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Stories tagged: washington department of ecology


UPDATED: Sat., Jan. 5, 2019

City of Vancouver fined $60K for 2017 sewage spills

The Washington Department of Ecology has fined the city of Vancouver $60,000 for spilling nearly 600,000 gallons of raw sewage into the Columbia River.


UPDATED: Fri., Sept. 28, 2018

State approves federal plan to stabilize second Hanford tunnel containing radioactive equipment

State regulators have approved a request by the U.S. Department of Energy to begin work stabilizing a tunnel at Hanford that contains rail cars loaded with radioactive equipment and is …


Air quality could remain unhealthy until Friday

Air quality in the Spokane area dipped into the unhealthy ranges Tuesday and could remain so until Friday as the region became inundated with smoke from area wildfires.


Microsoft wants to add 72 generators at data center

Microsoft wants to add 72 emergency backup generators at its Quincy data center, and the Washington Department of Ecology is accepting comments through Aug. 31 on the proposal.


EPA declines to test air downwind of lead smelter in British Columbia

The state of Washington will look for money to conduct air quality monitoring downwind of a Canadian smelter, after the federal government declined to restart the testing.


Beef cattle feedlot settles with state in air pollution case

A company that operates a beef cattle feedlot in southeastern Washington has reached a settlement with the state over a charge of failing to manage air pollution.


UPDATED: Sat., March 17, 2018

Northport residents renew calls for air monitoring after state modeling says a Canadian smelter is polluting their town

Northport residents want air quality monitors installed after state modeling suggested a Canadian smelter could be blanketing their town with heavy metals.


UPDATED: Tue., Sept. 5, 2017

Washington’s air quality map crashed this morning because of high traffic. Here’s another option.

So many Washington residents tried to get information on the region’s smoky air Tuesday morning that they crashed the website operated by a state agency.


Spokane River may have competition for its treated wastewater

The drought-parched Spokane River is getting about 14 percent of its water from sewage treatment plants this summer. Industrial and municipal treatment plants discharge about 60 million gallons of treated …


Proposed low-carbon fuel standard draws praise, criticism

Pacific Coast Canola produces up to 120,000 gallons of oil daily at a crushing plant near Moses Lake. Most of the heart-healthy oil is used for cooking, but some is …


Washington adopts Spokane River water flow rules

The state of Washington has adopted rules governing how much water must flow in the Spokane River. The levels, announced Tuesday, disappointed rafters and environmental groups, who had pushed for …


EPA will create fish consumption rule for Washington

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will come up with its own water quality standards for Washington state that are partly tied to how much fish people eat.


Oil train wreck would be challenge, Spokane Valley deputy fire chief testifies

If an oil train exploded in the Spokane metro area, local emergency responders would evacuate the area, a deputy fire chief told state officials Tuesday night. People injured in the …


Landowner must repair damage to Spokane River shoreline

A northwest Spokane property owner has been ordered by the Washington state Department of Ecology and the city to undertake a series of steps to restore clear cut damage on …


State to consider environmental review of coal terminal projects

SEATTLE – State and local regulators said Wednesday they’ll consider a sweeping environmental review of the effects of a proposed terminal along the Columbia River in Washington that would export …


River tests raise health concerns

Testing is needed to determine if historic smelter pollution poses a health risk to rural residents and tourists in the upper Columbia River Valley, Washington state officials say. High levels …


County’s shoreline update approved

The Washington Department of Ecology has approved Spokane County’s updated shoreline plan after years of debate over improving shoreline protections and public access. Ecology Director Ted Sturdevant said in a …


State won’t fund phosphorus research in Spokane River

The Washington Department of Ecology has opted not to pay for additional research by a University of Washington professor whose earlier work suggested that not all of the phosphorus discharged …


Sewage spills into Lake Roosevelt

High flows in the Columbia River helped dilute sewage spilled into Lake Roosevelt over the weekend from a British Columbia treatment plant, local health officials said. Heavy rains overwhelmed a …


Popular beaches to become cleaner

Washington will spend $600,000 to clean up heavy metals from four popular Spokane River beaches this summer, reducing exposure risks for people and wildlife. The work will be done at …


Pollutants found in remote lakes, rivers

Scientists consider Sullivan Lake’s waters relatively pristine. The 1,300-acre mountain lake in northeast Washington is home to a thriving kokanee salmon run. Along with confirmed sightings of grizzlies, wolves and …


Low standards for water put fish eaters at heightened risk

Washington residents eat more fish than the national average – probably no surprise for a state whose borders include the Pacific Ocean and the lower Columbia River. From salmon and …


Longtime environmental activist receives award

Long before most Americans knew about global warming, Julian Powers was sounding the alarm. In lectures on college campuses, at Earth Day fairs and through letters to the editor, the …


State, landowners work together to clean up Little Spokane River

Gary Verbrugge is converting an old cow pasture along the Little Spokane River into a thriving wetland. Over the past three years, he and others have planted about 15,000 seedlings …


Study: Summer water supply to dwindle

Population growth will ramp up demand for water in arid Eastern Washington over the next 20 years, even as climate change alters flows in the Columbia River and its tributaries, …


Runoff filling dry lake, covering Saltese Flats

Spokane County officials can take no credit for the lake that has risen on Saltese Flats south of Spokane Valley. The county’s ratepayer-funded Utilities Division has purchased about 500 acres …


Tribe’s river PCB complaint jeopardizes treatment plant

A permit that was to have been issued last week for Spokane County’s new $173 million sewage treatment plant is on hold. State and federal environmental regulators are to meet …


Tests show most reusable shopping bags safe

Tests done on reusable shopping bags in Washington showed that most are within state limits for heavy metals. Thirty-one reusable bags from name brand retailers were tested in the state …


Aquifer recharge possible, but costly

Water from Lake Pend Oreille could be used to recharge the region’s drinking water supply, but it’s a costly option, a new study concludes. The study looked at capturing spring …


Studies show drop in local fish toxin

Levels of toxic flame retardants found in fish tissue collected from the Spokane River appear to be dropping, and the amount detected in osprey eggs doesn’t seem to jeopardize their …