Montana.

In the face of mounting environmental regulations, Puget Sound Energy wants to develop a plan to close two of Colstrip's four coal units – a move that could reduce the amount of coal-produced electricity used by Washington consumers.

The Washington utility is one of six owners of the overall plant, but co-owns units 1 and 2 with just one other company, Talen Energy.

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Occupiers Shout Down Environmental Protesters At Malheur Refuge

Jan 16, 2016

Editor's note: The raw audio of the confrontation between occupiers and protesters contains sensitive material.

Candy Henderson is in the middle of treatment for breast cancer. She said she's still sore from a recent surgery that removed part of her breast and lymph nodes. In a few weeks, she will start radiation treatment at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.

The story of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge starts with women’s hats - elaborate feathered hats that were part of a fashion craze that was sweeping Europe and the United States in the late 1800s.

The hats were audacious, colorful and sometimes included more than just feathers – picture heads, wings and whole stuffed birds sitting astride the fancy lady’s head.

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