For decades, the government has enforced regulations to protect and improve water quality. But what about rewarding people for voluntarily managing their land in ways that keep rivers cool and clean?
Over the decades, poorly-regulated fishing, grazing and logging have all taken their toll on salmon. Drought and ocean conditions likely related to climate change are making life hard, as well. And the latest threat? Cannabis cultivation.
Industry floated a multi-year proposal for Idaho to take over regulation of water pollution from the federal government by 2021.
Federal environmental agencies announced Thursday they may reject Oregon’s approach to keeping coastal waterways clean.
A Clark County environmental group has filed a lawsuit against a Yacolt mining operation, claiming years of pollution and violations of the federal Clean Water Act.
The Washington State Department of Ecology is working to update the state’s fish consumption levels. Plans are to release a draft plan soon for public comment.
Water is the lifeblood of the Northwest's most arid state. It's so important that there's now a video presentation, the "Idaho Water Handbook" that airs this week. Here's the story behind the handbook from Idaho Public TV's EarthFix producer.
Russia promised the greenest Olympics yet when it hosts next year's winter games. But the country is getting a public-relations black eye after revelations a state company has been dumping potentially contaminated construction waste from the site of the games in Sochi.
A river basin cleanup in north Idaho is showing just how difficult it is to remove long-term pollution from Northwest waterways.
Studies by the U.S. Geological Survey have found 63 different pesticides and herbicides in the Clackamas River Basin. And testing shows some of those chemicals are winding up in the drinking water communities take from the river.
Idaho water quality regulators must go back to the drawing board after the federal Environmental Protection Agency rejected a rule that allowed some pollution to be discharged into state waterways without a review.
Washington Gov. Jay Inslee wades into the state water-pollution regulations that determine how much fish people can safely consume.
The U.S. Supreme Court Wednesday decided in favor of the timber industry in a case that challenged the regulation of muddy water that flows off logging roads. The case was originally filed in Oregon. Here’s a Q & A to sort out the case and what it means.
The Supreme Court on Wednesday sided with timber interests in a dispute over the regulation of runoff from logging roads in western forests.
The Environmental Protection Agency released its draft cleanup plan Wednesday for Seattle's Duwamish River Superfund site. It comes with a $305 million pricetag for Boeing, the Port of Seattle, and other parties responsible for the river's decades of pollution.
How much fish do you eat every week? That’s a question Idaho’s Department of Environmental Quality wants to answer. The agency has asked state lawmakers for funding to study that question.
A last-minute rule change on logging-road pollution may have undercut a case from the Northwest just as it was argued Monday before the U.S. Supreme Court.
Three public interest groups are threatening to sue some big Yakima Valley farms over massive groundwater contamination in that agricultural region.
It's no secret that industrial discharges have been a big part of America's pollution problem. Do How much of our water pollution washes off roads, flows from roofs, and drips down driveways? Our pollsters put that question to to more than a thousand Oregonians, Idahoans and Washingtonians.
YAKIMA, Wash. – A case involving cross border pollution of the Columbia River rests in the hands of a federal judge. A Native American tribe and the state of Washington have sued to hold a Canadian mining giant responsible for smelter waste that washed downriver from British Columbia into Washington.
Peter Maier is waging a lonely campaign against the Environmental Protection Agency. He's zeroed in on a test the agency uses to determine how far plant operators must go to treat wastewater before returning it to America's rivers, lakes and bays.
A major goal of the 1972 Clean Water Act was to stop cities and towns from discharging raw sewage. The federal government gave communities billion of dollars to build wastewater treatment plants. But those early grants are gone and those plants have aged.
The EarthFix podcast takes a deep dive into the Northwest's Water World: recording orcas underwater, gillnet fishing for salmon in the Columbia River and a look at how Puget Sound is doing when it comes to water quality.
How do you feel about the quality of air and water in the Northwest? EarthFix commissioned a survey this summer to find out what Northwest residents think. Take our reader poll -- we want to hear from you, too.
A conservation group is threatening to sue two pulp mills in the Willamette Valley for allegedly violating the Clean Water Act. OPB’s Vince Patton was paddling with the Riverkeeper director when the water suddenly turned dark brown.
Environmental regulators are in a dispute with industrial landowners about how to measure the health risks of eating fish from the Portland Harbor.
Some environmentalists are trying to scuttle a wake-boarding park that a Portland developer wants to build on the Columbia River as part of a green construction project.
The lower part of Seattle's Duwamish River was declared a Superfund site in 2001. That means the polluters have to work with the Environmental Protection Agency to clean it up. More than ten years later, the EPA and the polluters are close to proposing a clean up plan. But there’s still some debate about how clean this river should be.
Forty years ago, Congress enacted the Clean Water Act to end pollution of our rivers, lakes, and bays. But today, in the Northwest and nationwide, most water bodies still don't qualify as clean and new threats to clean water are outpacing the act's enforcers.
New tests show one of the most popular sport fish on Columbia also contain high contamination levels. Bass carry elevated quantities of a variety of toxic chemicals.
The U.S. Supreme Court will take a Northwest case that questions whether muddy runoff from logging road should be considered pollution under the Clean Water Act.
The U.S. Coast Guard inspected the derelict fishing vessel, Deep Sea, months before it caught fire and sank this week in Puget Sound, polluting waters used for raising shellfish. The Coast Guard, however, reported that the vessel contained "minimal fuel." That has not turned out to be the case.
WHIDBEY ISLAND, Wash. — State officials have suspended mussel harvesting in Whidbey Island's Penn Cove until further notice after a 128-foot derelict fishing vessel anchored there burst into flames and sank over the weekend.
The administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, Lisa Jackson, was in Portland Friday. She stopped by a school in Northeast to congratulate students for turning a paved area outside the school into a “rain garden” to absorb and filter rainwater.
BOISE, Idaho — An environmental group's challenge to Boise's new wastewater discharge permits is complicating a pollution-trading proposal that federal regulators and Idaho leaders hope will eventually help other U.S. cities manage sewage and reduce farming's impact on water quality.
SODA SPRINGS, Idaho - Here’s an image you usually don’t see without the help of Photoshop: two-headed fish. Pictures of deformed baby trout with two heads show up in a study of creeks in a remote part of southeast Idaho.
SEATTLE -- New research shows killer whales are inhaling bacteria, fungi and viruses once believed to be found only on land.
BOISE, Idaho — The Environmental Protection Agency has drafted a new permit to regulate water runoff from some of Idaho's biggest cattle and dairy feedlot operations.
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that an Idaho couple can challenge a decision by federal regulators that their lot is in a protected wetland. The ruling was relatively narrow.
[Beyond Toxics](http://www.beyondtoxics.org/ ""), a Eugene, Ore., nonprofit, just received $25,000 to help people who live in the West Eugene Industrial Corridor cope with asthma and with the air pollution that wafts through their neighborhoods. It is one of four Northwest organizations awarded Environmental Justice Grants.
BOISE, Idaho -- A century's worth of using the Boise River to churn up riches or transport waste has given way to a generation-long campaign to return it to pristine condition. And that effort seems right on track with Idahoans' priorities, according to the results of new survey released Wednesday by Boise State Public Radio, Idaho Public Television and other public media stations in the Northwest.
HOLDEN VILLAGE, Wash. – Cleaning up old mines is necessary but difficult work across the nation. That’s especially true in a remote valley in Washington’s Cascade Mountains. Tiny Holden Village is about to be flooded with hundreds of workers … there to clean up an old copper mine.
New research shows bald eagles on the Columbia River are benefiting from a regulation that removed toxins from paper mill wastewater in the 1990s.