Crickets all the buzz at Cleantech Challenge

Crickets all the buzz at Cleantech Challenge

Insect protein team takes home grand prize at PSU environmental innovation contest. The crowd may...

The Terrible 12 plants that invade our yards, natural areas

The Terrible 12 plants that invade our yards, natural areas

Take steps to protect native plants, thwart spread of invasive species. If you’re like many...

TriMet charges ahead with electric buses

TriMet charges ahead with electric buses

Thanks to a $3.4 million federal grant, TriMet is adding electric buses to its fleet. It’s...

Trail talkers want more, more, more at Chehalem Ridge

Trail talkers want more, more, more at Chehalem Ridge

Too few trails, the wrong kind of trails, the wrong location of trails, the wrong shape of trails...

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Sustainable Life Section

PHOTO BY KEVIN DOWNING, COURTESY OF DEQ - Old diesel trucks, designated for replacement, are lined up waiting to be scrapped at Rivergate Scrap Metals in North Portland.
September 27, 2016

VW settlement to help improve Oregon air

by Steve Law
$68.2 million will help replace dirty-diesel engines. Diesel engine exhaust is among the biggest killers of all pollutants in Oregon, and the state is in line to get its largest-ever cash infusion to address the problem. Sometime next month, a…
September 22, 2016

New tool enables people to see level of carcinogen in their local water supply

by Steve Law
The Environmental Working Group has released an interactive map that enables citizens to check levels of chromium-6 — the pollutant targeted by California environmental crusader Erin Brockovich — in their local water supply. The Washington…
COURTESY REACHNOW - A ReachNow car cruises Northwest Portland.
September 22, 2016

New car-sharing service launches in Portland

by Steve Law
A new car-sharing service, ReachNow, has launched in the Portland market, billing itself as a “premium car sharing service” because its fleet includes BMWs. The company, like Zipcar and other car-sharing businesses, stations cars randomly around…
COURTESY OF GATEWAY GREEN  - Site of proposed Gateway Green project.
September 22, 2016

Gateway Green trail development on the way, if crowdfunding pays off

by Steve Law
Backers of the Gateway Green project in East Portland are more than halfway toward their $100,000 fundraising goal to begin developing mountain biking and hiking trails at the planned park. More than $57,000 has been pledged in a crowdfunding…
COURTESY OF CASSANDRA PROFITA, OPB/EARTHFIX - A worker at Bullseye Glass, which makes artistic and architectural colored glass in Southeast Portland. The company has agreed to halt its use of arsenic, cadmium and chromium after carcinogenic levels of emissions were detected near its Southeast Portland plant.
September 19, 2016

State warns Bullseye Glass again

by Jim Redden
After elevated levels of selenium were recorded near Bullseye Glass, the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality and the Oregon Health Authority recently inspected the Southeast Portland glass manufacturer. They also asked the company to confirm…
September 12, 2016

EV showroom to open in downtown Portland

by Jeff Zurschmeide Jeff Zurschmeide
Non-profit electric vehicle advocacy group Drive Oregon will open an EV education center and showroom in downtown Portland, after receiving a $993,450 grant from the U.S. Department of Energy. The center will be located adjacent to Electric Avenue…
PHOTO COURTESY OF THE MINNESOTA DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE - Japanese beetles have been wreaking havoc on plants elsewhere in the United States for decades, but a localized infestation in Cedar Mill has taken the Oregon Department of Agriculture by surprise.
September 11, 2016

Invasive Japanese beetles spotted in Cedar Mill area

by Mark Miller
An eye-catching, iridescent species of insect has popped up in Cedar Mill for the first time, according to the Oregon Department of Agriculture — and it means nothing good for local gardeners, growers and farmers. The Japanese beetle is an invasive…
September 11, 2016

Oregon conifers stressed by drought

by Steve Law
Record droughts in Oregon from 2013 through 2015 and another dry year in 2016 are taking a toll on the state’s conifer trees, says Lena Tucker, the Oregon Department of Forestry’s deputy chief of the Private Forests Division. Drought-stressed trees…
September 09, 2016

