Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2016

Coming up short

Lower oil prices bad news for Wash. pollution cleanup

 A truck on Taylor Way East in the Port of Tacoma on Dec. 29 rolls by the Arkema Manufacturing site, a contaminated piece of property just off the Hylebos Waterway. Caution signs that read "DANGER: Inorganic Arsenic, Cancer Hazard, Authorized Personnel Only, No smoking or Eating, Respirator Required," are prominently displayed on a blue fence that rings the bare site. Water is pooling in many parts of the area with ducks and seagulls around. DAVID MONTESINO

News Tribune

News Tribune

Prices at the pump these days are good for drivers — and not so good for Washington’s contaminated sites in need of cleanup. Much of the money to clean toxic zones and prevent new ones from forming comes from a voter-approved tax on petroleum products and other “hazardous substances.” But lower oil prices combined with lawmakers’ demands to spread tax revenue around have left a shortfall of more than $40 million for cleanups.

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Demise of Klamath deal could rekindle old battles

Los Angeles Times

The demise of a deal to end decades of feuding on the Klamath River could rekindle old battles over water use and dams. The complicated pact called for the removal of four hydroelectric dams, settled water rights disputes and spelled out water allocations for irrigators and wildlife refuges in the Klamath Basin. Though some backers are holding out hope that it can be resurrected, others are doubtful.

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Thornton Creek gets a makeover from ground up

Seattle Times

As Seattle Public Utilities works to restore Thornton Creek, the city’s largest urban stream, a new idea has been in the works: Why not start at the bottom, and reassemble and reconnect all the pieces of the watershed, and see what happens? Re-creating that natural purification system is a novel restoration approach, said Katherine Lynch, urban creeks biologist at Seattle Public Utilities.

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