Weekly Volcano Blogs: Walkie Talkie Blog

Posts made in: 'Environment' (26) Currently Viewing: 11 - 20 of 26

June 22, 2009 at 8:23am

Morning Spew

June 15, 2009 at 8:52am

Morning Spew

April 27, 2009 at 10:30am

South 5th Street and Court C, Tacoma, April 27

April 13, 2009 at 1:04pm

Fresh air

PAUL SCHRAG:PORT GETS CLEAN UP MONEY >>>

Diesel Exhaust OK, retrofitting trucks with diesel converters isn’t the first thing you might think about when pondering where federal stimulus money is headed. But Port of Tacoma and state officials have announced that the Port will receive a windfall of more-than $600,000 from the state Department of Ecology as part of a $1.73 million chunk of federal stimulus money being offered to help reduce diesel emissions.

The $638,000 filtered through the state Department of Ecology from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will be used to retrofit 116 vehicles used in Port operations with cleaner, updated diesel engine components. The Port of Tacoma, along with other Washington ports, is working now to retrofit various cargo haulers with filters, converters, and other accoutrements that will reduce diesel emissions under a federal program dubbed the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act. As part of a larger effort, ports, including our own, have until 2010 to meet diesel emission goals and until 2015 to reach further goals aimed at cleaning up the air around here. Overall, controls on more than 200 pieces of cargo-handling equipment, such as trucks, loaders and forklifts, will be retrofitted with this most recent expenditure.

Each retrofit is expected to reduce particle emissions by 50 percent to 60 percent per diesel engine. This is just one part of a larger effort by the Port to reduce diesel emissions, which includes a fee-free program for trucks operating at and frequently visiting (calling) the Port.

"Our customers and business partners have worked with Port staff and our clean air authorities to develop comprehensive and market-led approaches to environmental stewardship," says Port of Tacoma Commission President Clare Petrich. "Their decisions to voluntarily participate in these efforts are voluntary, and they come at a cost. But they recognize that today that environmental stewardship makes good sense and is good business."

State agencies have called out diesel exhaust as the air pollutant most harmful to public health in Washington. Diesel exhaust causes 70 percent of the cancer risk from airborne pollutants, according to some researchers, and puts healthy people at risk for respiratory disease and worsens the symptoms of those with health problems such as asthma and heart and lung disease.

According to a recent report, most of the trucks moving between terminals at the Port of Tacoma already burn relatively clean, with 86 percent of the fleet â€" more than 2,600 vehicles â€" already in various Ecological agencies’ good graces. The remaining 14 percent may need retrofitting or replacement to meet short-term goals. The Port also plans on determining which vehicles are so-called frequent callers â€" trucks that call at Port of Tacoma terminals more than 10 times per year. Recommendations include targeting those trucks for similar improvements. Only 4 percent of the current fleet at the Port meet long-term goals, set for 2015. The report also suggests the Port of Tacoma work with the Port of Seattle on a regional improvement plan, as more than a quarter of the trucks calling in Tacoma also serve the Port of Seattle.

Why should you care?

According to the California Air Resources Board, every dollar spent cleaning up diesel emissions (through exhaust retrofits, vehicle replacements, clean fuels, idle reduction, etc.) saves three to eight dollars in improved health and lower operating and maintenance costs for diesel fleets.

The Union of Concerned Scientists estimates that society gains nine to 16 dollars for every dollar paid for diesel exhaust retrofits.

PHOTO:Flickr/Pulpolox

March 23, 2009 at 5:13pm

Graham fire photos

MICHAEL SWAN: SCARY STUFF >>>

Graham-Fire-One Here are a few photos snapped by the Graham Firefighters of the two-alarm fire in Graham last Thursday morning.

Thankfully, no one was inside the residential fire on 196th Street Court East.

More remarkable â€" the other houses didn’t catch on fire, too. Check out how close the houses are to each other in that neighborhood. You can see the neighbors' vinyl siding burn and melt just from the heat.

