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Stories about the environment focused on the Pacific Northwest, with many from KNKX's Environment reporter, Bellamy Pailthorp.
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last modified
2019-05-15 00:50
last episode published
2019-05-14 12:00
publication frequency
3.1 days
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Date Thumb Title & Description Contributors

Washington's 100% clean electricity law touted as nation’s strongest — but how will it work?

Washington state now has the strongest clean electricity law in the nation. That's how many environmentalists describe new regulations that force utilities to get off coal by 2025 and to be 100 percent free of greenhouse gas emissions by 2045.
Bellamy Pailthorp author

Orca recovery bills signed by Gov. Inslee bring big wins for salmon habitat, environment

“For as the orca go, so go we.” Those were words from Gov. Jay Inslee as he signed five bills that aim to help keep endangered Southern Resident killer whales from going extinct. All are based on recommendations from the orca recovery task force he con...
Bellamy Pailthorp author

National parks group sues U.S. Navy in pursuit of information on Growler jet training

A national parks organization filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Navy last week, related to jet training at Air Station Whidbey Island. The nonprofit National Parks Conservation Association sued the Navy to get more information about the exercises, which...

Forterra invests $1 million to help Hamilton residents relocate flood-plagued town

A town on the Skagit River that’s plagued with chronic flooding is one step closer to moving out of the flood plain. That’s thanks to a $1 million investment from the conservation group, Forterra.
Bellamy Pailthorp author

Empty, clean and dry: Top 10 tips for recycling and what it might cost (or not)

Recycling the right way is a point of pride around here. “Obsessive Compulsive Recycler, you’re one of us,” local insurance company Pemco says in one of its cheeky Northwest Profiles. But getting it right has become more difficult, after China stopped ...

Businesses for Bristol Bay issue a plea from Seattle: suspend permitting on Pebble Mine

More than 200 businesses — including many in Washington state — are calling on the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to suspend permitting for the controversial Pebble Mine project. The proposed mine would be located in the headwaters of the world’s largest...
Bellamy Pailthorp author

‘State of the Air' report gives failing grades to Washington for sooty particulate pollution

Warmer weather and wildfire smoke are causing more air pollution in Washington. Three metropolitan areas in the state have the worst air pollution in the nation. They made the top-15 list for particle pollution in this year’s “ State of the Air ” repor...
Bellamy Pailthorp author

Community solar comes to Snohomish County

Solar power can feel out of reach. Upfront costs are usually considerable and you need a sunny roof or open space where you can put the panels. Community solar projects make it more accessible, by allowing ratepayers to buy shares in an installation th...
Bellamy Pailthorp author

State House passes HEAL Act for environmental justice, a first for Washington

A bill that would address environmental justice is still alive in the state Legislature. The so-called Healthy Environment for All, or HEAL, Act passed the House in the nick of time, getting a last-minute bipartisan vote of 88-10 just after 5 p.m. Wedn...
Bellamy Pailthorp author

State suspends summer fishing for Chinook on Columbia River, limits Puget Sound seasons

Low numbers of Chinook salmon expected to return to the Columbia River this summer have led state and tribal officials to close that fishery until Aug. 1. They’ve also announced new restrictions on Puget Sound Chinook.
Bellamy Pailthorp author

Whale watching by land and by boat sparks 'sheer joy,' inspiring lifelong orca advocates

Experts and enthusiasts agree, whether on water or on land: it’s difficult to describe the feeling people get in the presence of orcas. “I wish you could bottle what happens when people see whales,” said Donna Sandstrom, while passing out binoculars to...

Western Washington welcomes back wolves as endangered population continues to rise

Endangered gray wolves are back in Western Washington. That’s according to the latest census of the endangered population from state wildlife officials. It’s the first time the count has included a pack living west of the Cascades.
Bellamy Pailthorp author

Orca advocates urge Legislature to pass emergency package for Puget Sound orcas

Members of Gov. Jay Inslee’s orca recovery task force and environmental groups supporting its work say they have four critical bills that are still in play this legislative session. They’re calling on state lawmakers to keep moving the bills forward.
Bellamy Pailthorp author

State public lands commissioner seeks unprecedented $55M increase to wildfire budget

Based on legislative budgets released so far, a major increase in state funding for wildfire fighting and prevention looks likely. Washington's Commissioner of Public Lands, Hilary Franz, has requested an unprecedented $55 million dollars to fight and ...
Bellamy Pailthorp author

Washington getting closer to mandate for 100% clean energy

One of the biggest priorities among environmental groups working in Olympia this year is passage of a law to transition the electrical grid to 100 percent clean energy by 2045 . It’s also a cornerstone of Gov. Jay Inslee’s latest policies to address cl...
Bellamy Pailthorp author

Northwest fishing fleet renews fight against proposed mine in Alaska’s Bristol Bay

Thousands of people in the Pacific Northwest — commercial fishermen, their crews, sport fishermen, seafood processors, even many boat builders — depend on wild salmon caught every summer in Alaska’s Bristol Bay. The Trump administration has re-started ...
Bellamy Pailthorp author

