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Hazardous Materials

Death toll rises to 50 in huge Chinese port blast

TIANJIN, China — The death toll from the fiery explosions at a warehouse of hazardous chemicals climbed Thursday to 50, and the Chinese government sent experts to the shattered and smoldering port to assess any environmental dangers from the spectacular blasts.

Date: 08/12/2015 | Nation & World


Oregon warns marijuana growers against illegal pesticides

GRANTS PASS, Ore. — Authorities are warning Oregon marijuana growers to be very careful using pesticides.

Date: 08/05/2015 | Northwest


Suspicious packages sent to Oregon government buildings

SALEM, Ore. — Authorities in Oregon are investigating suspicious packages sent to government buildings around the state.

Date: 07/27/2015 | Northwest


Hazmat scare at college in Lakewood found to involve pudding

LAKEWOOD — Hazardous material scares aren’t unusual these days but the one that briefly shut down a campus building at a college near Tacoma involved — pudding.

Date: 06/16/2015 | Northwest


What’s ahead for Fukushima nuclear plant?

TOKYO — Four years after an earthquake and tsunami destroyed Japan's Fukushima nuclear power plant, the road ahead remains riddled with unknowns.The government approved a revised 30-to-40-year roadmap Friday that delays by three years the start of a key initial step...

Date: 06/12/2015 | Business Wire


Pentagon: Suspect anthrax also sent to Canada, Washington

WASHINGTON — The Pentagon says it has determined that possibly live anthrax was mistakenly sent to labs in Canada and Washington state, in addition to the numerous labs in the U.S. and abroad that were announced last week.

Date: 06/02/2015 | Northwest


State fines medical waste company $72,000

OLYMPIA — State inspectors have fined a medical waste company $72,000 for repeated violations of federal regulations.

Date: 06/02/2015 | Northwest


Pipeline operator defends shutdown after spill

LOS ANGELES — The operator of the oil pipeline the spilled thousands of gallons of crude on the California coast said it had a safe shutdown process in place.Plains All American Pipeline's safety director said Saturday that its system of having operators remotely shut...

Date: 05/23/2015 | Nation & World


Oregon lawmakers seek money to reduce toxins in Columbia Basin

PORTLAND, Ore. — Several Oregon senators and representatives are pushing for funding to clean up and reduce toxins in the Columbia River Basin.

Date: 05/20/2015 | Northwest


Federal agency drops advisories about reservoir algae blooms in Oregon

MEDFORD, Ore. — The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will no longer issue advisories against swimming or otherwise using the water during blue-green algae blooms in the 11 Oregon reservoirs it manages.

Date: 05/19/2015 | Northwest


Asbestos-contaminated Montana community to weigh in on final cleanup

BILLINGS, Mont. — Residents of a Montana mining community where thousands have been sickened by asbestos exposure will weigh in this week on a proposal to leave the dangerous material behind in many houses and buildings.

Date: 05/19/2015 | Northwest


State cancels 2 more razor clam digs because of toxins

OLYMPIA — Washington state shellfish managers have canceled two more razor clam digs that had been scheduled this month on ocean beaches. They say toxin levels in the clams are too high.

Date: 05/13/2015 | Northwest


Health officials: Destroy razor clams recently collected

OLYMPIA — State health officials have issued a notice saying all razor clams harvested Thursday on Washington beaches should be destroyed.

Date: 05/08/2015 | Northwest


High toxin levels close Anderson Lake near Port Townsend to recreation

PORT TOWNSEND — Anderson Lake has been closed after testing found high levels of a neurotoxin that can kill within minutes of ingestion.

Date: 05/08/2015 | Northwest


Report: Consider construction limits at Hanford plant

RICHLAND — A new report says the federal government should consider further limiting construction at a facility being built to deal with nuclear waste at Hanford until it has plans to deal with risk.

Date: 05/07/2015 | Northwest


Oil train derailment, fire prompt evacuation in North Dakota town

BISMARCK, N.D. — A train that derailed and caught fire early Wednesday in rural North Dakota was hauling crude from the state's oil patch, but it wasn't immediately known whether it had been treated under new state rules aimed at reducing the volatility of oil from the region.

Date: 05/06/2015 | Northwest


Feds offer exit plan for Montana town’s asbestos cleanup

BILLINGS, Mont. — A long-delayed U.S. government cleanup plan for a Montana community where asbestos contamination has sickened thousands would leave the deadly material in the walls of houses, underground and elsewhere — stirring worries among residents and state officials...