Air near Precision Castparts plant improved but still unhealthy due to toxic metals

by Steve Law
New pollution controls at Precision Castparts' Southeast Portland metals plant reduced toxic metals in the surrounding air, but not enough to bring them in line with state benchmarks set to protect human health. The first batch of air sampling near…
September 09, 2016

City to begin debate on barring new fossil fuel terminals

by Steve Law
After a flurry of propane, coal, oil, LNG and methanol facilities were proposed in Portland and elsewhere in the Northwest in the past few years, the Portland City Council approved a resolution last November that put the city on record against such…
Sep 08, 2016

PSU, Lewis & Clark, UO score in Sierra Club's green university…

by Steve Law
Three Oregon colleges made the Sierra Club’s latest top 20 list of America’s Greenest Universities: • No. 14: Portland State University, cited for reducing its water consumption 40 percent in…
COURTESY DEQ - This is how the Johnson Creek Landfill appeared in January 1971, according to a photo uncovered in Oregon Department of Environmental Quality records.
Sep 08, 2016

Dirty secrets in abandoned SE Portland landfill

by Paul Koberstein
Just south of Johnson Creek sits an abandoned landfill that time, and the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality, forgot. Built in 1950 before modern landfill regulations were written, the…
SHAWN LINEHAN - The 'noodle luge' at King Farmers Market in Northeast Portland last month delighted fans of all ages as they tested their prowess with chopsticks and learned about Umi Organic at the same time.
Sep 06, 2016

Now available in Portland: Locally made organic fresh ramen

by Jennifer Anderson
As the ramen craze hits Portland hard, fans can find a new local organic product on grocery store shelves later this month. Umi Organic, which debuted at Hollywood Farmers Market this spring, is…
SPOKESMAN FILE PHOTO: - European linden trees improperly applied with pesticides were the cause of the death of some 50,000 bees in Wilsonville in 2013. Here, workers cover the trees to prevent further harm to local pollinators.
Sep 06, 2016

Known for bee tragedy, city turns lemons into lemonade

by Jake Bartman
Wilsonville bee-coming a good steward for pollinators Wilsonville made the news across the country during the unfortunate timing of National Pollinator Week in June 2013. An estimated 50,000…
COURTESY PHOTO  - Camila Thorndike
Sep 06, 2016

Carbon cap with rebates needed

by Camila Thorndike
I have never felt the gears of social change churn as powerfully as they did that sweltering June day in Phoenix. The Bernie Sanders campaign invited me to testify before the Platform Committee…
Sep 06, 2016

Mayor proposes home energy score mandate for houses being sold…

by Steve Law
Mayor Charlie Hales on Tuesday introduced a proposal to require all single-family home sellers in Portland to include a home energy score for prospective home buyers. The home energy score is…
Sep 02, 2016

Soil conservation district seeks first-time levy

by Peter Wong
Advocates say that all of Washington County, Oregon’s second most populous, would benefit from a small tax request by the Tualatin Soil and Water Conservation District on the Nov. 8 countywide…
COURTESY WILLAMETTE RIVERKEEPER - The comment period for the EPA's proposed Superfund cleanup plan ends Tuesday night. Now the agency must devise a final cleanup plan by December.
Sep 01, 2016

Environmentalists, community want EPA to adopt a much more…

by Steve Law
Environmental and community groups say the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed cleanup plan for the Portland Harbor Superfund site doesn’t go nearly far enough, and they want to…
PAMPLIN MEDIA GROUP FILE COMPANY - The city is looking at possibly purchasing two tax lots on Oregon Street, just east of this private property recently cleared by a developer for future sale.
Aug 30, 2016

DEQ presents plan to clean up contaminated tannery soils, city…

by Ray Pitz
The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality and the city of Sherwood have been discussing what it will take to clean separate parcels of land whose soil was contaminated by tannery waste…
COURTESY PORT OF PORTLAND  - The Swan Island Lagoon will be among the most costly Superfund cleanup areas. The Port of Portland says it can lead the effort,  and do it cheaper than the EPA.
Aug 30, 2016

Divvying up the Superfund cleanup

by Steve Law
It took 16 years for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to propose a cleanup plan for the Portland Harbor Superfund site, a 10-mile stretch of the Willamette River laden with toxins dumped…