Washington and Oregon update oil spill plan, input sought on Lower Columbia River plan

In response to the uptick in the amount of crude oil being transported by rail through inland areas of Washington and Oregon, the western states are teaming up to update oil spill response

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Washington Department of Ecology seeks comment on updated oil spill plan for Nisqually River

The number of trains carrying crude oil along Washington rivers is increasing rapidly. To keep up with this trend and other changes in how oil is transported, the Washington Department of

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Comments sought on Ecology study addressing oil spills on the Chehalis River

A March 1 study on oil transport in Washington shows significant risks posed by the changing energy picture, and in particular by the growth of crude oil by rail.

In an effort to protect public

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Washington to participate in first ever nationwide distracted driving crackdown

National enforcement campaign taking place during Distracted Driving Awareness Month

Law enforcement officers in Washington State will be cracking down on distracted drivers as part of a new

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WA Lawmakers urged to think beyond school day in education funding

OLYMPIA, Wash. – The Washington Legislature already has some marching orders, from the governor’s budget proposal to a bill by state School Superintendent Randy Dorn to raise sales

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WA Lawmakers Urged to Think Beyond School Day in Education Funding

OLYMPIA, Wash. – The Washington Legislature already has some marching orders, from the governor’s budget proposal to a bill by state School Superintendent Randy Dorn to raise sales

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Washington Legislature funds final push to rid Puget Sound of derelict fishing nets

OLYMPIA, Wash. - The final push in a decade-long effort to clear Puget Sound of derelict fishing nets within 105 feet of the surface will get under way later this year with funding approved by the Washington State Legislature.

 

The state budget adopted last month provides $3.5 million for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) to complete the task in partnership with the Northwest Straits Foundation, which has led the net-removal effort since 2002.

 

Since then, divers working for the non-profit organization have removed 4,437 lost or abandoned fishing nets, 2,765 crab pots and 42 shrimp pots from the waters of Puget Sound. Animals found dead or entangled in that gear include porpoises, sea lions, seabirds, canary rockfish, chinook salmon and Dungeness crab.

 

According to one predictive catch model, those derelict nets were entangling 3.2 million animals annually every year they remained in the water.

 

Robyn du Pré, executive director of the foundation, said the new funding will support the removal of approximately 1,000 derelict nets in high-priority areas of Puget Sound after current funding runs out in December.

WA State Workers Say “No Thanks” to Furlough Days

OLYMPIA, Wash. - State employees and negotiators for the state of Washington are in contract talks that, so far, don't appear to be going smoothly. One issue that will soon be coming is unpaid furlough days. The state of Oregon is already requiring some of its workforce to take mandatory unpaid days off. Friday is "day five" of ten furlough days there.

Ken Allen, Oregon executive director of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Council 75, says so far, most workers would rather be on the job and getting paid.

"There's a bitterness that comes up each time the day comes around - I mean, people are mad again. That's not a good thing. The work doesn't go away; they just have more work when they come back from their furloughs. The clients don't like it - it's an inconvenience for them."

Commission approves hunting rules, new special-hunt permit applications

The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission set this year’s general hunting seasons and special-hunt permit drawings during a public meeting here April 9-10. 

The nine-member citizen commission, which sets policy for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), also approved several land transactions and heard public comments on proposed new rules designed to address property damage and other conflicts between landowners and wildlife.