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State program helps Liberty Lake’s Accra-Fab go both Green and Lean

It's been a while since we had a chance to salute area manufacturing firms. Not because they're not out there; we just haven't worked hard enough to find those good stories.

So today that task was made easier when the state Ecology Dept. sent us a link to a video made about Liberty Lake's contract manufacturer Accra-Fab Inc.

The video shows why Accra-Fab has moved into a Hazardous Waste and Toxics Reduction Program, operated by Ecology, to help firms save money by proper disposal of waste products.

Accra-Fab's Greg Konkol explains in the video how the company's focus on Lean Manufacturing is a natural fit with the waste program's push for Green waste treatment.

A press release from the state said the company saves $179,000 each year through Lean and Green efforts.

Also playing a key part in the focus are Impact Washington and Washington State University.

Businesses wanting to get more information on Hazardous Pollution Prevention can find it at this link.

Council calls for coal study

About 40 people on Monday urged local leaders to find out how vastly increased train traffic could cause health problems in Spokane.

After hearing from them, the Spokane City Council unanimously approved a nonbinding resolution asking state and federal officials to study the environmental effects of significantly increasing the amount of coal traveling by train through Spokane. They also requested that a hearing on the matter be held locally.

“As these trains come through, there’s going to be an impact,” Councilman Mike Allen said. “We just need to know the entire ramification.”

Press: Speak Up Or Pay Up

Washington state is forging ahead with its insistence that Idaho cities meet a more difficult standard of wastewater discharge than do Washington dischargers. Disappointing, yes. Surprising? Nope. When Washington Department of Ecology Director Ted Sturdevant decreed that the two neighbors would be held to different water quality standards, not even the ducks downriver gave a quack. Business as usual. But this business as usual, barring an unexpected veto from the federal Environmental Protection Agency or from the courts, is going to cost you. In fact, the phospherous-o-meter is running right now/Mike Patrick, Coeur d’Alene Press. More here.

Question: Is it right for Washington to insist that North Idaho meet more stringent wastewater discharge demands that it does?

Press: Double Standard On River

For about five hours Monday, various parties participated in a “dispute resolution hearing” in Spokane. The purpose of the meeting was for interested groups to tell a five-member panel of Washington Department of Ecology staffers why they support or oppose the proposed water quality standards for the Spokane River. … Here’s the beef: The Washington Department of Ecology has recommended a much more rigorous water quality standard for Idaho than for itself. While Washington would be permitted 42 parts per billion of phosphorus, Kootenai County would be held to a standard of 36. Even if the technology were developed to meet that 36 parts standard - which would be the most rigorous in the nation - finding the millions upon millions of dollars to totally overhaul wastewater treatment facilities in Coeur d’Alene, Post Falls and Hayden seems all but impossible/Coeur d’Alene Press. More here.

  • Terry Harris tweets:In Boise for a couple of days, but we’ll have more to say about the Spokane River next week. It’s not so simple …

Question: What do you make of the insistence by the Washington Department of Ecology that sets a tougher water quality standard for Kootenai County towns along the Spokane River than for Spokane County ones?