• Community Representatives Sign Letter to EPA & DOD Urging Inclusive Military Cleanup Discussions

    Representatives from community and environmental groups from across the United States and Puerto Rico have signed a letter to Dr. Dorothy Robyn, Deputy Undersecretary of Defense and Mathy Stanislaus, Environmental Protection Agency Assistant Administrator, urging more comprehensive transparent and inclusive discussions on military cleanup regulatory requirements.

    We are representatives of communities that host active, closing, and former military facilities. We ask that we, as well as state and tribal regulatory agencies, be brought into this important conversation.
    We are sympathetic to the desire to have a consistent set of regulatory requirements from U.S. EPA or other regulatory agencies. However, twenty-six years after the establishment of the Defense Environmental Restoration Program, we expect some natural evolution in cleanup regulation as new problems are discovered and the scientific knowledge of the impacts of pollutants changes.

    We support Congressman Sam Farr’s suggestion that a forum be created in which regulators, the military components, and affected communities seek common ground to achieve faster, more efficient, and more protective cleanups.

    The letter dated April 14, 2012, was signed by Rosemere Neighborhood Association along with representatives of environmental and community groups, including Earth Island Institute, Arc Ecology, United Tribe of Shawnee Indians, and representatives of the Restoration Advisory Boards of former Defense sites in a dozen states.

    To view the letter please click here: Communities Letter on Military Cleanup

  • Petition to stop licensing of Nuclear Reactor at Hanford Nuclear Facility

    Hanford dumping ground photo credit: HOANW

    Hanford dumping ground Photo credit: HOANW

    Energy Northwest (formerly WPPSS) runs the region’s sole commercial nuclear reactor, Hanford Nuclear Facility, located along the Columbia River on the Hanford Nuclear Reservation. Energy Northwest is owned and run by Washington’s publicly owned utilities. These include Clark Public Utilities in Clark County, as well as Seattle City Light, Snohomish PUD, and Tacoma City Light.

    The Federal Government is attempting to make Hanford a national nuclear waste dump, despite the actions of the Washington citizens to prevent more nuclear waste from being shipped there. In recent months, the reactor had numerous safety violations. As the Seattle Times reported (March, 2011), Energy Northwest officials have been moving to be the first commercial reactor in the US to use the same highly dangerous Plutonium fuel which was released to the environment during the Fukushima Reactor earthquake and tsunami crisis, causing catastrophic damage to a huge populated area of Japan and the ocean – without public disclosure of risks or costs.

    Clark Public Utilities representatives have not objected to use of Plutonium fuel, and supported relicensing the reactor to run 20 more years until the year 2043 – without any public discussion near Clark PUD.

    You can voice your opinion.

    Clark County residents: Click on the link below to sign a petition (managed by Heart of America Northwest, www.hoanw.org) to stop the licensing of the nuclear reactor operating at the Hanford facility, and demand the federal government pursue clean energy instead:

    Petition: http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/cgsclark/

  • MEDIA RELEASE: Community Groups Give Notice of Clean Water Act Suit to Planned Coal Export Terminal on Columbia River

    Train unloading coal at Millennium terminal in June 2011

    Train unloading coal at Millennium terminal in June 2011


    August 9, 2011

    Gayle Kiser, LCSC
    (360) 749-7029
    Dvija Bertish, Rosemere
    (360) 281-4747

    Longview, WA – Community groups from Longview and Vancouver Washington have filed formal notices of suit for violations of the federal Clean Water Act against the corporation planning to export coal from Longview to China. The sixty-day notice of suit is a legal prerequisite to filing the Clean Water Act suit that will be filed in the Federal District court in Tacoma sixty days from today. The suit targets the fact that Millennium Bulk Terminals and its parent company Ambre Energy are currently importing, storing and exporting coal to their Longview facility absent any permits that allow for such activities under the Clean Water Act.

