Portland reaches settlement over Willamette River superfund site

Willamette WeekApril 8, 2013The city of Portland appears poised to reach a settlement to clean up one of the most polluted segments of the Portland Harbor Superfund site.The vote is on the Portland City Council's Wednesday agenda and would commit $400,000 in city money to clean up toxic sediment in river mile 11 on the Willamette.Read Read More…

Columbia River coal dust is subject of environmental lawsuit

The OregonianApril 02, 2013At the railroad berm that divides Horsethief Lake from the Columbia River, you can stick your hand between the rocks and come up with fistfuls of crumbly coal-black pebbles and dust. For the Sierra Club and other environmental groups, such spots are Exhibit A in their case against plans to export coal from Northwest ports.Read Read More…

Report: 1 in 5 Californians live in flood zone

The TribuneApril 2, 2013As California endures one of its driest winters, on record, some state water managers are focused on the opposite end of the precipitation spectrum - the one in five residents who live in regions susceptible to catastrophic flooding.More than $575 billion in development and $7 billion in farm output rests on or around floodplains, according to a joint state-federal report Read More…

Warmer climate will put more mud in Snake River

Idaho StatesmanApril 1, 2013The Army Corps of Engineers is writing its 50-year plan for managing Snake River sediment. The period for people to comment on the environmental impact statement ended Sunday.Environmentalists arguing to return to a pristine past before humans arrived in the Northwest make a bankrupt case in the face of climate change, because conditions are changing so dramatically Read More…

How fish consumption determines water quality

High Country NewsApril 1, 2013 Jim Peters lives near Puget Sound in Washington, and during fishing season his kids eat smoked salmon like candy. Peters is a council member of the Squaxin Island Tribe of South Puget Sound. Fish permeate nearly every aspect of their culture; in the 1850s tribal members gave up most of their land to settlers in treaties, but refused to sign away their Read More…

Nobody is declaring a state of drought in California, but …

Los Angeles TimesMarch 29, 2013When snow surveyors headed into the Sierra Nevada on Thursday for the most important measurement of the season, they found only about half the snowpack that is normal for the date.It could have been a lot worse — considering that the last three months in California have been the driest of any January-through-March period on record, going back to 1895.Read Read More…

Spraying starts to limit water weed’s reach

Tracy PressMarch 29, 2013A new five-year permit should allow state waterway officials to get an early start in the fight against an invasive water weed that threatens to choke off local businesses on the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.The California Department of Boating and Waterways recently received the permit to spray two herbicides from March 18 to Nov. 30 on the water hyacinth — a plant Read More…

Snow survey finds dismal water prospects

Merced Sun-StarMarch 27, 2013Snow-surveying crews across the Sierra are seeing bad news up close this week. California has about half a snowpack. Skiing, snowshoeing or riding helicopters, the crews are making their way to high-elevation meadows for the most important snow measurement of the year. April 1 is the unofficial end of the snowfall season -- this year, following a miserably dry Read More…

Oil spilling into Columbia River from Bonneville Dam

The ReflectorMarch 27, 2013The Bonneville Dam is leaking oil into the Columbia River and, despite knowing about the problem for over a month, it is still not fixed.No one wants to swim through an oil sheen. Or eat a freshly caught salmon covered in a glistening layer of oil. Yet the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers — the federal agency that operates the dam — is downplaying yet another oil spill Read More…

A big dam fight ahead

Willamette WeekMarch 27, 2013In 2007, Oregon lawmakers decided to address global warming by moving the state aggressively away from burning coal and natural gas to produce electricity.They required big utilities to generate 25 percent of their electricity from green sources, such as wind, solar and biomass, by 2025.Read Read More…