Rain, winds scour out wildfire smoke, and Seattle air quality returns to normal
SEATTLE — After breathing more than a week’s worth of unhealthy air caused by wildfires, Western Washington residents were able to breathe clean air again Saturday morning after a rainstorm and westerly winds scoured out the smoke.Air quality monitors across the western side of the state displayed green dots, showing the air quality was good. Smoke forecasters said the east side of the state should clear up by late Saturday.“All the sensors, just about every single sensor in Western Washington, is good air quality, so that’s a relief,” Mike McFarland, meteorologist for the National Weather Ser...
The Seattle Times
Skyrocketing demolition costs for riot-damaged Minneapolis, St. Paul properties delay rebuilding
MINNEAPOLIS — One day after rioters destroyed the Sports Dome retail complex in St. Paul, a construction crew hired by the city knocked the building down because it was dangerously unstable.Then the city presented the property owners with a $140,000 bill for what it would cost to haul away the debris.“We were really upset about that,” said property owner Jay Kim, whose insurance policy covers a maximum of $25,000 in demolition costs. “We thought that was high. But we didn’t know how much demolition would cost at the time.”Like dozens of other investors whose properties were severely damaged in...
Star Tribune (Minneapolis)
Thousands of gallons of fuel dumps in South Carolina waters in treatment plant spill
COLUMBIA, S.C. — A cleanup effort is underway after thousands of gallons of diesel fuel spilled into South Carolina waters.Oil from the Plum Island Wastewater Treatment Plant dumped into bodies of water in the Charleston area Saturday, the U.S. Coast Guard said. The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control is assisting the Coast Guard in the cleanup of Dill Creek and its marshes.About 3,100 gallons of diesel fuel spilled into the water after leaking from an above-ground tank at the wastewater plant, according to the Coast Guard.The red-dye diesel fuel has made for an eerie...
The State (Columbia, S.C.)
Post-riot landscape of rubble persists as Minneapolis demands taxes in exchange for permits
MINNEAPOLIS — On a desolate lot in Minneapolis where Don Blyly’s bookstore stood before being destroyed in the May riots, two men finish their cigarettes and then walk through a dangerous landscape filled with slippery debris and sharp objects. The city won’t let Blyly haul away his wreckage without a permit, and he can’t get a contractor to tell him how much it will cost to rebuild the store until that happens.In St. Paul, where Jim Stage’s pharmacy burned down during the same disturbances, crews have already removed the bricks and scorched timbers. A steel fence keeps out trespassers. Stage ...
Star Tribune (Minneapolis)
Final canister of nuclear waste transferred to storage facility at San Onofre
SAN DIEGO — It took 32 months to complete but the transfer operations that moved canisters filled with spent radioactive fuel, or waste, from wet storage pools to a newly constructed dry storage facility at the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station wrapped up Friday.Shortly before 5 a.m., workers lowered the 73rd and final canister into its assigned enclosure at the north end of the plant, known as SONGS for short.At commercial nuclear plants, after fuel used to generate electricity loses its effectiveness, operators place the assemblies in a metal rack that is lowered into a pool, typically f...
The San Diego Union-Tribune
70% of Superfund sites are within a mile of public housing, report finds
Seventy percent of the country’s most environmentally contaminated sites are within one mile of federally assisted housing, according to a report by the nonprofit Shriver Center on Poverty Law.That constitutes roughly 77,000 families living in public housing and homes paid for with vouchers at or near one of the nation’s polluted Superfund sites designated for cleanup by the federal government, according to the report released last month. These households, the report noted, are disproportionately in low-income communities of color.“Environmental racism has played a central role in this devasta...
The Philadelphia Inquirer