    For complete Press Release please click here: MEDIA RELEASE_8-9-2011

    To view complete 60 Day Notice please click here: 8-9-11_FINAL_ 60_DAY_ Ambre_ Energy

    More about this story from The Daily News Online:  Groups sue Millennium over alleged Clean Water Act violations in Longview

  • Coalition Urges US Energy Secretary Chu to Withdraw Decision to Use Hanford as a National Radioactive Waste Dump

    Arial view of Hanford Nuclear Reservation & Columbia River

    Arial view of Hanford Nuclear Reservation & Columbia River

    On April 29, 2010, a coalition of Northwest environmental and public health groups, including the Rosemere Neighborhood Association, sent a letter to the U.S. Secretary of Energy, Steven Chu, urging him to withdraw the Department of Energy’s decisions to use Hanford, WA, as a national radioactive waste dump.

    The letter requests:

    “that the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) withdraw its 2000 and 2004 Records of Decision selecting Hanford as a disposal site for large volumes of radioactive low-level waste (LLW) and mixed low-level waste (MLLW) from across the Nation.  The Department’s own draft Tank Closure and Waste Management Environmental Impact Statement (TC&WM EIS) clearly demonstrates that importing and burying off-site waste at Hanford poses serious human health and environmental impacts. [Read More...]

  • Oil Spill Disaster off Louisiana Coast


    British Petroleum Oil Spill off Louisiana Coast

    Damage assessments of the oil spill off the Louisiana coast continue to mount as the spill now threatens 4 states and is said to be growing at 5 times the rate it was originally measured.  More than 200,000 gallons a day is pouring out from the sunken oil rig and threatens coastal nature preserves, parks, fisheries, and the health and livelihood of residents.

    From USA Today:

    NEW ORLEANS — Time appeared to be running out
    Thursday to prevent a disaster that could harm the
    ecosystem along the Gulf Coast as 210,000 gallons
    of oil has leaked into the water every day since an
    oil rig exploded and sank last week. [Read More...]

  • Coal Free Washington Town Hall Meeting Held in Vancouver

    TransAlta Coal Plant, Centralia , WA <br> (image: Sierra Club)

    TransAlta Coal Plant, Centralia , WA (image: Sierra Club)

    In the fall of 2007, the Rosemere Neighborhood Association, along with five other Northwest environmental groups including Columbia Riverkeeper, Willapa Audubon Society, Washington Environmental Council, Sierra Club’s Cascade Chapter and Northwest Energy Coalition were granted the legal status to intervene in the permitting process for Energy Northwest’s proposed 680-megawatt coal-fueled Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle (IGCC) power plant in Kalama, Washington. The intervention was successful, and Energy Northwest withdrew its application to build the coal fired power plant. Environmental groups provided testimony regarding the contamination caused by coal fired power plants, and the public was mobilized to object to Energy Northwest’s plans that would have polluted the Columbia River and would have impacted the health of local residents.

    In an effort to make Washington State a coal-free state, conservation groups are now focusing on the aged TransAlta coal fired power plant in Centralia. During the week of Earth Day, a coalition of organizations sponsored Town Hall meetings in Western Washington to discuss the environmental and public health impacts caused by coal plants, and to mobilize efforts to shut down the TransAlta plant, the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions, mercury pollution, and coal haze that that invades 12 wilderness areas in Washington State.

    A study published in Open Atmospheric Science Journal by a group of ten scientists from the United States (including NASA), the United Kingdom and France argue that a prompt moratorium on new coal use and a complete phase out of existing coal emissions is needed by 2030 to avert environmental catastrophe. The report concludes: “The stakes, for all life on the planet, surpass those of any previous crisis.”

    Rosemere attended the Town Hall meeting in Vancouver, April 21, 2010, sponsored by the Sierra Club. Panelists included Maye Thompson from Oregon Physicians for Social Responsibility, Doug Howell of the Sierra Club, and Ted Nace, author of the book Climate Hope: On the Front Lines of the Fight Against Coal. The Sierra Club has formed the Coal Free campaign with a chapter working in Washington State. [Read More...]

