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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Down To Earth

Spokesman-Review story roundup

Photobucket 1954 Hanford photo by Nat Farbman from LIFE/Google archive. Good news for Hanford downwinders’ lawsuit. Be sure to check out Karen Dorne Steele’s feature on the U.S. supreme court rejecting an appeal by Hanford contractors. This recent action raises the hopes of a settlement for the 2,000 radiation exposed people after 18 years, who claim different health problems, including thyroid cancer. She does an excellent job of providing the background on a complicated issue, a history that dates back to the Manhattan Project. Hanford was designed to build plutonium for the atomic bomb that was dropped on Nagasaki, August 9th, 1945. It was around this time the downwinders---residents in eastern Washington and eastern Oregon---were exposed to radioactive releases of iodine-131. This was top secret information until the U.S. Department of Energy declassified environmental monitoring reports in 1986. More. Pend Oreille mine temporarily closes because of falling zinc prices. Teck Cominco, the Vancouver, B.C, firm that owns the Pend Oreille mine in northeast Washington, announced 165 employees will lose their jobs in mid-February as zinc prices fell from $1 per pound to less than 50 cents over the past six months. More. More. After much overzealous speculation---us included---Obama has announced his energy and environment team. Nobel-prize winning physicist Steven Chu will be energy secretary; Carol Browner, a confidante of former Vice President Al Gore, will lead a White House council on energy and climate; and Lisa Jackson, former head of New Jersey’s environmental agency, will take over as the EPA administrator. “We can spark the dynamism of our economy through a long-term investment in renewable energy that will give life to new businesses and industries with good jobs that pay well and can’t be outsourced,” Obama said. “We’ll make public buildings more efficient, modernize our electricity grid, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, while protecting and preserving our natural resources. We must also recognize that the solution to global climate change must be global.” More. Also, check this flickr slideshow of the announcements here.

Down To Earth

The DTE blog is committed to reporting and sharing environmental news and sustainability information from across the Inland Northwest.