Top Northwest Sustainability Headlines

April 18, 2014

Seattle rain garden during a downpour.

Seattle rain garden during a downpour. Image by Lisa Stiffler (Used with permission)

1. Washington board upholds stormwater rules

Stringent regulations withstand a challenge by Puget Sound cities and counties.

Sightline | Stormwater runoff

2. OR oil train shipments jump 250 percent in 2013

A sharp increase in crude shipments along a rail route through Portland, Scappoose, St. Helens and Rainier drove the surge.

The Oregonian | Oil trains

3. Move to drop immigration holds spreads

At least nine Oregon counties have put a stop to holding undocumented immigrants in jail for the sole purpose of deportation, a shift that legal experts say will inevitably spread across the state and, possibly, the nation.

The Oregonian | Immigration

4. Poll: Voters support taxes for transit, roads, parks

Washington state voters are willing to pay higher taxes to support a variety of community services, including roads and public transportation, according to a new public poll.

The Seattle Times | Politics

5. Referendum push stalls new ride-share rules

Supporters of Seattle ride-service companies Lyft, Sidecar and Uber submitted signatures to place a referendum on the November ballot to block new regulations that would have limited the number of cars they operate in the city.

The Seattle Times | Transportation

6. ‘Come back when you’re not pregnant’

Thirty-six years after Congress passed the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, there is still a debate about what employers are required to do for expectant mothers. For some women, pregnancy can still be a career liability.

KPLU | Equality

7. Ditching your electric company

Solar panels and battery energy storage are getting cheaper and easier. Soon, off-the-grid living could go mainstream.

Fast Company | Energy

8. Major BC coal terminal expansion approved

Groups that want a full environmental review of an expansion at a Texada Island coal-handling facility are outraged the BC government quietly approved an amended permit without telling local residents or First Nations.

Vancouver Sun | Fossil fuels

9. Vancouver expects higher homeless count

Less than a week before the newest homelessness count for Metro Vancouver comes out, the city says it is bracing for a dramatic increase in people on the street.

Vancouver Sun | Homelessness

10. Sightline weekend reading picks

Inequalities, oligarchies, requiems, and more.

Sightline |

More News from April 18, 2014

Canada’s chicken farmers ban injections

Canadian chicken farmers are putting an end to controversial egg injections, which provided the world with a “textbook” example of the perils of mass medication .

| Food and health

GMO measure draws more than $1M

With a little more than a month left until the vote, supporters of the measure to ban GMOs from being grown in southern Oregon’s Jackson County have raised $180,254, while opponents have amassed $856,964.

Salem Statesman Journal | GMO

Old-school coal makes a comeback

For years coal has been losing market share as the American fracking boom created a flood of cheap and abundant natural gas. But natural gas prices have edged upward, and the frigid winter created unprecedented energy demands. Coal burning increased in the United States nearly 4 percent last year, and this year should see an even bigger spike.

The Tacoma News Tribune | Fossil fuels

OR reservoir will be flushed

Water from the Mt. Tabor Reservoir system tested clean of urine-related toxins Thursday, news that came as no surprise to Water Bureau administrators yet also did not change their decision to dump 38 million gallons after a man peed in the Southeast Portland storage pool a day earlier.

The Oregonian | Water

Wolf populations poorly understood in BC

The BC government has a poor handle on the population of grey wolves and whether they are being killed at a sustainable rate, according to a wolf-management plan released by the Ministry of Forests, Lands, and Natural Resource Operations.

Vancouver Sun | Wildlife