1.5 million acres of greenway along I-90 earns National Heritage Area recognition

A sweeping public lands package was signed into law Tuesday by President Donald Trump, containing numerous benefits for Washington state. It includes a National Heritage Area designation for the Mountains to Sound Greenway , which covers 1.5 million ac...
Bellamy Pailthorp author

Port of Seattle holds first summit on sustainable jet fuels

The Port of Seattle is holding its first summit on sustainable aviation fuels . It’s part of a push to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from flights that originate at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.
Bellamy Pailthorp author

Washington invests $4 million this year to bring climate science into classrooms

In what’s been called the most ambitious statewide climate science education initiative in the country, Washington state is putting $4 million dollars this year toward training teachers who want to integrate climate science into their lesson plans. It’...
Bellamy Pailthorp author

State collects feedback as regulators consider restrictions on salmon fishing

The state Department of Fish and Wildlife has launched two months of public meetings as regulators decide how much salmon can be harvested from state waters. The process includes the first official statewide forecasts detailing how many salmon are expe...

Compromise on orca protection removes whale watching moratorium, garners criticism

A de facto ban on whale watching boats that would have required them to stay 650 yards away from endangered Puget Sound orcas for three to five years has been stripped from revised legislation. The compromise goes against a recommendation from Gov. Jay...
Bellamy Pailthorp author

Canada's energy regulator again approves Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion

Canada’s National Energy Board has again approved the proposed expansion of the Trans Mountain Pipeline. If completed, the project will see a massive increase in oil tankers through the Salish Sea.
Craig McCulloch author

Climate groups urge Inslee to denounce fracked natural gas in Washington

Climate activists rallied on the Capitol steps in Olympia on Thursday and delivered boxes containing nearly 150,000 written comments to Gov. Jay Inslee. They're urging him to reject proposals for fracked gas infrastructure in Washington, including two ...
Bellamy Pailthorp author

Report: Tests show unsafe lead levels in water at more than 60 percent of Washington schools

More than 60 percent of Washington schools tested by the state Department of Health last year show unsafe levels of lead. That’s according to a nonprofit group that's pushing for higher standards in the wake of the water crisis in Flint, Michigan.
Bellamy Pailthorp author

Oyster growers push for pesticide permits to control burrowing shrimp this summer

Oyster growers want to force the state Department of Ecology to allow the use of pesticides in Willapa Bay and Grays Harbor. A bill before the state Legislature would require the agency to grant permits to control burrowing shrimp. It also would transf...
Bellamy Pailthorp author

Urban paradox: Crews must be extra careful as they demolish Alaskan Way Viaduct

Demolition of Seattle's Alaskan Way Viaduct is underway. Crews began tearing down a former on-ramp near First Avenue and Columbia Street on Friday. Another piece near the market began coming down shortly thereafter. Unlike the almost instantaneous impl...
Bellamy Pailthorp author

How a tiny population of mountain caribou protect old-growth forests in the Northwest

For centuries, mountain caribou have inhabited the unique inland rainforest of the Pacific Northwest. And they were once so abundant, they were considered an "insurance food" for indigenous tribes in the area that spans the northeastern corner of Washi...
Bellamy Pailthorp author

Legislature considers statewide ban on single-use plastic bags at retailers

One of the top issues for environmental groups this legislative session is the pollution caused by thin, single-use plastic bags. They fly out of landfills into waterways, harming marine life and water quality. They also gum up recycling machinery and ...
Bellamy Pailthorp author

Views clash as Legislature considers de facto ban on orca whale watching

A bill to shield endangered Puget Sound orca whales from noise and other disruptions caused by vessel traffic got a first hearing in Olympia on Tuesday. The most controversial piece of the proposed legislation would implement a temporary, de facto ban ...
Bellamy Pailthorp author

KNKX Connects: Aerial photographs show Washington's dramatically receding glaciers

Mountains loom large in the Skagit River Valley. Visitors come from all over the world to spend time exploring the massive peaks of the North Cascades. But few people get the perspective on them enjoyed by two men who are documenting the response of Wa...
Bellamy Pailthorp author

Canada’s energy regulator reviews pipeline's impact on climate change

This week, Canada’s energy regulator is listening to feedback on the proposed Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion. It’s part of a two-step process to consider the possible effects of the expansion on climate change.
Craig McCulloch author

Access to nature in prisons can improve outcomes, research shows

The healing power of nature is well established. People who garden, take frequent hikes or regularly play with a dog or cat experience the benefits firsthand. Time spent with nature is known to improve mental health, increase physical health and reduce...
Bellamy Pailthorp author

British Columbia government tells Canada's energy regulator to reject pipeline expansion

The TransCanada pipeline and opponents have filed their final submissions to Canada’s energy regulator. This second review of the proposed pipeline expansion, which would see dramatically increased oil tankers in the Salish Sea, was ordered by a court ...
Craig McCulloch author

