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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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EPA, Kaiser cleanup of former smelter in Mead shows evolution in environmental understanding

In the early 1970s, park officials and neighborhood advocates rejoiced in the addition of a new public park where an outfall pipe from the Kaiser smelting plant met Deadman Creek. Fifty years later, environmental regulators and the former owners of the property are trying to stop that flow, based on new knowledge about the harm of asbestos and other chemicals. 

Former wastewater director: Spokane’s nearly $200 million sewer overflow tanks not big enough

Dale Arnold, who served as the wastewater director under Mayor Mary Verner and supported a more expensive plan to reduce pollutants in the Spokane River, said the new regime at City Hall has an opportunity to push for more necessary clean-up. A multimillion dollar project, the largest infrastructure investment in the city’s history, is expected to finish this year when the last tank designed to trap stormwater and sewer runoff becomes operational downtown.

Ecology officials offer answers about controversial ‘variance’ for pollutants in Spokane River

State regulators hope to publish in the spring their proposed rules governing discharge of polychlorinated biphenyls, or PCBs, into the Spokane River. Businesses and governments say the limit imposed by the federal government, currently under review, is too stringent to be met with current technology, while conservation groups worry a new, less strict temporary standard won’t protect the health of the community.

Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers asks state regulators to pause on PCB permits in Spokane River

Citing an ongoing federal review of a pollution standard the congresswoman and local interests say is unattainable by current technology, McMorris Rodgers asked the Department of Ecology this week to halt efforts to issue new discharge permits. Conservation groups argue the regulations are necessary to protect those whose diets contain significant portions of fish.

Gonzaga to host talk on PCBs, Monsanto’s role

The Gonzaga University School of Law will host a workshop and talk on PCBs, Monsanto and the Spokane River at 6 p.m. next Thursday in the Barbieri Courtroom at the Law School, 721 N. Cincinnati St.

Trump administration will review pollution rules affecting Spokane River

Rules affecting the amount of cancer-causing chemicals flowing into the Spokane River will be reviewed by the Trump administration. Business and industry groups petitioned for the review last year, urging officials to overturn federal pollution limits that are stricter than state thresholds.

Cathy McMorris Rodgers pushes House bill targeting EPA pollution standards in Washington

The measure, which passed as part of a larger spending package approved by the House of Representatives, prohibits the federal agency from enforcing its new water quality standards in Washington state. That includes a level of carcinogenic chemicals that are imperceptible by current testing techniques, but environmental groups have argued against doing away with the EPA’s work on the issue.

Spokane considers burning sewer sludge after outcry over fertilizer use

A study expected to be finished by the end of the year will explore the possibility of incinerating the solid material left over at the city’s waste water treatment plant at the Waste-to-Energy facility on the West Plains. The material had been used as fertilizer on area farms, but concerns have sprouted about harmful chemicals in the sludge seeping into the water table.

Waldref/Mumm: It’s March Madness for river cleanup funds

One of the longest and snowiest winters in recent memory is about to melt away. The river is already filling with spring runoff, giving a trial run for Spokane’s largest ever public works construction endeavor: The Integrated Clean Water Project. You may have noticed the large underground tanks going in around the city of Spokane; a $340 million series of improvements intended to get us a cleaner river, faster. The tanks hold back sewage and stormwater overflow during heavy runoffs. This prevents untreated sewage PCBs, and road surface toxins from being discharged into the river.