Environment and Planning

Environment and Planning

U.S. Department of Energy

There’s a new plan for cleanup at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation. The federal government is looking for ways to process certain types of radioactive waste more quickly, while managers there figure out how to solve major technical challenges at its massive Waste Treatment Plant.

Todd Murray / Wikimedia

A river basin cleanup in north Idaho is showing just how difficult it is to remove long-term pollution from Northwest waterways.

Chris Lehman / Northwest News Network

Oregon State Police have removed a huge banner from the Oregon state capitol and detained five environmental protesters. 

Wolf Haven International

Any animal organization can call itself a sanctuary, and many do. But only a few of those groups go through the American Sanctuary Association’s rigorous certification process.

Anna King / Northwest News Network

The tank farms at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation in southeast Washington have the all-clear for work to resume after a high-radiation incident briefly shut down much of the site last month.

In late August, Hanford workers responded to an emergency of a high-radiation reading near a tank known as C-101.

Tom Banse. File photo of a Mazama pocket gopher

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is postponing a controversial decision on whether to list the Mazama pocket gopher as a threatened species in the South Puget Sound area.

Washington State manager Ken Berg says his agency wants six additional months to consider input from upset landowners and affected counties. Berg says farmers and ranchers in Thurston County claim there are more pocket gophers than the government realizes and that they can co-exist with human activity.

Washington Department of Ecoology. An oil-containment boom and oil-absorbing pads are deployed around the Granby.

A spill cleanup crew remains on the scene Thursday near Longview where an old wooden boat sunk in a side channel of the Columbia River.

Anna King / Northwest News Network

Washington state officials say that a court-ordered construction deadline has been missed on part of the Hanford’s radioactive waste treatment plant.

The federal government disagrees.

The Waste Treatment Plant at Hanford has had its share of construction and technical trouble. The federal plant should be completed by 2019, and will treat 56 million gallons of radioactive sludge. Currently, that gunk is stewing away in aging underground tanks near the Columbia River. Some of those tanks are believed to be leaking.

Anna King / Northwest News Network

Crews at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation in southeast Washington are investigating increased radiological readings at a tank farm there. It happened Wednesday at about 9:30 p.m. Part of the massive site was shut down. 

A carcinogen called hexavalent chromium has been an environmental problem in many places, from the Hanford Nuclear Reservation to groundwater in California.

Remember Erin Brockovich?

Hexavalent chromium is expensive to monitor underground. Now, a Richland company is testing a new real-time sensor that could help clean-up contaminated sites around the world.

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