  • A Coal-Free Washington is Possible

    TransAlta Coal Plant, Centralia , WA <br> (image: Sierra Club)

    TransAlta Coal Plant, Centralia , WA (image: Sierra Club)

    More than 20% of our Electricity in Washington comes from Coal.

    Coal is our nation’s dirtiest energy source.  But few Washingtonians realize that the TransAlta coal plan in Centralia burns roughly 4 million tons of coal each year.

    TransAlta coal plant is the largest single source of pollution in Washington.

    Toxic pollution from coal plants contributes to heart and ling disease, cancer, stroke and premature death.

    The TransAlta coal plant is Washington’s biggest polluter of toxic mercury.  Mercury pollutes the water we drink, the fish we eat, and is especially dangerous to children and women who are pregnant or may become pregnant.

    Dirty coal can be replaced with clean energy solutions that will reduce pollution and protect our health. [Read More...]

  • Hanford: Proposed Settlement Could Allow for Decades of Cleanup Delays and “Hottest” Nuclear Waste to be Shipped to Hanford Nuclear Reservation

    The states of Oregon and Washington, having filed suit against the US Department of Energy in 2008, have negotiated a court-enforceable settlement agreement regarding continuing cleanup activities at Hanford nuclear reservation. Hanford is the most heavily contaminated facility in the western hemisphere with 53 million gallons of radioactive waste at 194 million Curies, the measure of radioactive potency.

    Arial view of Hanford Nuclear Reservation & Columbia River

    Arial view of Hanford Nuclear Reservation on Columbia River

    The core of the settlement agreement focuses on languishing federal efforts to empty 140 remaining single shell storage tanks of radioactive sludge, and the severely delayed construction of the largest radioactive waste treatment facility in the US. Almost half of the single shell storage tanks are known to be leaking into the soil and to have infiltrated the groundwater in the Hanford plateau. This radioactive spill is moving toward the Columbia River and will reach the shoreline within 20-50 years according to current estimates. A seismic event could increase the speed of travel.

    [Read More...]

  • Heart of America NW Offers Free Screening of Hanford Documentary in Vancouver


    Heart of America NW is holding a free screening of the documentary ARID LANDS at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship in Vancouver, WA.

    ARID LANDS is a internationally acclaimed documentary is about the land and people of the Columbia River Basin in Eastern WA – home to the Hanford nuclear site – the largest environmental clean-up in history.

    It is a land of incredible contradictions: coyotes roam among reactors, salmon spawn in the middle of golf courses and federal dollars spur rapid expansion.

    When: October 12, 2009
    07:00 PM – 09:30 PM – Film Screening: Vancouver, WA Arid Lands Screening
    Location: Unitarian Universalist Church of Vancouver 4505 E. 18th St, Vancouver, WA, 98661 US
    MapQuest! | GoogleMaps
    Contact: email
    Website: http://www.sidelongfilms.com

  • Energy Northwest Cancels Plans to Build Kalama Power Facility

    This is a 2544-ton-per-day coal gasification plant on the Wabash River in Indiana. (Photo: Department of Energy)

    This is a 2544-ton-per-day coal gasification plant on the Wabash River in Indiana. (Photo: Department of Energy)

    Energy Northwest has withdrawn its application for the Pacific Mountain Energy Facility (PMEC) in Kalama.  In a letter this month to the State of Washington Energy Facility Site Evaluation Council (EFSEC), Energy Northwest explained its decision saying, “Our efforts have determined that the financial and economic conditions do not support a project of this size.”

    Originally slated to be a $1.5 billion coal gasification plant, Energy Northwest had amended its plans for a coal powered plant in favor of natural gas in response to environmental objections raised by the Rosemere Neighborhood Association and Columbia Riverkeeper, Willapa Audubon Society, Washington Environmental Council, Sierra Club’s Cascade Chapter and Northwest Energy Coalition.

    [Read More...]

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