Major Canadian railway looking to 'CanaPux' to transport oil from tar sands

As further review of the Trans Mountain Pipeline continues, a number of First Nations in Alberta are making overtures to buy the project. At the same time, one of Canada’s railways is teaming up with another First Nation to temporarily convert oil into...
Craig McCulloch author

UW research: Western glaciers losing ice at an increasing rate, but less so in Washington state

It appears a pattern of heavy storms in the Pacific Northwest may have obscured the effects of climate change over the past 20 years. Researchers here have identified a southern shift in the jet stream as a source of heavy precipitation that built up s...
Bellamy Pailthorp author

State senator puts Inslee's clean energy bill on fast track

Gov. Jay Inslee is pushing to get Washington state to 100 percent clean energy by 2045. And he's not alone. Dozens of environmental groups, labor organizations, local governments and clean energy businesses also support the idea.
Bellamy Pailthorp author

Canadian energy regulator issues draft recommendations for Trans Mountain Pipeline

Canada’s energy regulator has issued draft recommendations concerning the proposed expansion of the Trans Mountain Pipeline and its impacts on marine life. The expansion would see a dramatic increase in tanker traffic through the Salish Sea and Puget S...
Craig McCulloch author

State releases strategy to make maritime sector the nation's most sustainable

Just over a year ago, Gov. Jay Inslee launched his “Washington Maritime Blue” initiative. It aims to make the state’s seafaring sector the most sustainable in the nation, by boosting innovations and clean technology that help the environment and also g...
Bellamy Pailthorp author

Washington state approves updated oil-spill response plan for Canada’s Puget Sound Pipeline

When the Canadian government bought the controversial Trans Mountain Pipeline from Kinder-Morgan last year, it also bought a 69-mile-long spur that extends from the border with the U.S. and feeds Canadian crude to five Washington refineries. The change...
Bellamy Pailthorp author

Health database for endangered orcas could help struggling Southern Resident population

The population of critically endangered orca whales seems to have reached a tipping point. Just 74 Southern Residents are left in the wild, a number that will likely drop this year after news broke this week of two more starving orcas. A wildlife veter...
Bellamy Pailthorp author

'Rights of nature' movement expands locally to help protect endangered orcas, Salish Sea

Environmental law in the U.S. regulates pollution, but often doesn’t protect the things we love. A movement to change that by securing so-called "rights of nature" is taking hold globally – and locally, too.
Bellamy Pailthorp author

Venture capitalist says 'deep technology' is the solution to climate change

What if we could radically improve human intelligence and treat mental disorders through neuroscience that connects our brains to the internet? It sounds like science fiction. But an entrepreneur from Los Angeles has a company working on it. He also wa...
Bellamy Pailthorp author

High-rise buildings made of wood? Forterra hopes Washington state will lead the way

When you think of high-rise buildings, you probably don’t imagine wood as the weight-bearing material. But Washington recently approved a change in its building codes that will allow engineered mass timber in structures up to 18 stories tall. That’s th...
Bellamy Pailthorp author

A Refugee’s Special Power: Sophorn Sim Coaches Others Into Healthier Lives

This story originally aired on January 20, 2018. Feeling out of place takes on whole new dimension when you’re in a foreign country. Perhaps no one understands this more than new immigrants and refugees. And there’s a woman who meets lots of them here ...
Bellamy Pailthorp author

Study: Ocean acidification will interfere with crucial sense of smell in juvenile salmon

It’s long been known that shellfish and other marine life are sensitive to ocean acidification caused by increased carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Some fish lose their sense of smell in acidic waters. There was a hope that salmon would not be affecte...
Bellamy Pailthorp author

Target shooting in Tahuya State Forest upsets nearby residents; DNR struggles to relocate site

Representatives of the state Department of Natural Resources will be in Belfair on Monday evening. They’re meeting with members of the community to address concerns about an unregulated increase in target shooting in Tahuya State Forest.
Bellamy Pailthorp author

Gov. Inslee to speak at orca rally in Olympia following budget announcement

People who love Puget Sound orcas and want to save them from extinction will rally in Olympia tomorrow. And Gov. Jay Inslee plans to join them, immediately after announcing his budget priorities for the coming year.

Gov. Jay Inslee unveils ambitious legislative climate package

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee has proposed an ambitious package of legislation aimed at tackling climate change .
Bellamy Pailthorp author

KNKX Connects: Grays Harbor oyster growers push for pesticide to control burrowing shrimp

GRAYS HARBOR, WASH. — An oyster shack tops the list of offerings in the local farm fresh guide here. No visit would be complete without exploring the shellfish industry. The region, together with Willapa Bay, produces 25 percent of all oysters in the c...
Bellamy Pailthorp author

KNKX Connects: Grays Harbor oyster growers push for pesticide to control burrowing shrimp

GRAYS HARBOR, WASHINGTON — An oyster shack tops the list of offerings in the local farm fresh guide here. No visit would be complete without exploring the shellfish industry. The region, together with Willapa Bay, produces 25 percent of all oysters in ...
Bellamy Pailthorp author