Ardagh Group, a multinational glass-recycling firm in south Seattle that has a checkered environmental past, is looking to renew its lease on 17 acres along the Duwamish River. The King County Council faces a tough decision as it weighs the company’s environmental history against its role as a major employer in the region, as well as King County’s only glass waste recycler.
InvestigateWest’s in-depth, fact-based reporting has impacted public policy and corporate practice on topics including toxic coal-tar sealants, water quality standards, the preservation of open spaces, crude oil imports, salmon culverts and the effects of toxic road pollution on children’s health.
Finding Fixes, InvestigateWest’s podcast that seeks out solutions to the opioid addiction crisis, debuts its second season today (10/15/19). It is set in Western Washington as well as in Gloucester, Mass., and Philadelphia. Radio journalists Anna Boiko-Weyrauch and Kyle Norris are behind the podcast, which was featured on NPR’s Weekend Edition and drew attention from as far away as France.
South Seattle, with a heavy concentration of industry and people of color who on average earn less than residents in other parts of the city, also features some of the sparsest tree canopy in Seattle, according to a city study. That matters to residents’ health, a growing body of evidence suggests.
Hundreds of U.S. newspapers have closed, yet most Americans surveyed believe local news outlets are in good financial shape and relatively few pay for local news. InvestigateWest Executive Director Robert McClure spoke on a panel on “The Future of Our Local Press” at the University of Puget Sound, sponsored by the City Club of Tacoma and the League of Women Voters of Tacoma-Pierce County.
InvestigateWest advises the Washington State Sunshine Committee, which advises the Washington Legislature, to proceed cautiously when considering whether to further restrict citizens’ access to information about juveniles through the Washington State Public Records Act.
Aided by clear Democratic control of the Washington Legislature for the first time in years, environmentalists scored big victories – of historic size, especially on climate-change – but also suffered a few significant setbacks at the just-concluded Washington Legislature’s session. Big Oil and the insurance lobby had an influence on the process.
Big Oil is fighting proposed higher taxes meant to speed cleanups of toxic waste sites in Seattle’s Duwamish River and Gas Works Park, Bellingham Bay, Tacoma, Grays Harbor and landfills around Washington. Will Washington legislators pass SB 5993 anyway?
Democratic lawmakers are finding success in moving a raft of clean-energy bills through the Washington Legislature. The sweeping bills would make Washington the fourth state to require a phaseout of fossil-fueled electricity, mandate energy overhauls for larger, old buildings, and more. The fate of three lesser bills to protect the climate is less certain.
Washington legislators came into their 2019 session brimming with proposals to help rescue Puget Sound’s imperiled orcas. But now they have dropped one of the most important – and controversial – ideas: A three-year moratorium on commercial whale watching.