Graham-Hosue-2 Graham-House-3 Watch â€" the county is now going to require that every home with a side yard setback of less than 5 feet will be required to install sprinkler systems.

Filed under: Environment, News To Us,

March 5, 2009 at 5:12am

Lean, mean and green

PAUL SCHRAG: CITY OF TACOMA IS GOING JOHNNY APPLESEED ON OUR ASSES >>>

News-To-us-article-3_5 City of Tacoma is set to get all gung-ho on going green. I mean really green. Like tree green. City officials in charge of Tacoma’s Urban Forestry program recently presented to Tacoma’s Environment and Public Works Committee a comprehensive set of policy guidelines that would make it easier for citizens and others to plant and manage trees along Tacoma’s crumbling streets, and elsewhere.

Aside from being pretty, trees provide a host of benefits for the cities in which they grow. Trees literally clean the air by absorbing air pollutants and releasing oxygen. They reduce storm water runoff and erosion; they temper climate; they can save energy; they create wild life habitat; they can improve health, serve as screens, and strengthen community. They can even help contribute to a community’s economy and way of life.

Read the rest of my report of the Weekly Volcano Web site.

January 4, 2009 at 12:33pm

Tacoma Photo of the Day

December 18, 2008 at 8:00am

News to us

MICHAEL SWAN: IT’S ON THE STREETS AND INTERWEB TODAY >>>

Tacoma Tar Pits
Expansion of the Northwest Detention Center is causing contaminated soil to rise to the surface by Paul Schrag

Tacoma’s urban forester
Ramie Pierce makes life better with trees by Matt Driscoll

Rockin' week
New Apple Store announcement tilts the meter by Volcano Staff

Filed under: Environment, News To Us, Tacoma,

October 2, 2008 at 7:49am

Green beer and the debate

MICHAEL SWAN: GREEN AND POLITICS AND BEER >>>

OK. I'll admit it. I'm a eco-political junkie. It's my obsession that brings an influx of emails. Most of the time, I just hit the delete key. Ridiculously priced fund-raisers that I can't afford or sitting in a cubicle making phone calls isn't how I want to spend my five minutes of free time. I'm not sure why but eco-political events seem doomed to be boring.

But an email from the Tahoma Audubon and Tacoma Green Drinks changed my thinking. The two organizations as well as Pierce Conservation Voters are holding a meeting tonight all in the name of the environment, conservation, and sustainability at The Spar from 5:30-8 p.m.

Try to tell me the VP debate will not be on The Spar’s televisions tonight.

Green and politics and beer. What could be better?

[The Spar, Thursday, Oct. 2, 5:30-8 p.m., no cover, 2121 N. 30th St., Old Town Tacoma]

LINK: What Biden needs to do to nail the debate

Filed under: Environment, Politics, Tacoma,

October 1, 2008 at 6:57am

Let's get physical

SUZY STUMP: GO! >>>

The big wheels keep on turnin’ down at City Hall. And County Hall. And Chamber of Commerce, er, Hall. And … never mind. A bunch of people in suits want you to steer your mean machines over to Tollefson Plaza to kick off their On the Go! reduce congestion-reduce parking challenges-get you off your ass program. To lodge the thought of walking and biking and sharing rides in downtown Tacoma, officials will offer lunch, downtown walking maps, knowledge, coffee and tea, music, prizes, self-worth, bus information, downtown plans, a life, information on the Scoot Car and much more.

It’s a Schwinn-Schwinn situation for everyone.

[Tollefson Plaza, Wednesday, Oct. 1, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., South 17th and Pacific Avenue, Tacoma, 253.627.2175]

LINK: ViVA South Sound arts and entertainment calendar

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News and entertainment from Joint Base Lewis-McChord’s most awesome weekly newspapers - The Ranger, Northwest Airlifter and Weekly Volcano.

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