Date: 05/05/2015 | Northwest


New rules issued for oil trains

WASHINGTON — An emergency order requiring trains hauling crude oil and other flammable liquids to slow down as they pass through urban areas and a series of other steps to improve the safety were announced Friday by the Department of Transportation.The Obama...

Date: 04/18/2015 | Nation & World


Rail defect, valves implicated in oil train fire

WASHINGTON — Outlet valves underneath four tank cars in a February oil train derailment in West Virginia were sheared off and the 50,000 gallons of crude oil they released ignited in a fire that subsequently caused several nearby rail cars to explode, according to a federal report.

Date: 04/17/2015 | Nation & World


Oil's track record

Point-Counterpoint: Are stronger rules necessary?

Date: 04/05/2015 | Commentary


Washington rail safety regulators recommend penalties for BNSF

OLYMPIA — State rail safety regulators say BNSF railway should be penalized for failing to report hazardous material spills within the required time limit.

Date: 03/21/2015 | Northwest


Ecology: Everett mill site no longer hazardous

EVERETT — It’s taken 20 years, but the state says a former Weyerhaeuser mill site on Everett’s north side is clean.Contaminated soil at the site has either been trucked away or covered up and doesn’t pose a health threat, according to the state Department of Ecology.

Date: 03/10/2015 | Local News


Oil train inspectors needed

Think the concerns about the dangers of more and more oil trains crossing the country and our state are overstated? Think again.During the last week of January, McClatchy New Service's Washington D.C.

Date: 02/03/2015 | Editorials


Toppenish company recalls beef produced in 2012

SEATTLE — A Toppenish company is recalling 1,620 pounds of boneless beef-trim products produced in 2012 that may have been contaminated with E. coli O157:H7 bacteria.

Date: 01/28/2015 | Northwest


Firm recalls caramel apples amid listeria fears

WASHINGTON — A Missouri firm is recalling its Happy Apple brand caramel apples because of the potential that they could be contaminated with listeria. The recall comes after at least three deaths and at least 29 illnesses in 10 states have been linked to an outbreak of the deadly...

Date: 12/24/2014 | Nation & World


Report: Hanford waste storage tanks continue to deteriorate

SPOKANE — Underground nuclear waste storage tanks on the Hanford Nuclear Reservation continue to deteriorate, raising questions about how the wastes will be managed in the future, according to a report released Tuesday by the Government Accountability Office.

Date: 12/16/2014 | Northwest


2nd lawsuit planned over Hanford vapors

RICHLAND — A second group has announced its intention to file a lawsuit over the exposure of some Hanford Nuclear Reservation workers to harmful vapors.

Date: 11/20/2014 | Northwest


Hundreds of kids harmed by detergent ‘pods’

CHICAGO — Accidental poisonings from squishy laundry detergent packets sometimes mistaken for toys or candy landed more than 700 U.S. children in the hospital in just two years, researchers report. Coma and seizures were among the most serious complications.

Date: 11/09/2014 | Nation & World


Army plans for gas, chlorine tests in western Utah

SALT LAKE CITY — The U.S. Army and Utah air quality officials are taking public comment on plans to release chlorine and low levels of radioactive gas at a military testing range in western Utah next year.

Date: 10/26/2014 | Nation & World


Mercer Island water safe to drink again

MERCER ISLAND — A boil-water advisory that closed restaurants and forced schools to operate with bottled water for nearly a week in Mercer Island has been lifted, even though inspectors never found the source of E. coli that prompted it.City officials said Wednesday...

Date: 10/08/2014 | Northwest


Hanford watchdog criticizes deal

SPOKANE — A Hanford watchdog group is complaining that a new deal allows a nuclear waste storage tank to continue leaking for more than a year before its contents are pumped out.

Date: 09/30/2014 | Northwest


Leaking vapors prompt shutdown of I-90 near Spokane

SPOKANE — Leaking vapors from a tanker truck prompted the shutdown of I-90 near the Washington-Idaho border.

Date: 09/14/2014 | Northwest


Union rejects BNSF plan to cut train crews

A tentative agreement to reduce train crew size on one of the nation’s largest rail carriers has failed, according to the labor union whose members voted on it this week.

Date: 09/11/2014 | Business


Feds find old toxins in health labs

WASHINGTON — The National Institutes of Health said it has uncovered a nearly century-old container of ricin and a handful of other forgotten samples of dangerous pathogens as it combs its laboratories for improperly stored hazardous materials.The agency began an...

Date: 09/06/2014 | Nation & World




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