Offer input on Central Issaquah Plan for business district

July 10, 2012

The historic proposal to transform more than 900 acres near Interstate 90 and state Route 900 in the decades ahead is a step closer to implementation, but before city leaders act on the plan, citizens can comment on the bid.

The long-term Central Issaquah Plan is meant to guide redevelopment from shopping centers and low-rise office buildings to a taller neighborhood meant for businesses and residences.

Before the proposal reaches the City Council for discussion and possible implementation, citizens can comment July 12 at a public hearing hosted by the Planning Policy Commission.

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Department of Ecology seeks input on landfill rule changes

June 12, 2012

The state Department of Ecology seeks citizen input as the agency prepares to amend rules affecting landfills, including the Cedar Hills Regional Landfill near Issaquah.

The amendments to the state administrative code aim to bring the criteria for landfills into alignment with U.S. Environmental Protection Agency requirements.

The state agency is proposing changes to rules for landfill liner and cover design, standards and procedures for closing landfills, and other landfill practices and procedures.

Citizens can review the proposed rule language and related documents at www.ecy.wa.gov/laws-rules/activity/wac173351.html.

Mail comments to Wayne Krafft, Washington Department of Ecology, Eastern Regional Office, Waste 2 Resources Program, 4601 N. Monroe St., Spokane, WA 99205-1295. Email comments to rulecommentsw2r@ecy.wa.gov. The comment period ends July 6.

National Air Quality Awareness Week highlights risks

April 30, 2012

NEW — 1:30 p.m. April 30, 2012

National Air Quality Awareness Week, observed from Monday through May 6, focuses on improving and protecting air quality.

Overall air quality affects residents’ health, plus environmental health and the overall quality of life in communities.

The state Department of Ecology highlighted a number of steps to improve and safeguard the air. But risks remain from a variety of air pollution sources, including the main sources in Washington — motor vehicles, smoke from outdoor burning and wildfires, and wood smoke from home-heating devices.

The goal of the Department of Ecology’s Air Quality Program is to safeguard public health and the environment by preventing and reducing air pollution.

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King County crews start roadside weed control soon

March 27, 2012

King County road crews plan to roll out a roadside weed control program in unincorporated areas April 9.

Through the annual program, certified technicians conduct controlled herbicide spraying along road shoulders during the spring and summer. The program is meant to reduce safety hazards for bicyclists, motorists and pedestrians.

The spraying also controls noxious weeds — a potential threat to animals and native vegetation.

If residents do not want county crews to spray the county right of way near their property, they should post “owner will maintain” signs. The owners must also agree to maintain the right of way themselves. Maintenance agreements must be completed and returned to the county Road Services Division before the signs can be issued.

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Water conservation is priority at zHome, WaterSense honoree

March 6, 2012

The carbon-neutral zHome townhouses in the Issaquah Highlands receive most attention for steps to reduce energy use.

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King County burn ban ends

January 17, 2012

The King County burn ban in effect last week has been canceled.

On Jan. 14, the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency cancelled air quality burn bans that had been in place in King, Snohomish, Kitsap and Pierce counties.

The agency reported weather forecasters were tracking a new weather system that arrived late Jan. 13. Winds from that system were expected to disperse air pollution that had been building up across the Puget Sound area.

The agency had put in place a Stage 1 burn ban barring the burning of any wood expect in Environmental Protection Agency-certified stoves, fireplaces or fireplace inserts.

Check burn ban status at www.pscleanair.org or call 800-595-4341 toll free. The purpose of a burn ban is to reduce the amount of pollution that is creating unhealthy air.

Darigold pleads guilty in Issaquah Creek spill case

June 21, 2011

Darigold pleaded guilty June 15 to violating the Clean Water Act for a fish-killing ammonia spill into Issaquah Creek.

Under terms of the plea agreement, Darigold plans to work alongside the federal government to develop a corporate environmental compliance plan as part of its sentence.

Including the downtown Issaquah processing facility, Seattle-based Darigold operates 13 processing facilities in five states.

The company must also pay a $10,000 fine and pay $60,000 to protect and restore natural resources in the Issaquah Creek watershed. Darigold also agreed to publicly apologize for the criminal conduct by publishing a statement as a notice or advertisement in The Issaquah Press.

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Darigold pleads guilty in Issaquah Creek spill case

June 15, 2011

NEW — 4 p.m. June 15, 2011

Darigold pleaded guilty Wednesday to violating the Clean Water Act for a fish-killing ammonia spill into Issaquah Creek.

Under terms of the plea agreement, Darigold plans to work alongside the federal government to develop a corporate environmental compliance plan as part of the sentence. Including the downtown Issaquah processing facility, Seattle-based Darigold operates 13 processing facilities in five states.

The company must also pay a $10,000 fine and pay $60,000 to protect and restore natural resources in the Issaquah Creek watershed. Darigold also agreed to publicly apologize for the criminal conduct by publishing a statement in The Issaquah Press.

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King County Council celebrates Earth Day

April 19, 2011

NEW — 8 a.m. April 19, 2011

King County Council members offered support for local, national and international efforts to protect the environment, and proclaimed Friday as Earth Day in King County.

Earth Day started 41 years ago to raise awareness about the environment and then expanded into a global event celebrated in 175 countries.

“In East King County, we are recognizing the goals of Earth Day this week with a celebration of the native Lake Sammamish kokanee salmon,” Councilwoman Kathy Lambert, the Issaquah representative, said in a statement Monday after the council issued the proclamation.

Leaders from several agencies and cities gathered Monday to release kokanee fry into Lake Sammamish.

“With the collaboration of many government agencies and private organizations, kokanee recovery efforts include releases of tiny kokanee fry from the hatchery supplementation program into creeks around the lake this week,” Lambert continued. “The fish will be able to thrive as a result of our healthy environment.”

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State: Washington milk is safe, despite radiation concerns

April 12, 2011

State agriculture and health officials said Washington-produced milk is safe, despite low levels of radiation detected March 25 in a milk sample from Spokane.

The federal Environmental Protection Agency is conducting radiological testing for Washington-produced milk. EPA results announced March 30 confirmed the presence of miniscule levels of radioactive iodine-131.

Sampling results from Tacoma and Spokane taken during the same week — and posted online April 4 by the EPA — did not detect any radioactive elements in milk, even in trace amounts.

“EPA monitoring confirms that Washington milk is safe to drink,” Dan Newhouse, state Department of Agriculture director, said in a statement. “These results raise no concerns for food safety or public health. Milk and other dairy products remain a healthy choice in your diet.”

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